How to Grow and Care Plumeria Plant (Amazing Tips)

Plumeria Plant is a popular tropical plant that produces beautiful and highly fragrant flowers. You can get to know them better as a Hawaiian lei plant (plumeria plant is the type of flower used to make laws), or perhaps by its proper name, frangipani.

You can only find them growing outdoors in the hot tropics, but did you know that they can also be easily grown in pots in cold climates with proper care, a potted plumeria plant can thrive and flourish year after year.

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How to plant Plumeria plant

Let us check how to plant plumeria plant in your garden.

1# Moistening plumeria seeds   

If you buy seeds online, you don’t know if the seeds were harvested recently or are a few months old. Freshly harvested seeds germinate faster, while older seeds take longer. To speed up the germination process, the seeds must be filled with moisture.

The easiest way is to place the seeds between moistened tissue papers. Leave them for 24 hours in a warm environment. You will notice that the thickest part of the seeds will swell. The seeds are now ready to sow.

2# Preparing the soil

In the meantime, you can make your own soil mixture or buy pre-made ones in a nursery. Cut two-thirds of the bottle and use the bottom third. Drill holes in the base and, after cleaning, your growing soil will be ready for use.

3# Transplant swollen seeds

Moisten the peat moss (or potting mix) and make a small hole in the mix. Gently push the plumeria seed about 0.2 inches (5 mm) into the mixture. Make sure the puffed tip is at the bottom and the seed wing at the top.

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Let part of that wing protrude from the ground. Gently press the soil against the side of the plumeria seed.

4# Wait for the seeds to germinate

Depending on the freshness of the seeds, they will take from seven days to more than a month to germinate.

In most cases, the blade will emerge with the remains of the shell still attached. It falls as the leaves grow. If any of the seedlings show signs of mold during the germination process, treat them immediately with a mild fungicide.

5# Remove the shell if it adheres to the cotyledons

The shell usually falls on its own, but sometimes it may not happen soon. If these shells are not removed from the cotyledons (that is, the first embryonic leaves of the seedling), the seedlings can rot and die.

You may need to help by spraying it with a fine mist and gently removing these peels.

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How do you care for a Plumeria plant

1# Soil requirements

The Plumeria is an addition to wonderful scenery very suitable for the cultivation vessels.

Although it is a resistant plant and does well in any type of soil, Plumeria does best in well-drained soil, either in the soil or in pots. A soil with very good drainage and excellent use of other beneficial organics.

Potting is recommended if moving the plant is necessary because it takes time. If you want the appearance of Plumeria growing in the soil, bury the plant in the nursery pot. You can dig it up when the seasonal temperature drops.

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2# Sunlight requirement

Like most flowering plants, Plumeria trees need a lot of sunlight for proper flowering. If you grow the plant in pots, it will do best in the afternoon shade; otherwise, direct sunlight or at least 6 hours of sunlight is preferred.

3# Watering the Plumeria Tree     

When watering Plumeria trees, remember that they don’t like wet feet. Water frequently when the plant has a lot of foliage and flowers, usually from March to late November. Water only when the soil dries out.

When summer rains come and are actively growing, there is no need to think about watering. When the leaves start to fall, stop watering.

Do not water the plant again until you see new leaves. Watering the plants while they are in lethargy leads to the death of the plant.

4# Plumeria Fertilizer

Like most flowering plants, a Plumeria fertilizer provides high levels of phosphorus, especially when the flowers are growing.

Look for a fertilizer with a high average number, like 10-30-10. If you are applying a liquid fertilizer with a high phosphorus content, apply it once every 4-5 weeks.

Do not overfeed with nitrogen or you will end up with longer, weaker stems and less flowering, as nitrogen stimulates the growth of foliage.

5# Best growing temperatures

Plumeria does well at average temperatures ranging from 65°-85°degrees Fahrenheit. The plant tolerates high temperatures, although you need to water it more often. Bring the plant indoors when temperatures drop below 55 degrees Fahrenheit.

6# Plumeria pruning to control size 

Prune Plumeria tropical just to control their size, shape, or remove sick and broken branches. Avoid tearing or damaging the bark when removing long, heavy branches.

The plant can tolerate pruning throughout the year, although pruning in winter reduces Plumeria flowers in spring.

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7# Young plant transplant

In early spring, when the roots of the plants fill the plant’s container, move them to a larger pot. Make sure that the larger pot has drainage holes to help prevent root rot.

