Plumeria (Frangipani) Planting & Growing Guide

Do you recognize these beautiful bloomers? Plumeria, also known as Frangipani, produce the vibrant blooms used to make traditional Hawaiian leis, and beyond being utterly breathtaking, the flowers offer an extraordinary fragrance! Ideal around patios or windows, these fast-growing tropical temptations are easy to grow in containers in any part of the country. So, what do you say—are you ready to grow Plumeria? Here's everything you need to know!

  • Planting Depth
  • Planting Proximity
    Varies; 3-4 ft potted at maturity, 6-10 ft in ground at maturity
  • Planting Season
    Spring to Summer
  • Plant Benefits
    Fragrant tropical flowers from Summer to Fall.
  • Water Quantity
    Moderate in well-draining soil. Zero to light water in winter dormancy.
  • Bloom Season
    Summer to Fall
  • Sunlight Quantity
    Full Sun
  • Hardiness Zones
    Zones 10-11; Protect from frost anywhere else; Can bring inside during winter dormancy.

Where to Plant

Plumeria are tropical plants that thrive in the ground or containers when provided plenty of sunshine and well-drained soil. That means if you notice water puddles 5–6 hours after a hard rain, it's time to scout out another site. These beauties favor drier soils, with course well-drained grit or sand as the primary component, and they will not survive in waterlogged areas.

When to Plant

Plant your Plumeria in the spring after the danger of frost has passed. You can expect slim, leathery leaves to emerge within a few weeks, buds to form in the spring, and flower production to start in mid-summer.

How to Plant

  • Find a location where the soil drains well, and your Plumeria will receive plenty of sunlight.
  • Fill containers, if using, with good quality, well-draining soil—cactus mix will work fine or try equal parts of potting soil and perlite. Ensure your container has adequate drainage holes, as Plumeria plants must never sit in waterlogged soil.
  • Dig a hole and gently slip the plant and root ball out of the pot. Place into the hole at the same depth as the soil clump.
  • Firm the surrounding soil around the plant, checking to ensure your Plumeria is positioned level with the rest of the ground.
  • Water well after planting to settle the soil around the root ball.

How to Grow

  • Water when the soil is dry 1” below the surface but make sure the soil does not get soggy.
  • Apply a high phosphate fertilizer (such as a 10-30-10 fertilizer) every 2 weeks during the growing season.
  • Snip flowers when in bloom, as doing so will not hurt the plants and supplies extraordinarily fragrant flowers for cut arrangements.
  • Water infrequently during the fall as your plant slips into dormancy.
  • Stop watering and allow your Plumeria to rest for a few months before beginning the spring growing cycle.
  • Resume regular watering and fertilizing when the warm spring weather returns and new leaves appear.

Plumeria Tips & Tricks

  • Keep in mind that these are tropical plants, and they fancy hot conditions.
  • Allow the soil to dry out between watering, as these plants do better with minimal moisture than you might think!
  • Snip the flowers for gorgeous bud vase bouquets or float the blossoms in a low bowl of water.
  • Expect your Plumeria to slip into dormancy once blooming has finished for the season and the weather begins to cool. It's entirely normal for leaves to drop at this time while the plant rests.
  • Overwinter your Plumeria indoors if you're gardening in zone 9 or colder, as these exotic growers will not tolerate a hard freeze. Move the plant indoors when temperatures drop below 45℉.
  • Move your overwintered Plumeria into indirect light in the spring and resume watering. When new growth starts to appear, you can move the plant back into full sunlight.
  • Enjoy the attractively branched, vase-shaped form (clearly visible without the leaves) that your plant takes during dormancy.