How to Plant a Plumeria?

By John

Plumeria is one of the best tropical plants, that produces beautiful avnd fragrant flowers. It is commonly called ‘frangipani’ or the Pagoda tree. It belongs to the Apocynaceae (dogbane family). The height of plumeria trees ranges from 10 to 15 feet tall, and spacing is between 4 to 6 feet. Plumeria branches can be used to propagate new growth of more plants in the garden.

Frangipani comes from a warm location of Mexico, Hawaii, the Caribbean, and Central and South America. It is easily grown in hot and dry areas or under very warm climate. Summers are the best growing season to propagate frangipani, using healthy cuttings. But we can plant Plumeria in any region, with the right or specific conditions, where the temperatures begin to rise.

Usually, you may find plumeria plants or trees with beautiful flowers in public parks, near temples and even in cemeteries or graveyards. It blooms more when planted in gardens.

Most plumeria flowers come in white colors with yellow at the centre. But we can also see them in different colors, such as pink, orange, and red. These flowers are commonly used as Hawaiian leis and Haku lei (crowns). 

 In this article, we will learn to plant and grow plumeria cuttings. The plumeria propagation methods will help beginner or first-time plumeria owners to raise healthy plumeria trees in their gardens. 

Planting a Plumeria

Planting a very own plumeria plant is not a difficult task. It can be grown both in tropical and non-tropical regions. In the case of a non-tropical climate or atmosphere, we just need to plant its cuttings in the right conditions. Another interesting fact about Plumeria is it can be grown both by using plumeria seeds or by plumeria cuttings.

We can easily grow plumeria cuttings using its woody stem cuttings. It requires moderate to low watering and sometimes no water to grow. Overwater can make plumeria tree rot or get damaged. The foliage of the growing plumeria tree is green shiny leaves with leather texture.

Let us understand here how to propagate plumeria in your garden or in a pot, step by step. 

Steps to Plant Plumeria From Cuttings

To propagate frangipani plants in your pots or garden or terrace garden, read the below given steps.

Basic Requirements

  • Before you attempt to start new growth from frangipani cuttings, make sure there is enough sunlight in your garden. Since plumeria cannot grow much in cold weather, we should plant it in a pot with a hole that can be brought inside the house during winter

  • The best time to plant frangipani is in the early spring season or during the summer. These seasons will favour the plumeria to grow well and faster too

  • The third most important step before rooting plumeria cuttings is to use the correct soil for it. The potting soil should be easily drainable. The potting mixture should include cactus soil, pumice and perlite

Cutting and Propagating

  • Now cut a stem of plumeria cutting from its mother plant. Make sure the mother plumeria plant should be healthy. 

  • Choose plumeria stems that are at least 12 to 18 inches long and have a brown or greyish texture. Also, it should not affect the mother plant from getting too much sunlight from its trunk or disturbing its appearance

  • With the help of a sharp razor or knife, cut the stem of the frangipani cuttings in a way that its edges remain sharp. Try to cut slightly in a slanted way instead of cutting it horizontally

  • You can use an alcoholic rub for a knife or razor before cutting the plant so that it could avoid any kind of infection to the plant

  • Dip the cuttings into sulphur and plastic wrap it. Wait for at least a week to dry out the stem and till it gets hardened

  • Make a hole into the prepared soil and put the stem or the branch of the plumeria tree about half of it


  • Put some water to settle the soil around the plumeria cutting and keep the pot in full sun or where the sunlight comes for at least 5-6 hours

  • Unless new twigs have come out of the stem, do not water the pot. 

  • Within a few weeks, the plumeria cutting will grow the roots within the soil and you may see the new leaves coming out of the plumeria plant

  • Water the plumeria plant in gaps of 2-3 days or very lightly (Do not water too much, as it is a tropical plant, so pouring a lot of water may damage the plumeria plant)

Transferring the Rooted Plant

  • Once grown, the plumeria root ball can be seen coming out. The root ball of plumeria cuttings shows that the plant has grown completely, establishing its base

  • When the new roots and green leaves are grown, we can transfer the plant into larger pot or large container

  • These plants transform into small trees, when you pot them into your home garden

To propagate plumeria we need to follow the steps given above. We can take several cuttings and try propagating plumeria to get more plants. It may take time to frangipani plant to produce flowers once rooted cuttings start growing under the full sun. Use the specified potting mixture for plumeria cutting propagation.

Don’t use too much water, or else it may lead to root rot for the potted plumeria. It can also be kept under partial shade place of your garden.

Once the frangipani flowers are pollinated, they will fade out, and they grow in seed pods. These seed pods can also be used for growing plumeria outdoors.

Caring for a Plumeria

In the above section, we have learned how to grow plumeria taking plumeria cuttings. Plants should be taken care of like we are caring for a newborn baby. We should make sure that its needs are met from day one and even after they have grown.

Once the Plumeria is planted in your garden, you need to take care of it to encourage healthy root growth. To grow a healthy plumeria tree we should follow all the required methods. The basic requirements to propagate a plumeria plant are the environment and fertilization. But, the first step when it comes to caring for plumeria is pruning. 

Pruning a Plumeria Plant

Pruning is a method by which we cut the dried or diseased branches of plumeria to keep them healthy. Also, it helps to shape the plant in an appropriate way. Pruning helps to grow plumeria plants in shape and then turn them into trees. It is advised to prune its trees during winter or early spring. It will make grow plumeria efficiently. 

