how to grow plumeria
Fri, Apr 01, 2022

How to Grow Plumeria Yourself: The Rules for Caring for a Flowering Finicky Tree

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How to Grow Plumeria Yourself: The Rules for Caring for a Flowering Finicky Tree Article Preview

“How to grow plumeria?” This question worries many gardeners who have discovered this incredible plant. Plumeria is a tropical tree with spectacularly brilliant and fragrant blossoms that can make a big impact on the landscape.

These cute plants are hardy in frost-free areas, but they may also thrive in milder climes if grown in pots and brought indoors during the winter. Today, we invite you to get to know this plant better and find out what it needs for healthy growth.

how to grow plumeria

A Little about Plumeria

Plumeria is a small genus with only seven species that are only found in the subtropical and tropical regions. It grows best in persistently warm temperatures, with more tropical conditions producing the best results. It is also known as Frangipani. Plants of the genus Frangipani grow nicely in pots as well.

Frangipani trees are little trees that grow to be around 20 feet tall when fully developed. As they spread, they eventually take on a vase-like form. Only the greenish-gray branches are covered with green and oval 12-inch leaves. The branches are frail and easily snapped since they are weak and sensitive.

It’s all about the blossoms for plumeria plants. Flowers appear in groups along the ends of branch tips from early summer to late October. The waxy blossoms that create a pinwheel pattern make the flower incredibly aromatic and attractive. The eye-catching plumeria blossoms are used to make Hawaiian leis.

How fast does plumeria grow? Red plumeria usually reaches about 15-20 inches per year under ideal conditions, and the white one can grow up to 36 inches per year. The length of the leaves might help you recognize each species when they aren’t in flower during the growing season.

Can Plumeria Grow Indoors

Yes, it can without a doubt. However, plumerias require dedication to flourish.

Many individuals choose to get their plumerias by traveling to countries or areas where the plants are grown. While these plants are not endangered, check your country’s or state’s rules and procedures for importing flora.

Ordering a plumeria plant online is the most convenient option for the casual gardener. Plumerias and their seeds can also be available at different local stores.

how to grow plumeria

How to Care for Plumeria Indoors

Growing plumeria indoors may seem difficult for those who live in cooler, drier climates, but it is doable. People who reside in colder areas should keep their plants indoors to maintain a more consistent temperature.

Continue reading to find out how to take care of a plumeria plant indoors.

Does Plumeria Need Full Sun

They need full sun to flourish and may not produce blossoms if they don’t get enough. Give your plant at least 6 hours of direct sunlight, though it can also handle moderate shade. It’s best to put them near south-facing windows.

Watch the Temperature

Because they like warmer conditions, keep your room between 65 and 80 °F. Temperatures below 55 °F may make it difficult for plumeria plants to thrive. If your plant’s leaves have turned yellow, it has become too chilly for it to survive and will go into hibernation.

How Often Should I Water Plumeria

Plumerias adore water, and it’s best to give them a good soaking. Overwatering, on the other hand, may create root rot and, as a result of a lack of oxygen, will kill your plumeria.

Between waterings, let the soil dry. You don’t need to water plumeria yet if the top inch of soil is still damp to the touch. It’s ideal if you empty its pot once a week as well.

Plumerias require some humidity to grow because they are tropical plants, but not too much. It’s fine if the humidity is about 40-50%. If you reside in a dry climate, spritz your plumerias frequently to create the illusion of humidity.

Best Potting Soil for Plumeria

Fine potting mixes that retain water should be avoided. So, what kind of soil to choose for plumeria? Use coarse, well-draining soil. Additionally, consider something with a touch of acidity. Look for soils with a pH between 6.4 and 6.8.

Don’t Forget Fertilizer

This plant is known to be a voracious eater. Apply a low-nitrogen, high-phosphorus fertilizer at least once every two weeks from spring through autumn to increase plumeria flowers. Please keep in mind that despite your best efforts, getting frangipani to blossom can be difficult. A plumeria must also be at least 2-3 years old before it is mature enough to blossom.

How to Grow a Plumeria Plant

how to care for plumeria

Propagating Through Cuttings

You may simply produce your own Frangipani plant from a cutting if you don’t already have one (hopefully you have a friend with one). Cuttings are the quickest way to achieve your goal of a blooming plant. Many internet retailers sell these if you don’t have a friend who can give you one.

You may also attempt growing from seed if you have more patience. Seeds that are sown under perfect conditions have a high germination rate. Just keep in mind that if you’re starting from seed, it might take three to five years for your plant to bloom.

One of the drawbacks of starting from seed is that you never know what color blossom you’ll receive. Plumeria blossoms come in a variety of colors: yellow, white, pink, red, and bicolor. You won’t know what color blooms your seed-grown Frangipani will eventually produce if multiple plants grow in the same general area and produce different colored blossoms. In reality, pollen from another colored flower was likely used to fertilize it, resulting in a bicolored bloom.

Cuttings can be planted and grown in a variety of ways. Best of all, you don’t need to be an experienced gardener to enjoy the benefits of this tropical beauty. After you’ve planted your cuttings, the biggest danger is overwatering and not utilizing soil with proper drainage.

Best Time

It’s ideal to trim plants in the spring or summer when the weather is pleasant. You can propagate it all year if you reside in a warmer region with mild winters.

