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?
(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.
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.