How To Plant & Care For Plumeria Trees In Your Garden


The plumeria tree is a tropical species tree, famous for its beautiful foliage. It grows between 25 and 30 feet, creating a natural canopy with its outstretched branches and thick leaves. Plumeria flowers have five petals and are about 2-inches wide. Growing plumeria is easy, since it is suited to the most demanding of climatic conditions. It is equally suited to freezing winters and extreme summers. The plumeria tree has gained many other names like the Frangipani and Temple tree. Plumerias need minimum care, but you need to be aware of some basic guidelines when planting and caring for them.

Plumeria Potting Basics

Getting Plumeria Cuttings — using plumeria branch cuttings is the recommended way of planting the tree. You should look for smaller branches on a nearby plumeria tree that are young and growing sideways. Some garden supplies stores also sell plumeria cuttings. If you are procuring a plumeria cutting form someone’s garden, ensure that you use heavy-duty clippers. You don’t need bark sealants for covering-up the injury marks on the plumeria tree.

Note: sliced plumeria branches ooze a typical sticky, white oil. Ensure that your wear gloves because it is difficult to wash-off this oil. There are no strict rules regarding when to get the cuttings but December to February is regarded as the best time.

Preparing Plumeria Cuttings — leaves on the cutting should be removed when they are dry and start turning brown. You shouldn’t pot the cuttings immediately, i.e. wait for a callus to form around the cut marks. The cutting should be completely dried before being potted. This usually takes a few days. You can split the growing tips on the cutting, into two, using pruning shears. This is done to increase the number of growth spots in the plumeria plant.

Potting Calculation for indoor planting — one gallon of potting space is needed for a 2-to-3-foot tall plumeria plant.

Things Needed:

  • Pot
  • Potting Soil
  • Dowel
  • Plumeria Cutting
  • Compost
  • Spade
  • Pebbles
  • Newspaper sheet
  • Scissors
  • Plumeria Potting Instructions

Plumeria Potting Instructions

  1. Fill nearly one-third of the pot with well-tilled potting soil. Place the plumeria cutting inside the pot.
  2. Add more potting soil, until the remaining space in the pot is almost filled with it.
  3. Clamp down on the soil, using your hands, pressing around the edges. You could use a dowel. You have to press the soil but don’t pack it too tight.
  4. Take a small sheet of newspaper. Cut around the center to create a hole big enough to accommodate the cutting.
  5. Place the cut newspaper around the cutting — this is to avoid seedlings growing too close to the developing stem.
  6. You can place some pebbles around the base of the cutting — this ensures that the base soil is not disturbed when watering.
  7. Watering — about eight ounces of water is needed for every gallon of pot. You can double the volume of water if the soil variety is particularly dry. Water the pot at least once a week.
  8. Potted plumeria shows definite signs of growth after six weeks.

Transplanting Plumeria Instructions

You have to transplant the potted plant to the garden bed when the seedlings start to show.

  1. Till the garden bed thoroughly and add some compost to ensure proper drainage.
  2. Dig a hole — it should be nearly three times wider than the potted cutting.
  3. Planting should be done at least 15-feet apart to ensure proper spacing between plumeria trees.
  4. Extract the potted plumeria plant and place it in the dug-up hole. Carefully, place the root ball inside the hole and fill it with garden soil.
  5. Clamp the soil bed with your hands and water it immediately.

Plumeria Care

Indoor care — if you have placed the potted plumeria plant indoors, keep it in a warm and slightly-shaded area. This can induce early growth.

Fertilization — most plumeria trees need periodic dosage of phosphorous-rich liquid fertilizers. It can be done on a bimonthly basis. You can mulch the base of the tree to keep-out the weeds and keep the soil bed moisturized.

Drainage — for garden beds that drain poorly, a raised soil bed can be created. You will need to raise the soil level around the base of the transplanted plumeria by five-to-six inches. You can use small rocks to border this bed.

Winter Care — when the nighttime temperatures start dipping and it gets freezing, you need extra precaution for plumeria. Add some extra mulch to protect the roots. In frosty conditions, using a frost blanket is recommended.

Pruning — this needs to be done in a minimal way. Only seasonal pruning is needed after the blooming, when some dead leaves are apparent.

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About the Author: Greenery always attracts Arthur Kunkle. He has a big garden where he plants many fruits and vegetables. His passion for gardening motivates him to write and share different tips on gardening.

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