Care for Plumeria Plants

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Plumeria has intensely fragrant blossoms.
Plumeria has intensely fragrant blossoms. (Image: Medioimages/Photodisc/Photodisc/Getty Images)

The plumeria or frangipani is a tropical-looking tree you can grow outdoors in zones 10 and 11. Plumeria blossoms are seen often in Hawaiian leis. The white flowers with yellow or red centers begin blooming in mid-spring and last till the arrival of frost. Plumeria have a dome-shape when mature and strong with fleshy stems with long leaves.

Things You'll Need

  • Large pot (optional)
  • Fertilizer high in phosphorus
  • Fungicide (optional)
  • Insecticidal soap (optional)
  • Pruning shears
  • Sharp knife (optional)
  • Well-drained potting soil (optional)

Pick an area to plant your plumeria that is in full sun or has light shade. Allow plenty of room in your landscaping because mature trees often have a spread and height of 25 feet, according to the University of Florida extension. You can also plant it in a large pot to take indoors during the winter.

Plant the plumeria in a site with soil that drains well and has good air circulation but is sheltered from strong winds.

Water the plumeria tree once the soil becomes dry to the touch. Plumeria plants don't tolerate excessive dryness, which causes it to lose leaves, or soggy soils.

Fertilize the plumeria with a fertilizer that is high in phosphorus. This is represented by the middle number on the product. Avoid fertilizers with high nitrogen levels. Feed the plant every other week through September. Stopping the feedings allows new growth to harden for the winter.

Treat rust disease with a fungicide. Control occasional infestations of spider mites with insecticidal soap.

Prune the plumeria as needed or annually to allow room for pedestrian or vehicular traffic underneath its drooping branches. Trimming the tree also helps develop a strong trunk.

Tips & Warnings

  • Share the plumeria with friends by cutting off a limb that is about 12 inches long. Remove the leaves and allow the cut place to heal for three or four weeks in an area out of direct sunlight. Stick the cutting into well-drained potting soil at a depth of 5 or 6 inches. Water it well. Place the plant in a shady area until you see new growth and then acclimate it to full sun or light shade.

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