The plumeria, which is also called frangipani, temple tree or jasmine tree, is one of the most fragrant and beautiful tropical flowering trees. It is one of the succulents and grows as a deciduous shrub or tree, with heights of up to 8 m. Because of its lack of frost resistance, it is only cultivated in pots in our latitudes. Here growth is limited to around 2 m.
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This plant can be sown all year round, but at best in spring or summer because of the more favorable light conditions. When sowing in autumn or winter, additional artificial lighting is required to provide sufficient light. Plumeria grown from seeds usually take about 3-5 years to flower. The color of the flowers does not necessarily match that of the mother plant.
The seeds are sown in compost mixed with sand or lava granules and covered with a little substrate in such a way that the wings of the seeds protrude from the substrate. In addition to potting soil, coconut fiber can also be sown, which is low in nutrients and permeable to air. Always keep the substrate slightly moist and cover the whole thing with cling film or glass. Brief ventilation about every 3 days is recommended to avoid mold on the substrate. The plants can be isolated about 5-8 weeks after germination, as soon as they are strong enough.
It is also possible to sow in perlite, a sterile sowing substrate. To accelerate germination, the seeds can be pre-soaked in warm water for two days before sowing. The whole thing is then placed in a 25 degree warm place and lightly poured on. The seeds should germinate within 1-3 weeks.
It is particularly promising if you put appropriate potting soil or perlite in a sealable plastic bag, moisten it well and add the seeds, the so-called germ bag method. If the seeds are a bit older, it is advisable to pre-germinate them in lukewarm water for about two days and only then put them in the germination bag. This bag is then placed in a warm place where they will begin to germinate after about 2-4 weeks.
Location requirements and cut
The Plumeria is a true sun worshiper, which is why it prefers sunny and very bright locations, but also sheltered from the wind. 5-6 hours of sunshine a day are ideal. During the growth phase, the plant needs temperatures above 20 degrees. They can also fall off at night, but relatively constant temperatures are beneficial for flower formation.
Night temperatures are particularly important for flower formation, as they only drop slightly in the winter garden or living room compared to the daytime. This is why the plumeria blooms much better indoors. In regions where night temperatures fluctuate significantly and drop below 15 degrees, it is advisable to bring the plants indoors at night. If possible, the temperature should not fall below 12 degrees during the winter.
As a rule, this plant does not have to be blended. Their growth in the bucket is limited to a maximum of 2.50 m anyway. However, if there is not enough space, they can be cut back without any problems. In this way you get cuttings with which you can propagate the plant. The plumeria then branches off at the intersections that have arisen. Otherwise, branching will only form after flowering.
The substrate should be rich in nutrients and, above all, permeable, as the plumeria is very sensitive to excessive moisture and waterlogging can lead to root rot relatively quickly. Cactus soil is also suitable, but other soils to which coarse sand has been added are also suitable. A soil pH of 7 would be optimal.
The planter should be wider than deep and, if possible, made of plastic. With clay pots there is a risk that the plant will grow onto the pot. The fine roots could then be damaged when repotting. A drainage layer as the bottom layer in the planter is essential for good water drainage.
The plumeria is only repotted in a larger planter if the old pot is very well rooted. Premature repotting means stress for the plant and can lead to deformation of the leaves, among other things.
Watering and fertilizing
- Plumeria evaporates a relatively large amount of water because of its large leaf mass.
- Therefore water regularly and abundantly!
- Let the soil dry well between watering!
- Plumeria also tolerates brief periods of drought.
- Water significantly less from the beginning to the end of November!
- Stop watering completely from the end of November, winter rest begins!
- Only water a little if necessary during the hibernation!
- When the new shoot begins, fertilization is carried out regularly with a special fertilizer!
- Fertilize every two weeks until the rest phase begins.
- The beginning of the resting phase is shown by the loss of leaves
- Young plants do very well with a nitrogen-rich fertilizer.
- In older plants, a fertilizer rich in phosphate promotes flower formation.
- Fertilizer specifically for the plumeria is available on the Internet.
- Overwinter at temperatures between 12 and 15 degrees.
- From March / April slowly pour and fertilize again moderately!
- Plumeria can go outside again from the end of May.
- Get used to direct sun outdoors slowly!
As already mentioned, the plumeria can be propagated by seeds but also by cuttings, with cuttings of white and yellow varieties rooting more easily than the red varieties. In contrast to sowing, when propagating cuttings, both varietal purity and flower color are guaranteed.
For the propagation of cuttings approx. 25 cm long woody, thick branches are used. Thin shoots would take root much worse. If the cuttings were purchased, they are usually covered with a layer of wax at the interface, which must be carefully removed beforehand.
