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How to Grow a Plumeria

A plumeria is a fast-growing tropical tree that produces masses of fragrant blooms between March and October. A small tree, the plumeria reaches heights of about 30 feet (9.1 m) at maturity. Also known as frangipani, a plumeria is a warm-climate plant hardy to USDA Planting Zones 9 to 11. Although the plant won't tolerate freezing winter climates, it can be planted in a container and brought indoors when the weather turns cold. Plumeria grow profusely in Hawaii, and is a popular flower choice for leis.


  1. Image titled Grow a Plumeria Step 1
    Purchase a healthy plumeria tree at a local nursery. Select a compact plumeria plant with even, bright color and a sturdy, straight trunk. Look for evenly-spaced branches. Avoid plants with wilted leaves or poor color.
  2. Image titled Grow a Plumeria Step 2
    Position the plumeria where the tree will be exposed to bright sunlight for at least 4 to 6 hours every day. Choose a planting location where the soil drains well and water doesn't puddle after a rainfall. Avoid locations where the plumeria will be exposed to heat radiating off a brick or concrete wall.
  3. Image titled Grow a Plumeria Step 3
    Plant a plumeria in a sturdy container filled almost to the top with a good quality commercial cactus mix or all-purpose potting mix. Use a container at least 6 to 10 inches (15 to 25 cm) in diameter. Be sure to use a container with a hole in the bottom to provide soil drainage, as a plumeria won't do well with wet feet.
  4. Image titled Grow a Plumeria Step 4
    Water a plumeria deeply, then don't water it again until the soil is dry. Decrease watering when the weather cools in autumn and stop watering completely during the winter months. Resume normal watering when you can see new growth in spring.
  5. Image titled Grow a Plumeria Step 5
    Feed a plumeria a high-nitrogen granular fertilizer with a ratio such as 32-6-2 every 2 to 3 weeks, beginning when new growth appears in spring. Change to a high phosphorus granular fertilizer with a ratio such as 10-50-10 in early May, and continue feeding the plant with the high phosphorus fertilizer every 2 to 3 weeks until August. Don't fertilize the plumeria after September 1.


  • It's easy to start a new plumeria by taking a stem cutting from a mature plumeria. Cut a 4- to 6-inch (4 to 6 cm) length of stem. Remove any leaves from the lower half of the stem, then dip the stem lightly in powdered or liquid rooting hormone. Plant the plumeria stem in a pot filled with commercial potting mix. The cutting should root in approximately 45 to 70 days.

Things You'll Need

  • Plumeria plant
  • Sturdy container with drainage hole for indoor growing
  • Commercial cactus mix or all-purpose potting mix for indoor growing
  • High nitrogen granular fertilizer
  • High phosphorus granular fertilizer

Article Info

Categories: Growing Flowers