|Plumeria subsp. var.||Plumeria, Frangipani|
Plumeria is a genus which is known by the common name Frangipani in some places. During warm periods, the plants will give strongly perfumed flowers, used in Hawaii to make leis.
|Standard Cyclopedia of Horticulture|
Plumeria (Charles Plumier, 1646-1706, distinguished French botanist). Also spelled Plumiera and Plumieria. ApocynaceaeTropical trees grown for their showy and very fragrant flowers.
Leaves alternate, penninerved, the primary veins joined to a nerve running parallel with the margin: fls. in terminal 2-3-chotomous cymes: bracts usually large and covering the young buds but deciduous long before anthesis; corolla-tube cylindrical throughout; stamens included, near the base of the tube; disk wanting or fleshy and covering the tube of the calyx; ovules in many series: follicles 2.—About 50 species, all Troc. American, of which 2 kinds at present are offered in s. Calif, and 2 in S. Fla. The species are much confused and imperfectly understood.
Plumerias are amongst the most fragrant of tropical flowers, vying in this respect with the jessamine. Cape jasmine, and tuberose. They have large waxy funnel- shaped flowers with 5 spreading lobes of white, yellow, rose-purple, or combinations of the three colors. Choice specimens have been known to bear clusters 9 inches across, composed of more than twenty flowers each 3 1/2 inches across. They are considerably cultivated in all tropical lands. In the Pacific islands, P. acutifolia is frequent in graveyards. The word frangipani is supposed to be from the French, franchipanier, coagulated milk, referring to the tenacious white juice which exudes plentifully from the wounded plant. Other accounts suppose it to have come from an Italian noble- man of that name who in the Middle Ages compounded a perfume of many ingrediente and which the odor of these flowers resembled. All species are likely to be called frangipani. Plumerias are essentially summer-growing plants. Keep rather dry in winter. Propagation is by cuttings in February or March.
The following species have been intro. and more or less cult, abroad: P. bicolort Ruiz & Pav. Tree, up to 40 ft. high: lvs. oblong, acuminate, margins revolute: fls. white, yellow at throat. Peru.—P. Jamemnii, Hook. Four feet high: lvs. mostly at tips of branches: as. yellow, deeply tinged with red. Ecuador.—P. Lambertiana., Lindl. Ten feet high: lvs. oblong, acuminate, flat: fls. white, yellow-throated, with broad- rhomboid obtuse segms. May to Aug. Mex. B.R. 1378.—P. lutea, Ruiz & Pav. Ten to 20 feet high: lvs. crowded at ends of branches, 8-18 in. long, oblong-ovate: fls. white, flushed very pale pink with a broad pale golden yellow center. Peru. —P. tricolor, Ruiz A Pav. (P. Kerii, Don). Fifteen feet high: lvs. obovate-oblong, tapering at both ends: fls. with a yellow throat, white above the yellow and bright rose around the segm. margin. July-Oct. Peru.—P. tuberculata, Lodd. Six feet high: branches tuberculate: lvs. coriaceous, narrow- oblong, tapering into the petioles: fis. white, scentless. Aug. Santo Domingo CH
Fertilize plumeria with 10-30-10 every three to four months (in frost-free areas) at about 1 lb per inch of trunk diameter, distributing the fertilizer around the the plant to 2 feet beyond the foliage line. Feeding late in year will cause soft growth, which is vulnerable to the lightest frosts, so in frost-prone areas, only fertilize during early to mid-growing season.
Pruning is easiest in winter, after leaf drop, but pruning heavily will reduce the spring bloom. Shriveled and bent stems are infested with the plumeria stem borer, cut these back to their joint with a main branch (or lower if there you can see internal discoloration), then destroy these infested branches. Many old trees respond well to a pruning practice known as pollarding. Pollarding is a system in which a framework of branches is created with yearly pruning back on each branch to a point called the pollard head. The pollard head develops many growing points due to the annual pruning, and produces a fresh batch of shoots each year. In plumeria, if you pollard while the plant is dormant, the new shoots might develop flowers late in the year. Summer growing season pollarding produces a set of short branches that will go dormant in the fall rather than produce a flower head, then grow out as longer branches the following growing season, then many of these will flower in late summer.
