By: Bonnie L. Grant, Certified Urban Agriculturist
Frangipani, or Plumeria, are tropical beauties that most of us can only grow as houseplants. Their lovely flowers and fragrance evoke a sunny island with those fun umbrella drinks. Many of us northern gardeners wonder, why is my Frangipani not flowering? Generally, Frangipani will not flower if they receive less than 6 hours of bright sunlight, which can be hard to achieve in some climates or where there are lots of trees. There are a few cultural and situational steps you can take, however, if your Plumeria does not bloom.
Frangipani flowers come in a colorful array of tones. The bright hues of these 5-petaled beauties are standouts as container plants in cooler climes, or as garden specimens in warm climates. The foliage is glossy and nice to look at, but since most gardeners grow the plants for their profuse blooms, a non-blooming Frangipani is something of a disappointment.
There are 3 main reasons for a Frangipani not blooming. In addition to the 6 hours of bright light the plants require, they also need fertilizer at the right time and pruning occasionally. Pests can also attribute to non-blooming in plants.
If the fertilizer is not the right type, and is not applied at the right time, it can affect blooming. Fertilize your Plumeria plants during the spring and summer.
Another reason a Frangipani will not flower is that the stems are not old enough. Young plants, or those that have been pruned, need at least 2 years before the wood is ready to produce buds and flower.
Insects such as thrips, aphids and mealybugs will threaten overall vigor but can also cause withering and dropping of new buds, another possible cause when a Plumeria does not bloom.
Frangipani are not cold tolerant and grow best in warm regions of the world. Cool season gardeners can put container plants outdoors in summer but they need to go indoors when cold weather threatens. Plumeria plants are hardy to 33 degrees Fahrenheit (.5 C.).
Plant in-ground trees in a site with full to partial sun, but at least 6 hours of light per day. Extreme sites, such as the southern side of the house, should be avoided.
Potted plants should be in good potting soil with excellent drainage. In-ground plants need soil amended with compost and good drainage. Water the equivalent of one inch (3 cm.) per week.
If you are rooting a cutting, you should wait to fertilize until the cutting has new leaves. Mature Frangipani should not be watered or fertilized in winter. In spring, use a water soluble fertilizer with phosphorus content of 50 or higher twice per week. A granular fertilizer should have a phosphorus rate of 20 or higher. Time release formulations work well for consistent fertilizing through summer. A balanced time release fertilizer works well for overall plant health, but one higher in phosphorus can help promote flowering.
Prune these plants in winter, but again, this is one of the reasons for Frangipani not flowering, at least for a couple of years.
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Bring the tropics to your outdoors by adding a potted frangipani (Plumeria). This tropical, small tree makes a suitable containerized specimen. The sweetly scented flowers come in a rainbow of colors and accent the large green foliage. When grown in desired conditions, potted frangipani care is basic and pruning requirements minimal. Given appropriate protection, the small tree will thrive in cooler, frost-prone climates.
Mr Reiss grows thousands of frangipani trees on his farm in Ingleside in northern Sydney and sells them at markets on weekends.
He believes the best time to grow them from a cutting is in spring or mid-summer.
In the colder months the cutting will likely die, he said.
The first step is to take a cutting off a tree and dry it out for 10 days.
"Sit it upright in a shaded area and remove all the leaves," Mr Reiss said.
"This will make the end of it hard so bacteria can't travel up the stem and rot."
Plant the cutting in well-drained soil and in a semi-sun area.
Frangipani plants need at least six hours of direct sunlight to bloom heavily. The red wavelengths in sunlight trigger hormone formation that creates flower buds. Adequate exposure to sunlight promotes the most widespread display of flowers across a plant. Trunks and branches grown basking in lots of sunlight are thick, stout and strong. Overly shady conditions yield leaning plants with slightly softer, thinner branches. Ample sunlight also ensures soil and air temperatures promote growth and blossoming in summer in the 75 to 90 degrees F range.
