Growing Plumeria From Seed (Frangipani)

Introduction to Growing Plumeria from Seed (Frangipani): Plumeria flowers are popular in many parts of the world and belong to the Dogbane or Apocynaceae family. They are also known as Frangipani or Champa. The Plumeria is an attractive tropical plant with bright and colorful flowers. These fragrant plants are very easy to grow and do well in full sun to part shade. In this article we also covered the below topics about growing Plumeria;

  • Care Tips for Frangipani Tree
  • How to Grow Plumeria Plants Indoors
  • Growing Plumeria in pots
  • Growing Plumeria cuttings
  • Can you grow Plumeria inside
  • Growing Plumeria indoors
  • How do you care for a Plumeria indoors

A Step-by-Step Guide to Growing Plumeria (Frangipani) Plants from Seed

The fragrant and tropical blossoms of the Plumeria fill the garden or sunroom with their sweet scent. To make a Plumeria plant flower, it needs four basic elements like water, fertilizer, warmth, and plenty of light. These flowers are popular tropical plants that grow gorgeous, and very fragrant flowers.

Quick Overview of Growing Plumeria Plants

Plumeria Plant
Plumeria Plant (Image source: pixabay)
  • Other Common Names – Plumeria rubra, Champa, Frangipani,
  • Type – Outdoor flowering ornamental plant
  • Botanical name – Plumeria spp. L.
  • Maintenance – Low
  • Flowering – spring-summer
  • Light – Bright direct sunlight or partial shade
  • Water – Regular watering
  • Temperature – Warm humid conditions
  • Soil – Well draining nutrient-rich soil
  • Fertilizer – Any house plant fertilizer, cow dung powder, and compost
  • Height – 10-15 ft. (1.8-2.4 m)
  • Spacing – 4-6 ft. (1.2-1.8 m)
  • Sun Exposure – Full Sun and Sun to Partial Shade
  • Water requirement – Moderate, don’t overwater
  • Bloom Color – Yellow, White, Pink, Orange, and Red
  • Bloom Time – Year-round flowering
  • Plant type – Flower
  • Soil pH – 6.4-6.8
  • Zone – 9-11

Different Types of Plumeria Plants

Red frangipani – It can be a well-liked garden and park plant, further as getting used in temples and cemeteries. The scientific name of Red frangipani plant is “Plumeria rubra.”

Plumeria Singapore Dwarf – Plumeria Singapore Dwarf can be a species of the genus Plumeria. It is native to the archipelago, southern North American nation, Belize, Guatemala, and American.

Plumeria Alba – This is a species of the genus Plumeria and this 2-8 m deciduous bush has slim, elongated leaves; giant and powerfully perfumed white color flowers with a yellow center.

Plumeria Pudica – Plumeria Pudica can be a species of the magnoliopsid genus native to Panama, South America nation and South American nation. This crazy developer has exceptional spoon-shaped takes-off, and its blooms are white with a yellow color center.

Champaca magnolias – It is a large evergreen tree in the family Magnoliaceae. It was previously classified as Michael champaca. It is known for its fragrant flowers. It grows to 160 feet or taller. The tree has a narrow umbelliform crown. It has fragrant blossoms in shifting shades of cream to yellow-orange color, which blossom from June to September.

Pink Champa – They are extremely sweet-scented and bloom freely from spring throughout the fall season. The flowers of these plants are employed in creating ancient Hawaiian leis.

Green Champa – The fragrance of the Plumeria inexperienced is that the authentic scent of Hawaii, a delight to the senses and a marvel to see.

Soil and Location for Growing Plumeria from Seed

A good and well-draining soil that is slightly acidic is best for Growing Plumeria plants; and uses a good Potting mix with sand and organic manure. Like most flower plants, this plant needs full sun. In the summer season, you can transfer your container into the shade in the afternoon.

You must avoid using fine potting mixes that hold water and take too long to drain. Instead, use coarse, well-draining soil. Moreover, make sure to choose something slightly acidic. Go for soils that are in the 6.4 to 6.8 pH level.