Plumerias grown for commercial flower production are planted 10 ft apart in rows 12–15 ft apart, and pruned to produce a low canopy, encourage branching, which makes flower harvesting easier. Branched cuttings are selected for propagating, and the branch axil is set low to the ground to result in a shorter-statured plant. Once established in the ground, a plumeria can reach 10–12 feet in 6 years, given adequate fertilizer and moisture.
Plumeria species are easily propagated by taking a cutting of the end of a branch (about 20-30cm long) and allowing it to dry at the base before inserting into well draining soil. They are also propagated via tissue culture both from cuttings of freshly elongated stems and via aseptically germinated seed. It is important to avoid contact with the poisonous sap, which can cause serious skin burns in some people.
Cuttings may be taken at any time of the year, however, rooting appears to be most successful in spring and early summer. Plumeria cuttings may be stored in a warm and dry location for many months, but the best results are when the cuttings are allowed to root and grow within a few weeks of their separation from the donor plant.
When taking cuttings, choose healthy, robust limb tips. The tips with two or more growing points may make more compact plants for container growth, but branches with only one tip will also do fine. Plumeria cuttings are likely to be best if made 30-40 cm in length and include a bit of gray barked wood. Shorter cuttings often have more difficulty in striking root and will generally take longer to reach blooming size. Larger cuttings will root very well but are occasionally difficult to stabilize during the rooting process. Cuttings can be taken from any Plumeria plant having limb(s) meeting the above length criteria. Cuts should be made at an oblique angle to the limb being cut. This gives the cutting more root callus formation area and avoids water collection on cut surface of the donor plant. Use a very sharp knife, pruners, or a saw to make the cuts.
Once the cutting is removed from the donor plant, remove all but the tiniest leaves to reduce moisture loss. Set the cutting aside in a warm and dry location to allow the cut surface to dry and seal itself for at least three days (one week is better). Before planting, dip the cut end in root hormone with fungicide. Plant it shallow in sand or perlite (potting soil, etc.) excellent drainage is necessary. Stake the cutting for support or allow it to rest against side of container. Water very sparingly but keep the soil moist. Place the newly planted cutting in strong or full sunlight. Bottom heat helps promote root formation and growth and can be achieved by placing the container on sun-baked concrete. Watch for new leaf growth as the sign that roots have formed (usually 6-8 weeks). New plants may bloom the first year.
|“||Last summer, some fellow members told me that they make cuttings in November, lay the cuttings out on newspaper in a protected area until the leaves fall off. When the leaves have fallen off, they dip the cut end into water then RooTone and pot them up into 1 gallon containers. The potted cuttings are watered in well then stored for the winter. No more water is given until spring. When spring arrives, the cuttings have rooted and are well on their way much sooner than cuttings taken even in very early spring.||”|
Pests and diseases
Mealybugs are a problem.
7-8 species including:
- Plumeria alba - White Frangipani - Sunset zones 23, 24. Shrub to 4 m. Leaves are narrow, lance shaped and corrugated/puckered, to 30 cm long. Flowers 4-6 cm wide, yellow with white center.
- Plumeria inodora
- Plumeria obovata
- Plumeria obtusa - Sunset zones 24, 25. Shrub to 8 m. Retains dark green, glossy leaves and 5-7 cm flowers in winter. From Columbia, but common name is "Singapore".
- Plumeria pudica - Shrub to 4 m. Leaves have an elongated oak shape and glossy, dark green color. Everblooming type with non-deciduous, evergreen leaves.
- Plumeria rubra - Known as Plumeria or Frangipani; syn. Plumeria acuminata and Plumeria acutifolia. Sunset zones 12, 13, 19, 21-25, 27. Shrub to 7 m. The thick leaves are 20-40 cm long. Red flowers appear in clusters, and are 6-10 cm wide. White, pink, yellow blossoms exist.
- Plumeria stenopetala
- Plumeria stenophylla
- American Horticultural Society: A-Z Encyclopedia of Garden Plants, by Christopher Brickell, Judith D. Zuk. 1996. ISBN 0789419432
- Sunset National Garden Book. Sunset Books, Inc., 1997. ISBN 0376038608
- Plumeria Society