Plumeria care is not overly complicated which makes it a much loved indoor plant. But first, a little background information to help you get to know this amazing plant a little better.
Plumeria is a genus of flowering plants from the family Apocynaceae. Most of the species are small trees or deciduous shrubs.
The species originates from Mexico, Central America, and the Caribbean.
It’s also known under the name frangipani. The name Plumeria is given in honor of the 17th century botanist Charles Plumier.
It’s a gorgeous tropical plant with thick stems and even leaves that feel like leather upon touch. The pointed leaves can reach up to a foot in length.
In early summer until fall, the plant releases an abundance of fragrant flowers.
The flowers grow in a bouquet-like form. There are many leaf colors to choose from, including red, white, pink or any combination of these.
You can have them as houseplants in pots or place them in a bowl of water for an amazing display on home or office tables.
What is wonderful about this plant is the sweet scent it releases, including jasmine, rose, citrus, gardenia, and more.
They enter a natural dormant period in the colder months so if you keep some of them outdoors, it’s best to bring them in.
Plumerias will reward you with amazing flower bouquets in the growing season and fill your personal space with a lovely fragrance.
The good thing about plumeria care is that it’s suitable for less and more experienced gardeners thanks to the numerous varieties it has.
In the south east of Asia, plumeria is considered sacred.
Important to know:
Plumeria is toxic to humans and animals. Its ingestion can lead to vomiting, diarrhea, and salivation whereas the sap can trigger rashes in sensitive people.
Plumeria Care Indoors
Generally, Plumeria is healthy when it’s exposed to full sun and heat.
Therefore, place it near a window that’s facing the south and gets at least 5 hours of sunlight.
If you need to increase the light in the room, you can use a fluorescent bulb that you’ll fix above the plant. When they’re not getting the needed light, they won’t bloom.
In winter, plumeria will lose its leaves. Place it in a cooler and darker room, lower the watering, and don’t fertilize it until spring.
Make sure the plant isn’t exposed to freezing temperatures.
Plumerias are sun lovers so they thrive in temperatures ranging from 60 to 90 degrees.
Anything that goes below 35 degrees F can damage the plant and freezing temperature can kill it.
Water & Humidity
When you’re watering plumeria, take care you water until you see the water dripping from the drainage holes. But, make sure the soil is dry between watering.
This is because they don’t like to sit in water and the soil should never be soggy.
In the dormant period, plumeria needn’t be watered, except if you live in a very dry winter climate. In this case, the plant will need a bit of surface soil watering, once every two weeks or so.
Despite being great for drier climates, they also do well when the air is humid, so no worries on that side.
A potted plumeria needs a well and fast draining soil and one which doesn’t retain moisture.
If you can’t find plumeria potting mix, you can use general purpose potting soil.
If you want to make sure you’re not overwatering it and it doesn’t sit in water, mix some pumice, perlite or coarse sand into the soil to assist the draining.
A succulent soil is also an excellent choice.
When it comes to this plant, you should remember that they really do like their fertilizer. Especially if they grow in pots- they need it to bloom.
Without additional feeding, most of them won’t bloom.
Fertilize them every 1 to 3 weeks during the growing season, from spring through summer.
Stop in the fall and avoid fertilization in the winter because the plant is sleeping.
Choose organic fertilizer made for plumerias and other tropical plants in pots.
When transplanting plumeria, make sure it’s fall or winter. This is because a sleeping plant is easier to manage and it will be less shocking for the plant.
Repot it yearly so that the roots can grow optimally.
Always choose a pot one size bigger than the current. Some growers prefer placing the cuttings in larger pots to help the root spread in order to stabilize the tree.
To be certain, go from a 10-inch pot to a 12-inch one. Loosen the root and remove the dirt and place the plant into the new fresh soil and cover it with more soil.
Water the plant and place it in a proper area.
Your plumeria is easy to propagate by using the stem cuttings.
If you know how to propagate succulents, you’ll know how to propagate this plant too. Cut a branch and remove the biggest leaves.
Leave the branch for a couple of days and then dip it into proper soil. Spray it with water on a regular basis, but don’t water the soil.
When you see a new growth, it means it has started growing roots. You can now water it, fertilize it, etc.
Best Plumeria Species
Veracruz rose rainbow
This is an amazing variety of plumeria with flowers that are a blend of yellow and pink. They grow in clusters and emit a beautiful rose scent.
Bail whirl double yellow
This is a more subtle variety than the previous one, but equally stunning. It has bright yellow and almost white flowers.
This variety is available in several shades, including white, bright yellow, and red. Its flowers release a sweet rose fragrance and are great for bee attraction.
When your plumeria blooms, you can cut off flowers for your bud vase or float them in a bowl of water- this will add an amazing flow to your interior.
Don’t worry about cutting its leaves as this doesn’t hurt a plumeria because of its ability to grow.
Did you know that plumeria flowers are commonly used in the making of Hawaiian leis?
These garlands are known to be a symbol of affection upon arrival or leaving in Hawaiian culture.
Trouble Shooting- Common Issues
Problem: black & white leaf spots
Solution: Use an organic insecticidal soap and fungicide treatment.
Problem: Dropped flower buds & flowers not opening up
Cause: Sap is bleeding out of the branches and blooms, probably from thrips.
Solution: Use insecticidal soap or an insecticide for thrips treatment.
Problem: Uneven leaf edges
Cause: Cutworms, slugs or snails. The slugs and snails attack one area only and leave a slime trail. Cutworms can attack any part of the plant and don’t leave slimy trails.
Solution: For cutworms, use dursban or diazinon (insecticides) in the soil. To get rid of the slugs and snails, opt for diatomaceous earth.
Thank you for reading this article and I hope it’s helped you in your understanding of plumeria care.
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