Adventures with Plumeria

There are few scents more tropical than that of Plumeria. It is often used to make leis, and we saw it growing everywhere in Hawaii. The waxy blooms give off an intoxicating but not cloying fragrance. I have always wanted to have a Plumeria, but it is usually grown in very warm climates as a shrub or small tree and it is definitely not winter-hardy, so living in Rhode Island, I thought I was out of luck.

Then I found a grower in Florida who sells a cultivar that is especially for containers. (Click on “Patio Plumerias” to see the one I bought.) After talking with them about growing requirements, I had to have one. They aren’t cheap, but I am an adventurous gardener who likes to try new plants every year, and this patio type can be brought indoors in the winter.

My patio Plumeria will have white and yellow flowers like the ones in the above Wiki photo. Right now, though, it doesn’t even have leaves.

See what I mean? This is a Plumeria cutting. That’s how they are shipped. The instructions say to support it with a stake until you are certain it has rooted, so that’s what I’m doing. I am also misting the tips of the branches every two or three days, also as instructed. Plumerias require really good drainage and as much sun as you can give them.

Here’s one of the branch tips, which, I believe has flower buds already, although they could be leaf buds. I’m learning as I go with this plant. Of course, I will post more photos as it grows and hopefully, blooms.

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About dirtynailz

Writer for a daily newspaper, gardener, tree hugger, orchid-grower, photographer, animal lover, hiker, wilderness seeker. Proponent of clover in the lawn and a dog on the bed.
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