Plumeria plants (Plumeria sp), which are also known as Lei flowers and Plumeria Frangipani, are actually small trees that are native to tropical regions. The plumeria flowers of these beautiful plants are used in making traditional Hawaiian leis. They are highly fragrant and bloom freely from spring through fall in multiple colors like yellow, white, pink, and red. These plumeria flowers stand out nicely amid the large leaved foliage, which may be evergreen or deciduous, depending on the type.
Plumeria Plant Gardening
Although you don’t have to live in the tropics to grow plumeria plants in the home garden, you should be aware of its growing requirements beforehand. Often grown in the garden as an ornamental shrub or small tree, plumeria flower plants need to be grown in well-draining soil that is slightly acidic. They also required at least six hours of full sun.
While the plumeria flower plants are fairly tolerant of both salt and windy conditions, they’re not tolerant of cold and must be protected. Therefore, they should be container or pot grown in colder regions. In areas that may be warm most of the time but still fairly prone to cold winters, the plumeria plant can be dug up and overwintered indoors. Alternatively, you can sink containers grown indoor plumeria plants in the ground, bringing them indoors once the temperatures begin to drop in fall. Once warmer temperatures return in spring, you can return the plants back outdoors.
When growing indoor plumeria plants in pots, use a coarse, well-draining potting mix—cactus mix or perlite and sand should be fine.
Plumeria Plant Care
Plumeria care, for the most part, is easy. While plumeria plants don’t like wet feet, they should be watered deeply when irrigated and then allowed to dry out before watering again. They also need to be fertilized about every two to four weeks throughout their active growing season. Reduce watering in mid fall and stop completely once the plants enter dormancy in the winter season. Resume regular watering as new growth appears in the spring season. A high phosphate (phosphorus) fertilizer, like 10-30-10, will help encourage blooming plumeria flowers. Giving them too much nitrogen will only result in high foliage growth and less flowering.
Plumeria plants may be pruned as needed, up to 12 inches about 31 cm from the ground in late winter or early spring season (prior to new growth), however, any drastic or hard pruning done may reduce flowering.
These plumeria plants can also be propagated by seeds or cuttings in spring, with cuttings being the easiest and most preferred method. Insert cuttings about 2 inches about 5 cm in potting mix and water thoroughly.