Root heat is key for northern grown plumeria like those in Delaware. I live in Michigan and being a biologist by trade, experimented to figure out how to get these to flower in a shortened summer. I have found that root heat is key for getting plants to flower. 4 of the 6 plants I placed black mulch into the pots of the plants to absorb heat flowered. Additionally my one plumeria in a black pot also
flowered. Thus I concluded that the heat of the roots needs to be high enough to change the plants hormone ratios and flower.
Kalamazoo, Mi Zone 7
Thanks for the advice. I will fertilize come spring. You know my Plumeria still has all its leaves even after the snow, although the leaves are looking a little worse for wear. I too am looking forward to my blooms again, I used to live in Hawaii & never thought I could grow Plumeria's in Houston, but with global warming they thrive here. There's a huge orange tree growing in my neighborhood & I'm almost inside the 610 loop. I've got some papayas in a pot too. Thanks again, Diane
I, too, live in Houston/Katy and my plumerias didn't bloom this summer., I didn't have them on the driveway in the strong sun (they got partial shade) and I neglected to feed them with the "plumeria" food I buy at the "orange tent place!" I don't think Hurricane Ike helped, either. Where I had them in the yard this year was in direct line of the sprinkler, so they also got much more water than they did on the driveway. Now, they are in the garage (since our snow this week!) so I expect great things next year!
Although not an expert on plumeria/frangipani, if it is the top portion of the plant that has frozen you can probably cut that off without damaging the plant itself. It may take a bit longer to flower if you do this but you will be saving the plant itself. I am in zone 9 in Florida and although we don't normally have a great deal of freezing weather I still take precautions and cover the plant when the temperature is below 40 (or so). I have had mine in the ground for multiples of years and we call it the Medusa since it has so many "arms" that flowers bloom on. Don't forget to fertilize at the proper times and enjoy your blooms.
One of my neighbors has about 20 plumerias and also a lady over here in Spring Hill sells them over the internet. Both of these plumeria growers swear by the fertilizer that has the numbers 10-52-10. My neighbors were blooming huge flowers this year so I tend to believe what she is saying. I just acquired 3 of my own (2 from a trip to Hawaii and 1 from a local grower) and am anxious to see what will happen. I have them each planted in large 3 gallon pots and in the summer I keep them in FULL sun. On the nights that we are having a frost warning I bring them inside the house. I can't wait to see what they are going to do next spring and summer.
Q: I have three (3) Plumeria or Frangipani, two I brought back from Hawaii and the other I rescued from a neighbor's trash. None of them have ever bloomed. There are some in the neighborhood and they are in bloom now. I fertilized with "red" dynamite and still nothing happened to them. What can I do to help them?
Hardiness Zone: 9b
Christy P from Jupiter, FL
I would start with a process of elimination. Are you meeting all of your Plumeria's needs? Start with good, well-drained potting soil and lots of sunlight. Plumeria is unlikely to bloom when kept indoors, as it needs at least 6 hours of direct sunlight a day. I assume your growing yours in containers and will be moving them indoors in the winter. Water your Plumeria as necessary, deeply, but not necessarily frequently. Plumeria stems store water for a period of time, so be careful not to over water. Let the soil dry out just a bit between watering. If you are using Dynamite fertilizer in the red canister (commonly found at Home Depots and other large home centers), you might want to switch. That is a balanced slow-release fertilizer and you may need something with a higher ratio of phosphorus (the second number, e.g. 13-13-13) to promote flowering. Also, if these plants are young (1-2 years old) they may need more time to develop before flowering. Be patient, it will happen eventually. Good Luck!
Two things you should always keep in mind about Frangipani:
1. It doesn't mature as quickly as most plants, so it should be at least 3 years old before you can expect its first bloom.
2. You should never ever water Frangipani in the winter, or when it is in its dormant stage (this is obvious by the look of the plant).
Frangipani should be fed with a high nitrogen fertilizer beginning in spring when growth begins. To encourage the most blooms, switch to a high phosphorous fertilizer in early May and fertilize every 2-3 weeks through the end of August. (05/04/2006)
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