During the winter, plumeria plants fall dormant, which means their growth slows. It loses its leaves during this period and goes dormant until spring. This is especially true for people who grew up in areas where the winter brings colder temperatures.

Taking a cutting when the plant is dormant causes slower propagation and may result in the plant failing to root.

Find the Perfect Size

Cuttings from the branch tips or hardwood can be used to propagate the plant.

With immature growth, branch tips will still be brilliant green and maybe readily cut off the plant. It’s ideal to plant these branch tips as soon as possible once they’ve been separated from the mother plant. Branch tip cutting should be around 5 inches long to be effective. You’ll see a shift to elder hardwood around 5 inches from the branch when the branch takes on a greenish-gray color.

If you’re using a hardwood fragment, though, make careful to let the cut end dry for three or four days before planting it. Place it in a shady, well-ventilated spot away from direct sunlight. You can plant it once the cut end has healed.

Tips for Pruning Your Plumeria

how to grow a plumeria plant

For cutting green juvenile growth from branch tips, hand clippers are suitable. However, loppers may be required to chop off bigger and thicker old-growth branches.

If you want your plumeria to grow thick and bushy, you’ll need to prune it every spring. This is an excellent time to sow cuttings that you will need to remove from the mother plant anyhow.

The branch can be cut anywhere along lengthy branches or in a cross-section where many branches are developing. Make sure the primary branch supporting the plant is long enough if you wish to create a bigger, multi-branched part. Remember to plant enough of the branch into the soil so that the fragment stays upright and doesn’t tumble over due to its top-heavy nature.

Make sure you’re using clean pruning equipment before you start taking your clippings. This will keep undesirable pests and illnesses from infecting your plant. It’s as simple as cleaning the blades of your instrument with rubbing alcohol to sanitize them. It’s also a good idea to use gloves when cutting the branches since some individuals are sensitive to the milky sap.

How to Plant Plumeria Cuttings

Now that you have your planting material, let’s learn how to plant plumeria cuttings in the ground. But first, you need to choose the right pot. To avoid damp circumstances, use a container with a bottom drainage system. 

Your cuttings can be grown in any sort of container. However, soil in porous materials like terracotta dries up more quickly than dirt in plastic containers. Plumeria plants are drought-tolerant after their root system has been established.

In the containers, use a rich, lightweight potting mix with fertile, well-drained soil. Straight potting soil is often excessively heavy and retains too much moisture. However, you may lighten the potting soil mix by adding vermiculite or sterile sand to roughly half of it.

Well, how to plant plumeria in the pot? Always plant the cut end of branch tips or bigger hardwood pieces into the potting mix, whether they are branch tips or larger hardwood fragments.

Plant around 2 inches off the end of a branch tip that is roughly 5 inches long into the soil. Fill the potting mix with water. You’ll need a larger container, such as a 3- to 5-gallon if you’re planting a larger cutting or section with numerous branching portions. You’ll also need to insert the cut end of the branch into the soil for around 3- to 6-inches. Make sure the soil surrounding the cutting’s base is firm, so it doesn’t tip over. Larger cuttings may require the use of a stake inserted into the pot and used to maintain them upright in the container. Tie the cutting and the stake together with anything flexible that won’t tear into the cutting, such as pantyhose. You may remove the stake once it has roots and established itself.

How to Grow Plumeria from Seed

Despite their beautiful and exotic appearance, plumeria plants are easy to spread from seeds, and you don’t need to be a great gardener to develop healthy plants. When seed pods crack apart, they expose a dense mass of light-colored, papery-thin seeds. The seeds are fully mature and ready for propagation only when the seed pod cracks apart.

Fill a seed-starting tray or tiny, 4-inch pots with a lightweight potting mix that drains. Once the seed has been planted, moisten the soil to settle it and keep the seed in place. After that, plant the seed and cover it with a 1/8-inch layer of dirt. To wet the seed, mist the surface of the soil with water.

When the weather outside is warm and bright, seeds germinate quickly. Germination is slowed when the weather is colder and drier. As a result, place the containers in a sunny outside spot. In seven to fourteen days, the seeds should start sprouting.

Planting a Plant in Open Ground

If you’re going to plant your plumeria outside, you can do it in a container or directly in the ground. If you’re going to plant plumerias in the ground, make sure they’re 10 to 20 feet apart so their roots have enough room to develop. A root ball can be planted in a hole that is the same depth as the roots but 2–3 times the breadth. Choose a spot for planting where the soil drains effectively and water does not pool after a rainstorm.

Avoid placing the plumeria near a brick or concrete wall where it will be exposed to heat.

What Is the Best Way to Get Rid of Insects on My Plumeria

how to grow plumeria from seed

Plumerias are pest and disease resistant, however, spider mites can infest buds and new growth, especially indoors when the temperature is high and the humidity is low. Spider mites can be exterminated by spraying them with chilly water that is powerful enough to knock them off the plant. Low-toxicity sprays, such as insecticidal soap solutions and horticultural molasses, can also be used if necessary.

Once established in the planting site or container, plumeria plants are quite easy to care for. Growing them in their ideal environment results in healthy, problem-free development. They can be a wonderful decoration for any site and interior, especially during the flowering period! If you are ready to give this plant everything it needs for a good life, be sure to try growing it yourself. You will be delighted!

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