Care of Plumerias

Overview

Plumeria, also known as Frangipani or the Hawaiian lei flower, is a tropical flowering plant native to Central America and the Caribbean islands. Gardeners value the plant for its fragrant, spiral-shaped blossoms that appear in spring through fall. Hardy in zones 10 through 11, plumerias cannot tolerate cold weather. Commonly planted in containers in zones above 9, the plants require overwintering indoors to protect them from cold damage. Typically maintained as a shrub or small tree, plumeria plants may reach up to 25 feet in height in the home landscape with proper care.

Step 1

Plant plumeria plants in a medium-sized container filled with a growing medium made of one part peat moss and two parts potting soil to provide adequate drainage. Keep in an outdoor location that receives full sunlight throughout the day.

Step 2

Water once every five to seven days, allowing the soil to dry slightly between applications. Do not allow the soil to become too dry, as foliage will begin to drop. Increase the duration between applications to once every 10 days during winter.

Step 3

Feed plants once every two weeks from early spring until fall using a low-nitrogen 0-10-10 NPK fertilizer to encourage abundant flower production. Apply at the rate recommended on the product label for the best results.

Step 4

Prune plumerias once each year during late winter before active growth resumes. Use pruning shears to lop off branches and limbs that are damaged, diseased or excessively long to improve the health and appearance of the plant.

Step 5

Bring plumeria plants indoors in late summer or fall before temperatures drop below 50 degrees Fahrenheit. The plants will enter a period of dormancy that lasts until early spring. Water twice per month and keep in a sheltered area where they won't freeze.

Step 6

Re-pot plumerias once every two to three years in early spring, just before setting plants back outside to resume normal growth. Increase the size of the container by 3 to 4 inches each time to provide plenty of space for the growing root system and fill with fresh soil.

Things You'll Need

  • Containers
  • Peat moss
  • Potting soil
  • Fertilizer
  • Pruning shears

References

  • University of Hawaii at Manoa Cooperative Extension Service: Plumeria
  • Texas A&M University: Plumerias
  • University of Florida Cooperative Extension Service: Frangipani---Well Known Exotic Tropical
Keywords: plumerias, Hawaiian lei flower, 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 Gardenguides.com.