Planting Plumeria: A Step-by-Step Guide for Ground Planting Plumeria

By John

Plumeria is commonly called the ornamental flower for all gardens. The Plumeria plant belongs to the apocynaceous family. Plumeria plants were initially found in the Hawaii region of the US, hence commonly known as Hawaiian leis. Another name of plumeria is frangipani.

The word Frangipani is derived from the Italian word that produced a perfume with a similar aroma in the 16th century. They are now frequently planted around Hindu and Buddhist temples as well as in graves across Asia and the Pacific Islands where they have naturalized.

Plumeria Flowers: The Gorgeous Ornament for Garden

The passionate gardeners of Hawaii grow millions of plumeria plants in a year that blooms to our it of colorful leis. While plumerias thrive in arid Scrub woods in their natural environment, they have spread more to warm regions all over the world, particularly in South Eastern Asia where they are grown as ornamental plants in the garden.

Plumeria generally called frangipani, are well-liked in landscaping because of the almost limitless variation of their color size and the scent of flowers. The plumeria plant has several named variations. The shapes and development patterns of the many species are distinctive.

The national flower of Laos is plumeria Alba and the national flower of Nicaragua is plumeria rubra. With thin grey bark, milky sap, and widely spread, thick, succulent-but-brittle branches, plumeria can cause irritation to the eyes and lead to dermatitis in those who are sensitive. Around the branch terminals, elongated, brittle, or mushy leaves are produced in bunches.

Plumeria Planting in Ground: Plant Plumeria Cuttings 

The exact correct location outdoors to plant plumeria is a place that receives full sun and the temperature ranges between 65 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit. While planting plumeria outdoors it is important to know that they cannot tolerate temperatures below 55 degrees Fahrenheit. This means if any part of the plant, be it a flower, or stem or leaf if there is a temperature drop to 55 degrees for height may perish.

Try to avoid planting plumeria outside if the temperature is not suitable for the plant. For this, you can follow an alternative approach by placing the plant in a pot having good quality potting soil and fresh compost, so that the plant may produce fragrant flowers.

Sunlight requirements

Managing the placement of plumeria as outdoor plants is full of hard work. You know that the best growing season of plumeria is in early summer, hence we know that plumeria grows best in full sunlight.

Try to place the plant in the part of the garden that receives a good 6 to 7 hours of sunlight a day. So choose a spot in a garden where the plant receives consistent exposure to sunshine. If you are growing the plant in a large container then make sure you do not leave them under the sun without watering.

In case the temperatures drop, the plant (if in containers) should be shifted to places that receive direct sunlight.

Soil type and drainage

In the case of Plumeria planting in the ground outdoors, the type of soil and proper drainage maintains a very important role. You cannot start growing plumeria in any kind of soil randomly.

To plant plumeria in soil use Sandy soils or coarse soil. To initiate the process in soil remind that your soil is quickly draining like the cactus mix as over-watering is one of the biggest threats to new growth. This means if the soil is overly thick or too find then it may retain too much water.
Therefore the best drainage is possible only in coarse soil. Select one that has a pH between 6 and 6.7, which is also somewhat acidic. You can combine your soil with additional perlite or sand to ensure appropriate drainage. Your neighborhood gardening supply store likely has the soil you need for planting the flower tree.

Space requirements

Enough outside area must be provided. You have the option of planting your plumeria in the ground or a pot if you’re doing it outside. In order for the roots to have enough room to expand, they must be spaced 10 to 20 feet apart while planting in the ground. 

In a hole that is 2 to 3 times wider than the root ball, but at the same depth, you may plant it. Choose a spot for planting in which the soil drains effectively and water doesn’t pool after a rainstorm.

Avoid placing the plumeria in areas where it will be exposed to heat from a brick or cement wall.

Preparing the Soil to plant Plumeria

We know that plumerias are tropical plants. The soil plays a very crucial role in the growth of these plants. The more rich is soil in nutrients, the better root growth will take place. A free-draining, somewhat acidic medium is good. Sand-based commercial mixes can be effective. Or, you may manufacture your own by mixing standard potting soil, pumice or perlite, and coarse sand in equal amounts.

When adding soil to the plant in the ground or even in a larger container, apply a bottom layer of gritty, tiny pebbles. Start digging past where you anticipate the roots to develop in garden areas, then add a layer of coarse sand that is 2 to 4 inches deep.

You can add perlite, clay soils, and high phosphorous fertilizer to the soil so that the leaves begin to appear soon, and flowers start to bloom.

Planting the Plumeria

Plumeria Trees - The Exotic Plumeria

Take cuttings or seeds. To cultivate your own plumeria, you must first plant plumeria seeds or plumeria cutting. Sadly, there isn’t much commercial availability for them. Finding them might be difficult, so buying them from a person who already owns a plant is your best option.  To help the plant grow, the seeds and cutting can be collected in the spring or the fall.

You can also search for plumeria cuttings and plumeria seeds on online platforms, but the quality of the product may remain for a few months or isn’t guaranteed always.

The seeds must then be germinated, which requires putting them in a damp paper towel for a whole day. When they have absorbed the liquid, they will appear somewhat enlarged and ready to expand. They will establish themselves more swiftly as a result. Ensure they are growing in a warm atmosphere.

When cuttings are ready, you can plant them right away after giving them a quick rinse to eliminate any remaining dirt. Now Install the seeds or cuttings. Fill the container with dirt and place the seeds or cuttings about two inches into the earth to sow plumeria seeds or cuttings. To keep seeds or cuttings firmly in place, cover them with soil having all by-products added like compost and high phosphorous fertilizer. When sowing seeds, be sure the bulbous end is towards the bottom and that a portion of the seed wing protrudes through the soil. One seed or cutting should be planted in a larger container.