Fertilization and Pesticides

Another important fact that comes while caring for plumeria plants is fertilizing their soil. The plumeria plant grows fast when the potting soil is fertile, and hence the flowers will bloom soon. To make the potting soil more fertile, we should add natural fertilizers such as manures, compost, weeds, tree leaves etc. Good fertilizers rejuvenate plants and make them more lively. All these fertilizers you can easily find and prepare at home. Some liquid fertilizer is also available in the market, such as cactus potting mix.

Adding Manures and Preparing Compost

Manures can be formed by animal waste, such as cow dung. To prepare compost, you can use kitchen scraps that release nitrogen slowly to keep the soil fertile for at least a year. 

Apart from pruning and fertilizing, we should be careful of pest attacks on the plumeria plant. It can harshly damage the plant and resist its growth. Just like humans, plants get diseases due to these pests. For the prevention of this disease, we need to use pesticides. 

Watering the Plumeria Plant

Since plumeria belongs to a warm climates region, it doesn’t need much water to grow. We can keep it dry for several weeks. Hence, in the rainy season, watering is not required. If we water too much, then there are chances plumeria tree roots could rot. In winter and summer, it can be watered as per the requirement.

Plumeria cutting propagation should be done using pots with drainage holes. The potted plant can easily drain the excess water through the holes.

Taking Care of Plumeria During Winters

In cold winters, the leaves of the plumeria trees start getting yellow, which is a natural process. They get defoliated partially or completely during winter due to cold weather. But during this process, they store their energy and wait till the warm season comes. Once spring comes and the weather becomes a little warm, the plumeria tree will grow new leaves and flowers.

Repotting a Plumeria Plant

Repotting of plumeria should be done every two to three years. The size of the pot should be increased by at least three inches. The potting soil should be fertilized. Once the plumeria is grown to a certain level, we should transfer it to the ground, where it will have enough space to become a tree. 


Through this article, we have gained sufficient knowledge on how to plant your plumeria using new cuttings as well as using its seeds. Frangipani is an amazing plant to grow in your garden because of its beautiful flowers. Its flowers have a mild and soothing fragrance which will make your mood happy. The growing season for frangipani is warm weather.

Take good care of the frangipani plant using fertilizers and pesticides. Once the healthy roots are developed, transfer the plant into a large container. Pruning should be done just before the spring season or dormant season to get more leaves on the plumeria tree. There are other methods too to propagate a plumeria plant, such as grafting and air layering. You can learn more about growing plumeria from cuttings by reaching out online anytime. 

If you have any queries related to this article, please drop your questions in the comment box. You can also share your gardening experiences and tips with us to make this world a beautiful garden. 

Frequently Asked Questions on Planting Plumeria

What are the best soil and light conditions for a plumeria?

To plant your plumeria, the soil should be slightly acidic and well-drained, for which we use the cactus mix to the soil. They need at least six hours of full sun to grow nicely.

How do I properly plant a plumeria?

Make a hole deeper in the soil and plant the plumeria cuttings. Cover and pat the plumeria cuttings with soil. Water the soil enough to make it wet and avoid waterlogging. Keep the pot in full-sun place.

How often should I water my plumeria and how much water does it need?

Since it is a tropical plant, you can water plumeria every ten days to keep its soil wet. In winter, watering plumeria once a month is enough. Too much water will lead the roots to rot.

How do I prune and shape my plumeria?

You can prune the plumeria just before spring or early winter when the blooming season arrives. Trim and shape the plant from the top branches to get new branches and a fuller look.

How do I fertilize and feed my plumeria?

We can fertilize the plumeria every six weeks using natural fertilizers and compost. We should use mostly phosphorus-based fertilizers to feed the plants. Liquid fertilizers are also available in the market to be used.

What are common pests and diseases that can affect my plumeria, and how can I prevent them?

The common plumeria pests are whiteflies, spider mites, mealybugs, thrips, snails, and slugs. The simple method to prevent plumeria plants from pests is spraying the plant with a high-speed jet of water. You can also use rubbing alcohol on the parts of the plant where the pests have attacked.

How do I know when it’s time to repot my plumeria?

When the first fresh leaves start arriving and new root growth happens, we can repot the plant. It can be done from the month of May till September.  Spring and summer are favourable seasons for frangipani.

What are some tips for caring for a plumeria in different climates and seasons?

In winter, try not to water the plumeria plant much. Also, if the plant does not have any leaves, then it is recommended not to water at all during winter until new foliage arrives. 

Are there any specific requirements for a plumeria to bloom?

Plumeria specifically grows in warm or tropical climates under the bright sun. It requires appropriate moisture for the soil to thrive, neither too wet nor too dry.

How can I propagate my plumeria?

Cut the plumeria branch from the parent plant with a sharp knife. Remove its leaves and dip them into Sulphur powder to avoid any fungus. Wrap the end of the plumeria cutting with plastic and keep it for two weeks to dry out. Now prepare the soil with cactus mix and perlite in a pot. Make a hole deeper and insert the plumeria cutting around 2 inches deep. Water the plant enough to make the soil moist without water logging it. Keep the plumeria pot where direct sunlight comes for around 5-6 hours. 

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