Plumeria spp., commonly known as frangipani, is a tropical plant native to the Caribbean and Central America. It grows as a small tree with gracefully arching branches tipped with elongated leaves and delicate, fragrant flowers. Plumeria often is found in home landscaping in warm climates. How long it takes plumeria trees to bloom depends upon the age of the tree, as well as environmental conditions.
Plumeria is a cold-sensitive plant that must be protected from frosts. It can bloom year-round in warm climates. Plumeria will bloom, drop its leaves then re-grow leaves to bloom again. In colder climates, it can be grown in containers, but they must be brought inside for the cold months in areas where temperatures routinely reach freezing temperatures. Plumeria requires at least six hours of sunlight per day. Cultivars may grow as a small tree or shrub that reaches 25 to 40 feet tall. Flowers are 2 to 4 inches across and come in a variety of colors including pink, white, red and yellow. It is hardy in USDA Hardiness Zones 9 to 11, according to the Floridata site.
Plumeria must be planted in a sunny location in order to bloom properly. Add organic matter such as compost or manure to the soil to aid water retention and soil aeration. Plumeria also can be grown from seed, but expect to wait three to five years for blooming. Also, plumeria grown from seed might not be the same cultivar as the original plant from which it came. Place seeds between two dampened paper towels and allow to sit overnight. Then, plant the seed shallowly in the soil and keep moist. The seed will sprout in three to 14 days, according to the Plumeria Society site.
When Plumerias Bloom
When grown from cuttings, plumeria will bloom on old wood within a year. New sprouts will not bloom for two to three years, according to the Texas A&M University website. In warm climates, plumeria blooms throughout the year with intermittent periods of leaf-drop and “rest periods” between bloomings. The tree can be bare of leaves during these periods but will soon sprout leaves again and return to a healthy growth cycle.
Plumeria Blooming Problems
Insufficient light is a common problem that affects plumeria blooming. Ensure that the tree is planted in an area where it will get sunlight for most of the day. Trim 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 help blooming. Withhold the fertilizer during the winter months. Water the plant regularly, depending on rainfall in your area to aid good blooming.