The plumeria flower has a strong symbolism among Hindus and Buddhists, hence its name of flower of the temples. Originally from tropical and subtropical America, Plumerias are found today in all hot countries. Obviously, it is a frosty plant which will not support that the thermometer goes down below 41°F. Ideally, the temperature should be at least 50 to 54°F.
Depending on the species, they are deciduous or semi-evergreen trees and shrubs. The branches and twigs are fleshy and thick. The simple leaves, alternate or forming a spiral, are grouped at the end of the branches, they measure from 8 to 16 inches long.
The flowers do not appear before 4 to 5 years, they are flattened and perfumed: a certain Frangipani had created a perfume and left its name to the shrub! The flower, symbol of Laos, measures 2 inches in diameter and has five wide lobes that bloom in bouquets or terminal panicles, on stems that have not yet grown leaves.
Where to plant the plumeria ?
Plumeria needs sun. A veranda or a winter garden are perfect to install it. If you adopt it at home, place it in front of a bay window.
In a pot
Use a substrate composed of 3/4 potting soil and 1/4 sand, enriched with compost, it likes a rich and well-drained soil.
In the ground
It can only be planted in regions where there is no frost, or in a flowerbed in the winter garden, in rich and well-drained soil.
When to plant the Plumeria ?
Indoors, all year round.
Outside, in May.
Planting the Plumeria
Indoors, growing a plumeria in a pot requires a relatively rich soil and therefore a good potting mix.
If you wish to plant a plumeria, wait until spring and choose a sunny spot.
plumeria in outside
This plant is originally from Central America and will not adapt to any climate.
The temperature should never go below 41°F. The hardiness of the frangipane is thus rather weak.
Prefer a well drained soil to avoid any stagnation of water
You can mix potting soil with river sand (80-20%) and put clay balls at the bottom of the pot to improve drainage
On the other hand, a frangipane in a pot can easily spend the whole summer outdoors.
Repotting the plumeria
To bloom and bloom again, the plumeria needs a relatively rich soil.
Growing in a pot requires regular repotting, firstly to give the roots room to grow, and secondly to give it the nutrients it needs.
A repotting of the plumeria every 2 to 3 years is recommended.
Choose a pot with a slightly larger diameter.
Watering the plumeria
Plumeria needs very little water in winter but regular watering in spring and summer, especially if it is hot.
This is the essential condition for it to bloom.
In winter, it is even advisable to let the ground dry out completely between 2 waterings.
Watering should be resumed slowly in spring, as soon as the leaves start to open.
In summer, water regularly, preferably with non calcareous rainwater (or mineral water)
Maintenance of the plumeria
The plumeria is quite easy and requires very little maintenance.
Indoors, in an apartment, you should choose a well-lit place, ideally sunny for most of the day.
You will be able to install it outside during the summer, from May to September or October by avoiding the too hot places because that could dry the plant and a too brutal change could stress it.
To bloom well, the plumeria needs some contrast between 2 seasons, the dry winter period and the humid summer period.
Pruning the plumeria
No pruning is really necessary in plumeria.
Remove spent flowers as you go along to stimulate the appearance of new flowers and avoid exhausting the plant.
Recreate distinct seasons
Plumeria is a shrub that usually blooms after 2 to 4 years. In order to ensure that the plant will flower, it is important to recreate 2 well-marked seasons, similar to its natural conditions.
In winter: dryness and coolness
The plumeria does not like to have its feet in water. For the culture in pot, it is thus important to opt for a well draining and aerated soil in order to avoid that the water stagnates. Sand mixed with fibrous soil is ideal. To increase drainage, a 2 inch layer of pozzolan can be placed at the bottom of the pot when planting.
During winter, the plumeria will require very moderate watering, if any. It also appreciates temperatures around 46 to 50°F during the night. These conditions favor its dormancy necessary for its flowering. During winter, the leaves fall partially and sometimes totally.
In spring/summer: heat and humidity
When temperatures and day length increase, the plumeria comes out of its vegetative rest and develops, at the end of its branches, large green oblong leaves (6 inches) with marked veins.
To bloom, it will need temperatures above 68°F and regular watering. However, it is important to let the surface dry out between waterings to avoid asphyxiation of the roots.
Pruning the plumeria
When to prune ?
Plumeria is usually pruned in March-April.
How to prune ?
The Plumeria does not need pruning, but as it bears it well, do not hesitate if you need to keep it under control, if it becomes a nuisance for the passage for example, or to densify it. But don’t do it every year, otherwise you will never see the flowers that form at the end of the branches.
If you plan to prune your plumeria, do it on one half, so as not to deprive yourself of flowers, and continue the second year on the other half.
For better branching, cut the branches in half or a third.
Diseases of plumeria
If you see a white cottony mass, it is undoubtedly the mealy bug.
This parasite settles in when the atmosphere of the room is too dry and the temperature is high.
It is also possible that the plumeria is confronted with rot when the soil is too humid.
Water only when the soil is dry and make sure that your pot does not let water stagnate near the roots, it must be well drained and have holes at the bottom.