The Q&A Archives: Plumeria Care

Question: I would like to transplant a Hawaiian Plumeria.
Two roots look water logged. I would like to reroot the original. Can you advise how and where to break off new shoots and then how to reroot them?
The plant has done well in CA for 15 years. Last year I had flowers but no leaves. I want to move it into a sunnier area.

Answer: Plumeria are tropical flowering trees, sometimes called frangipani, in the plant family Apocynaceae. Though tropical by nature, when protected from frost, they are well suited to subtropical climates in the United States in states bordered by the Gulf of Mexico, and in Southern California. They are prolific in Hawaii.

Plumeria are valued as landscape plants, ornamentals, and for their flowers. The flowers come in seemingly endless variety of color, size and fragrance. Flowers can be strung together to make a lei (pronounced lay) which is presented to friends and guests of either gender and worn around the neck like a large loose necklace.

Plumerias can be grown in containers, in the ground, or containers sunk in the ground. During the months of active growth, ample 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 the proper fertilizers. Plumeria love lots of water, but can't tolerate wet feet, so they must be planted in highly organic fast draining soil or in beds with adequate drainage.

Feed and water thoroughly using a fertilizer such as Super Bloom. If desired, there are specialty plumeria foods that can be used.

Without seeing the plant, I can't really suggest where to divide it. If there's a new piece of stem, try breaking it off and planting it. Otherwise, replant the original in new, fast-draining potting soil and see if that doesn't help it perk up.

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