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Frangipani

Description

Frangipanis are a much loved iconic tree in tropical and subtropical areas of Australia, thriving in sandy, free draining soil and frost free conditions. They can be grown in cooler areas provided they are planted in a sheltered, full sun position next to a brick wall that radiates heat to keep them warm.

The main species of Frangipani grown in Australia are Plumeria Rubra and Plumeria Obtusa and more recently becoming popular Plumeria Pudica.

“Plumeria Rubra” are a deciduous medium sized tree with distinctive fragrant flowers, growing up to 8m high and 5m wide in the tropics, but in South East Queeensland around 5m high .They are available in an ever expanding range of colours from white, pink ,apricot, multi-colour and red. Their leaves are a matt mid green with a pointed tip.

“Plumeria Obtusa” or more commonly known as “Singapore White ” or “Evergreen Frangipani” is slightly smaller growing than the Rubra reaching around 5m high in the tropics or 3-4m here in South East Queensland. It has large glossy green spoon shaped leaves and large white slightly fragrant flowers, it will remain evergreen only in the tropics.

“Plumeria Pudica” or “Everlasting Love” is a large shrub frangipani growing to about 3m high in a vase shape with glossy green hammer head shaped leaves and large clusters of clear white flowers with a small yellow centre, that appear most of the year except winter.

All these varieties of frangipanis flower throughout the Summer and into Autumn and prefer a full sun position in free draining soil.

Water regularly during the hot summer months but reduce watering dramatically in the winter. They are very drought tolerant plants.

They have quite a small fibrous root system and are not invasive at all.

They also make great pot specimens .

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Friday – July 04, 2008

From: Allen, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Non-Natives, Herbs/Forbs
Title: Failure to bloom of tropical plumeria
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I have had my plumeria for the past five years. The first three years it bloomed but has not the past two. The plant is healthy and continues to grow but will not flower. It seems to be very healthy and I have not changed the routine or its care. Any suggestions?

ANSWER:

You didn’t say if you were growing your Plumeria (common name Frangipangi) in a pot, inside or outside, what light it gets, etc. This is a tropical plant, deciduous, which should be grown in USDA hardiness zones 9 to 11. Allen, TX appears to be in Zone 7b. The plant will drop its leaves when temperatures go below 50 deg F. It also needs bright, all day sun. If it is outside, it should be in a sheltered spot, with reflected sunshine and heat a bonus. In your zone, it should be brought inside, best in a greenhouse, for the winter.

Plumerias produce a bloom hormone before sending seed to branch ends for flowers. This process can take years. The only way to be sure your plumeria will bloom right away is to take a cutting from a branch that has already bloomed. However, your plant started out blooming, and now has failed to do so. Unless something environmental has caused that hormone to quit working, that should not be the problem.

Plumerias are related to Oleanders, Nerium oleander, both of which possess poisonous, milky sap, so be careful handling it or letting children handle it.

None of which actually answers your questions. We have two possibilities: One, don’t overwater it. Two, during blooming season it should be getting bi-weekly doses of a high phosphorus fertilizer. Phosphorus is the middle number in fertilizer designations. Most fertilizers are balanced, with the same amount of nitrogen as the other two. Nitrogen promotes green, healthy leaves but not flowering. For more information on this plant, see this Floridata website, Plumerias.

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A. You might think the answer would be simple – fertilize. It isn’t exactly that easy. Several steps are involved in producing colorful, fragrant blooms.

A growing plumeria plant should be potted in some container using gravel or broken clay pot fragments on the bottom of the pot, then add a planting mix rich in organic material containing perlite or sand. The essentials are a high organic content, moisture retention and good drainage. The soil should have a slightly acid pH. (6.4 to 6.8).

Plumerias should be watered when the soil is dry. They prefer to be damp and misted as in a tropical climate, so do not over water. Mist in the early morning as the sun could scorch the leaves later in the day.

This plant likes sun. Locate it in an area where plants can receive at least one-half day of full sun. Many varieties can take a full day of sun. The red varieties may need less sun as their bright colors could fade with more than six hours of sunlight. Some varieties may thrive by being on a concrete patio in full sun.

