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How to Grow Japanese Lantern Plumeria

By Katelyn Lynn ; Updated September 21, 2017

Japanese lantern plumeria is a small-growing tree, often growing to about 30 feet high, with an equal width. It is also known as flower basket plumeria because of its large clusters of 3-inch-wide, fragrant, bright-red to medium-red flowers. Japanese lantern plumerias are indigenous flowering plants to Mexico and the Caribbean. For the best growth, plant a Japanese lantern plumeria in full sun and make sure you provide it with slightly acidic soil.

Dig up the planting area for the Japanese lantern plumeria to a depth of between 10 and 12 inches. Spread out over the planting area a 4-to-6-inch-layer of sphagnum peat moss. Then using a garden fork, mix the sphagnum peat moss into the soil thoroughly.

Dig a planting hole, which should be at least twice the diameter of the Japanese lantern plumeria's growing container and just a few inches deeper, approximately 2 to 3. If planting more than one Japanese lantern plumeria, for instance several in a row, dig each hole so they are spaced 10 feet apart from each other.

Remove the Japanese lantern plumeria from its growing container. Turn the pot upside down, hold the stem of the Japanese lantern plumeria at the top of the ball, and strike upward on the rim of the pot to remove the pot from the root ball.

Place a Japanese lantern plumeria into one of the previously dug holes. The Japanese lantern plumeria should be sitting in the planting hole so that the top of its root ball is sitting level to the surrounding garden soil.

Pour water into the planting hole to fill it about three-quarters full. Then fill the remainder of the hole with soil after all the water has thoroughly drained away.

Create a 2-to-3-inch-high dam of soil around each of the Japanese lantern plumeria trees. This can help ensure enough water will pool up and soak down to the root system.

Spread a 3-to 4-inch-layer of coarse mulch, such as pine bark, compost or other like material over the root system of your Japanese lantern plumeria each fall.


Things You Will Need

  • Japanese lantern plumeria plants
  • Shovel
  • Garden fork
  • Sphagnum peat moss
  • Trowel
  • Fertilizer


  • The University of Hawaii recommends fertilizing plumerias every three to four months during their growing season. Use a 10-30-10 or similar fertilizer and make sure you read the manufacturer's specifications as to the spread rate.
  • During the winter (dormant) season make sure you remove all old dead growth and broken branches from the Japanese lantern plumeria.
  • To find out the pH of the soil in your planting area, contact your local agricultural extension office for information on how you can have a soil test performed.

About the Author


Katelyn Lynn has been writing health and wellness articles since 2007. Her work appears on various websites. Lynn is a certified holistic health practitioner who specializes in orthomolecular medicine and preventative modalities. She is pursuing a Bachelor of Science in health sciences from TUI University and has extensive experience in botany and horticulture.