8# Take a winter break in the plumeria trees    

Most varieties of Plumeria fall asleep in the winter months, requiring a good night’s sleep. Store them in a cold room, garage or basement. Make sure the temperature does not drop below 55 degrees Fahrenheit.

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How to grow Plumeria plant

Although you don’t have to live in the tropics to grow plumeria in your garden, you should know your growing needs beforehand.

Often grown in the garden as an ornamental shrub or small tree, plumeria plants should be grown in well-drained soil that is slightly acidic.

They also need at least six hours of full sun. Although plants are quite tolerant to salt and wind, they cannot tolerate cold and must be protected.

Therefore, they should be grown in containers in cooler regions. In areas that can be hot most of the time, but are still quite prone to cold winters, the plant can be dug up and hibernated indoors.


Alternatively, you can sink plumeria grown in containers on the ground, taking them inland when temperatures start to fall in fall.

As soon as the higher temperatures return in the spring, you can return the plants outside. When growing plumeria plants in pots, use a cactus or perlite potting mix with good drainage and sand and the sand should be fine.

Plumeria does not like wet feet, they need to be watered deeply when watered and then dry slightly before watering again. They should also be fertilized approximately every two to three weeks during their active growing season.

Reduce irrigation in the middle of autumn and stop completely when the plants go dormant in winter. Resume regular watering when new growth appears in the spring.

A high phosphate (phosphorus) fertilizer, such as 10-30-10, will help to stimulate flowering. Giving them too much nitrogen will only result in more foliage growth and less flowering.

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How fast do Plumeria Trees grow

Many extension centers and cultivation guides, such as the Institute of Agricultural and Food Sciences at the University of Florida, consider plumeria to be slow-growing, meaning they grow less than 60 centimeters per year.

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Other sources, such as the Cooperative Extension Service at the University of Hawaii in Manoa, classify us as medium producers, growing 2 to 5 feet per year.

The disparity between the two categorizations is probably due to the different durations of the growing seasons in the different regions where the plumeria grows. The longer the growing season, the longer the plumeria has to grow, and the higher it gets each year.

Hawaii, for example, has a growing season almost year-round, while several parts of northern Florida have temperatures low enough to cause plumeria leaves to fall.

Therefore, if you want the height of your plumeria tree, you can introduce nitrogen fertilizers into your plant, because nitrogen increases the plant’s good vigor instead of promoting its flowering or reproduction stage.

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Grow Plumeria Cuttings

Starting plumeria cutting in the ground is a simple and straightforward process. However, it does expose them to infections, pests, and diseases if proper preparation measures are not taken. All pruning shears, knives, or other tools used for cutting must be disinfected before use to eliminate pathogens.

Soak the tool for five minutes in a 50-50 solution of isopropyl alcohol and distilled water, then rinse well and allow to air dry. Prepare a clear, fast-draining planting site by removing weeds and plowing the soil.

If you are planting several plumeria seedlings, prepare a planting site large enough to provide at least 10 square feet of space for each.

Plumeria roots are best for tip cuttings 1 to 2 feet long, so longer cuttings should be trimmed to the appropriate size. Trim the cut at a 45-degree angle with the newly sanitized pruning tool.

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The cut should heal or stay dormant for two weeks before planting so that the cut end is less susceptible to pathogens.

Place the steak in a cool, dry place until the tip hardens and is whitish. The tip can also be sprinkled with sulfur powder to stop the flow of sap and then with rooting hormone powder to accelerate rooting after planting, but neither is necessary for successful rooting.

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Are coffee grounds good for Plumeria?

Coffee grounds are said to be acidifying, and Plumeria prefers soils on the more acidic side. Therefore, coffee grounds are better for the plumeria plant, especially if your plant lives in an alkaline environment because coffee beans lower the pH due to their acidic nature.

Many nutrients are available at normal pH, so they are easily absorbed by soil plants and meet your nutrient needs.

Does Plumeria like full sun

Plumeria that you can find growing in USDA zones 10 to 12 gardens, your sunroom or a sunny window include West Indian jasmine (Plumeria alba), pagoda tree (Plumeria obtusa), and temple tree (Plumeria rubra). All three share the common name of frangipani and have similar growth requirements.

While plumeria thrives in full sun outdoors, plants prefer a little shade during the hottest part of the afternoon. Indoors, you should place your potted plumeria near a south-facing window that receives at least five hours of sunshine a day.