The tropical frangipani flower is cultivated for its distinct colorful clusters of bright, waxy, long lasting, sweet-smelling flowers. Native to the tropical regions of South America, Mexico, Caribbean, and Pacific Islands, the propeller-shaped flower is available in shades of white, yellow, red, pink, and many different pastels. Near the tips of its widely-spaced, round or pointed, thick, succulent branches, the frangipani plant has long, leathery, flesh-like, mid-green leaves. The flowers are commonly used to make leis (floral garlands popularized by Hawaiian culture). The blooms are long-lasting and are also great for cut flower arrangements.
As frangipani has been naturalized to tropical areas all around the globe, it has earned a long list of names. Frangipani is also known as Plumeria, Hawaiian Lea, Temple Tree, Champa, Dead Man’s Fingers, Egg Flower, and Amapola. To keep frangipani small and compact in areas with cold winters, the plant can be grown in containers when the weather cools in the fall. In tropical regions, plumeria can be cultivated outdoors as large shrubs or trees which can grow over 30 feet tall.
Frangipani is from the Plumeria genus and is split into two main groups, obtusa and rubra. Plumeria rubra has more colorful flowers which are less fragrant, with dull, pointed leaves. Plumeria obtusa generally has white flowers and a powerful scent, with round, shiny leaves.
Aside from obtusa and rubra, there are a handful of hybrids that you can find. Like the obtusa, the Plumeria stenophylla are only available in shades of white, off-white, and cream. The flowers on the stenophylla are long and thinner than rubra and obtusa petals. The bloom looks similar to a ceiling fan.
The blooms of the Plumeria pudica looks very similar to the obtusa species and like many plumeria species, they are only available in white and cream. Also like obtusa, they can be evergreen in warmer locations. The pudica’s leaves are incredibly unique, looking very similar to a soup spoon. The flowers are shaped similarly to the rubra but with more space in between petals. A new pink-bloom variety of pudica is the only species of pudica that is not a shade of white.
Other hybrid varieties include Plumeria Stenopetala, Plumeria Tuberculata and Plumeria Caracasana.
Frangipani needs at least six hours of bright sunlight exposure each day, preferably in full sun, but can do well in the shade. Frangipani prefers a well draining soil of any type except for clay. Optimal pH levels should be in the 6.5 to 7 range. Poor drainage can lead to root rot. Warm, moist air and tropical conditions are what frangipani prefers. When grown indoors, plumeria needs a season of colder temperatures to encourage dormancy (50 to 55 degrees F).
Outdoor frangipani plants need about one inch of water per week, aside from their dormancy period, in which case, they should not be manually watered. Indoor frangipani require one inch of water per week, allowing the soil to completely dry out between waterings. Indoor frangipani also have a winter dormancy period, during which watering should slow to one inch every two to three weeks. Fertilize twice during the growing season, once at the beginning of spring and once at the beginning of fall with a well balanced, slow-release, organic fertilizer.
Wear safety goggles and garden gloves at all times when handling frangipani. All parts of the plant are considered toxic, but the most toxic part is the sap. Frangipani flowers are mildly toxic to both animals and humans. If an entire flower is ingested, children or pets will experience a mild upset stomach. The frangipani tree exudes a sticky, milky sap that is considered a skin irritant that can cause rashing and blistering. Ingestion of the sap or bark may cause diarrhea and vomiting.
Frangipani can easily be propagated from stem cuttings. Propagate plumeria in late spring or early summer by removing a stem or branch from an already established tree, using sharp, sterilized pruning shears or scissors. Carefully remove foliage from the bottom end and leave the stem upright to cure for one to four weeks. Allow time for the bottom end to dry out completely. Move the cutting to a container filled with coarse sand and water. Check on it once per week until roots begin to develop. Once roots have sprouted, move the cutting into a container or directly into the garden.
Frangipani is tolerant of pruning and can be cut back in several different ways. To create a central trunk, trim back all lower branches to the base of the trunk during development. To promote density, prune branches back one half to two thirds to encourage multiple branches to sprout from the cut site. Keep in mind while pruning that since blooms only occur at the end of branches, pruned branches will not produce blooms until the following year. The best time to prune your frangipani is in late winter to early spring.
