A Perfect Guide to How to Grow and Care for Plumeria

7 Min Read

Plumeria is a genus of flowering plants endemic to the Americas, especially the tropical and subtropical regions, Southeast Asia, the Caribbean, and Central America. The plant is widely known thanks to its fragrant, lovely blooms, which are frequently used in traditional Hawaiian leis.

Because plumeria plants are relatively easy to grow, gardeners and other plant enthusiasts tend to choose them. They require lots of sunlight and well-draining soil, though they can tolerate some shade. Greenhouses or indoors can be used to raise plumeria plants in colder climates.

Plumeria Overview

Common NamePlumeria, frangipani
Botanical NamePlumeria spp.
Plant TypeTree
Mature Size10-30 ft. tall, 20-25 ft. wide
Sun ExposureFull, partial
Soil TypeLoamy, sandy, well-drained
Soil pHAcidic
Bloom TimeSummer, fall
Flower ColourWhite, yellow, pink, red, orange, red
Hardiness Zones10-11 (USDA)
Native AreaNorth America, South America, Caribbean

Plumeria Care

  • The primary requirements for caring for a plumeria plant are as follows:
  • Choose a spot where the soil drains properly and receives full sun.
  • Create a wide, saucer-shaped hole in the ground that is at least three times the size of the plant’s root ball or nursery container.
  • Tamp down the earth and give the planting hole a thorough watering after backfilling.
  • Due to the shallow root structure of plumeria, it is helpful to cover the root zone with a few large rocks to keep wind from uprooting the tree roots.
  • Regularly water the recently planted plumeria.
  • After it’s established, water the plant once a week, or more if necessary, if there isn’t any rain. Give potted plants more regular watering.
  • Keep the plant safe from low temperatures (50 degrees F).
  • When the plumeria are actively growing, fertilize the potted plants once a month.


Plumeria are light-loving plants. They require six to eight hours in the sun. As the tree will be somewhat shielded from the sun’s rays during the warmest portion of the day, these hours should best take place in the morning.

Warmer climates allow plueria to be grown in partial shade, especially in the afternoon. At least six hours of direct sunlight each day are required for plumeria.

These indoor plants must be exposed to bright light for most of the day to flower. A window with a southerly orientation is a great place for a plumeria in the northern hemisphere!


Plumeria may grow in a wide range of soil types as long as they have sufficient drainage; however, loamy, rich soil is ideal. Avoid places where the soil is damp, as this might promote root rot. The ideal pH range for soil is 6.5 to 7.0.


The general guideline for established plumeria is to drink one inch of water once a week. But while they’re in the sun, you have to water them more often. In the event of no rain, it can require watering if it is located in a spot that receives full sunshine for the majority of the day, as opposed to one that is somewhat shaded.

The soil should be completely submerged before being allowed to dry out and then watered again. Watering landscape plumeria outside during their winter hibernation is not recommended.

When watering dormant indoor plumeria, you can use as little as once every two weeks. To keep the soil from completely drying up, be careful not to overwater.

Climate and Temperature

A plumeria prefers temperatures between 65° and 80°F. They are not particularly affected by temperatures below 40 °F, yet they can withstand extreme heat.

Plumeria cannot withstand extended temperatures around freezing, but brief drops into the 30s are usually not dangerous.

An increase in water, sunshine, and warmer temperatures in the springtime are indicators of plumeria flowers. During their growing seasons, plumeria thrive in environments with at least 50% humidity.


Regular fertilization is not necessary for established plumeria in landscapes unless the soil is seriously deficient. At the start of the growth season, fertilize it with a high-phosphorus fertilizer to promote the bloom. A heavy nitrogen fertilizer will produce more foliage than flowers, so stay away from it.

To replenish the nutrients lost from frequent watering, potted plants should get a monthly fertilization with the same high-phosphorus fertilizer during the active growing season.


Pruning plumeria is rarely necessary unless you are dissatisfied with the way it looks and wishes to train it to be a shorter, denser shrub or a tree with a single central trunk. Before the onset of fresh growth, in the late winter or early spring. Cut all branches back to about half their length, or remove any lower branches close to the stem.

Usually, plumeria only branch out in response to damage (such as trimming) or following flowering. Pruning should be done conservatively since the tree’s flowers are produced at the tips of its branches, and over-pruning will lessen the bloom the following year.

Propagating Plumeria

Growing plumeria from stem cuttings is a fairly simple process. The best time to accomplish this is in the spring.

