The Q&A Archives: Pink Plumeria's from Hawaii

Question: I live in Washington State, and brought back a
Pink Plumeria from Hawaii. I would like to
grow this beautiful plant here (in the house of course). What is the correct way to plant my cutting, so that I can have a heathly tropical plant at home?

Answer: Plumeria, also known as Frangipani, is a popular shrub in the tropics, and an indoor plant in other parts of the world. It has the potential to grow to 6', which makes it a better greenhouse specimen than a houseplant, but it will take a few years to reach mature size. When planting cuttings, dip the cut end in a rooting hormone and keep the planting soil moist. A potting medium of 75% top soil and 25% peat is satisfactory. If the planted cutting is kept in soil that is too wet, rotting may occur. So be attentive of the moisture content of the cutting's potting soil.

Plumeria require at least a half day of full sun to produce blooms. Plants should be allowed to dry out between watering, but excessive dryness will result in foliage loss. On the other hand, the growing medium (soil) should not be kept soggy wet.

A consistent feeding program will produce vigorous plants with large ostentatious clusters of flowers from May through November. Plumeria require fertilizer high in phosphorus (the middle number). To keep the plant compact, avoid fertilizers high in nitrogen. Feed the plant every other week, but discontinue feeding in September to allow new growth to harden prior to winter storage. (Plumeria's need a resting period.)

The leaves fall from the plant during winter dormancy and they closely resemble a defoliated tree limb or a stick. This is a good time to take cuttings. Store the plant in an unheated garage, or other cool, dark location. In the spring repot and bring back indoors, watering regularly. Your plumeria will develop new leaves and flowers during the spring, summer and autumn.

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