What is the first thing you think about when someone says the word “flower”? Usually, you think of daisies, roses or orchids, right? But what if I tell you that flowers can be shrubs or trees as well? Our plant of today is one such, so let me show you how to grow plumeria, I promise you won’t regret it.
There are two main reasons why people grow flowers. Scent and looks. Luckily, our flower of today has both of those, although I would give a slight advantage to the scent. It is so good that I keep wondering why I haven’t included this plant in my list of 12 fragrant flowers.
Common Knowledge About Plumeria
If you are living in the northern hemisphere, it may happen that you haven’t seen plumeria so often. To amend this, here are some of the facts about this wonderful plant.
So, if you have decided to grow plumeria, these are the essential facts about it. And just to add, these plants are often used in making leis on the Pacific islands. There are some things which need to be done to grow these shrubs but don’t worry; I got it covered.
Tools And Material
To grow any kind of plant, you will need tools, right? Also, providing quality soil is important, so let’s see which items will help you grow a healthy plant, shall we?
Of all tools, you should dedicate the most attention to garden shears. Namely, if you desire to take a cutting from a friend, or you have already established plumeria shrub, you will have to cut it somehow, right? To avoid any diseases appearing, rub the whole shears with alcohol, and let it dry.
As I said, plumerias are often propagated from the cutting. Whether you buy one online or take it from a neighbor, it doesn’t matter. Some preparation is in order, and although I wasn't bitten by a radioactive spider, I’m still your friendly (online) neighbor, so I’ll guide you through the process.
First of all, the cutting need to be dried. Clearly, this defies common practice, but trust me, leave it somewhere warm for a week or two. In the meantime, prepare the container you wish to use for growing these flowers. There will be one cutting per pot, so plan according to this.
Maxed out drainage is required for healthy growth, so your potting mix should be designed specifically for this purpose. If you are not satisfied with how it drains, add some vermiculite, it will improve it a lot.
As you can notice, there isn’t ground preparation which I often mention on my blog. Instead, go for container variety which can be carried out once the temperature rises. The most significant advantage of this approach is that you won’t have to dig out the whole plant once the temp drops below 50°F.
So, after you have poured the mix into the container, and the cutting is treated the way I have described, all there is left is to plant it. Before you start, press the soil firmly to remove any excess air.
Also, you can water it, so while you are planting the cutting any extra water will run away.
Now, take the cutting and press it into the ground until its lower 3-4” are inside. You don’t have to go deeper since this depth is the adequate one. Add more mix on top of it if it is needed, but don’t overfill the container; the water will run down when it reaches the edge of the container.
At this time you can add just a bit of fertilizer. Keep in mind that plumeria needs phosphorus to grow better and more beautiful flowers. Therefore, don’t use those rich in nitrogen, since it will boost the growth of the foliage.
On average, after a month or two, the roots will develop and settle. During this time, don’t exaggerate with watering. Keep the soil drained of water, but don’t neglect it either.
Caring And Pests
Proper care is vital for every plant, but luckily, plumeria doesn’t need much to be happy.
Two of the most critical aspects of maintaining the plant are watering and watching for temperature. If you notice that top several inches of the soil are wet, don’t water the plant yet (it even rhymes). On average, you will water it once a week, depending on the temperature.
Carrying for temperature is rather straightforward. As soon as it drops below 60°F carry the container inside. If you place it somewhere with a lot of sunlight, it will continue to grow. Otherwise, it will go dormant during the winter, and for this period, don’t use fertilizers, and water just to keep it alive.
When it comes to pests, there are a lot of hungry guys who will want to invade your plant. So, if you see thrips, spider mites or mealy bugs, use insecticides based on pyrethrin or soap solution. There are a few good recipes in my article about organic insecticides.
One of the most common diseases which can attack your plumeria is a black tip fungus. It will appear when the temperature is low, and there is too much moisture, so keep these two in check, to prevent its appearance.
So, that’s it. I’ve shown you how to grow plumeria, and I believe that this flower is worthy of your attention. Of course, if you wish to wait and try growing it some other time, there’s no problem, feel free to use this article whenever you see fit.
In case that there are some questions, thoughts or opinions, feel free to leave them in the comment section below.