The frangipani caterpillar (Pseudosphinx tetrio), or frangipani moth, is the main pest that attacks frangipani, and is large, colorful, and poisonous. Caterpillars will feast on the leaves of the plant but usually don’t damage any other parts of the tree. Caterpillars can be removed by hand, but they are poisonous and can bite, so be sure to wear protective gloves. White scale insects, whiteflies, mealybugs, and nematodes can all cause damage to frangipani plants. Organic insecticides can handle any minor infestations, and manual insect removal using blasts of water can also wipe out small pest issues. Poor drainage or overly wet soil can lead to root rot.
Plumeria is the botanical genus name for seven or eight species of plants in the Apocynaceae family commonly called frangipani. Other common names for plants in the plumeria genus include graveyard tree, lei flower, nosegay, pagoda tree, temple tree, Singapore plumeria, red plumeria, and West Indian jasmine.
Yes, all parts of the frangipani plant are toxic to humans as well as dogs, cats, and other animals. If eaten, contact the Poison Control Center at (800)222-1222. It may be necessary to induce vomiting and seek medical assistance. Humans will only feel ill after ingesting the equivalent of at least one entire flower, though frangipani bark and sap can also cause a reaction. Symptoms of ingestion include diarrhea and vomiting. The flowers, bark, and sap within leaves are irritating to some people’s eyes and skin, resulting in temporary blindness and skin rash or blisters. Skin contact with any part of the plant can cause stomach cramping and discomfort in some individuals, so safety goggles and gardening gloves should be used when handling frangipani.
The toxicity risk is mild to pets, with ingestion of flowers, bark, or sap within the leaves causing diarrhea, excessive salivation, and vomiting. In most cases when pets have ingested frangipani, they can be monitored at home—but pet owners should contact their veterinarian or the ASPCA Poison Control Hotline at 888-426-4435 for guidance on their specific situation. The flowers, bark, and sap of frangipani are irritating to the eyes and skin of pets, as they are to people.
Frangipani are not succulents—they are deciduous or semi-evergreen shrubs and trees in the dogbane family.
Frangipani are not invasive in fact, the root systems are so shallow they have been known to blow over in high winds. The root ball is small, and there is no need for concern when planting frangipani near structures or other plants.
Although frangipani can grow to be quite large (six meters high by five meters wide, or about 20 feet by 16 feet), they are rather slow to grow. On average, frangipani grow 20 centimeters, or about eight inches, each year.
Yes, there are several species of plant included in the plumeria genus commonly called frangipani. These include Plumeria obtusa, Plumeria pudica,Plumeria rubra, Plumeria stenophylla, and various hybrids, such as Plumeria Caracasana, Plumeria stenopetala, and Plumeria tuberculata.
Yes, with proper conditions, frangipani can be grown indoors. Seedlings need a six-inch pot and will graduate to larger sizes as they grow, but all containers should have drainage holes. Plant with quick-draining potting soil, being sure to cover the entire root ball. Find a place for your frangipani where it will get six to eight hours per day of sunlight. (Though frangipani can tolerate shade, it flourishes in sunlight.) Optimally, frangipani prefer the temperature to average 65 degrees Fahrenheit, or about 18 degrees Celsius.
Provide indoor frangipani with an inch of water per week, allowing soil to dry completely between waterings. Never let frangipani get too soggy, or it will be susceptible to root rot and other problems. Feed yearly in the summer with a liquid fish and seaweed fertilizer containing nitrogen, potash, and phosphorous according to the manufacturer’s dosage instructions. Always use safety goggles and gardening gloves when handling frangipani to avoid the toxicity effects, which include stomach cramping, irritation to the eyes causing temporary blindness, and skin rash or blistering.
