Alohas, Nothing is like that tropical feeling quite like the frangipani. Their sweet scent and sheer beauty make them universally loved and the blooms look sensational on the tree and as a cut flower. Pick up some freshly fallen blooms and float them in a bath or bowl of water and it’s easy to feel you’re relaxing in a fabulous tropical day spa! Most familiar in their white and yellow form, they also come in loads of tropical and sunset colours, becoming more colourful the closer to the equator you go. Frangipanis are also tough plants that can survive neglect, heat and drought and still fill the garden with a wonderful perfume. What more could you ask for in a tree?
Alohas, Plumeria's will grow well in any soil type but prefer a well drained soil. They will grow in all climates except the severe frost prone temperate climates, however, they prefer and grow best in a hot dry climate. They are very drought and fire hardy.
Being a tropical plant, the frangipani prefers to grow in full sun and well-drained soil. They will tolerate part shade, but those grown in a warm to hot position where they get at least 6 hours of sun a day will grow faster and flower far better than those grown in part shade. They can cope with sea breezes but prefer protection from high winds. Pumerias will tolerate light frosts, but in cooler climates give them the warmest, sunniest spots in the garden or move them to a warm protected area in late autumn. A hot house is ideal, but placing your Plumerias on a concrete path against a brick wall where it will get radiated heat (and be protected from frost and wind) will also work.
Plumerias are also perfectly adaptable to growing in containers. Because they respond well to pruning, they're easy to keep under control. Choose a large container with a diameter of at least 40cm and plenty of volume. If over time the tree becomes pot-bound, lift it out and prune back the roots before re-potting into fresh potting mix. Feed them occasionally with a soluble fertiliser and remember that potted plants need more frequent watering than those in the ground. Water moderately in summer, especially when the trees are young and becoming established. Old established trees can survive quite happily on natural rainfall. During winter, when the trees are bare, leave the watering to nature. Plumerias will not tolerate its root system being over wet and cold at the same time, and rot may develop! Mulching the soil around the tree will keep the roots cool in summer and warm in winter. It also helps to retain moisture and reduce weeds however mulch should be kept away from the trunk to avoid rot.
Plumerias respond best to organic fertilizers which are high in nitrogen, potassium (or potash) and phosphorous.
Nitrogen is good for green growth, phosphorous for large flowers and healthy roots, and potassium or potash for good plant cell structure and strength, as well as improving disease resistance. During the growing season, an application of liquid fish fertiliser and seaweed solution is beneficial. ( I use a 10-30-10 time released pellets ). Do Not Fertilise During Dormancy!!!! Pruning is best done during late winter or early spring.
Plumerias respond very well to pruning. Different pruning approaches can be used to create a compact, densely branched tree or a standard with long trunk and no lower branches. However, be aware that Plumeria flowers appear only at the end of branches, and these must be two years old before they bloom. So, if you plan to prune your frangipani heavily, consider doing half one year, and then half the next year to ensure a continous display of flowers. To create a densely branched specimen prune branches to one half or one third of their natural length. These pruned branches will sprout multiple branches near the pruned ends. To prune to produce a standard, simply prune branches right back to the main trunk so that no further branching can occur. ( Pruning is best done during late winter or early spring ). ALOHAS.
Alohas, When propagating by seed, the results can be a little unpredictable. You will get a plant bearing some resemblance to its parent, but it is unlikely to be an exact duplicate. It usually takes three years or so before your new plant blooms, whereas with plant propagation from cuttings you should see your new Plumeria flowers in the first year. With all cuttings, water in well and then once every few weeks if the soil is dry, otherwise leave them alone until new leaves appear. You may need to support your frangipani with a stake or ropes for a few weeks until the roots anchor it firmly in position. When new leaves appear, you can re plant directly into the garden or into a large pot filled with quality, free draining, potting mix.
Propagation by cuttings takes the guesswork out of it - your new frangipani will be an exact duplicate of the parent plant. Cuttings can be taken at any time of year, though they are easiest to manage in winter when the tree is bare.
There are two methods for taking Plumeria cuttings - hard wood (during winter) or semi ripe wood (during spring or even summer when the plant is in bloom). Cuttings should be a minimum of 30cm (or 12") in length and prefereably no more than 60cm (or 24").
Take hard wood cuttings when the plant is dormant in winter. If white latex is still flowing, allow to dry in a cool dark place for a few days before planting in free draining compost or sand.
Take semi ripe cuttings of stem tips in early spring before leaves form. Allow the wound to dry before inserting it in free draining compost or sand.
If propagating in summer, choose a section which does not have any flowers. Remove any leaves other than those at the very tip. Ensure you make a clean cut, reducing the trauma on the plant and enabling faster healing. Leave the cutting aside for at least five weeks, ideally in an upright position in a dry location. Again, you must allow the wound to dry before planting.