Beginning in April, the plumeria should be fertilized. Use a fertilizer high in phosphorus (the middle number) every two to three weeks. If the acid content becomes too high, then feed the plant Epsom Salts to neutralize the soil, as this could cause root damage. Epsom Salts also help to control a leaf scorch caused by a magnesium deficiency. Some people prefer to fertilize using fortified bone meal and super phosphate. For a five to seven gallon container use:

2 Tbs.Bone meal (1-13-0)
2 Tbs.Potash (soluble potassium carbonate or potassium nitrate)

Sprinkle on top of soil & water weekly. Every 4th Week feed 1 to 2 Tbs. of Epsom Salts. Continue until buds appear in May or June, at which time you omit potassium nitrate from weekly feedings. Feed every 4th week until mid-August, then cease all feedings. The plant will adjust to the coming winter months of cooler or cold weather. Commercial plumeria fertilizers are also available.

Bud set is controlled by increased hours of daylight, rising temperatures and a fertilizer schedule. Enjoy the colorful flowers and pleasing fragrance.

The plumeria is a member of the Apoaynacae family of plants and is a native of the tropical Americas. A French botanist, Charles Plumier, named it in the17th century. The French speaking people of the Caribbean call it “Frangipani” because of its milky sap.

Loretta Osteen fell for plumerias on a family vacation to Hawaii 14 years ago. The luminous five-petaled flowers used in leis often snare tourists by their intoxicating fragrances, whether a gardenia-like sweetness, hint of rose, pleasant peach, citrus or grape.

But an intrigued Osteen returned home with more than a sweet memory.

“I wanted to learn about these things,” says the Galveston County Master Gardener. She joined the Plumeria Society of America, an organization founded in Houston. And she began filling her garden ­and the empty lot she owned next door with the curious plants with rubbery gray trunks and branches that form a candelabra-like silhouette. Spring to fall, they’re capped with whorls of large, veined leaves and waxy clusters of pinwheel- or star-shaped blooms in a rainbow of colors.

More than 200 plumerias, or frangipanis, now surround her Tiki Island home.

“I probably made every mistake you can make, but they’re very forgiving, tough plants,” she says of her early plumeria days. “It was just trial and error, but I had a passion for them. They’re perfect in the Gulf Coast region, except in a freeze they do need protection.”

That’s not too difficult to provide as plumerias have an uncanny knack of overwintering in a garage or attic without water or food.

But the salty flood waters and devastating winds of Hurricane Ike were another matter. The storm that damaged the downstairs of Osteen’s home took the majority of her colorful tropicals six years ago. Yet she replanted her plumeria garden with seeds and the help of friends.

“I’m blessed,” she says. “I hadn’t realized how many plants I’d given away over the years, and gardeners reciprocated.”

Plumerias, she says, are the perfect pass-along plants.

“Even though humans depend on plants that produce fruits and vegetables, there is something about fragrance and beauty that feeds the soul,” she says.

Osteen, a retired dental hygienist and part-timer at Maas Nursery in Seabrook, will share what she’s learned when she presents “The Fabulous Fragrant Frangipani (Plumeria),” at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday at the Galveston County Texas AgriLife extension in LaMarque. And she suggests stopping by upcoming society shows and sales for advice and plants for the home garden.

Plumeria basics

Since it’s all about the flowers, she offers the basics for best blooms:

1. Heat- and drought-tolerant plumerias like sun. The more the better, with a minimum of six hours, Osteen says. While a plumeria must mature enough to produce blooming hormones in the stem tips, inadequate sun can mean poor flowering. If your 3-year-old plant hasn’t flowered since you got it, give it more sun.

2. Give rooted cuttings (minus the hormone) a couple of years to bloom, and wait patiently three to five years for seedlings to flower.

3. Plumerias aren’t that picky about soil as long as it drains well. Most of Osteen’s plumerias grow in containers and some in raised beds that ensure good drainage. Many gardeners amend with compost to boost nutrients.

4. Water, let the soil drain and dry, then water again. As summer boils on, and plumerias have kicked in, water potted plants twice a week, those in the ground once a week, Osteen says. Water if leaves are wilting when the soil’s too dry.

5. Fertilizer encourages good blooms. “When I first see leaves, I hit mine with water-soluble Medina Hasta Grow,” Osteen says. “I dilute it because I use it more frequently on potted plants, once every week or every two weeks, especially if it’s a younger plant. Use a fertilizer with a higher middle number, such as a 6-12-6, since phosphorus encourages blooms.”

After a couple of months, fertilize every two to three weeks, and continue through September, she suggests.