Yes, frangipani rust can travel on spores to other plants in the surrounding area. Signs of frangipani rust include discoloration of leaves (yellowing or a rusty color) as well as premature leaf drop. The disease does not have other health effects in the long term, so it can be simply tolerated. Use copper fungicide every 10 days if your plant retains its leaves in winter. There is no treatment for leaves already showing symptoms. However, you can prevent the spread of frangipani rust by properly disposing of all fallen leaves and other plant debris on a regular basis. Always use safety goggles and gardening gloves to handle frangipani, as it’s toxic and causes skin and eye irritation, temporary blindness, and stomach cramping when touched or ingested.
Frangipani can be grown in small pots to keep them miniature, but they are not suitable for true bonsai. Even when cultivated to a small size, frangipani leaves will not reduce in scale and the tree will not develop fine branching. Their slow growing speed also makes them a poor choice for bonsai.
Yes, you can prune frangipani trees, but wear gardening gloves and safety goggles, because all parts of the tree are toxic (including the sap inside the leaves) and can cause skin rash or blisters, eye irritation and temporary blindness, and stomach cramping if touched or ingested. Late spring or winter after the leaves have fallen are the best times for pruning frangipani. Shelter the tree from direct sunlight for a few days after pruning, or if that is not possible, choose a day when extreme weather is not expected. Always use clean, sterilized gardening tools when pruning.
For the first three to four years, remove about three inches from the main stem, cutting near to a branch junction and on an angle. If you want a single-trunk tree shape as opposed to a more boxlike shrub shape, select a few secondary branches coming off the main stem and remove the rest to encourage the frangipani to focus development on one main trunk. If vehicles or foot traffic pass nearby, you may wish to remove some lower growth. Any branches that are damaged, diseased, or infested should be pruned as problems appear instead of yearly, cutting at the junction to the main trunk.
All parts of the frangipani plant (flowers, bark, and sap within the leaves) are mildly toxic to humans and pets alike, so frangipani should not be ingested. Consumption can result in vomiting, diarrhea, or excessive salivation. If the milky sap gets in the eyes, it can cause irritation that leads to temporary blindness, while contact with skin can lead to irritation, rash, or blisters. Contact your veterinarian or the ASPCA Poison Control Hotline at 888-426-4435 if your pet ingests or comes in contact with frangipani. Always use gardening gloves and safety goggles when working with frangipani to avoid these effects.
Yes, frangipani can be grown in pots with drainage holes and kept indoors or outdoors. Seedlings will need a six-inch pot and will move up to larger sizes as they get larger. Plant with the root ball entirely covered by quick-draining potting soil. Use gardening gloves and safety goggles when you’re working with frangipani plants. They’re toxic and will cause blisters to the skin or skin rashes as well as temporary blindness, eye irritation, and stomach cramping whether eaten or touched.
It’s best to take a few extra steps before putting a frangipani cutting into the ground. Use gardening gloves and safety goggles, as all parts of the frangipani tree are toxic and can cause skin rashes, eye irritation leading to temporary blindness, and stomach cramping if touched or ingested. Propagate in late spring or early summer by cutting a stem or branch from an established tree, using sterilized tools. Remove foliage from the bottom end and leave the stem upright to cure for one to four weeks, allowing the bottom end to dry out completely. Then move the cutting to a container of coarse sand and water, checking on it about once a week to watch for roots to develop. Once roots have sprouted, the cutting can be transplanted into a container or straight into the ground.
You can prune frangipani trees, but use the precaution of gardening gloves and safety goggles. The bark, sap, and foliage of frangipani trees are toxic and cause skin rashes, eye irritation and temporary blindness, and stomach cramps if touched or eaten. The best time for pruning is once leaves have dropped in late spring or winter. If your tree can be moved, shelter it from sunlight for a few days after pruning, and if not, choose a day when extreme weather is not expected to avoid stressing the tree.
The first three or four years of the tree’s growth, cut back about three inches from the main stem, making your cut as close to a branch junction as you can and at an angle. If you’re striving for a tree shape instead of a more square shrub shape, select one main trunk and remove all but a few selected secondary branches from the main stem to encourage the tree to develop that main trunk. If your tree is positioned near a walkway or driveway, you may wish to clear lower branches away. Always remove branches that are damaged, diseased, or infested as problems appear, cutting where they join the main trunk.
