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Workshops & Speakers
plus tour, demos, & panels


The IPC23 Steering Committee worked all their contacts to nab the best experts on the most important topics.



L.A. Arboretum’s Plumeria Grove Tour

In 2014, Diana kick-started a volunteer effort to renovate, expand, and improve the Arboretum’s plumeria grove. During these two hours, you can either explore the 100+ trees on your own or join a guided tour tailored to IPC attendees. It’s far more fun to see and smell our observations!



  • Expert Q&A Panel (Friday)

  • Expert's Top 10 Plumerias Panel (Saturday)

  • Expert Fertilizer Discussion Panel (Saturday)

  • Expert Plumeria Virus Discussion Panel (Saturday)

Expert Virus


In the Friday workshop session, we'll have a demonstration area set up with four stations that attendees will rotate to every 15 or so minutes. Here are the four stations:


  • Basic Grafting, Cody Bean, So Cal grower, California

  • Different Techniques to Callous and Root Cuttings, Jenna Karimoto, Los Angeles/Ventura County Grower & Maureen Hiroshige, Pasadena Plumeria Pharmer, California

  • Stronger Plants and Fewer Pests with organics, Kim Orsak, Texas Gulf Coast Grower, Texas

  • Basic Plumeria Lei-Making & Hairpiece, Stacy Atkinson, Co-Owner, Atkinson Plumeria Farm, California


A Half Century of Plumeria Research (Friday)
Dr. Rich Criley, Dept. Tropical Plant and Soil Sciences, University of Hawai'i, Honolulu, Hawai'i
The initial objective of our plumeria research began with attempts to manipulate t
ime of flowering to obtain lei flowers out of season for Hawaii’s winter tourist trade. The presentation Includes discussion of propagation, stimulation of branching with plant growth regulators, flower keeping quality and plumeria rust treatment. The University of Hawaii’s plumeria germplasm collection includes a number of species, some of which are rust resistant and are potential parents for attempts to breed new varieties that are rust resistant. DNA fingerprinting has been used to characterize the species, and those results are discussed in IPC presentations by other speakers.

How to Identify Plumeria (Saturday)
Mike Atkinson, Co-Owner, Atkinson Plumeria Farm, California
Mike will cover the right and wrong ways to identify a plumeria's cultivar name. He'll cover the many pitfalls of identifying plumeria and illustrate successful techniques, with many examples.

How to Prune Plumeria Trees (Friday)
Alex John Franco III, Orange County, Owner at A.J. Horticulture & Plumeria Papa, California
Plumeria trees are relatively easy to care for, but they do require regular pruning to maintain their health and shape. Trimming can improve their overall health and enhance their appearance. It can also encourage new growth and flowering. Attend this session to learn from an experienced horticulturalist how best to prune and lace your tree.

Myth Busting, Lessons Learned and New Studies (Saturday)
Diana Donnellan, Volunteer Curator, L.A. Arboretum Plumeria Grove & Liz Mendoza, California
Back in 2014, the L.A. Arboretum and I partnered to make their nascent plumeria grove into a world-class collection. In these many years, I discovered that conventional wisdom was hit or miss, and in some cases, utterly incorrect. This in-depth session explores the good and the bad of common advice, plus lessons learned over 9 years. Bonus: we’ll also cover several new scientific studies done in collaboration with Dr. Don Hodel and our key Arboretum gardener, Liz Mendoza. 

Pests and Fungi of Plumerias in SoCal (Saturday)
Linda Ohara, So Cal Plumeria Grower, California
With their colorful and fragrant blooms, and ease of growing, plumerias are very popular with hundreds of garden enthusiasts. However, plumerias are prone to attack by an assortment of pests. This presentation will touch on these pests, and their biocontrols, that affect the plumerias in Southern California.

Plumeria Diversity in the Caribbean Islands (Saturday)
Dr. Nichole Tiernan, Botanical Research Associate, Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden, Florida

Molecular DNA is often used to gain perspective on the evolution of plant groups. Dr. Tiernan will present a brief introduction to some of these techniques and her recently published results from the first molecular phylogenetic analysis of the genus Plumeria. This work utilized next-generation sequencing methods to generate DNA sequences for the entire (or nearly entire) chloroplast genome. While the key endemic species were included, representative species from each island were also included as well as species with substantial morphological variation. The results of this work indicate that the species have grouped by single-islands or close neighbor-islands. We can see interesting patterns of adaptive radiation with ecological habitat shifts among species. The results also suggest that Plumeria pudica may be more closely related to the Caribbean species than previously thought.

Plumeria of Hawai’i (Saturday)
Ken Sakata, Orange County, CA Grower from Hawai'i, California

Plumeria are beloved, having a long history as a part of Hawaiian and local culture. They grace the yards of many homes, are used for leis and adornment, and are a part of many celebrations and events in Hawai'i. Many have Hawaiian names. What do they mean? Does the name have any historical, cultural or geographical significance?  Who named them? How do you pronounce it correctly in the Hawaiian language?  Learning some background knowledge from a kama'āina, child of the land, makes our plumeria even more special.

Plumeria Thriving in Five Months of Intense Heat (Friday)
Mike Wong, Robin LeMaster, Karen Pearson-Bell, Coachella Valley Plumeria Society, California

The Coachella Valley communities experience very high temperatures during the months of May-September and maintain an average of 93-105 degrees! And what!!??....NO OCEAN BREEZES?
Learn about:

  • Different propagating strategies that support the plumeria to thrive during the hot summer months.

  • Different ways to protect the plumeria from the intense sunlight (Nobody likes a sunburn!)

  • Plumeria varieties that seem to do well in high-temperature areas.

  • The importance of acclimating plants brought in from different zones.

Rivendel Botanic Gardens Is Magic (Saturday)
Carol Mylrea, Botanical Park creator and artist, Australia

Twenty years ago, we moved to Rockhampton with a relatively small plumeria collection in tow. Our botanic garden started when we built our unique dream home and learnt how to import plumeria. I became a regular traveler to Thailand, importing many plants, and also imported from other places including the USA. As a result, my plumeria collection is now one of the largest in the world. My current obsession is cross pollination, resulting in some world class new varieties.

'Root' to Success: Unveiling the 'Seed'crets of Greenhouse (Saturday)
Chandler Gorman, Biologist and Horticulturalist, California
Are you ready to take your home growing to the next level? Look no further than greenhouses! Not only do they extend your growing season and protect your plants from the elements, but they're also a lot of fun to design and build. In this talk, we'll explore the various types of greenhouses, and discuss how to choose the right site for your greenhouse. We'll also delve into materials and construction methods, heating, ventilation, and cooling systems, pest and disease control, and the best practices for growing plants in greenhouses. Whether you're a seasoned gardener or a newbie with a green thumb, this talk is for you. Gain the knowledge and inspiration you need to create a thriving greenhouse that suits your needs and budget.

The Quest to Find Meaningful Traits in Plumeria Species (Saturday)
Dr. Kauahi Perez, Agricultural Research Support Specialist, University of Hawai'i at Manoa, Hawai'i

Plumeria are used for ornamental, cosmetic, and medicinal purposes. However, only a few of the species find their way into commercial use, while other potentially useful species remain untapped sources of horticultural, medicinal, and cosmetic value. Disagreement among collectors and taxonomists has made it difficult to identify species. Misused or unconfirmed names and lack of easily observable descriptors or well-defined molecular markers add to the confusion. In Dr. Perez’s study, a combination of
descriptive morphological characters and DNA regions were evaluated to determine their abilities to distinguish Plumeria species. In the end, most species could be recognized as legitimate “species.”

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