Fertilize plants in the ground or larger containers once a month with a slow-release granular, such as 5-30-5 NutriStar Plumeria Plant Food.

6. Pruning is not a necessity, so if you want a 10-foot-plus tree, skip the clippers. Osteen grows some dwarf plumerias, but otherwise likes a maximum height of about 6 feet because flowers are more enjoyable near eye level. Smaller plants also are easier to store when it’s cold.

To reduce plant size, cut where you want new branching, then root the portion you remove, she says. When pruning a large plant in fall for winter storage, simply save the cuttings and root in spring.

7. The ideal time to prune to propagate is March-May when plants are revving up after dormancy, she says. Let cuttings dry and callous at least three days before you start the rooting process. Osteen’s example: Remove any leaves from a 24-inch cutting, then place in a 1-gallon container with 4 inches of soil. Rooting hormone is optional. Water, place in a warm area where there’s bottom heat, such as a concrete patio. Don’t water for six to eight weeks; a rootless cutting can rot. When you notice new leaves, begin weekly watering.

Osteen also roots cuttings in about half the time in Ziploc bags. She removes the bag zipper, adds soil, inserts the cutting and ties the bag around the cutting.

“You can see the roots develop and this eliminates guess work,” she says.

8. Plumerias may be forgiving of most mistakes, but the plants’ milky sap will expand, freeze, burst and kill cells in a freeze.

They might take a quick dip to 32 degrees, Osteen says, but extended exposure means trouble. Be prepared to move containers to a protected where plumerias will show off their uncanny knack to wait out winter without water or food.

“But if you realize during the 10 o’clock news it’s going to be colder than you thought, and you don’t have time to bring a plant in, go to Plan B – go out and take a cutting,” she recommends. “You can start a new tree from this cutting.”

History of plumerias

Plumerias are native to the Yucatán area of Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean islands. They were introduced to Hawaii in 1860, where the pinwheel- or star-shaped flowers glow on 20- to 30-foot trees.

The tropical’s genus is named for French botanist Charles Plumier. Common names include frangipani, temple tree, pagoda tree, cemetery tree, dead man’s fingers and flora de Mayo or May flower.

Plumeria is related to allamanda, carissa, desert rose, mandevilla, oleander, periwinkle and star jasmine.

The plumeria is a symbol of immortality to some because of its cycle of dormancy and revival. The tree is found in temple gardens and cemeteries in Mexico, Central America, the Western Caribbean, India and Hawaii, where the fragrant blooms are worn in leis.

Plumeria events

Tuesday

June 14

The Plumeria Society of America Show and Sale: 9:30 a.m.-3 p.m. at the Bay Area Community Center, 5002 NASA Parkway, Seabrook. theplumeriasociety.org. Free admission.

July 26

Browse

Frangipani Flower

Frangipani flowers are known for their unique fragrant clusters of colorful, bright, waxy and long lasting flowers.Frangipani (Plumeria rubra), also known as the Hawaiin Lei flower, is native to warm tropical areas of the Pacific Islands, Caribbean, South America and Mexico. Frangipanis withstand subtropical climate. Temple Tree, Champa, Dead man’s fingers, Egg Flower (southern China) and Amapola (Venezuela) are other synonyms of Frangipani. Kingdom Plantae Division Magnoliophyta Class Magnoliopsida Order Gentianales Family Apocynaceae Genus Plumeria Species rubra

The flowers of the Frangipani come in gorgeous rose-pink color brushed with bronze. Frangipani flowers are highly scented during nights and are often used in bouquets. Frangipani flowers have wonderful tropical essence. The frangipani flower is propeller-shaped with a delicate yellow center melting into the creamy-white outer petals. The umbel like clusters of frangipani flowers at the end of terminal branches open over several weeks and each day, the ground is carpeted with fresh frangipani flowers which are gathered for preparing the concrete.

Plumeria can be divided into two main groups, the obtusa and the rubra. Obtusa plumerias have rounded shiny leaves while the rubra have duller pointed leaves. The Obtusa frangipani generally has white flowers and a strong fragrance while the rubra has colorful flowers but less scent.

from our stores – Pickupflowers – the flower expert

Facts about Frangipani

  • Frangipani flowers color are of whites, yellows, pinks, reds, and multiple pastels.
  • Frangipani is known to possess a poisonous, milky sap, rather similar to that of the Euphorbia.
  • Frangipani flowering plants can grow to be large shrubs or even small trees.
  • In tropical regions, the frangipani may reach a height of 30-40 feet and grow half as wide.
  • Frangipani plants have long leather, fleshy leaves in clusters near the branch tips.
  • Frangipani plants have widely spaced, thick succulent branches which are round or pointed.
  • Frangipani leaves tend to fall in early winter.
  • Frangipanis are deciduous and sensitive to cold.
  • Frangipanis are known to possess a poisonous, milky sap.
  • Frangipani tree’s wood is white, light and soft, and can be used for the manufacturing of musical instruments, tableware and furniture.