The next step comes in watering the plants. Now you don’t have to hurry for watering the cuttings as soon as you plant them. Remember the plants grow well in well-drained soil. Immediately excess water to the plants may cause root rot problems. So, just ensure it has adequate heat and light for three weeks, and after that, start adding water gradually. Start by weekly providing the plant with a half glass of water. It is not necessary to wait to adequately water any pre-started seedlings.

Caring for Plumeria Plant

You can’t plant or transplant plumeria into a garden; rather, you must take good care of the plant in order for it to produce lovely white flowers. For best development, plumerias love bright sunshine and low humidity, and they need at least 6 to 7 hours of direct sunlight each day. Even at the height of summer, no further care is necessary. They thrive in light soils with excellent drainage but suffer in clay soils where water drains slowly.

Watering Requirements

We know that the growing season of plumeria is during the summer. While in bloom from March/April to November/December, a plumeria has to be watered frequently—at least once a week. As your plumeria’s leaves start to fall off, stop watering it, instead only irrigate it when it is dormant or just starting to root. The risk of waterlogging a plumeria is significant. Let the soil to completely dry between waterings to prevent overwatering.

Fertilizing Schedule

While the plumeria is blooming, treat it twice a month with a high-phosphorous fertilizer, such as 10-30-10.  Add 1-2 teaspoons of fertilizer per gallon of water in order to dilute it. Apply a sufficient amount of the solution to the area next to being moistened.

By adding Potting mix and perlite with other quality fertilizers to the soil, you increase the fertility of the soil, even during the dormant season of plants. If you are a lover of beautiful white flowers, then you should add phosphorus to the soil. Leaves emerge with the presence of phosphorus content in the soil.


Plumerias generally don’t need pruning, but if you notice the branches of the plant growing too much and abruptly, then definitely pruning is the right option. The best time for pruning plumeria is during the late winter, and before the spring season.

Pruning is of utmost necessity for maintaining good plant’s health. While pruning, you can also check for the grown-up excess branches, hence can transplant plumeria. You can place these plumeria cuttings as potted plants in containers with drainage holes, or directly in the ground.

Collect Cuttings for Propagation

Cuttings of Plumeria branches are the best option to propagate the plant. Cut the branch tips one to two inches in length in the spring or fall and let them rest for a minimum of two weeks before replanting. As the pod splits open, you may harvest the seeds. Till you’re ready to plant them, be certain to keep them dry. Three months is roughly how long dry seeds last.


Concluding the article, you got to know that plumeria is both an indoor and outdoor plant, that performs nicely, if planted outdoors, or in a new pot. The major requirements for the plumeria to grow in a garden are a better place that receives full sun, having a well drained soil, so that the roots may go deep inside, and adequate temperature to flower.

Key Takeaways

  • Plumeria belongs to South America, and Hawaii, and is commonly called Hawaiian leis.

  • It is the correct location that plays an important role in the proper growth of plants, like, good quality soil, proper sunlight, adequate watering, and proper spacing between the plants.

  • The pH of the soil should range between 6-6.5 and should be slightly acidic. Apart from that, you should keep on shuffling the soil with fertilizers, compost, and perlite to increase fertility of the soil.

  • After planting the plumeria, it is important to take good care of it. Watering, fertilizing, and pruning on time is necessary for plants.

Frequently Asked Questions on Planting Plumeria in the Ground

What is the best location for planting a Plumeria in the ground?

The key requirement to plant your plumeria is to provide it with all the necessary elements like well-draining soil, and warm weather, and plant it under the full sun.

What type of soil is best for a Plumeria plant?

A free-draining, somewhat acidic medium is good. Sand-based commercial mixes can be effective. Or, you can manufacture your own by mixing normal pumice, potting soil, and coarse sand in equal amounts.

How deep should I plant my Plumeria in the ground?

For planting the plumeria, look for the size of the root ball of the plant. Then dig a hole in the soil exactly to the size of the root ball and place it as deep as you can in the soil. Then flush the plant with soil completely and water it.

How far apart should I space my Plumeria plants when planting in the ground?

To give their roots enough room to expand, plumerias should be placed 10 to 20 feet away if they are to be planted in the ground. A trench with the identical thickness as the roots but two to three times wider can be used to plant a root ball.

How often should I water my Plumeria after planting it in the ground?

Watering Plumeria is not a big challenge but a thing to remember. You can water the plant once and then wait for the soil to dry out completely for the next cycle of watering. This allows for reducing the problem of waterlogged soil, or water retention.

What kind of fertilizer is best for a Plumeria planted in the ground?

Granular, water-soluble, and foliar spray fertilizers are the three main varieties used on plumerias. As long as the fertilizer supplies the right nutrients, any kind of fertilizer is appropriate.

When is the best time to prune my Plumeria planted in the ground?

Winter or early spring are the best times to prune for size and shape. It is best for the plant if you remove dead or infected branches as soon as possible, but you can do this whenever you see them.

How can I protect my Plumeria planted in the ground from pests?

There are certain pests like spider mites that may cause damage to plumeria. These pests can be controlled using an organic insecticide like Captain Jack’s Deadbug Brew or Neem Oil. The most prevalent disease of plumeria, known as plumeria rust, causes blisters and an orange powder to form on the leaves, which can be treated with liquid systemic fungicide or thionyl.

What are some common problems that can occur when planting Plumeria in the ground?

Although there aren’t many issues with plumeria, they can be vulnerable to spider mites and other common greenhouse pests like mealybugs and white flies. These insects can be managed with insecticidal soap.

Can I grow Plumeria in a pot or container instead of in the ground?

You can put your plumeria in the ground or a pot if you’re going to grow it outside. The potted plumeria plant also grows well in the garden, condition being provided by all the important elements.

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