Plumerias are tropical trees famous for their gorgeous flowers which are used to make leis (floral garlands). In regions with cold winters. Plumerias can be grown in containers and brought indoors when the weather cools in autumn. Other common names are frangipani and Hawaiian lei flower. About Plumeria!
The plumeria was introduced to Hawaii by a German botanist in 1860. These flowers thrived in the tropical climate and volcanic soil and even produced several new varieties.
Today, you will find the exotic plumeria flower adorning the hair of Hawaiian woman as a symbol of their marital status. Or in leis worn about the neck.
Description About Plumeria
Frangipanis are relatively small trees growing only to about 5-6m in height. But what they lack in height they make up in width often becoming as wide as they are tall. They have a well-behaved root system which makes them great for the home garden and for growing in pots. Frangipanis are also great survivors coping with drought, heat, neglect and insect and pest attack. They are also deciduous allowing maximum winter sun while providing shade in summer.
With its gnarled branches, long leaves and distinctive flowers. The frangipani is easily one of the most common and identifiable trees. The bark is grey/green and scaly in appearance. The scaling is formed when leaves drop in winter leaving small semi-circular marks on the bark. The branches have a swollen appearance and the leaves. Dark green on the top and a lighter shade of green underneath, cluster at the tips of branches. A cut made on any part of the tree will exude a milky, sticky sap that is poisonous to both humans and animals.
Flower colors include pink, red, white, and yellow, or pastel bicolors. The flowers are very fragrant, with a scent including hints of jasmine, citrus, and gardenia. Since they are pollinated by night-flying sphinx moths. The flowers really begin to release their fragrance in the evening. But they can still have a lovely floral scent at other times. The flowers are used for making leis on many Pacific Islands.
The number of flowers per cluster varies greatly, with some cultivars producing as many as 200 flowers and others as few as 50 over a period of months. The percentage of branch tips that will set flowers also varies considerably from 10-60%. With compact plants generally blooming more heavily than more leggy plants. And peak bloom time and number of subsequent flushes of flowers also varies by cultivar.
How To Grow Plumeria Plants Indoors
Place your plumeria in a sunny window that receives bright light (direct sunlight) 4-6 hours per day. South-facing windows should be strongly considered because they provide the brightest light for the longest duration. Some people even go to the lengths of moving their plants throughout the day to meet the lighting requirement.
Don’t have a great window spot for your plumeria? Don’t despair – you can always try growing plumeria indoors under a fluorescent light for 14-15 hours daily. Given that plumeria is a tropical plant, temperature is another consideration. Maintaining an indoor temperature of 65-80 degrees F. (18-27 C.) would be ideal.
When germinating plumeria flower seeds at home or in a greenhouse. The first thing to remember is plumeria seeds may be started indoors. But should be transplanted and moved to a location that provides plenty of light as soon as it has 3 or 4 real leaves. Leaving a seedling in small containers may result in disrupted growth, which can lead to unfavorable results. However, starting plumeria flower indoors is a great way to get an early jump on the outdoor growing season. When choosing a medium in which to germinate plumeria seeds, look for one that says something along the lines of, “seed starting mix.”
This type of growing medium will likely have a moderate elemental fertilizer charge, which will benefit the newly sprouted seedlings. Seeds can be germinated in many different styles of trays and containers, so choose the type that best fits your space needs. If starting just a few seeds, a simple, flat starting tray or small individual containers will work great.
Ongoing Care About Plumeria
Plumerias require at least 1 inch of rain (or equivalent watering) each week. More water may be required for plumerias growing in containers, but don’t overwater or the trunks will rot. Feed plants twice a month during the growing season with a high phosphorous fertilizer.
Plumerias are sensitive to cold and should be protected when temperatures dip into the 40Fs. Check periodically for pests such as spider mites, white flies, and mealybugs. Use a horticultural oil or insecticidal soap to control these pests.
Possible Disease and Pest Problems About Plumeria
A handful of pests and diseases occasionally plague plumeria. Potential pests include spider mites. The long-horned beetle, whiteflies, thrips, mealybugs, slugs or snails and cutworms, or moth larvae. The most serious plumeria pest is typically the long-horned beetle, also known as the plumeria stem borer.
Prune off and destroy infested portions of the plant. Various fungi cause the development of rust, which appears as a blistering or powder on leaves, particularly prevalent during cool, wet weather. Rust is rarely sever enough to warrant concern. Black sooty mold may develop on honeydew, a sticky, sweet substance secreted by certain pests.