Add a two-bulb fluorescent lamp just above your plumeria to increase the light in the room, if necessary. If the plumeria does not receive enough light, it will not bloom.

When winter comes, your plumeria will lose its leaves. Place it in a cool, dark room, reduce irrigation and stop fertilizing until it starts to produce new growth in the spring. Protect the plant from freezing temperatures.

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Do Plumeria lose their leaves in winter

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#1 Loss of natural leaves

The plumeria plant is native to the Caribbean and Central America, which produces growth in the spring and actively grows until temperatures drop in the fall.

When temperatures drop below 50 degrees Fahrenheit in these areas, the leaves of the plant gradually turn yellow and eventually fall to the ground, signaling the plant’s entry into winter dormancy.

During the winter, the plant retains its thick, smooth branches, but can be completely leafless. This state is its natural adaptation to the cold climate, allowing the plant to survive without water until spring, when it resumes growth.

#2 Other Plumeria Leaf Loss Problems       

If you find well-watered plumeria leaves that turn yellow in summer, they can be infested with mites, and microscopic pests that create thin, visible webs and can cause the leaves to deform, turn yellow or brown, and fall off an affected plant.

You can control spider mites by spraying the plant with insecticidal soap completely diluted in a ratio of 6 teaspoons of tea per 1 gallon of water.

Problems with plumeria leaves include a fungal disease called plumeria rust. Rust can also cause leaves to fall, preceded by yellow-orange spots on the underside of the leaves.

It is best to control by regularly cleaning the debris under the plant and watering only in the root area, keeping the foliage dry.

If the leaves of plumeria begin to fall and its buttons stop growing during the growing season, the irrigation problem can be insufficient. Although it is best to let the first few inches of soil dry slightly between watering, water the plant well whenever you water it.

Adding a layer of organic mulch under the plant can help conserve water during the hot months, and mulch decreases the number of weeds that compete for water.

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Is Epsom salt good for Plumerias

Yes. Epsom salt is good for plumeria. Epsom salt helps to improve blooming flowers and enhances the color of green plumeria. Epsom salt is composed of hydrated magnesium sulfate (magnesium and sulfur), which is important for healthy plant growth.

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Magnesium allows the plumeria plant to better absorb valuable nutrients, such as nitrogen and phosphorus. It also helps in the creation of chlorophyll, which is vital for photosynthesis. In addition, magnesium greatly increases the plant’s ability to produce flowers and fruits.

If the soil is without magnesium, adding Epsom salt will help; And since it presents little danger of overuse like most commercial fertilizers, you can safely use it on almost every plant in your garden.

At the end of March and again at the end of April, feed your plumeria with Epsom salt, which is a form of magnesium that promotes green leaves.

Is Plumeria toxic to dogs

All parts of this shrub produce slightly poisonous alkaloids, which can affect people with sensitive skin. Plumerias are very widespread and slightly poisonous plants, the ingestion of leaves or flowers can irritate the digestive tract.

It is the sap that irritates your dogs and they can develop skin rashes by placing it on their lips and breaking a branch or leaves.

When dogs eat whole flowers, they can develop excessive salivation, vomiting, and diarrhea. Take your dog to the vet for immediate supportive treatment and to avoid complications.

Are Plumerias toxic to cats?

Are Plumerias toxic to cats? Yes. Plumeria is toxic to cats due to the alkaloid content that makes it poisonous. The sap of Plumeria rubra is known to cause dermatitis (irritation in the skin) in cats and, as belongs to the family of oleanders, may contain some glycosides heart (such as oleander, oleander, and foxglove) that can cause problems if eaten.

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Does Plumeria need a lot of water

Plumerias love a lot of water but do not tolerate wet feet, so they should be planted in soils that drain quickly or in beds with adequate drainage. Clay, gumbo, and sludge are examples of poorly drained soils; avoid them at all costs.

Plumerias love water but need to dry between watering. Plumeria can withstand long periods of drying. It may be necessary to water small pots daily, while large pots or those on the floor may not be needed as often.

One way to determine how often to water is to use a moisture meter. Plumeria adapts to almost all conditions in which it finds itself. Remember that drier is better than wetter. Never use a saucer under your plants.

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How do you take care of a potted Plumeria in the winter

For large buried plumeria plants, start preparing for winter in the fall by stopping fertilization to prevent the growth of new tendrils that are more susceptible to damage from the cold. Before low temperatures, wrap the pipe insulation around the ends and base of each tree.

