Plumeria is one of those superb flower shrubs, used indoors for its exceptional blooming and its incredible ornamental value.
Principal Plumeria facts
Name – Plumeria
Common name – frangipani
Family – Apocynceae or dogbane
Type – perennial
Height – 5 feet (1.5 meters) indoors, 32 feet (10 meters) outdoors
Exposure – full sun or luminous (indoors)
Soil – rather rich and well drained
Foliage – semi evergreen
Flowering – summer
Planting and re-potting of plumeria
Indoors, growing plumeria requires rather rich soil: best use a good soil mix.
If you plan to grow plumeria outdoors, wait for spring and choose a sunny spot.
- But take note that this plant is native to Central America, and probably won’t adapt to any odd climate. Temperatures must never drop below 50°F (5°C).
- Prefer well drained soil to avoid any risk of stagnating water.
- Blend the soil mix with river sand (80/20 ratio) and layer clay pebbles at the bottom to increase drainage.
Plumeria only requires very little water in winter, but needs more regular watering in spring and summer, especially if it’s hot.
That is the most essential need for it to bear flowers.
- In winter, it is even a good thing to let the soil dry up entirely.
- Start watering again slowly in spring as soon as the leaves start unfurling.
- In summer you can water often, preferably with rain water that is naturally soft (or mineral water).
Caring for plumeria
Indoors, in an apartment, choose a very sunny location, in direct sunlight for the most part of the day, while avoiding excessively desiccating situations such as just behind a window.
You can bring it outdoors in summer, from May to September or October, but take care not to transfer it immediately to a scorching location because this could dry the plant up and brutal changes can stress it considerably.
To flower well, plumeria requires a certain change in seasons, marking the dry winter period and the moist summer season.
Common disease that infects plumeria
If you discover cottony whitish clumps, there is no doubt about it: scale insects.
This parasite appears when the air in the room is too dry and the temperature is high.
- Check our page on how to eradicate scale insects
It may also happen that the plumeria is faced with rotting when the soil is too moist.
Only water when the soil is dry, and also check that your pot lets excess water drain out away from the roots, it must be well drained and have holes at the bottom.
Smart tip about plumeria
Plumeria flowers are edible, and can be used to decorate meals, desserts and mixed salads.