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Unusual Seedling

Fort Walton Beach, FL(Zone 8b)

Hi everyone. A newbie here. I have been reading the FAQ page but I couldn't find anything about "Mutant" seedlings. I bought a bunch of seeds off of EBay in August of 2006.
This is one of the seedlings that came up. This plant is almost 2 years old. The seeds were sold as Mardi Gras. I have plants from the same batch that are 3 feet tall. This plant is only 6 inches tall from the soil line. Is this common? Any chance it will ever flower? Could it be Grafted? Any info or insight would be appreciated. Thanks!! Dave

Thumbnail by dmdja
Fort Walton Beach, FL(Zone 8b)

This is another shot to see the height.

Thumbnail by dmdja
New Orleans, LA(Zone 8b)

No advice here. . .I'm a plumie newbie myself. I think the variegated leaves look really cool and hope that it's not a virus or anything. I just ordered some Mardi Gras seeds. Have any of your seedlings bloomed? And if so, do they resemble "Mardi Gras" at all?


Ventura, United States(Zone 10b)

Whoa! I think you are one lucky person if that seedling stays variegated. It might even be a dwarf variegated -- highly desireable and worth a lot of money. It's beautiful! Keep a close eye on that.

You might try potting it up to a five-gallon container as the one-gallon container may be stunting its growth a bit. It's lovely. The variegation in the leaves is not caused by a virus but is a chimera.

Ventura, United States(Zone 10b)

I forgot to mention that, if you bought the seeds and sowed them, then it couldn't be grafted. It's a seedling. I do see what appears to be a graftline, but that couldn't be possible if that is a seedling from seed that you sowed.

Edited to add: Seedlings can take 3-5 years to flower from seed so it will eventually flower for you, but it will take some time. In the meantime, those leaves are gorgeous and almost as good as flowers!

This message was edited Jul 31, 2008 5:49 PM

Fort Walton Beach, FL(Zone 8b)

Thanks for the reply Clare. I bought the seeds off of EBay and have had it since it sprouted. It started out as a sickly looking seedling. The leaves were very small and kept curling and turning brown. When I transplanted the other seedlings I put it in the 5 inch pot and set it aside because I thought it would never make it. It got placed in the shade and it started keeping its leaves. It doesn't like direct sun. It has been in the same pot for almost 2 years and it isn't root bound. The line is where the first leaves were. It lost its leaves last winter when I put it in the garage with the other plumeria.
I was wondering if a cutting of this plant could be grafted onto another plant. I've never tried grafting and know very little about it. I've seen that a lot of the plants for sale say they are grafted. I asked about the grafting only because I was wondering if it would be worth anything to someone else. I have a bad reputation for killing any plant that needs care during the winter. Thats one of reasons I like plumeria so much. If its a rarity I have no business with it because anything I try to keep an eye on doesn't last very long. If it survives on neglect (and a little fertilizer now and then) we get along fine.

Karma, none of my Mardi Gras seedlings have bloomed yet. I have several other varieties that were planted at the same time that are blooming or are about to have the first flower open but not the Mardi Gras. I started with 5 Mardi Gras seeds and 3 sprouted. Two of them are 3 feet tall and then the "runt".

Yuma, AZ

Wow nice find...Variegated and showing signs of being dwarf.
I would do as Clare suggested and put it in a larger pot. I had some that were in small pots, not root bound, that when moved to larger pots grew out of their dwarf state. I also had some that stayed the same...but you won't know until you try.

Ventura, United States(Zone 10b)

Hi Dave, it looks like a very special seedling to me, and if I were you, I wouldn't part with it! LOL! If it is not rootbound, then I wouldn't be concerned about re-potting it until it becomes rootbound. A dwarf variegated plumeria is a treasure if that is what it turns out to be. Just try neglecting it, and it will do fine.

It can be grafted once the branches get to be a little bigger, but grafting should be done by someone with experience in grafting. I don't know how close you are to Luc at Florida Colors Nursery in Homestead, but if you were to bring it or send it to him, he could graft one of the branches for you onto another root stock. He charges about $4 per graft plus shipping back to you. You could have some of the branches grafted and sell them on Ebay or Dave's Market!

In any case, don't let it scare you but do try not to kill it if you can! LOL! ^_^

New Orleans, LA(Zone 8b)

Wow dmdja, congratulations. . .that's great news from the experts. Thanks for your reply.

Clare, I wished I never looked up "chimera". I found human/animal chimera before plant chimera. . .scary stuff.

Ventura, United States(Zone 10b)

Yeah, I saw that too, and it made me unhappy too so see it done to animals.

Mulberry, FL

Hi do you still have this? if so can we see the growth of this ?It was very interesting when you posted this last year!

Tucson, AZ

what a gem dave! i like the variegation on this one because it's shades of green. i dislike variegation that is white and pink. that really doesn't look healthy. i like yours though! :D keep an eye on this one. perhaps, one day people will be buying cuttings from you!

Gainesville, FL

The original Chimera was a figure from Greek mythology. It had the body of a lion, with a goat's head arising from the back, and the tail ended in a snake's head. It was the brother of Cerberus, the 3 headed dog (most recently of Harry Potter fame) and the Hydra, and the son of Typhon and Echidna. I could never see why plants that exhibit certain characteristics are called Chimeras, based on the original meaning of the word.

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