How to Care for a Plumeria


Plumeria, also known as frangipani, is a tropical shrub valued for its ornamental flowers. The plant blooms during late spring and early summer, producing multiple blossoms in shades of white and pink. The flowers are used for flower necklaces, called leis, in Polynesia and Hawaii. Native to South and Central America, plumeria requires a warm, humid climate to thrive. Gardeners in the United States typically grow the plant indoors to more easily mimic its native growing environment.

Step 1

Keep plumeria in a north- or west-facing window that receives at least six hours of bright light each day. Use a growing medium consisting of equal parts perlite, peat moss, compost and pumice to provide necessary drainage.

Step 2

Maintain a temperature of 50 to 55 degrees Fahrenheit at night and 60 to 70 degrees during the day. Keeping a thermometer near the plant helps monitor the temperature and ensure it does not leave this range.

Step 3

Water plumeria once a week beginning in April and ending in September. Add water to the plant until moisture begins to seep from the drainage holes on the bottom of the container, and then drain away any excess to prevent rot. Do not water the plant when it is dormant from October to March.

Step 4

Feed the plant once a month during spring, summer and fall using a high-phosphorous 10-20-10 fertilizer to provide proper nutrition for growth and flower development. Apply at the rate recommended by the manufacturer for the best results.

Step 5

Mist plumeria two to three times a day with a spray bottle to increase the relative humidity of the air. Fill the bottle with room temperature water to avoid shocking the plant.

Step 6

Prune plumeria during late winter, just before active growth resumes in spring. Cut back branches to about half their length with hedge clippers to encourage a compact growth habit and remove any dead or diseased growth.

Step 7

Repot plumeria once every two to four years, or whenever the plant outgrows its current container. Increase the size of the pot by at least 2 inches and use fresh growing medium to ease the transplanting process.

Things You'll Need

  • Perlite
  • Peat moss
  • Compost
  • Pumice
  • 10-20-10 fertilizer
  • Spray bottle
  • Hedge clippers
  • Container


  • All Things Frangipani: Growing Frangipanis
  • Hawaiian Botanicals: Growing Plumeria (Frangipani)
  • "The House Plant Expert"; D. G. Hessayon; 1992

Who Can Help

  • USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map
Keywords: plumeria shrub, care for plumeria, frangipani

About this Author

Willow Sidhe is a freelance writer living in the beautiful Hot Springs, AR. She is a certified aromatherapist with a background in herbalism. She has extensive experience gardening, with a specialty in indoor plants and herbs. Sidhe's work has been published on numerous Web sites, including