michelia alba bloom

Discussion in 'Magnoliaceae' started by maggiec, Apr 13, 2007.

  1. maggiec

    maggiec Active Member

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    I'm so pleased that my m. alba is already going thru another flush of blooms (since Xmas) - so many buds to enjoy! I never would have found this wonderful plant without all the info on these forums.
     

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  2. Junglekeeper

    Junglekeeper Esteemed Contributor 10 Years

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    Congratulations. The smell in the room must be wonderful. The tree appears to be very healthy. I'm impressed since I didn't think it would do well in a typical indoor setting. I expect M. figo would have similar cultural requirements. So, is your banana shrub equally happy?
     
  3. maggiec

    maggiec Active Member

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    I'm afraid m. figo is no longer with us. I admit I sort of gave up on it. I've lost one before so perhaps we just aren't meant to be. There were a couple of flowers and again I was a bit disappointed with the scent & the flowers lasted only about a day. Whereas I find the alba surprisingly unfussy, certainly less care than the gardenia (which I was happy to take outside this week). And a flower will be open more than a week. The only "pampering" I did was to buy a humidifier - a small, inexpensive one with a washable filter. Well worth it because the scent wafts through the entire house, in a very pleasant way.
     
  4. scross1

    scross1 Active Member

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    maggiec,
    You plant looks great, do you take your m. alba outside during the summer, or does it remain in the house? How much sun do you have it getting through the day. Just want to try and copy your conditions with my m. champaca.

    Thanks
     
  5. Junglekeeper

    Junglekeeper Esteemed Contributor 10 Years

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    Sorry to hear that. Mine, which is a little bigger than the one you had - pictured in this post in http://forums.botanicalgarden.ubc.ca/posts/63598), has been flowering since late March. Even though the flowers only last a day or two, in actuality the fragrance lasts longer; I'm finding that it is emitted when the flower is barely open and is enough to perfume the whole room (~100 sq. ft.) :)

    Any plans on air-layering your alba? ;)
     
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2015
  6. maggiec

    maggiec Active Member

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    Maybe it's just me - so many people love m. figo. My sister has one that is a small 4' tree and it flowers profusely.
    I am very keen on trying to propagate something from this alba. There is one branch that is ripe for a pruning and I would hate to waste the cutting. I may head out to the nursery and chat up the owner again. He said I could visit him any time if the plant was in trouble. He has done cuttings from this same plant before but I'm not sure if he'll share any "secrets." With any luck, I'll be at the next plant swap, haha.

    scross1,
    I keep the plant indoors. Although the window has western exposure, the light is filtered by a tree and during the sunniest hours, I sometimes draw the sheer curtains. I close off the nearby heating vent as well as use a small humidifier in the winter months. While I keep a fairly cool house (visitors sometimes gripe about being chilly), I also lower the heat at night.
     
  7. Junglekeeper

    Junglekeeper Esteemed Contributor 10 Years

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    We must be thinking of the same one. The low branch just above the soil line - seen in the first photo - is a good candidate for simple layering. I suspect that method would have a higher success rate than air layering for this plant.
     
  8. AliceM

    AliceM Member

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    Hi Maggiec,
    I'm a new member of the forum. May I ask where you were able to find a Michelia Alba? My mom used to have one, but it died last year. We've been trying to find another for her.
    Thanks,
    Alice
     
  9. scross1

    scross1 Active Member

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  10. AliceM

    AliceM Member

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    Thanks!
     
  11. Junglekeeper

    Junglekeeper Esteemed Contributor 10 Years

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    Check with Garden in Gardens Greenhouse in Richmond. There were quite a few rooted cuttings available earlier this year.
     
  12. AliceM

    AliceM Member

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    Thanks, I'll call them tomorrow!
     
  13. et2007

    et2007 Active Member

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    Hi Maggiec,
    You're so lucky, I missed the fra. of m. aba, I bring the plant outside on the last week of June, and I'm still not see any flower bud yet. My plant was too big, so I changed to the next size pot, I wonder if that will stop the flower for this year?
     
  14. maggiec

    maggiec Active Member

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    AliceM...
    I bought my alba at Garden in Gardens in Richmond two Christmases ago. Actually, it is the "mother plant" of the cuttings he is now selling. He only wanted to sell me one of the smaller plants, but after a long conversation, he brought out the "mother" (as he fondly called it) from his office.

    et2007...
    I changed the pot on my plant even though the nursery owner said he had just repotted it, because I wanted it to be in an attractive container. If anything, the plant was happier and grew quite a bit taller. I sometimes put coffee grounds in the soil - it really seems to respond to it. Also, I let it get quite dry between waterings as I was warned the roots rot easily. I leave it in inside all year round (the pot is darned heavy) and it flowers all year - doesn't seem to have a particular flowering period, although I think it was heaviest in late winter.
     
  15. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    Grown by Monrovia so any outlet that buys from them could turn out to have it sometime or be talked into ordering it.
     
  16. AliceM

    AliceM Member

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    Thank-you everyone for your clues on finding an Alba. We picked up a great one at Gardens in Gardens in Richmond. It's funny.....I had asked friends in Hong Kong, Hawaii and California to see if they could find one for us, but in the end we found it in our own backyard. Our first Alba was one my grandmother brought to Canada 30 yrs ago from a tree that grew in her old village and my mom was very sad that it died. My mom is very happy now!
     
  17. et2007

    et2007 Active Member

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    maggiec...
    Cleveland weather live up it name this year, it rain so much that all of my container plants are wet all times, I gave up bring its in & out because some time it rain 2,3 times a day & I have too many pots, I just drained the bottom water and pray for its survivor. Thanks for the tips, I drink lots of coffee & always have coffee ground in plants pots & garden.
     

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