Herself's Houston Garden

Conservation through cultivation

Plumeria aka Frangipani trees

I picked up three of these when I went to Hawaii. They all began to leaf out in late May and the first one flowered the first week of June. This is the flower used in the lei necklaces. In Hawaii it will grow into a small tree about 30′ with a dense canopy that is usually trimmed to an umbrella shape. Here it is more likely to remain shrub like. When properly shaped it will look a bit like a rhododendron.

Here in Houston it must be potted up when the lows start to dip into the 40’s. Plumerias are rated for zones 9-11. Many people have been leaving them out in the yard all year. That is what I’m doing. They really want to be zone 10-11. ( these did not survive the freezes we had last winter )

Plumeria prefers full sun but will tolerate a half day of sun, watering needs are average.

Flowering can last up to 3 months at a time.

Leaves drop when temperatures dip into the 50s. Plumeria must be protected from frost.

Propagate by cuttings in spring. Remove a branch, let the sap dry ( about a week ), dust with rotting hormone and pot it up.

This is a member of oleander family, the sap may bother some people.

Plumeria rubra have red, pink or white flowers, plumeria obtusa have white flowers with yellow centers.

If your fertilizer is too high in nitrogen they may not bloom despite sufficient sun. Use a fertilizer that is more balanced.

If we do get a bad winter. Prune some branches, let them dry a week, then plant them up in pots so’ll you’ll have some new ones to grow come spring.

You can find them locally at Teas Nursery