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How to Germinate Plumeria Seeds

By Jennifer Loucks ; Updated September 21, 2017

Plumeria is a tropical plant that is native to South America and the Caribbean tropical areas. The plants grow in shrub format and can reach a height of 30 to 40 feet in their natural environment. Plumeria have succulent branches with fleshy leaves that grow in clusters at the branch tips and bloom in early summer through late fall. Germinating the seeds is inexpensive and an easy, low-maintenance process. Patience is required, as plumeria will not present blooms for 3 to 5 years after seeding.

Collect plumeria seed pods in the fall and allow them to dry. Discard moldy seeds and seed pods. Seeds are viable and ready for germination if you feel a bump in the pointed end of the seed.

Soak seeds overnight by placing them between two wet paper towels prior to planting in spring. Make sure the towels do not dry out. This process will plump the seeds with water, preparing them to germinate.

Fill a seed-starting tray with sterile cactus potting soil mix or a well-draining seed-starting soil. Soak the soil with water and let all standing water drain out.

Insert the seed end with a bump into the soil at a depth of no more than ΒΌ inch. The feathered end of the seed should be sticking out of the soil. Set the pot under a grow light or in a window that offers direct morning sun. Do not expose the seeds to frost or freezing temperatures.

Water the pots to prevent them from drying out, but do not allow standing water. The soil should be moist at all times, but not soggy. Lightly spray the seeds several times a day with a liquid seed-starting fertilizer mixed with water.

Transfer germinated seeds to a larger pot once the seed has sprouted leaves and shed the seed shell. Germination will occur between 3 to 21 days. Stop using the spray fertilizer and apply a high-phosphorus fertilizer every 2 weeks to continue seedling growth.


Things You Will Need

  • Plumeria seeds
  • Paper towels
  • Water
  • Seed starting tray
  • Cactus soil mix
  • Grow lights
  • Liquid seed-starting fertilizer
  • Growing pots
  • High-phosphorous fertilizer


  • Care for the seedlings as if they were adult plants once they have completed the first growing season. A 1-year seedling will be approximately 1 foot tall.

About the Author


Jennifer Loucks has been writing since 1998. She previously worked as a technical writer for a software development company, creating software documentation, help documents and training curriculum. She now writes hobby-based articles on cooking, gardening, sewing and running. Loucks also trains for full marathons, half-marathons and shorter distance running. She holds a Bachelor of Science in animal science and business from University of Wisconsin-River Falls.