Plumeria plants thrive under full sunlight and may not produce flowers without the right amount. Ensure you give your plant at least 6 hours of it, although it can also tolerate partial sun and some shade. Placing them near south-facing windows is ideal.

Temperature Requirement for Growing Plumeria from Seed

As they are native to warmer climate conditions, you need to ensure your room is 18 to 26°C. Plumeria plants may have a hard time thriving in temperatures below 12°C. If Plumeria leaves have turned yellow color and are dropping, it means it has gotten too cold and will enter dormancy.

Inside or out in the garden, Plumeria needs warmth to thrive. When temperature levels drop below 10 to 12°C, the plant will go dormant. As temperatures warm to 21°C, your Plumeria will revive and produce new leaves. Keep Plumeria plant in a warm location inside or a sunny, sheltered location outside.

How to Propagate Plumeria Plants

There are mainly Plumeria propagation methods you can use for growing new plants from seed or by rooting plant cuttings.

Firstly, start new Plumeria plants by planting the winged seeds in a sterile seed-starting mix. Keep them moist while the seeds germinate in 3 to 14 days and mist regularly as the seedlings grow.

The Plumeria seedlings will not be exactly like the parent plant. Also, seedlings require 3 to 5 years of growth before they begin producing flowers. For faster flowering, propagate Plumeria with cuttings. Then, take a 12- to 15-inch cutting of a mature branch with gray bark. Remove all the leaves and set the cutting aside for 3 to 5 days. Wet the end of the cutting, swirl it in rooting compound and insert it about 3 to 5 inches deep in moist potting soil. Place it in a bright shade and do not water until new leaves appear in 5 to 6 weeks.

Containers for Growing Indoor Plumeria Plants

For growing Plumeria in containers, avoid clay pots and opt for a black nursery container with holes for drainage instead. Clay pots can be popular for indoor use, but clay is porous and absorbs much-needed moisture right away. Plastic containers are often the lightest and easiest to move if you plan to put Plumeria plants outdoors during the summer season. Though, you can use any pot as long as it drains well and has enough room for the roots.

Container size is also an important factor and is often dependent on the size of your Plumeria. Plenty of space for the roots helps Plumeria plants grow well and thrive. For a general guideline, measure the height of the trunk and select a pot that’s the same number of gallons as the height in feet. For example, a 3-foot Plumeria plant should grow well in a 3-gallon pot. Repot your Plumeria in the spring season when its roots outgrow the pot, moving it up to the next biggest size of pot available.

Growing Plumeria from Seed

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Pink Plumeria Plant
Pink Plumeria Plant (pic credit: pixabay)

Step 1) Choose the Right Seeds

There’s a good reason why some people go out of their way to buy Plumeria directly from the source. Buying seeds online can be convenient, but often, seeds are not newly harvested or in good condition. Therefore, seasoned gardeners recommend checking its information and asking for details from the seller. Also, you can determine if seeds are new or old by the time frame it takes to germinate. This selection procedure will let you choose a parent plant with the same characteristics you desire.

Seed selection is important when growing Plumeria seeds. These seeds do not produce true to their parents. Sometimes a Plumeria seedling will look like its parent, but it will never be the same. A few characteristics to consider:

Flower – Color, size, keeping quality, and fragrance, etc.

Tree – Growing habit, and size, etc.

Leaves – Color, size, etc.

Blooming – Quality, size of inflorescence or flower stalk, number of flowers blooming at the same time, and how long it blooms, etc.

Step 2) Moisten Your Plumeria Seeds

Freshly harvested Plumeria seeds will germinate faster, while older seeds will take a longer time. To hasten the germination procedure, the seeds need to be plumped up with moisture. Then, the easiest way is to place the seeds between moistened tissue papers. You will notice that the thicker part of the seeds will swell and the seeds will now be ready for sowing

Start the process by placing seeds in tissue paper and spray them with water. Make sure the tissue paper containing the plumeria seeds is well-moistened. Then, allow it to soak in a warm environment for at least 4 hours, but no longer than 24 to avoid damaging it. Then, you can tell a seed is ready for sowing once its thickest part appears swollen.

