How to Grow Plumeria

Plumeria is a tropical plant with vivid, brilliant colorful blossoms used to construct traditional Hawaiian leis.

Plumerias feature strong stems and leaves that have a leathery texture. They also develop a lot of blooms from early summer to late autumn, and therefore, this is the best time to get one for your home. There are several flower hues and varieties to choose from.

Plumeria is a small genus with roughly seven species endemic to the Americas’ subtropical and tropical climates. It thrives in consistently warm weather, with more tropical circumstances yielding optimal growth. It is also known as Frangipani.

These aromatic plants are easy to cultivate and thrive in a range of light conditions from full sun to partial shade. They may grow in almost any sort of soil as long as it is well-drained.

These are smaller trees that reach a height of around 20 feet when fully grown. They gradually evolve into a vase-like shape as they expand. Only the greenish-gray, sausage-like branches’ branch terminals are covered with green and oval 12-inch deciduous leaves. The branches are weak and delicate, and they are readily broken.

How to Propagate Plumeria?

You can propagate Plumeria through both cuttings and seeds; using cuttings is a quicker method to get your desired result that is nothing but a flowering plant. Growing this plant from seeds may take up to 3 to 5 years.

Growing Plumeria from Cutting

It’s actually rather simple to grow plumeria from cuttings. Taking cuttings for plumeria propagation is best done in the spring and summer when the plants are actively growing. Summer is the best time of year to root them, especially when the weather is hot and humid.

In the winter, however, leave the cutting in the container and keep the soil absolutely dry. If you want to mist it with water every now and again, do so sparingly.

how to grow plumeria from cuttings

Always use a sharp pair of pruners that have been disinfected to ensure a clean cut. Also, because plumerias are prone to tip rot, it’s critical to cut them at a downward angle so that water doesn’t get into the incision.

  • Remove the leaves from the plumeria cuttings. Instead of sustaining the leaves, it should be able to focus all of its energy on establishing new roots.
  • Let the wound (cut end) heal (dry out) before attempting to root it. This step is really critical; if you neglect it, your plumeria cuttings will decay instead of producing new roots. This might take anything from a few days to a week, so be patient and don’t rush.
  • Dip the shoots’ ends in a rooting chemical like 0.3 percent indolebutyric acid. While this step isn’t strictly necessary, it aids in the process and helps the cuttings root more successfully.
  • Place the shoot in a one-gallon sand container or potting soil that contains perlite. To avoid rot, make sure that your potting soil is well-drained. You can use a stick in the pot and tie the shoot to support the cutting.
  • Place your pot in a warm, sunny area. Bottom heat is great for the cuttings, so a concrete patio or other surfaces that absorb heat from the sun and reflect it back is perfect.
  • Allow excess water to drain from the container between two waterings sessions. However, water the shoots frequently enough to keep them moist; not soggy.
  • Keep an eye out for indicators that your plumeria branches have taken root. The sprouting of new leaves your cutting, which takes around six to eight weeks, is the best evidence of this. The cuttings are now ready to be carefully transplanted.

Growing Plumeria from Seeds

Other than time, another issue with seed propagation is that you don’t know what you’ll get. The bloom might be identical to or dissimilar to the parent plant. Regardless, here is how you can use seeds to grow a Plumeria plant:

growing plumeria from seeds

  • The seeds must be moistened in order to speed up the germination process. Between wet tissue sheets, place the seeds. Place them in a warm place for 24 hours. The thicker section of the seeds will enlarge, as will the thinner part. The seeds are now ready to be planted.
  • You may make your own potting mix or get it from a nursery already created.
  • Make a tiny hole in the peat moss (or potting mix) by moistening it. Gently press the seed into the mixture, about 5mm deep. Make sure the seed wing is at the top and the swelling end is at the bottom. Allow a portion of this wing to protrude from the soil.
  • Make a mini-greenhouse; place the pot in an empty plastic container and cover it. It should be kept in a warm, well-lit place, but not in direct sunlight. Make sure the soil isn’t dry on a daily basis. Mist the topsoil with water if it appears to be dry.
  • It might take anything from seven days to over a month for seeds to germinate, depending on how fresh they are.
  • The husk normally comes off on its own, however, if it doesn’t, the seedlings may rot and die. You may gently remove the husks by spraying them with a tiny mist.
  • You can start transplanting the seedling to a larger pot after you observe a fresh set of leaves and the seedling is more than three inches tall.

Optimal Conditions for Growing Plumeria

What is the Best Place to Plant Plumeria

Although plumeria is considered a plant of the tropical regions, it can withstand low temperatures, and maybe, a bit lower for a short time period. Rubra plumerias are more resilient and heat resistant than other types, making them a better choice for growing outside.