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If temperatures are forecast to drop to 35 degrees Fahrenheit or less, cover the base of the trees with sheets or frosted cloths to store the heat or place small lamps on the branches to keep warm.

With smaller trees buried, remove the leaves by peeling or trimming, cutting the soil around the trunk in the desired radius of the root, and then lifting the root from the soil before pruning the roots to a manageable size. For potted plants, lift the pots off the ground and cut the roots to the level of the pot’s drainage holes.

Place plumeria plants in pots or plumeria roots dug up in a sheltered place, such as a greenhouse, garage, guest room, enclosed porch or attic. There is no problem stacking pots, but avoid all branches and roots coming into contact with the concrete.

Maintain good air circulation in the storage area to discourage pests by storing plants vertically, on shelves, or hanging.

Plumeria plants do not require light while dormant, but if stored in a sunny location, they can break dormancy and bloom earlier. Stored plants also do not need water, and too much water, while the plant is dormant, can cause root rot.

Sometimes, despite your best efforts, buried plumeria plants can be damaged by frost or freezing. Symptoms include the death of the branches and the branches becoming soft in the middle of the stems.

Branches from the affected tips may also turn black and leak a brown or black liquid. If this happens, wait until there is no chance of a cold.

Then, cut the plumeria branches at a 45-degree angle until you reach a healthy white wood interior, without brown discoloration, sterilizing the knife blade after each cut.

Seal open wounds with a preventive antifungal chemical. You should see new growth in the leaf scars near the edge of the cut.

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What is the best potting soil for Plumeria?

By growing plumeria in pots, use a mixture of potting and dry and thick a blend of cactus or perlite and sand should be fine. Ensuring that your plumeria is planted in quality potting soil will make caring for the plumeria plant much easier!

Plumeria in pots should be planted in fast-draining soil, as it does not retain much moisture. You do not need to buy a special plumeria mix for potting, they will grow well in general-purpose potting soil.

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But if you are concerned about over-watering, experts recommend that you mix a little bit of pearlite, pumice or coarse sand in your pot plumage soil to help drain.

Otherwise, the best potting soil for plumeria is succulent, fast-draining potting soil, or even super-thick succulent soil if you are really concerned about over-watering.

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Is my Plumeria dying

Stem rot is a disease that causes the decomposition of the inner layers of Plumeria. The plumeria stem becomes soft and soft as the interior rots. Stem rot is very fast and almost always fatal to cuttings. Stem rot usually occurs when trying to root the seedlings or during winter storage.

Cool temperatures and moist soil are Stem Rot’s favorite playground. Rooting and newly rooted plumeria during their first overwintering are at the highest risk for developing stem rot.

Although rare, mature plants can lose one or two branches due to stem rot and/or freeze damage. Freeze damage is almost the same as stem rot. In some cases, mature plumeria simply cuts through the affected areas, and mature plumeria recovers with new branches and leaves.

What does Plumeria smell like

Plumerias (a lush frame for the clusters of fragrant blooms), also called frangipani, are fast-growing tropical trees with vibrant flowers and the most extraordinary fragrance. The smell of plumeria wafting in the summer night breeze is an early taste of paradise.

All plumeria flowers are wonderfully scented, with some varieties giving off a scent like jasmine and roses, while others produce a scent of peach, citrus, or gardenia. Totally intoxicating.

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How do you care for a potted Plumeria plant?

The frangipani prefers dry and warm climates without frost. Gardeners who live in colder locations should grow it in containers. Bring the plants in pots indoors when temperatures drop to 32 degrees F. For best production and flowering, grow under full or partial sun.

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Trees that receive six to eight hours of sunlight produce the most abundant flowers. Frangipani benefits from shade in the afternoon, when summer conditions are dry, sunny, and warm. The tea is moderately tolerant to salt.

1# Potted planting

Grow plumeria in pots within drained pots. Cuttings of 30 cm and smaller grow well in 1-liter pots. For larger trees, use larger containers, such as 3-7 gallon sizes.

They allow adequate space for proper root development and are large enough to keep the tree upright, as mature plants can become heavy at the top. Use a well-drained potting mix, such as 2 parts of cactus mix and 1 part of perlite.

2# Irrigation and fertilization

Plumeria does not tolerate growth in wet, soggy conditions. Moist conditions create root rot, which causes the tree to die. During the spring to the early autumn growing season, water the tree every week for two weeks, depending on the size of the pot.

Dormancy occurs in winter and plants need water only when the soil dries. Fertilize from spring to autumn, applying every three to four months.