Step 3) Prepare Your Potting Mix

Plumeria plants do best in well-draining soil. Though coarse soils like a cactus mix are ideal, you can create a mix by combining equal amounts of perlite and peat. Also, experts recommend mixing vitamins and a root activator into the soil. For a cost-effective alternative method to using cultivation pods, you can reuse water bottles. Select bottles that are at least 500 ml in size and clean them well before using. Then, make sure to punch enough holes into the bottom to allow good drainage.

Step 4) Plant Your Moistened Plumeria Seeds

Dampen potting mix or peat moss before planting, and plant your seeds while they are still moist. When placing your seed in the soil, and make sure to position it correctly. Its winged part should be sticking out of the soil and its swollen section embedded in the dirt.

Step 5) Prepare Ideal Growing Conditions and Germinate Seeds

Create the best environment for your seeds by placing pods or bottles into a plastic container and covering it. Then, leave it in a warm area with sufficient but indirect sunlight to imitate a greenhouse. Constantly check its soil for moisture. Ideally, water pods about 2 to 3 times daily to ensure it is constantly moist, but not enough to drown the seeds. Germination can change from 1 week to as long as a month after sowing.

It is best to immediately treat any mold you find with a mild fungicide. If they take too long, spray the husks with water and then gently take them off. Leaving husks on any sprouts can cause seedlings to rot. Wait until Plumeria is around three inches tall, with at least 3 to 4 leaves and a few roots sticking out before transplanting your seedlings into pots.

Step 6) Transplant from Pod to Pot

Once ready, transfer seedlings to a larger container with adequate drainage using the correct soil type. Add peat moss to help seedlings hold on to any nutrients. Also, you can include a slow-release fertilizer to assist your seedling’s growth. Water it daily for the first 2 days, taking care not to drown your plant. Then, reduce watering to when the soil feels barely moist.

Step 7) Gradually Introduce To Direct Sunlight

Plumeria basks under full sun. But, while young, sunlight needs to be introduced by increasing exposure little by little each day. About 1 week is a sufficient timeframe to shift from shady conditions to direct sunlight.

Planting Plumeria from Cuttings

Step 1) Firstly, find a location where the soil drains well, and your Plumeria will receive plenty of sunlight. Fill containers, with good quality, and well-draining soil cactus mix will work fine, or try equal parts of potting soil and perlite. Ensure the container has adequate drainage holes, as Plumeria plants must never sit in waterlogged soil.

Step 2) After that, cut a healthy limb tip in the spring that is about 12 or more inches long of new growth with pruning shears. Then, place the limb inside and allow the cut to heal for 3 to 7 days. Nurseries sell Plumeria as cuttings that have been cured and are ready to plant. Place the bottom cut end of frangipani cutting in rooting hormone with fungicide and set the cutting aside.

Step 3) Mix perlite and potting mix in equal amounts and fill 1-gallon pot three-quarters full of the mixture. Dig a hole and gently slip the plant and then root the ball out of the pot. Firm the surrounding soil around the plant, checking to ensure Plumeria is positioned level with the rest of the ground.

Step 4) Water well after planting Plumeria to settle the soil around the root ball. Water the mixture in the pot carefully until water runs out the drainage holes in the bottom of the pot. Insert the Plumeria cutting about 3 inches into the soil mixture. Then, press the soil down firmly around the cutting.

Step 5) Place a stake near the edge of the pot and press it down until it touches the bottom of the pot. Tie a piece of twine around the stake and then the cutting about 4 inches from the soil level to hold the frangipani in place. Set the pot in light shade for about 2 weeks, and then move it to an area with full sun, preferably outdoors. Move the pot inside if the temperature falls below 65F until roots form.