  • In the spring, choose a spot with well-mature, grey bark, and then trim a 12- to 18-inch tip with clean, sharp pruners or secateurs. 45-degree slit made from the center.
  • Remove every leaf from the cutting, excluding the ones near the tip.
  • Allow the cutting to cure at room temperature and out of direct sunshine for approximately one week, or until the cut end is completely calloused over.
  • After wetting the cut end, dip it into the powdered rooting hormone. Toss the extra powder away.
  • A 6-inch container should be filled with high-quality, well-draining potting mix or a combination of potting soil and pumice or cactus soil.
  • Place the cutting in the ground, three to four inches deep. The pot should be placed away from direct sunlight in a warm, bright area.
  • Give it a thorough watering and let the extra water run. A few inches down, the soil should feel dry before you water it once more. If there is too much water, the cutting could decay.
  • Once the cutting has taken root, move the container to a sunny location and maintain damp but not saturated soil. Before relocating the cutting into the landscape, allow it to develop into a robust new plant. It will require roughly six to eight weeks.
  • The blooming period of a plumeria grown from stem cuttings is one to three years.

How to Grow Plumeria from Seed

Plumeria can be planted from seeds, although this is not advised. In addition to being rare, seeds might not be viable even if you manage to obtain any. Besides, you usually don’t realize the seeds didn’t result in a genuine parent plant until the plant has flowered for five years or longer.

Potting and Repotting Plumeria

Plumeria’s thin root system makes it an excellent plant for potting. Use a large, wide container in windy conditions to prevent the tree from becoming top-heavy and toppling over. Make sure there are large holes for drainage. Fill it with a potting mix that drains nicely.

Repotting to a larger pot is only required every few years when the slow-growing plumeria plant has visibly outgrown its container.

Still, it benefits each year from the introduction of a fresh, growing medium. Using a trowel, carefully remove the top few inches of soil and replace it with nutrient-rich compost and a new potting mix.


When the temperature drops below fifty degrees Fahrenheit, move any plumeria that you are cultivating outside of its hardiness area indoors. Move it to a cool place and water it sparingly to allow it to go dormant indoors.

While the plant may drop some leaves, it is unlikely to go dormant if you overwinter your potted plumeria in a room that is warmer than 65 or 70 degrees. The next spring, acclimatize the plant gradually to the outside environment.

Common Pests & Plant Diseases

Pests and illnesses that are common to greenhouses and house plants, such as mealybugs, spider mites, and white flies, can harm plumeria, but they are not very frequent.

Deal with them and prevent an infestation by using insecticidal soap. The plumeria rust, black tip fungus, and leaf spot are examples of potential fungal infections.

Common Problems with Plumeria

Although severe issues with plumeria are uncommon, be aware of these warning signs:

Yellowing Leaves

Generally speaking, overwatering is the cause of yellowing foliage. Water the soil less frequently until it is totally dry, and then move the pot to a location where extra water can easily drain out. Check the drainage system to see if the plant is potted, and then report it if needed.

Fixing landscape plants with inadequate drainage is more difficult. Incorporate additional organic matter and perlite into the soil’s topsoil layer to enhance drainage if the issue still exists after you reduce watering.

Wrinkled, Spongy, or Soft Branches

A fungus in the roots or branches of the plant can cause the branches to degenerate in cool, damp weather or when the plant is overwatered. If the issue continues, carefully cut off the afflicted branches and treat your houseplants with an organic and fungicide.


Plumeria plants are lovely and fragrant potted plants that look great in any garden. Their exquisite petals are widely recognized as the traditional Hawaiian lei flower and as the source of inspiration for numerous cosmetics and fragrances.

They are quite simple to cultivate and care for if you live in a climate that allows it. They can be left outside all year. Like anything worthwhile, they require a little more care than your typical houseplant!


When do plumeria flowers bloom?

Unlike many other flowering trees, the plumeria bloom lasts for a surprisingly long time. Plumeria blooms anytime during the warm season, which runs from May to November. The weather, your local climate, and the kind of plumeria you have all influence when they bloom.

Is plumeria difficult to grow?

If you give plumeria enough sunlight, water, and fertilizer, it’s easy to grow in containers or on the landscape. This plant requires relatively little maintenance because of its slow growth rate.

Are plumeria good pot plants?

Many gardeners grow plumeria well in pots, even beyond its hardiness range (USDA zones 10–11). When growing plumeria in containers, there are a few things to remember. To prevent it from toppling over, the pot must be hefty enough and big enough to fit the shallow root system. Additionally, potted plants always require more regular irrigation than outside plants.



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