Home Flower Gardening How to Grow Plumeria (Frangipani) for Beginners: A Comprehensive Guide

How to Grow Plumeria (Frangipani) for Beginners: A Comprehensive Guide

by Gregory
4 minutes read

How to Grow Plumeria (Frangipani) for Beginners


Plumeria, also known as frangipani, is a beautiful tropical shrub known for its exotic fragrance and stunning flowers. While it’s not hardy enough to grow outdoors in most of the UK, it makes an excellent houseplant or conservatory specimen. Here’s a detailed guide on how to grow and care for plumeria successfully.

Choosing the Right Environment

Plumeria is a frost-tender plant that needs a warm, humid environment. It’s best suited to growing in a conservatory or greenhouse with a minimum temperature of 10°C. If you don’t have a conservatory, you can also grow plumeria as a houseplant, but it will need to be placed in a bright, warm spot.

Planting Your Plumeria

When planting plumeria, choose a sturdy pot with good drainage holes. Use a well-draining potting mix, such as John Innes No. 2 with added grit or perlite. Plant the plumeria so that the root ball is at the same level as it was in its original pot. Water the plant well and allow the excess water to drain away.

Caring for Your Plumeria

Watering: Water your plumeria sparingly, allowing the soil to dry out slightly between waterings. Overwatering can lead to root rot.

Fertilizing: Feed your plumeria once a month with a balanced liquid fertilizer during the growing season (spring to autumn).

Light: Plumeria needs bright, indirect light. Avoid placing it in direct sunlight, as this can scorch the leaves.

Temperature: Plumeria prefers warm temperatures between 18-25°C. Protect it from cold drafts and frosts.

Humidity: Plumeria thrives in humid environments. You can increase the humidity around your plant by placing it on a tray filled with pebbles and water.

Pruning: Prune your plumeria as little as possible, only if necessary to control its growth or remove straggly shoots. Prune in late winter.

Propagating Plumeria

Plumeria can be propagated from stem cuttings. Take cuttings in spring using sharp secateurs. Allow the cut ends to dry for a few hours before planting them in a pot filled with a mixture of seed compost and vermiculite. Keep the cuttings warm and moist, and they should root within a few weeks.

Common Pests and Diseases

Plumeria is generally a pest- and disease-free plant, but it can be susceptible to stem rot if overwatered. Red spider mites can also be a problem, especially in dry conditions. To prevent pests and diseases, ensure your plumeria has good drainage and adequate humidity.

Buying Plumeria Plants

You can buy plumeria plants in various sizes from specialist nurseries and online retailers. When buying a plumeria, choose a healthy plant with no signs of damage or disease. It’s best to buy as large a plant as you can afford, as plumeria can take several years to bloom.

Additional Tips

  • Plumeria can be used to make beautiful leis, or garlands.
  • The flowers of plumeria have a sweet, exotic fragrance that is often used in perfumes and other fragrances.
  • Plumeria is a popular plant in Hawaii, where it is considered a symbol of friendship and hospitality.

By following these tips, you can successfully grow and care for a beautiful and exotic plumeria plant.

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