Step 6) Water the cutting with 1 cup of water every 3 or 4 days until the root system is established and the plant has 4 leaves. This takes place approximately 2 to 3 months after planting. Push your finger into the soil to test it and then add water when the soil is dry.

Step 7) Then, place the pot outdoors in direct sunlight after the root system forms. Water it heavily in the warm summer season when the soil is dry. Fertilize the Plumeria tree with a quality liquid fertilizer during growth periods. After that, use a bloom booster fertilizer with twice the amount of phosphate as nitrogen and potassium, such as 15-30-15. Immature blooms place stress on a plant that is forming a new root system and then causes it to die.

Step 8) Bring your tree inside a sheltered area in the dormancy period when the leaves fall off. Then, store it in an area free from cool drafts, and do not water or fertilize it. When new leaves appear you can start watering and then fertilizing them again.

To encourage roots to grow, be sure to keep the air around Plumeria cutting humid, but the soil on the dry side. If you live in a humid climate, you don’t need to do anything. But, if you live somewhere dry, or you’re trying to root the Plumeria plant cutting indoors, then it is a good idea to mist it every couple of days by using a plant sprayer to keep the humidity level high. Just don’t water the soil, and you want that to stay on the dry side.

Water Requirement for Growing Plumeria Plants

Water Plumeria plant through the growing season. After that, add water until it drains from the bottom of the container and then empties the saucer so the Plumeria doesn’t sit in water.

Carefully, mist Plumeria to keep the humidity high around the plant. Then, place the pot on a tray filled with pebbles and water or group it with other houseplants to increase humidity. Also, a cool-mist humidifier can add humidity if your air is exceptionally dry. Avoid placing Plumeria near heating or air-conditioning ducts.

In the winter season, ease off on watering. If Plumeria loses its leaves and goes dormant, water lightly every 2 weeks to prevent the soil from going bone dry. Resume normal watering when new growth appears in the spring season.

When watering potted Plumeria plants, water them deeply. Though, be sure to let Plumeria dry out between watering because the plants do not like wet feet. Also, your Plumeria will appreciate a little humidity, courtesy of morning and bedtime mist on its leaves.

Plumeria tree sort of a heap of water throughout their active season suggests that in spring and summer, use caution with overwintering due to this can cause rot and kill the plant. So, the best method is to dip your finger to regarding an in. Into the soil, and if it’s dry, then water the Plumeria plant.

Fertilizers Requirement for Growing Plumeria Plants

Give it fertilizer every 1 to 3 weeks. To successfully get Plumeria to bloom, especially indoors, feed them a phosphorous-heavy fertilizer around once a week. But be careful not to overfeed it to keep its soil within the proper pH level. To remedy raising soil’s acidity level, add a tablespoon of Epsom salt to your soil once a month. Also, you can spray your Plumeria leaves with liquid fertilizer, like foliar spray, during spring and summer to give it the nutrients it needs to grow beautifully.

Plumeria plants are considered heavy feeders. To help encourage Plumeria more blooms, use a fertilizer low in nitrogen and high in phosphorus at least once every 2 weeks from spring through fall. It can be tricky to get a Plumeria to bloom despite your best efforts. Also, a Plumeria has to be at least 2 to 3 years old before it is mature enough to bloom.

How to Prune Plumeria Trees

If your goal is to encourage Plumeria branching, thus creating a fuller and balanced plant with more blooms, pruning is the way to go. Though pruning encourages the plant to grow, so the best time to trim the plant is at the very start of the growing season, which occurs during the spring and summer seasons. Pruning to get rid of broken and dead components is done at any time of the year. Most trees, particularly those who flower on the current season’s new growth, ought to be cropped in late winter or early spring season before the onset of recent growth. Prune your Plumeria and remove dead branches. Make sure to clean pruning shears with rubbing alcohol before and throughout pruning your Plumeria.

