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How to Grow Plumeria

By Joyce Starr ; Updated September 21, 2017
White Plumeria Flower

Growing plumeria is relatively easy. As they are native to Mexico and Central America, they do well growing outdoors in the tropical and subtropical regions of our country. If you live in areas where freezes are common, it is probably best to grow your plumeria in a container. Their beautiful, fragrant flowers and distinct looking branches are a welcomed addition to any landscape. Adding plumeria to your garden is sure to give your years of pure delight.

Growing Plumeria Outdoors

Select an area in your yard that receives some sunlight and is large enough to allow the plumeria to reach full size. They can reach a height of 9 feet and have a width that is the same. Though they can tolerate shady conditions, they will do best if grown in an area where some sunlight is received.

Plant your plumeria in well draining soil that has been amended with organic matter, such as manure or peat.

Fertilize the plumeria quarterly with a fertilizer designed for blooming plants. Choose a fertilizer that has a second number higher than the other two. The second number represents the amount of phosphorus. Flowering plants require additional amounts of phosphorus to produce good blooms.

Water the plumeria regularly while it has leaves on it and stop the watering all together once the leaves have dropped. Plumeria are deciduous plants, and will drop their leaves in the fall and winter months.

Growing Plumeria in a Container

Choose a container with a drain hole that is large enough to hold the root ball and allow the plant to stand upright once it is in the soil. Containers too small can become top heavy and the plant can fall over and break.

Fill the container with a potting mix that drains well. Using a straight potting soil is usually too heavy and it will not drain properly. The plumeria can suffer root rot and die if left in a water soaked container for too long.

Fertilizer your container grown plumeria with a water soluble fertilizer designed specifically for flowering plants. The second number should be higher than the other two.

Allow the plumeria to receive at least several hours of sunlight each day to receive the best blooms.

Water your plumeria once a week during the growing season and not at all once the leaves have dropped.


Things You Will Need

  • Manure
  • Peat
  • Bloom fertilizer
  • Water
  • Container with a drain hole
  • Potting mix


  • Pruning is not really necessary for a plumeria. They will naturally branch out as they grow bigger. You can always cut off a branch to shape the plumeria if you desire.
  • Grow a cutting by allowing the cut branch to heal over before placing it into a container or the ground.
  • Protect your plumeria by covering it with a blanket or bringing it inside if there is a chance of a freeze.

About the Author


For over 25 years, Joyce Starr has owned businesses dealing with landscape & design, lawn maintenance, specialty herbs and a garden center. She holds certificates in landscape design and xeriscaping. Starr shares her passion for nature in her writing, publishing articles on horticulture, outdoor recreation, travel as well as business.