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How to Winterize Plumeria

Plumerias are deciduous shrubs that are at home either in a patio container or in the garden. Also known as frangipani, the sweet-smelling white, yellow and pink blooms are native to Mexico, Central and South America, They are now popular world-wide, and are widely used in Hawaii to create leis. Plumerias are a tropical plant, so if you live in a cold climate, they’ll need some extra attention to survive the winter.

Watch for the plumeria’s leaves to turn yellow. This means the plant is going into dormancy, and it’s time to stop watering for the season.

Move the plumeria into a storage shed or garage as soon as the temperatures drop to 40 degrees because exposure to freezing temperatures will quickly kill the plant. Be sure you choose a storage place that won’t drop below 40 degrees. If you live in a warm climate, you can probably leave the plant outside, but move it next to a building where it will be sheltered in case of frost, or wrap it with a blanket or burlap bag.

Allow the plumeria to rest for the winter. Keep it in a dark area, and don’t water it. The leaves will continue to turn yellow and will eventually drop off. By spring, the plumeria will consist of just a stick, but don‘t be concerned. Move the plumeria back outdoors when you’re sure that any danger of frost has passed for the season, and it will soon return to its normal beauty.

Plumeria In Winter

Plumeria rubra L., Plumeria obtusa L., and hybrid plumeria are members of the Apocynaceae plant family. Common names include frangipani, melia, temple tree and the various cultivars. Maintain good air circulation in the storage area to discourage pests by storing plants upright, on shelves or hanging. Plumeria plants don't require light while they're dormant, but if stored in a sunny location, they may break dormancy and flower sooner. Sometimes, despite your best efforts, in-ground plumeria plants may be damaged by frost or freezing. If this happens, wait until there is no further chance of cold weather. Then cut down plumeria branches at a 45-degree angle until you reach a clean, healthy white interior wood with no brown discoloration, sterilizing the knife blade after each cut.

Tip

Plumeria can also be brought indoors during the winter and raised as a houseplant. The temperature should be kept between 65 and 70 degrees, and the plants won’t go into a dormant stage.

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