Yes, frangipani will lose their leaves during the dormant period in winter. You can learn more in our article with top questions and answers about dormancy.
Yes, frangipani have seed pods that are twin-lobed, resembling conjoined black bananas. Seed pods begin with a green shade and turn black as they grow, even through the dormant season. Pods usually ripen to maturity in early spring, then dry and split to scatter the 25 to 60 seeds each pod holds. You can collect seed pods without losing any seeds by wrapping the developing pods in cheesecloth (carefully and loosely).
As temperatures drop under 50 degrees Fahrenheit or 10 degrees Celsius, frangipani leaves will turn yellow and eventually fall. Losing leaves is a normal part of frangipani’s dormancy period.
Certain conditions must be met for frangipani to do their annual flowering, and they aren’t mature enough to flower until, on average, three years old. In the northern hemisphere, they flower in the summer months. A frangipani that is not flowering can be encouraged to do so by ensuring it gets at least six hours of bright sunlight, feeding with a high-phosphorus fertilizer or a supplement containing micronutrients like boron, calcium, copper, magnesium, and sulfur, and watering as soon as the surface of the soil dries out. Proper pruning can encourage blooming after a rest of two years or so, but make sure to wear gardening gloves and safety goggles, as frangipani is toxic and causes skin blistering, eye irritation leading to temporary blindness, and stomach cramping when touched or ingested. Frangipani may also fail to bloom if the plant is infested with insects such as aphids, thrips, or mealybugs. You can treat for these insects with a homemade spray of one liter of warm water, four or five drops of dish soap, and a teaspoon of neem oil.
Frangipani planted in the soil outdoors need about an inch of water per week, except during their dormancy period, when they should not be watered. Frangipani growing indoors need one inch of water or so each week, with the soil drying out completely between waterings. You can learn more about dormancy in plants in this article.
In order to flourish and flower, frangipani need at least six hours of bright sunlight each day. However, they can tolerate growing in shade.
To make frangipani grow faster, provide it with care suited to its preferences and needs. The best way to help frangipani flourish is to make sure the plant gets at least six hours of bright sunlight each day. They also need about an inch of water per week (except for the dormancy period for outdoor plants), but the soil must be allowed to dry completely between waterings to avoid root rot. Give frangipani plenty of nutrients with an organic fertilizer containing nitrogen, potassium (or potash), and phosphorous, following the manufacturer’s instructions.
Rust is unsightly and causes affected foliage to become discolored and drop, but does not affect the health of the plant long term, so some gardeners choose to simply tolerate the disease. However, it can spread to other plants on airborne spores. You can prevent frangipani rust by carefully cleaning up fallen leaves and other plant debris on a regular basis and disposing of it. (Remember to use gardening gloves and safety goggles—frangipani is toxic and, if ingested or touched, can cause stomach cramping, eye irritation and temporary blindness, and skin blistering.) There’s no way to recover foliage already showing signs of frangipani rust, but you get a fresh start when leaves drop during the dormancy period. If your plant retains its leaves during dormancy, you can use a copper fungicide to treat for frangipani rust.
Do not handle frangipani to dry them without gardening gloves and safety goggles, as the plant causes blistering of the skin, irritation to eyes including temporary blindness, and stomach cramping if touched or ingested. To dry your own frangipani flowers, first cut the ones you’d like to save using clean, sterilized gardening shears. Leave the stems attached at this point even if you’ll be removing them later. Gather the flowers by the stems into a bunch and tie them together with a secure knot using string or twine, leaving enough excess to hang the bouquet. Find a dark, dry room where the frangipani can dry undisturbed and people won’t brush by them and cause damage. Use the string to suspend the bunch of frangipani flowers upside down from a hook or other fixture. Leave them to dry for at least two weeks or maybe more, until the moisture has completely evaporated and flowers have a papery texture. Once dried, you can remove the stems if you like. Store dried frangipani flowers by wrapping loosely in paper and placing in a box with holes punched in the top, bottom, and sides.