Plumeria is quite sensitive to cold, which is why they thrive in the summer. When the temperature drops below 30 degrees Fahrenheit, make sure you safeguard yours.

Does Plumeria Need Direct Sunlight or Shade?

Plumeria thrives in full light for at least 6-8 hours every day. While plumeria thrives in direct sunlight, it prefers some shade during the warmest part of the day.

Indoors, your potted plumeria should be placed near a south-facing window that gets at least five hours of sunshine every day. If required, place a two-bulb fluorescent light fixture directly over your plumeria to maximize the amount of light in the space. Plumerias won’t blossom if they don’t get enough light.

How to Water Plumeria?

Water your potted plumeria at least twice a week in the summer, and more frequently if necessary. Keep in mind that plants grown in containers will dry up faster than those grown in the ground. If the trunks are overwatered, they will decay.

Reduce plumeria watering in the fall as the plants begin to go dormant and winter temperatures approach. Watering should be resumed after new growth develops in the spring.


Pruning a healthy tree to preserve its size should only be done in the winter or early spring to prevent disrupting the flowering cycle. Trimming off dead or diseased branches may be done at any time of year with no effect on the tree’s blossoms or health.

For tiny branches, a sharp knife is ideal. Medium-sized limbs are best pruned with sharp pruning shears. Pruning saws are suitable for branches with a diameter of greater than 3 inches (8 cm). To create even and clean cuts, keep your instruments as sharp as possible.

The tree will become infected if the wounds are jagged and dirty. After each cut, sterilize your equipment’s blades. Even if your tree is healthy, this will help prevent disease spread.

Plumeria Pests

Many of the same pests attack plumerias as they do other garden plants. The most prevalent of them are:

  • Thrips
  • Spider mites
  • Slugs
  • Snails
  • Scale
  • Whiteflies
  • Caterpillar of Tetrio sphinx moth

Use a vigorous jet of water to get rid of spider mites. They love dry, dusty environments, therefore, this generates a wet atmosphere to keep them away. Similarly, whiteflies can be dislodged by the spray, which drowns or kills them by snapping off their mouthparts. Spray the plants with insecticidal soap to smother the insects if a jet of water fails.

Growing Plumeria in Pots

You can also grow Plumeria in pots without any issue. While potted in a pot, they need the same attention level as they may require when growing in the ground. However, it becomes easier to change the location of the plant to adjust its light requirements.

growing plumeria in a pot

Here are some quick tips that can help you grow a healthy plant in a pot:

  • Pull the plant and root ball out of the pot gently and set it in a hole the same depth as the dirt clump. Firmly push the surrounding earth around the plumeria, making sure it is level with the surrounding soil and not deeper or shallower.
  • After planting, moisten the soil around the root ball to settle it; the narrow, leathery leaves will appear in a few weeks.
  • Place your pot in a location where it gets sunlight. You may grow them in areas with sunny, filtered shade.
  • Make use of light, permeable soil that is well-drained. Make sure your container has plenty of drainage holes; plumeria may perish if they sit in damp soil.
  • Fertilize during the growing season.
  • Water sparingly in the fall and no longer in the winter; do not allow your plant to freeze.

How to Grow Plumeria Indoors?

While Plumeria plants grow best when planted in the ground, if you reside in a cooler region, you may grow plumeria plants indoors in pots. It allows you to have a beautiful houseplant with tropical blossoms that you can move outside in warmer weather.

  • A pot with drainage holes is great for cultivating plumeria indoors. If you want to keep your plumeria plants outside throughout the summer, plastic pots are frequently the lightest and simplest to move. However, any pot will do as long as it drains well and has enough space for the roots.
  • The size of the pot is also significant, and it is typically determined by the plumeria’s size. Your plumeria plants will grow and thrive if they have enough room for their roots.
  • When growing plumeria plants inside, light and porous soil that drains well is best. Your plumeria will die if it is planted in waterlogged soil. Because it drains effectively, cactus soil is typically a suitable choice. Use new soil whenever you repot your plumeria to ensure it gets the nutrients it needs.
  • To blossom, your indoor plumeria plants require a lot of light. For best results, give your plumeria at least five hours in direct sunlight every day. Because finding a bright place indoors can be difficult, grow lights can be used to complement the natural light.
  • Plumeria plants require even, constant hydration, but overwatering can destroy them soon.
  • For this tropical plant, humidity is also crucial. A cool-mist humidifier can help your plumeria plant thrive by increasing the humidity level in your house.
  • Holes on Stems

Look for little holes seeping a dark liquid on the plumeria stems. This is an indication of a longhorn borer infestation, and diseased limbs should be cut off and destroyed as soon as possible.