Growing Frangipani

  • When the seedlings are large enough to handle, transplant them individually into 7.5 cm deep holes.
  • Put them in pots of similar potting compost.
  • Grow the plants in 15-18C (60-65F) in good ventilation and light.
  • Plant frangipanis in fast draining soil.
  • If the existing soil is clay, amend with organic compost and crushed lava rock.
  • Prune frangipani in any time of the year to retain shape and keep plants compact.
  • Plants with thick waxy leaves, such as the frangipani, can withstand more heat and wind than plants with delicate foliage.
  • Use a slow release type fertilizer to provide a continuous source of nutrients to the plant and to have blooms in plentiful.
  • Water them carefully until the roots are growing rapidly through the compost.
  • Place the cutting section in a protected, dry location for five days, permitting the wounds to callous.
  • If existing soil is clay, amend with organic compost and crushed lava rock.
  • Prune frangipani any time of year to retain shape and keep plants intact.

Care for Frangipani

  • If scale insects are seen on the undersides of the leaves, treat with insecticidal soap and horticultural oil.
  • After planting the frangipani, keep them in a sunny location.
  • Plants can be over wintered in a sheltered garage, but will not continue blooming if temperatures drop below the comfort zone.
  • Frangipani must be protected from frost. The fleshy stems will turn to mush at the first sign of freezing temperatures.

Plumeria Does Not Bloom: Why Is My Frangipani Not Flowering

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.

Why is My Frangipani Not Flowering?

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. Pest 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 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.

How to Reduce Chances of Non-Blooming Frangipani

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 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.

Know Your: Frangipani

Frangipani are familiar as the scent of summer but the range of species, colours, perfumes and leaf shapes might surprise you.

Here Linda Ross tiptoes through a forest of frangi’s and introduces us to some of her favourite varieties.

Frangipani, Plumeria acutifolia ‘Rubra’

This is the frangipani we know best. It’s deciduous, with fragrant flowers, usually white, but also found in yellow, pink, orange and red. One of the best cultivars is ‘Bill Moragne Snr’, pictured below, named after the father of Plumeria breeding who worked in Hawaii in the ‘50s. It features soccer-ball sized heads of flowers, each in brilliant tropical sunset tones of red, pink, gold and yellow.

Plumeria acutifolia, ‘Bill Moragne Snr’

Evergreen frangipani, Plumeria obtusa

These evergreen tropical trees growing to 5m have alluring, fragrant, ivory flowers with smooth, recurved petals and glossy, deep-green, paddle-shaped leaves with a rounded tip. Difficult to grow outside the tropics, they are native to the West Indies including Bahamas; southern Mexico, Belize and Guatemala.

Plumeria obtusa is rarely seen south of the tropics, but in the tropical zone it is a very common and prolifically flowering tree.

Dwarf Singapore Pink, Plumeria obtusa

Grown in tubs, dwarf varieties make colourful pool-side specimens and are ideal for hot or sunny balconies. ‘Petite Pink’, also called ‘Dwarf Singapore Pink’, will grow 1-2m with pale-pink, pinwheel-shaped flowers. For warm, frost-free spots only.

Plumeria obtusa ‘Singapore pink’

Variegated frangipani

Collectors who crave plants with unusual leaf variations should look out for ‘Anayamanee Gold Variegated’ with cream splodges on pale-green, round leaves and yellow flowers; and ‘Marbled Magic’ with a range of greens and cream in the leaf and dark pink flowers. We found this one alongside ‘Dwarf Singapore Pink’ at Gardens by the Bay, Singapore.

Variegated Plumeria (right) and Singapore pink (left).

Golden arrow, Plumeria pudica

This fast-growing, evergreen species from Columbia and Venezuela is perfect for hedges, fences, screening and large pots. Profuse white flowers with a yellow centre are fragrant, with a very long flowering season. Also known as ‘Everlasting Love’ and the ‘Hammerhead’ frangipani, they are evergreen in the tropics and the arrow-shaped leaves are resistant to rust. A pink form is also available.