The best time to propagate from cuttings is in late spring or early summer. Use clean, sterilized gardening tools and take your cutting from a well established tree. Strip leaves and flowers from the bottom end of your cutting and sit it upright for between one and four weeks, until the cut end is entirely dry. Once it’s dried, the cutting is ready to move to a container of coarse sand and water to root. Check for developing roots once a week, and once they’ve sprouted, you can plant the frangipani in a container or move right into the soil in an outdoor garden.
There are two different ways to increase the lifespan of cut frangipani so you can enjoy them in arrangements. Remember to use safety goggles and gardening gloves when you handle frangipani, as all parts of the plant are toxic and, if ingested or touched, can cause skin and eye irritation with rash or blistering, temporary blindness, and stomach cramping. You can keep cut frangipani flowers fresh for 24 hours by giving them a 10-minute in cold water or freshen them for 48 hours by refrigerating them. You can also dry frangipani flowers to use them in arrangements. (Instructions for drying frangipani are just two questions above.)
When you’re transplanting frangipani, wear gardening gloves and safety goggles as the foliage, flowers, sap, and bark are toxic. Touching or consuming frangipani can cause stomach cramps, eye irritation and temporary blindness, and skin rashes or blistering. First, choose an optimum location for transplanting—one with well-draining soil in full sun or partial shade with plenty of room for the frangipani to grow. Only transplant frangipani during spring or summer, when the weather is temperate and won’t add to the plant’s stress.
Dig a trench around the plant you’re moving, going deep enough to get underneath the root ball. You may cut a root occasionally, but avoid slicing through the main network. Then lift out your frangipani and move it as carefully and gently as possible to the new spot you’ve picked out. Dig your hole, going twice as deep and wide as the root ball of your plant. Position the plant in the center of the hole you’ve dug and fill in around it with the soil that came out of the hole. Water deeply enough to let soil settle, but do not tamp it down. Cover the surface of the soil with a two-inch bed of mulch like wood chips, compost, or tree bark, leaving space between the tree trunk and your mulch.
Frangipani don’t grow particularly quickly, though they can get sizable (up to six meters high by five meters wide, or 20 feet by 16 feet or so). Their average production is 20 centimeter (eight inches) a year.
Allow a frangipani cutting to cure by sitting it upright for one to four weeks, or until the bottom end of the cutting has dried out completely. For best results, before planting, allow roots to grow in a container of coarse sand and water. Once roots develop, then plant the frangipani into the garden bed or container of your choice.
After planting, it takes frangipani an average of three years to begin flowering. After pruning, new branches take about two years to mature enough to bloom.
Water frangipani when the soil it’s planted in has dried out completely. On average, frangipani that are potted in containers or frangipani planted in outdoor soil both need about an inch of water each week. Don’t overwater, or you risk your frangipani contracting root rot and other problems.
Frangipani flowers come in 300 different shades, though white and yellow are most common. There are also a profusion of florid tropical colors and pinks, cotton candy, lilac, orange, tricolor (fruit salad), Darwin blood red, peach, and mango. Bicolors, tricolors, and striped or variegated blooms also exist.
Optimally, frangipani need at least six hours of bright sunlight per day to flower and thrive. More than six hours of bright sun per day is preferred, but frangipani will even tolerate partial shade.
On average, fully grown frangipani trees stretch to six meters or 20 feet wide and five meters or about 16 feet wide.
Frangipani is the common name for plumeria, a genus containing species of deciduous and semi-evergreen flowering shrubs and trees in the dogbane family.
Frangipani rust poses no risk to humans—in fact, though it can be unsightly and cause frangipani to lose leaves, it normally does not threaten the overall health of the tree long term. However, the airborne spores can spread the disease to surrounding plants.
