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My frangipani won't bloom

I WAS given a frangipani in a pot about three years ago. Each year it's had fewer leaves and looks less healthy. It's in full sun and I've fed it with Nitrosol a couple of times this summer, but it hasn't flowered. Can you tell me how to care for it and should I prune it at all?


FRANGIPANI (Plumeria rubra) are usually grown from cuttings imported from the Pacific Islands or Queensland. The cuttings are taken from large, mature trees that already have flower buds initiated in their tips. As soon as they've grown roots they burst into flower and are quickly snapped up in the garden centres. It's quite common for them not to flower again for several years.

Keep your plant in a very sunny spot, preferably outdoors, but it must be frost free. Feed sparingly or you could encourage lush growth and reduce the chance of flowers. The leaves will die off in winter, so reduce the water - treat it like a cactus until it grows new leaves again. During summer look out for mites on the foliage which can cause leaf drop and poor growth. Spray with Nature's Way Insect Spray or Mite Killer for control.

You could try planting it in the garden; a welldrained sunny spot with a wall, fence or rocks behind it to reflect the heat is ideal. Once established and mature, frangipani will flower regularly each year. Avoid pruning it, except to remove any dead pieces, or you'll further reduce the chance of flowers.

Weekend Gardener, Issue 145, 2004, Page 26

Reproduced with permission from the former Weekend Gardener magazine. The views expressed here are not necessarily those of the RNZIH.

Andrew Maloy Weekend Gardener

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