Use a water-soluble mixture with a high phosphorus content, which promotes flowering. Mix 1 to 2 teaspoons of 10-30-10 or 10-52-10 in water and pour over the soil.

3# Pruning

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Prune Plumeria just to control its size or shape or to remove diseased and broken branches in a pot. Use clippers or bypass pruners. Trim the branch level with its attachment point on a main branch or trunk.

Avoid tearing and damaging the tree’s bark by removing long, heavy branches, starting the first cut about 30 centimeters from the main branch.

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What is the best fertilizer for Plumerias

Plumeria plants require a lot of phosphorus. This is the middle number on the fertilizer labels. You should also avoid fertilizers with a lot of nitrogen, which is the first number on fertilizer labels. Nitrogen stimulates growth, and if you’re trying to grow a tree in a pot, that’s the last thing you want.

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Using a fertilizer for plumeria flowers with a low first number will make the tree more compact. Plumeria plants require slightly acidic soil.

However, constant fertilization can raise acid levels a lot. If this happens, add some Epsom salts to the soil to neutralize it. Adding 1-2 tablespoons each month should be sufficient.

Plumeria benefits from constant fertilization throughout the summer, about once a week. Fertilization styles always vary from person to person and even from plant to plant.

Applying fertilizer to the soil may be sufficient to meet the fertilizer requirements for the plumeria plants you care for.

What is the coldest temperature a plumeria can take

At least one cooler may take plumeria temperature is 32°F. To avoid damage to your plants, you should move them to an area that will be above zero during the winter. Try to keep it above 40°F, but the absolute minimum is 32°F for most Plumeria.

This can be as simple as moving your Plumeria to your living room if you only have a few plants. Plumeria can be stored inside your home, garage, attic, closet, or greenhouse. They do not require light while idle, however, if you have a sunroom to store.

Plumeria can break lethargy and bloom earlier. The most important factor is the temperature. If you only have a few Plumeria growing in pots, you can simply bring them into your home or garage.

The leaves will turn yellow naturally and then fall off in response to less light and shorter day length.

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If you do not want to harvest leaves continuously, remove them by cutting the petioles of the leaves about an inch from the trunk. The remaining stems will naturally yellow and fall off in a week or two. Plumeria does not need water during the winter rest period.

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When should I repot plumeria?

Spring is a very good time to repot the plumeria. Plumeria does not like to be stuck to the root and it is recommended that the plumeria be transplanted every year.

Some gardeners even take them out of their pots in November, as they are dormant, and store them in a warm place. Then, in the spring, they are transplanted with a fresh potting mix.

Potting mixes for plumeria must contain organic matter and good drainage materials. Plumeria can be transplanted very successfully, even when very large, with comparatively small root balls.

How long does it take for Plumeria cuttings to bloom

When grown from cuttings, plumeria blooms on old wood within a year. The new shoots will not bloom for two or three years.

In hot climates, plumeria blooms throughout the year, with intermittent periods of leaf fall and rest periods between flowers. The tree may be leafless during these periods, but soon they will germinate again and return to a healthy growth cycle.

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Insufficient light is a common problem that affects plumeria flowering. Make sure the tree is planted in an area where it receives sunlight for most of the day. Prune trees and shrubs around the plant to allow more sunlight to reach the plant.

Apply a high phosphorus fertilizer every two weeks during the growing season to aid in flowering. Retain the fertilizer during the winter months. Water the plant regularly, depending on the rainfall in your area to help with good flowering.

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I hope this blog gave enough idea to start planting Plumeria trees and answer to various questions:

  • How to plant Plumeria plant
  • How do you care for a Plumeria plant
  • How to grow Plumeria plant
  • How fast do Plumeria Trees grow
  • Grow Plumeria Cuttings
  • Are coffee grounds good for Plumeria
  • Does Plumeria like full sun
  • Do Plumeria lose their leaves in winter
  • Is Epsom salt good for Plumerias
  • Is Plumeria toxic to dogs
  • Are Plumerias toxic to cats
  • Does Plumeria need a lot of water
  • How do you take care of a potted Plumeria in the winter
  • What is the best potting soil for Plumeria
  • Is my Plumeria dying
  • What does Plumeria smell like
  • How do you care for a potted Plumeria plant
  • What is the best fertilizer for Plumerias
  • What is the coldest temperature a plumeria can take
  • When should I repot plumeria
  • How long does it take for Plumeria cuttings to bloom