Plumeria pudica Golden Arrow.

Climbing frangipani, Chonemorpha fragrans

It looks like a frangipani, and is fragrant, but Chonemorpha fragrans is no relation. The semi-deciduous climbing frangipani is good on trellises and fences. It’s not affected by frangipani rust, and can be grown in pots or directly in the ground, in full sun or shade, as long as it is frost-free and warm.

Climbing Frangipani, Chonemorpha fragrans

Tricolour frangipani

There are many tricoloured frangipanis to choose from, all cultivars of Plumeria acutifolia ‘Rubra’. They get the name because of the range of colours in each petal. A popular and common variety called ‘Fruit Salad’ looks orange from a distance, but up close the fragrant flowers are yellow and white with a pink blush. The leaves of this variety have an undulating leaf margin. It’s thought to have been bred in Australia.

Frangipani fruit salad

How to Care for Your Plumeria

Plumeria, also known as Frangipani and are also known for it’s Hawaiian lei flower. The exotic plumeria is a tropical plant that is easy to grow. It can be easily maintained as a small tree grown in a container on the patio or in the garden. It can be grown in the grown in tropical or subtropical regions.

Sun Requirements

Plumeria love sun, they thrive in full sun. Plumeria require at least 4 to 6 hours of sun to properly produce blooms. Plumeria will not produce blooms without adequate sun exposure. Full sun (sunup to sundown) is best. Mature plumeria plants will bloom the entire growing season. In some regions from March through November, depending on where you live and the length of your growing season.

Plumeria can be grown in containers, in the ground, or containers sunk in the ground. During the months of active growth, sun, food, and water are essential. Healthy plumeria will grow vigorously and bloom regularly and profusely when they receive at least 6 hours of full sun per day and an ample amount of balance fertilizers.

Water Requirements

Plumeria love lots of water, but can’t tolerate wet feet, so they must be planted in fast draining soil or in beds with adequate drainage. Clay, gumbo, and silt are examples of poor draining soils; avoid these at all costs. Plumeria love water but they need to dry out between watering. Plumeria can withstand extended periods of being dry. Small pots may need to be watered daily, while Large pots or those in the ground may not need it as often. One way to determine how often you should water is to use a moisture meter. Plumeria will adjust to almost any conditions they find themselves in. Remember, drier is better than wetter. Never use a saucer under your plants.

Insects & Disease

Plumeria have very few problems. Spider Mites, White Flies, Mealy Bugs, Leaf hoppers and Scale will attack plants left too dry and/or in too much shade. Spray with a good mineral oil or chemicals suggested for these specific insects. Spray every 7-10 day until no signs of insects remain. Plumeria occasionally get a “rust” fungus on the leaves in the fall, but it is rarely very harmful because the plants start to lose their leaves about the same time. “Rust” is always the result of not enough air circulation combined with high humidity or too much moisture on the leaves.

Growing and Storage

The way you care for your plumeria depends on the season of the year. Bring your plants out of storage in the spring, watch them grow and bloom in the summer, prepare for dormancy and storage in the fall, and store them for the winter. Plants may be left outside if there is no damage of frost of freeze. If your nighttime temps are below 40°F you should be prepared to protect you plumeria from frost.

Spring

When the nighttime temperatures begin to remain above 55°F and there’s no more danger of cold weather, plumeria can be brought out of winter storage and encouraged to break dormancy. Due to conditions of storage, some root loss and desiccation of branches is expected, this is no cause for alarm. This is the time to feed, water, top dress, and/or repot. Since the plant is dormant, it will be minimally disturbed by repotting and root pruning as necessary.

Repotting and root pruning are optional and are performed as with any other container grown plant. Top dress by scraping off the loose soil and dead roots from the first couple centimeters of soil. Replace the removed soil with a mixture of compost and/or well composed cow manure.

This is a great time to give you plumeria a jump start by soaking the root ball or drenching in a mixture of Vitazyme and Carl Pool’s Root Activator.

Feed and water thoroughly using a fertilizer such as a granular slow release fertilizer with micro nutrients such as Excalibur Plumeria Fertilizer11-11-13 or drench with a water soluble fertilizer such as Bioblast.