Pruning your Plumeria tree will help prevent diseases that may spread or cause the branches to stop growing. You must cut the plant at the source of its disease. It is a way to manage your plant’s size, especially when grown as an indoor plant. Pruning the top will make Plumeria grow in width. Only prune Plumeria during the winter or early spring so as not to disrupt its blooming schedule.

Problems in Growing Plumeria Plants

Examine the Plumeria leaves for black and white discolorations. Insecticidal soap and a fungicide treatment will resolve these problems. White mold on the plant leaves is caused by fungus and can also be treated with fungicide.

Indoor Plumeria care should also include routinely checking and treating for possible insect infestations spider mites, in particular, are common afflictions of indoor Plumeria. Though, neem oil is always good to have on hand for treating insect issues as they arise.

Thrips – Thrips causes distorted elements of the Plumeria plant. Drops on flowers will be eliminated as long as you see signs of harm by employing a gentle insect powder like insecticidal soap or pruning the flowers.

Slugs – Slugs can eat any reasonable vegetation like tender leaves. Clean up boards and then weedy areas and frequently flip rocks over to permit the undersides to dry out.

Scale – Scale broken plants look withered and sickly. Leaves flip yellow color and should drop from the plant. They will even have sticky sap or a black plant on the leaves and stems. Homemade management of plant scale can also be achieved with oil spray. Wash the plant leaves singly with the soap/oil mixture and rinse well.

Treating Plumeria Insect Pests

The first, easiest, and least expensive pest control is to spray the Plumeria plants with a strong jet of water. For these common Plumeria pests, and treat them with cotton swabs dipped in rubbing alcohol. Diatomaceous earth is a good choice for treating Plumeria pest problems like slugs and snails. For the most part, the caterpillar pests can be picked off by hand and then tossed into a bucket of soapy water. Should this be the case, you’ll be happy to know that most caterpillars can be controlled with the use of Bt (Bacillus thuringiensis). If the above methods do not eliminate Plumeria plant pests, you may need to resort to systemic insecticides, recommended by the local garden center.

Commonly Asked Questions about Growing Plumeria Plants

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Growing Plumeria Plants
Growing Plumeria Plants (Image credit: pixabay)

What is Plumeria called in India?

Plumeria is also known as Frangipani, Temple tree and West Indian Jasmine is the world’s most beloved garden plant.

Where does Plumeria grow best?

Plumeria trees are tropical and have conditions at least tropical/subtropical to flourish. It is best grown in full sun with at least a half day’s sun exposure to bloom properly.

How do you care for a Plumeria plant?

Plumeria care, for the most part, is minimal. While Plumeria doesn’t like wet feet, they must be watered deeply when irrigated and then allowed to dry out some before watering again. They need to be fertilized about every 2 to 3 weeks throughout their active growing season.

Do you water Plumeria in winter?

Plumeria plants do not need water during the winter rest period. Too much water while the plant is dormant can potentially cause the roots to rot off, leading to the loss of Plumeria from the bottom up.

How much sun does the Plumeria tree need?

Plumeria tree-like lots of sun light-weight. The plants like bright direct daylight. They have a minimum of 5 to 6 hours of direct daylight for correct growth. They conjointly grow beneath the partial shade.

Does Plumeria lose their leaves in winter?

Plumeria goes through dormancy in winter. At that time, it drops its leaves and remaining flowers and appears to stop growing.

Why Plumeria plant leaves turning brown?

Commonly, the brown color spots in Plumeria are caused by Plumeria Rust. A disease where Coleosporium Plumeriae, a fungus, sticks to your leaves and then produces spores that affect its leaves’ foliage. The brown color spots on Plumeria can be first identified with some yellow specks on the top part of the leaves.

What is wrong with my Plumeria?

Plumeria leaves are infected with fungi that cause reddish-orange rust on the underside of the leaf. This problem is merely cosmetic but can be treated with a fungicide if the appearance bothers you. Remove badly infected plant leaves.


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