Plumeria - Create a Tropical Garden

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Frangipani, better known as Plumeria, grow to be large flowering trees in the tropics. The blooms are beautiful and have an intoxicating fragrance. Since plumeria are so easy to grow, they can get addicting. Soon you'll find you have a house full of these beautiful little tropical plants. Plumeria go into a natural dormant period, so it is easy to grow them in containers and bring them inside for winter storage. While dormant, plumeria do not need to be watered at all.

Plumeria can be grown in containers, in the ground, or in containers sunk in the ground (called plunging). During the months of active growth, ample sun, food, and water are essential. Your Plumeria (plumie) will bloom regularly and profusely when they receive at least six hours of full sun per day. Plumeria are heavy feeders and will bloom and grow vigorously with an ample amount of the proper foods. Plumeria love lots of water but cannot tolerate wet feet, so they must be planted in fast draining soil or in beds with adequate drainage. The size of the container will control the size of your plant. In tropical zones, plumeria will grow up to 20 feet in height and up to 20 feet in diameter.

Light - PLUMERIAS PREFER FULL SUN, but they must be worked up to it gradually if they have been shaded for a long time. Even stems may sunburn when brought out from winter storage if not exposed gradually to the full sun. They do need a lot of sun to bloom. They like bright airy places such as sunny, ventilated greenhouses. Places that cactus and succulents grow well are good for plumeria.

Water - These plants are known for their incredible ability to grow leaves and bloom from unrooted cuttings. This is possible because the stems store moisture for extended periods. Water them only after they have begun to dry, but water them well, being sure that all water drains away. THEY DO NOT LIKE WET FEET. In the winter they should be very dry. Evergreen varieties like a bit drier culture. The plants like to be damp, not soggy, and not completely dry except in the winter.

Temperature - These are tropical plants and prefer temperatures above 50F at all times. After they are established they can withstand lower temperatures even down to 25�F for short periods. Such frost may cause the ends to die back and delay blooming. FREEZING TEMPERATURES FOR MORE THAN A FEW HOURS WILL KILL THEM. With adequate ventilation they can withstand very high temperatures. They need warmth to thrive, so in very cool climates grow them in a greenhouse.

Fertilizer - These plants are HEAVY FEEDERS. They like rich organic matter such as composted manures, blood meal, bone meal, peat, and compost. They should have fresh potting soil each year. Supplement with commercial fertilizers such as Miracle Gro during the growing season. We are stocking a specialty fertilizer for plumerias by Color Star. You can also use Carl Pool BR61 or Green Light Super Bloom high phosphorus formulas to stimulate flowering.

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Author: David P Lee
David is an expert on tropical plants. If you would like to know more about Plumeria, see his link for care information.

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