Place the plant in a warm and sunny location. Some people like to sink the container into the ground, but be sure it is in a raised and well drained area such as a rose bed. This promotes more vigorous growth, provides support, and prevents it from blowing over. Plumeria tips are fragile and easily snapped off when the plant blows over.

Spring is the best time for propagating plumeria. Cutting are easiest to root and will provide plenty of time for the roots to be established before dormancy in the Fall.

Summer

For plumeria, summer has arrived once a lush growth of leaves has developed. Many will bloom before developing leaves, others will not. Once the leaf growth has developed, the summer regimen of care can be followed.

As mentioned before plumeria are heavy feeders. However, in order to discourage excessive stem elongation and to promote flowering, balanced fertilizers such as Excalibur Plumeria Fertilizer 11-11-13 with micro-nutrients are, once again, recommended. (Caution, over use of a high phosphorus bloom buster fertilizers can cause damage to you plumeria and the environment) The recommended slow release fertilizer Excalibur can be mixed directly in the top inch of the soil and then watered in. Excalibur Plumeria Fertilizer 11-11-13 IV will last 6 months and Excalibur Plumeria Fertilizer 11-11-14 IX will last 9 months.

During exceptionally hot periods, plants in above ground containers may need thorough watering as often as every other day. Drooping leaves can indicate a thirsty plant. As with all plants, check the soil before watering, if its dry for the first several inches, water thoroughly. Certain varieties of plumeria find some areas heat excessive for nominal blossom production. If this appears to be a problem, move the plant into a “shifting shade” location for better flower production and keeping quality.

As the days begin to grow shorter during August and September, some lower leaf yellowing and drop is normal. Some varieties will attempt a fall bloom cycle, if you are lucky and the weather cooperates, plumeria can still be blooming into November and December! But watch out, an early frost can damage or kill the plant.

Fall

For plumeria, fall begins once the night time temperature frequently begins to drop below 55°F. Studies have concluded that plumeria stop growing or slow dramatically when the average ambient temperature drops below 65°F. And the length of daylight shortens. Stop feeding about a month before Fall and reduce water to encourage the plant to go into its natural dormant period.

Some growers think that feeding after mid August may contribute to the black tip fungus problem, however this has not been proved. It is difficult to predict the weather and therefore it’s difficult to give a date by which your plumeria should be safely stored for the winter. By all means, if temperatures are expected to fall into the lower 30° F, the plants should be protected.

Most varieties can be damaged or killed by temperatures in the low 32° F for even a few hours.

Additional information is available on ExcaliburPlumeriaFertilizer.com, PlumeriaSeeds.com, PlumeriaCuttings.com, GrowingPlumeria.com and Plumeria.care websites.

Florida Colors Nursery Plumeria Care Regimen

I would like to share our vision of the best Plumeria care regimen for all plumeria growers. I hope the following helps you with your goals and plans for the year.

The goal is to know what, when and why, so you can improve every year by giving your plumeria the best growing conditions. Making a plan and documenting all adjustments will allow you to look back and hopefully determine where you can make improvements.

At the beginning of each season, we examine what we did last year and try to determine how we can improve our methods and products. The following is an outline for our Plumeria Care Regimen at Florida Colors Nursery. Please keep in mind your growing environment and how it differs from our Zone 10B in South Florida. The start of your plan should correspond to when you are past the threat of a frost or freeze. You should also make a plan to protect you plumeria from cold weather, just in case you get caught.

Before your spring growing season

When: At the beginning of your growing season or before you modify your soil or add nutrients.

What: I highly suggest getting a Soil Test to determine what nutrients your soil has or doesn’t have. The more you know about your soil and environment the better decisions you can make about caring for your plumeria.

How: Your local agriculture office or local nursery can perform soil tests. There are also commercial companies and self-test kits available.

Why: The soil test will indicate what nutrients are present and if they are locked up. A too high or too low pH will make it difficult or impossible for your Plumeria to absorb nutrients efficiently.

Removing damaged branches and roots

When: Before putting them out for spring.

What: Start by checking your plumeria for signs of insects, branch or root rot, soft branches, bent branches or broken branches.

How: Cut all damaged branches until you see all white when possible. Trim roots until you see white or green.

Why: Remove dead, damaged and diseased branches and roots to help prevent insect & decay organisms from entering the plumeria. Eliminate crossing branches to prevent damage caused by their rubbing against each other.