First, the cuttings are cut off. Then you should let the cut surfaces dry for a few days. You can then let them take root in a glass of water or put them directly in a growing medium.
When rooting in a water glass, the cuttings are placed about 5 cm high in the water and then in a warm and bright place. The water should be renewed or changed every 2 days. The first roots appear then usually after about 2-3 weeks. If the roots are several centimeters long, the cuttings can be planted in the appropriate substrate. If you want to plant the cuttings directly, they have to be put into a mixture of standard soil, peat and sand with at least two eyes. Then lather the whole thing well.
- Plumeria is a tropical plant and therefore very sensitive to frost.
- This deciduous shrub sheds its leaves in winter.
- Temperature in winter should not fall below 12 degrees.
- The location should be bright, ideally in a winter garden.
- Water significantly less from the beginning of November!
- From mid-November to March, do not water at all or only water it minimally if necessary!
- If all the leaves have fallen off, Plumeria can be made darker and cooler (not below 5 degrees).
- If the trunk gets a little wrinkled, just pour a little!
- As soon as the plant sprouts again, from March / April can be moderately watered and fertilized again.
- From the end of May, when no more frost is expected, the plant can go outside.
- In the first few days outdoors, put in the shade to slowly acclimate the plumeria to the sun.
Pests and diseases
Although the plumeria is relatively easy to care for and robust, it can be attacked by various pests and diseases under unfavorable conditions.
The pests that can be dangerous to this plant include the red and common spider mites, mealybugs, aphids, thrips and whitefly.
In contrast to other spider mites, the common spider mite can be recognized by the typical webs. These animals suck out sap, especially on the undersides of the leaves. The leaves of infested plants are speckled yellowish white to silvery. In the further course they turn gray-brown and finally dry up.
This pest can be combated with beneficial insecticides, insecticides in the form of sticks or beneficial insects such as predatory mites. A gentler option is to wipe the leaves and stems with a soapy water solution.
are primarily found in the house. An infestation of white webs can also be seen in inaccessible places. First, the plant in question should be isolated from others and all infected parts of the plant removed. Then special, commercially available sprays can be used and repeated at regular intervals to reach all animals.
A clear sign of an infestation are curled leaves and discoloration of the leaves or a general stunted growth and sticky honeydew. If the infestation is severe, the affected parts of the plant can dry out and eventually die off. Young leaves are mainly attacked by aphids. In addition to the use of ladybirds, synthetic or biological control agents against lice can also be used.
An infestation with thrips can be recognized by the silvery and deformed leaves and stunted new shoots. In order to avoid spreading, affected plants should be separated from the others as soon as possible.
Chemical agents should be avoided in the fight. Treatment is possible with a solution of 1 teaspoon of alcohol, 1 liter of water and 1 teaspoon of soft soap. Spray the infected parts of the plant with it and repeat the process again after a few days. The soil should be covered while spraying.
The whitefly is also a pest that can cause great damage to plants. The leaves turn yellow and eventually dry up. The small insects sit on the underside of the leaves. In addition, honeydew, the sticky excretions of this pest, can be found on the leaf surfaces.
To combat the whitefly, the plant in question should be placed in a well-ventilated area and relatively low humidity. The whitefly can also be combated, for example, with lacewing larvae, predatory bugs or parasitic wasps from beneficial insects.
Too much moisture in the root area can quickly lead to root or fungal diseases in the Frangipani. It can also lead to stress-related illnesses as well as sunburn or stem rot.
related leaf deformations Stress-related deformations occur above all if the plant was transplanted or repotted too early, watering was carried out at extremely hot temperatures, but a pest infestation that has only just survived can be the cause of such leaf deformations. The only remedy here is to remove the stress-causing factors and remove the deformed leaves.
Sunburn on leaves and shoot tips can often occur when the plant moves from the shade to the sun or immediately after wintering. You can prevent this if you put the actually sun-drenched plant in the shade for a few days after overwintering and only then slowly get used to the direct sun.
The stem rot often occurs after the young plants have been rearing or after they have been overwintered. It is caused by the algae fungus, which can penetrate the plant through minor injuries and cause stem rot there. Affected plants show glassy areas that resemble frostbite.
The only way to counteract the stem rot on the plumeria is radical pruning. The interfaces can be dusted with charcoal and disinfected. All cut off plant material should then be completely disposed of with household waste.
The plumeria is a particularly unusual succulent with magnificent, delicately scented flowers. The plant feels very comfortable outdoors in spring and summer. It is very robust, but has to be protected from frost and therefore has to be wintered frost-free in the house. If kept under optimal conditions, it can become a real eye-catcher that you can enjoy for many years.