Updated: Feb 15
Heavily fragrant tropical Plumerias are small trees that produce clusters of richly colored blooms on the ends of their branches, creating a sort-of chandelier effect. They burst open to show Caribbean island colors that can range from pastel whites and blues to deep pinks and rosy reds -- many with contrasting yellow centers.
If you choose to, you can plant it in the ground and grow it as a large annual, but since it is a tropical, it's not suited our North Texas winters and will die as soon as temperatures drop below about 55 degrees F. Plumeria makes a much better tree-formed houseplant or summer-season outdoor container.
Light & Temperature
It needs bright direct sunlight for at least 4 to 6 hours per day. So for indoor growing, place it in a sunny South-facing window. If your home doesn't provide enough light, one option is to place your Plumeria under a fluorescent light for 14 to 15 hours every day.
Since it's a tropical, maintaining the right air temperature is also important. It prefers a range of 65 degrees to 80 degrees F, but it will tolerate North Texas summers. Just don't move it outside until overnight temperatures are consistently above 65 degrees F and -- as noted above -- be sure to bring it back indoors for the winter before temperatures drop below 55 degrees F or below.
Plumerias should be watered thoroughly and then allowed to dry out to prevent root rot. Keep a mister nearby so you can mist the leaves once or twice a day to increase humidity around the plant.
Plumerias won't bloom at all until they are at least two or three years old. Once they're old enough, they'll produce clusters of blooms from spring through fall.
Note: Marshall Grain only carries plants that are old enough to give you the enjoyment of their profuse and fragrant flowers.
They are considered heavy feeders. To keep them blooming at their peak, they need to be fed often during their blooming season with a low-nitrogen, high-phosphorus fertilizer about every two weeks. You should begin feeding at the first sign of bud development.
Note: Fertilizers always display three numbers representing the percentages of Nitrogen, Phosphorous, and Potassium (always in that order) contained in the product. For example: a fertilizer labled "8-2-4" indicates 8% Nitrogen, 2% Phosphorous, and 4% Potassium).
An excellent choice of fertilizers for your Plumeria would be FoxFarm's Tiger Bloom. Tiger Bloom is a high-phosphorus liquid fertilizer (2 - 8 - 4) to support vigorous flower production.
Other good choices would be. . . ..
Plumerias are wildly used in Polynesia to make leis, but the plant is actually native to Central and South America, including the Caribbean.
And while their pungent fragrance is attractive to people, it's simply irresistible to the night-flying sphinx moth. For that reason, their scent is much stronger at night than it is during the day. To draw in the moth, the flowers increase the release of their fragrance in the evening. Some warm summer night try staking out your plant to see who comes to call on you.