  • Uneven Edges of Leaves

Examine the entire plant for areas of damage, such as rough, uneven edges that appear to have been eaten. Any section of the plumeria plan will be eaten by cutworms. Cutworms can be controlled by applying Dursban or diazinon to the soil. Diatomaceous earth may be used to keep snails and slugs away from your garden.

  • Reddish-Orange Leaves

Occasionally, the fungus infects plumeria leaves, causing reddish-orange rust on the underside of the leaf. This is usually a cosmetic issue, but if the look concerns you, you can use a fungicide to address it. Remove any severely diseased leaves.

Water Requirements of Plumeria During Growth

During its active growing season (spring and summer), plumeria root requires a lot of water, but will not tolerate being overwatered. What exactly is this? When they’re overwatered on a regular basis, the stem rots from the bottom up, finally killing the plant.

Plumeria becomes sick, wilt, and die as a result of either too little or too much water. There is an issue with the soil if your plumeria displays these telltale indicators of overwatering:

  • Your plumeria has started to wilt, yellow, and drop leaves.
  • Your plumeria has suddenly become ill-looking.
  • Pests or illnesses have infested your plumeria.
  • Worms are swarming the surface in large numbers (they are trying to save themselves from drowning)
  • On occasion, you may detect a scum or residue on the soil’s surface.

In the bottom of the pot, an inch or two of coarse, decaying mulch assists with drainage and plumeria health.

Use these indicators to see whether you’re overwatering as you figure out the proper quantity and frequency of watering:

  • Wilting: There are a number of illnesses that can cause wilting, but the most common cause is underwatering.
  • Dry soil: If the soil around a plant is dry, it may require additional water.
  • Slow Growth: Growth will be slower than typical or expected if you are chronically underwatering a plant but yet providing it with adequate water to live. It’s possible that new development, like as leaves, will be little.

If you have any suspicions that your plumeria needs water, you may prove it by watering them. If they do not recover, there might be another problem, such as a viral infection or a fungal infection.

Does It Need Full Sun to Grow?

Plumeria grows best in temperatures between 78 and 90 degrees Fahrenheit (26 and 32 degrees Celsius) with the sun behind a thin veil or in direct sunlight. Make careful it doesn’t get too hot, though.

Plumerias may grow in direct sunlight in coastal areas without danger. However, plants should be put in a semi-protected position for inland locations. A little shade will avoid scorching of the leaves and stems, as well as sun scalding on the stems. Plumeria bloom best in full light, with at least a half-worth days’ of exposure.

Plumerias can withstand the heat, but they require a high degree of humidity. Unfortunately, it will suffer during a very dry heatwave, but it will persevere as long as it is watered on a daily basis and your media has been well-drained.

While growing indoors, place your plumeria in a bright window that gets 4-6 hours of direct sunshine every day. Because they produce the strongest light for the longest period of time, south-facing windows should be highly examined.

How Much Humidity Does a Plumeria Need?

Plumerias thrive in hot climates since they are tropical plants. Heat and dryness aren’t an issue for them, despite the fact that they don’t take cold well.

However, for indoor plants, you need to maintain a relative humidity of 40-50 percent. To increase the humidity surrounding the plant, use a cool-mist room humidifier. In the summer, misting is also a wonderful idea. When misting grown plumeria, make sure to spray the leaves rather than the flowers.

Fertilizer Requirement

During the growth season, plumerias should be fertilized. From March to November, feed your plants at least once a month. Because the plant is dormant from December to February (winter season), don’t feed it.

As a foliar spray, fertilize with Bioblast 777 or a similar product. If you’re using other balanced fertilizers, start with 1/2 strength and work your way up over time. You’ll obtain stronger root development and bigger trunks if you use a balanced fertilizer.


Why are my plumeria’s leaves turning yellow?

There isn’t enough water or there is too much water. Dry spells can cause plumeria leaves to turn yellow and fall off the plant, with the bottom leaves suffering first since they require consistent, even quantities of water.

Check the soil for yellowing leaves by digging down several inches and making sure it isn’t moist. Plumeria enjoys water, however, they do not enjoy having their feet wet for long periods.

What is the scent of plumeria?

Plumeria has a distinct aroma. Each variety has its distinct aroma. Some plumerias have a sweet or spicy scent, while others have a jasmine, peach, or citrus scent.

When plumeria is dormant, what happens to it?

Plumeria typically become dormant in response to harsh growth conditions, such as drought or cold winter months. It’s vital to understand that plumeria aren’t dead at this point, but rather suspended in time. Even while dormant, plumeria must be sheltered from frost and freezes.

The Last Words

Plumeria is an interesting plant to grow. You cannot only grow this plant in your garden with other plants but it grows well in a pot as well.

The most interesting thing about this plant is that you can also grow it indoors, especially during winters. By following the above-mentioned caring tips, you can make sure that your plant is healthy and happy.

Leave a Comment