Potted Plumeria Care

Plumeria can be kept in a pot

Plumeria, also called frangipani, is a large tree or shrub of tropical origin whose flowers not only look beautiful, but also smell delicious. For this reason, if you dare to buy a copy, you must learn how to take care of it because, in this way, you will have the opportunity to see it flourish.

But is it necessary to plant it in the ground? The truth is no. Its roots are not aggressive nor is it a plant that grows too tall. In reality, it is very easy to have a potted plumeria. Next, I’ll tell you how I take care of mine.


Sun or shade?

Plumeria can be potted

Specimen from my collection, in drop shadow.

It is a plant that it grows in full sun, but I have been experimenting for a few years with mine and the truth is that I find it prettier when it is a little protected. If it receives direct sun, it tends to have narrower and somewhat shorter leaves, since the degree of insolation is so high that it “burns”.

I have even thought several times of having it inside the house throughout the year, since we have a room with two windows through which a lot of light enters. Therefore, if you live like me in the Mediterranean or in an area where it is very hot in summer, it is interesting that you have it in the shade; Now, if on the other hand the temperatures are mild, you could have beautiful in full sun.

What pot should I put in it?

The pot, although very important, is not really something that should concern us as much as, for example, the substrate which we will talk about later. I mean, as its root system is not invasive, it will be the same to plant it in plastic or clay. But yes, for comfort, if the winters are cold in our area, I recommend the plastic ones because it will cost less to move it from one place to another.

Now well, what every pot must have for the plumeria to grow healthy are holes in its base. It does not tolerate excess water in its roots, so we cannot risk planting it in a container without holes, because no matter how much and how much we control the irrigation, we would end up losing it. For this reason, it is also very important that, if we place a plate below, we empty it after watering.

When should you transplant a potted plumeria?

In general, it should be done if the roots come out of the holes in the pot. But sometimes that doesn’t happen, which may make us think you don’t need a bigger one. For it, every two years, it doesn’t hurt to see if you need it or not by doing the following:

  1. Take the plumeria with one hand, by the base of the trunk, and with the other hold the pot.
  2. Pull the plant upwards, as if trying to pull it out. If it doesn’t come out, tap the pot to loosen the soil and try again.
  3. If you see that when you dig it out a bit, the soil or root ball does not crumble, then you will need to plant it in a pot that is about 7 or at most 10 centimeters in diameter larger than the size of the one you you are currently using.

What substrate do you need?

Plumeria needs to be transplanted every few years

The substrate, or cultivated land, is the medium in which the roots will develop. So, must be of good quality if we want them to grow up healthy. From experience, I strongly advise avoiding brands that are not only little or not well known, but which are also very cheap. Warning: I’m not saying they’re bad, but sometimes you buy a bag thinking it’s good, and when you open it you find pieces of branches or even insects… Branches are good , we remove them and that’s it, but there shouldn’t be any insects.

I have tried many types of substrates, and In the end, if I have to recommend some brands, it would be these:

  • flowers
  • Westland
  • Fertiberia
  • Weed

But, What type of substrate should I put exactly? Well, the one they call “universal”. Either way, you can also add coconut fiber (available here), as it’s spongy and drains water well.

How often should a potted plumeria be watered?

This This will depend on the weather conditions in the area.: for example, during the summer in the Mediterranean, with temperatures between a minimum of 20 ºC and 30 ºC (in some places they are 40 ºC or more), it is necessary to water frequently, about 3 or 4 times a week, because that the earth dries out quickly, because in this season it does not usually rain. But if it is grown in a place where it rains often, the frequency of watering will be less.

And it will be the same if it is kept indoors: since it does not receive direct sunlight, the soil stays moist longer. This is an advantage during the summer season: on the one hand, the plant can stay hydrated for more days without problems, and on the other hand, it saves a little water; but In winter, when temperatures drop and plumeria begins to grow more slowly, watering should be spaced out.

Do you have to pay?

Plumeria rubra is a type of frangipani

Image – Wikimedia/Mokkie

Plumeria is a plant that cannot only live on water. Although it is essential to life, it cannot lack “food”, i.e. nutrients. And these nutrients are obtained from the earth… if it is nutritious. When planted in a pot, and this requires a new substrate, the normal thing is that the subscription can be postponed after about a yeardepending on the type of substrate we use.

Now well, It is strongly recommended to start fertilizing it in the first year, just a week after planting it in the pot. (and whenever it’s spring or summer, because the rest of the year doesn’t have to be paid). For this we will use fertilizers or liquid fertilizers, universal or ecological, such as earthworm humus or guano (for sale here). Do not forget to follow the instructions for use so that the roots do not burn.

Do you need protection against the cold?

Unfortunately, the plumeria is not resistant to temperatures below zero, except for the Plumeria rubra var acutifolia that it holds up to -2ºC in the case of very short and occasional frosts. But to avoid risks, it is best to take it home when the thermometer starts to show less than 18 ºC.

Related article:

Is it good to spray water on plants?

It will be placed in a room where there is a lot of light, and away from drafts. Similarly, if the humidity level is very low, we sprinkle the leaves daily with lime-free water (or suitable for consumption).

I hope these tips will be useful to you so that your plumeria looks as good as the first day.

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