Frangipani rust is a fungal disease that’s spread through the air as spores are moved along the wind from plant to plant. The spores stick to foliage when it’s damp. You can prevent frangipani rust by carefully cleaning fallen leaves and other plant debris and disposing of it properly. Affected leaves cannot be recovered and will fall from the tree. When the tree loses all its leaves during its dormancy, it will be free of rust. However, if your tree retains its leaves during its dormancy, you can treat with a copper fungicide. Whenever you work with a frangipani plant, you should wear safety goggles and garden gloves, as it’s toxic and can irritate skin and eyes, leading to blisters, temporary blindness, or stomach cramps when it’s eaten or touched.
Frangipani has different meanings across several cultures. It has come to symbolize connection with the spirit world or lost loved ones, inner spirit to overcome life’s challenges, hospitality or welcome (as when it’s used in Hawaiian leis), romantic love and commitment, and immortality.
Frangipani’s botanical name is plumeria, though it’s also known as graveyard tree, lei flower, nosegay, pagoda tree, temple tree, Singapore plumeria, red plumeria, and West Indian jasmine.
Frangipani thrive with organic fertilizer containing plenty of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium (or potash).
Frangipani planted in containers do best with a premium quickly draining potting mix that does not include added water crystals or wetting agents.
Frangipani growing in outdoor gardens need quickly draining soil of any type except clay, with an optimum pH range of 6.5 to 7.0. (If you’re unsure of your soil’s pH level, check out our article on how to test soil pH.)
In the northern hemisphere, frangipani bloom in late spring and summer, and in the southern hemisphere, they blossom November through April.
Australian frangipani grow in warm coastal areas, including Sydney, Queensland, and around the northern coast to Perth.
All parts of frangipani plants are poisonous to humans and pets alike, including the flowers, bark, and sap.
Curled leaves on frangipani could signal that insects have been sucking the sap from the plant, such as aphids, mites, mealybugs, or thrips. You can make a homemade treatment against these insects out of a liter of warm water, four or five drops of dish soap, and a teaspoon of neem oil. Remember to wear gardening gloves and safety goggles when you work with frangipani, as it’s toxic and can cause skin irritation or blisters, eye irritation that results in temporary blindness, or stomach cramping when touched or eaten.
Gardening Australia covers Frangipani
All Things Frangipani covers About Frangipanis
All Things Frangipani covers Frangipanis Species
All Things Frangipani covers Growing Frangipanis
All Things Frangipani covers Frangipanis FAQs
Aussie Organic Gardening covers Transplanting Frangipani
Better Homes & Gardens covers How to Grow Frangipanis
University of Florida covers Frangipani Rust
Children’s Health Queensland Hospital and Health Service covers Frangipani
National Gardening Association covers Plumeria
Gardening Know How covers Growing Plumeria
The Frangipani Man covers Care of Frangipani
I WAS given a frangipani in a pot about three years ago. Each year it's had fewer leaves and looks less healthy. It's in full sun and I've fed it with Nitrosol a couple of times this summer, but it hasn't flowered. Can you tell me how to care for it and should I prune it at all?
FRANGIPANI (Plumeria rubra) are usually grown from cuttings imported from the Pacific Islands or Queensland. The cuttings are taken from large, mature trees that already have flower buds initiated in their tips. As soon as they've grown roots they burst into flower and are quickly snapped up in the garden centres. It's quite common for them not to flower again for several years.
Keep your plant in a very sunny spot, preferably outdoors, but it must be frost free. Feed sparingly or you could encourage lush growth and reduce the chance of flowers. The leaves will die off in winter, so reduce the water - treat it like a cactus until it grows new leaves again. During summer look out for mites on the foliage which can cause leaf drop and poor growth. Spray with Nature's Way Insect Spray or Mite Killer for control.
You could try planting it in the garden a welldrained sunny spot with a wall, fence or rocks behind it to reflect the heat is ideal. Once established and mature, frangipani will flower regularly each year. Avoid pruning it, except to remove any dead pieces, or you'll further reduce the chance of flowers.
Reproduced with permission from the former Weekend Gardener magazine. The views expressed here are not necessarily those of the RNZIH.