Checking and Spraying tips for insects

When: Before putting them out for spring from storage or as leaves and blooms start to grow

Greenhouses & pots, you should have been controlling pest all winter. But it is still a good idea to treat before taking out. I suggest you spray two weeks before taking them out and again right after taking out for Spring.
In the ground, I suggest you start spraying as soon as you see the leaves emerging. (Do not spray in direct sunlight or on dehydrated plants)

What: Suggest – Summit Year-Round Spray Oil

How: Spray or mist to cover the entire plant.

Why: By treating with Year-Round Spray Oil or similar you kill the insects and eggs. Giving your plants a good healthy start. Horticultural oil controls insects without synthetic chemicals. Mites including Rust Mite / Spider Mite (also eggs), Scales including Black Scale, California Red Scale, Whitefly and Blackfly (also eggs), Sooty Mold.

Plumeria waking up from Dormancy

When: As soon as you see the sign of your plumeria waking up and if the weather allows.

What: Soak your plumeria roots with a mixture of water, root activator (Carl Pools Root Activator) and a bio stimulate (Vitazyme) to help give them a kick-start.

What we suggest: A mixture of Vitazyme and Carl Pool’s Root Activator.

How: Soak your bare rooted plants for about 1 hour. Soak your potted plants from bottom up or drench. Drench you’re in ground plants with 1 to 2 gals.

Why: A bio stimulate (Vitazyme) helps the overall health of the plants and the root activator (Carl Pool Root Activator) give the roots a kick-start with what they need to wake up and start growing.

Watering – Water heavy for the first two days and water heavy every other day for the first week. After that water as needed.

Re-potting or adding soil

When: In the Spring or when they outgrow their pots or when they need additional soil.

What: An excellent well-balanced and well-draining soil. I prefer to use soils without fertilizers and a good decomposed natural mulch without additives.

What we suggest: A good soil mixture is 1/3 Canadian Sphagnum Peat Moss, 1/3 coir and 1/3 Perlite (horticultural grade). Or potting soil with a little extra perlite added or a similar soil mix.

How: The goal is to provide new soil to add back washed away nutrients to the roots. Gently shake off as much of the old soil as possible and fill in with fresh soil. Water in well and add more soil as needed. For repotting we add decomposed natural mulch, 1”-2” in the bottom and 1”-2” on top of pots depending on the pot size. This adds some organic matter as it decomposes and helps keep the weeds out and moisture in.

Why: Fresh soil provides aeration, retains moisture and adds back nutrients that were washed out or used up by the plants. Over time, the organic materials that the soil mix is made will break down and decompose to the point where you will lose the drainage and aeration properties that are inherent in container media. When that happens, discard the old soil to the compost pile or to the garden and refill the container with fresh soil mix.

Mulching – Use decomposed mulch to add nutrients and organic matter. The mulch on the top also helps keep weeds down and helps retain moisture. In the ground, cover the ground with natural mulch partially decomposed up to 12” deep each year. If you use fresh mulch, the decomposition will rob your plants of nitrogen.

Watering – Always water well for the next two or three days.

First fertilizing – Granular

When: At the beginning of the growing season

What: Use a balanced granular controlled release fertilizer with micronutrients.

What we suggest: Excalibur VI (6 months) and IX (9 months) with an NPK of 11-11-13 and micronutrients designed specifically for Plumeria or a similar fertilizer

How: Cover the fertilizer with 1″-2″ of soil and water well.

Why: Granular fertilizer is designed to feed your plumeria from the roots, from the bottom up. Healthy roots are the key to producing healthy plants. We have found that a balanced NPK fertilizer with micronutrients produce healthy growth, promotes blooming, bloom size and seed production. It is essential to use a balanced fertilizer not high in nitrogen, phosphorus or potassium. A balanced fertilizer with micronutrients will also help correct nutrient deficiencies.

Foliage Fertilizing – Throughout the growing season

When: From every two weeks to every month.

What: A Balanced fertilizer with micronutrients.

What we suggest: Bioblast with micronutrients and an NPK of 7-7-7. We also spray with Vitazyme every time we spray.

How: Foliar feeding in the early morning or late evening, avoid applying in hot sunshine.

Why: Foliar feeding is used to get the nutrients to the leaves and branches faster, but doesn’t last as long as granular fertilizers. Used to improve the overall health from the top down and give the leaves and blooms a quick shot of nutrients during stressful times.

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