Plumerias are the unmistakably, sweetly-fragrant flowers famously used in Hawaiian leis. These gorgeous, drought-resistant flowers can thrive in Florida with proper care. Follow our guide on plumeria care so you can enjoy the sight, scent, and decorative beauty of these flowers.
Plumeria is a tropical plant that comes in shades of pink, yellow, white, or even beautifully variegated. Their delicate pinwheel-shaped blooms are stunning in gardens, pots, floral arrangements, and as we all know, in leis or tucked behind an ear. They will continue to bloom as long as the weather stays within its preferred warm range.
What Conditions do Plumeria Need?
Care for your plumeria will be quite easy as long as you give it full sun and warmth. Plumeria will thrive with 6-8 hours of intense sun every day. It can withstand some drought and would prefer to dry out between watering. Constant waterings will cause this delicate flower to develop root rot and die. It’s better to care for plumeria by giving them a bit of neglect rather than being over-attentive and accidentally drowning them.
How to Care for Plumeria in Florida
If you’re in South Florida, you can grow plumeria outside and it will thrive; it may even grow into a tree! If you’re further north, you would do well to grow them in pots. It is a tender plant that will not do well in cold climates. To keep them happy and healthy, bring them indoors to protect them from the chill.
In order to properly care for plumeria, you’ll need to stay on top of fertilizing them. A time-release fertilizer is an easier way to keep it fertilized during the growing season. Over a period of 6-9 months, the fertilizer will slowly feed your plumerias. You can also opt for any even number fertilizer, applied consistently during the growth period. Proper fertilization will reward you with large clusters of stunning flowers. Ensure you stop fertilizing about 45 days before it goes dormant, and avoid fertilizers with a high nitrogen content, which will leave you with a tall, lanky plant.
How to Care for Plumeria Indoors
No matter what conditions are outside, there’s always the option to grow plumeria inside. You can begin growing from a cutting, from seed, or buying one from a garden center. Location is everything when it comes to indoor plumeria care. Choose the brightest window with the longest period of sunlight you can find, usually a south-facing window. You can also supplement light by using a fluorescent grow light. Grow your plumeria in a well-draining cactus mix to avoid over-saturated roots. While they can survive drought-like conditions, they will still need proper watering, and it wouldn’t hurt to mist them regularly to keep their humidity at peak conditions.
Diseases and Pests in Plumeria
Plumeria has very few pest and disease issues to worry about. Just like most plants, they are at risk for spider mites, whiteflies, scale, and mealybugs. You can easily avoid these issues by making sure plumeria are being grown in their optimal sunny conditions. Ensure that while you aren’t overwatering them, you also aren’t letting them become life-threateningly dry. One common care issue with plumeria is a relatively harmless yellow “rust” fungus. Check the underside of the leaves for a yellow coating. You can prevent plumeria “rust” by ensuring the plant has ample air circulation and not too much moisture remaining on the leaves after watering or a rainfall.
If you would like more information on how to properly care for your plumeria in Fort Lauderdale, please come visit us. We’re always here to offer our help.