Frangipani (Plumeria rubra) is a tropical plant that needs warmth, humidity and plenty of sunshine to grow. These flowers, also known as Hawaiian lei flowers, grow in the Pacific Islands, Hawaii, the Caribbean, South America and Mexico. In colder areas, it is possible to grow the flowers indoors, but you must get the conditions just right.
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Things you need
- Quick-draining soil
- 15-cm (6-inch) pot
- Liquid fish and seaweed fertiliser
Plant frangipani in a 15-cm (6-inch) pot with drainage holes. Frangipani will outgrow this pot, but do well there as a seedling. Fill the pot with quick-draining potting soil to support the plant. Plant frangipani seedlings deeply enough that the entire root ball is covered.
Put the frangipani in a place where it receives six to eight hours of sun or bright light every day. Although frangipani can grow in shade, it does better in sun, with a temperature of at least 18 degrees C every day.
Water frangipani with 25mm (1 inch) of water every week. Always allow the soil to dry before you water again; frangipani needs warmth, but does not need excessive watering. Never allow the plants to sit in water.
Fertilise frangipani once every summer with liquid fish and seaweed fertiliser to give the plant nitrogen, phosphorous and potash for growing. Always follow manufacturer directions in regard to quantity and application of fertiliser.
Tips and warnings
- Frangipani blooms in shades of white, yellow, red, rose and other pastels. These blooms have very strong scents.
- Propagate frangipani through cuttings of the original plant.
- In the wild, frangipani shrubs grow to 12 metres (40 feet) in height.
- Frangipani is cold sensitive and will lose its leaves in winter when it goes into dormancy.
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