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How to grow plumeria (frangipani)

Best known as Frangipani and loved for the incredibly rich and exotic scent of its flowers, Plumeria is a frost sensitive shrub that requires a warm growing environment as it is native to tropical and subtropical regions including the Far East, Africa and the Pacific.

Plumeria has strong traditional associations with Hawaii, where the flowers are used to make leis, or garlands, given to visitors as a token of friendship. It flowers in a wide range of colors from yellow, red, pink and purple to white, plus many spectacular bicolors. The large flowers are borne on fleshy, succulent stems in summer and fall. With unrestricted rooting in a conservatory or greenhouse border, plants can reach several feet tall, but a container will limit final plant size.

How to plant frangipani
Plant plumeria in a large, sturdy pot and use soil-based compost such as John Innes #2 with coarse sand or perlite added to ensure sharp drainage. Make sure the root ball sits at the same level as it was in its original pot, gently firm and water well to allow water to drain completely.

How to care for Plumeria
Water sparingly for best results. During growth from spring through fall, water only as needed to keep the compost moist, being careful not to overwater. Fertilize once a month with a universal liquid fertilizer. In winter, reduce watering to almost nothing and allow the compost to almost dry out.

How to propagate Plumeria
Take frangipani cuttings in spring. Cut off the stem tips with secateurs and allow the base of each stem to dry before planting in pots of seed soil mixed with one-third vermiculite to aid drainage