If plumeria did not strike a chord with which plant is being talked about, we are sure that you remember the vibrant garlands which are presented at almost all the beaches. Plumeria, popularly known as Lei Flowers and Frangipani, is a fragrant plant that blooms in colossal colors.
Its origin can be traced back to the tropical areas where it has multifaceted uses. Local folks contrastingly associate them with both gods and ghosts. For gods, as an offering, and for ghosts as a shelter.
However, to grow a plumeria plant, you don’t have to relocate yourself to a tropical area. It can be done just as easily at your current location if the adequate requirements are analyzed responsibly. They need a mixture of well-draining soil with slightly acidic properties accompanied by natural sunlight for at least 6 hours.
The water requirements consist of deep irrigation in intervals along with religious use of fertilizers throughout their prominent growing season. The use of just any fertilizer is not adequate in its results, and that is why all the options should be weighed optimally.
In this article, we will be shedding light on some general facts about plumeria along with everything that you need to know about growing them. We will also present all the options of fertilizers that are there in the market with their intricacies so that you can make an informed decision about the best fertilizer for plumeria.
Table of Contents
What are the nutrients that plumeria requires?
A plumeria plant needs a sumptuous assortment of both mineral and non-mineral nutrients for its best growth. As mentioned above, the water requirements are extremely peculiar, and thus the irrigation sessions must be closely monitored.
The plant must be given an ample amount of time to absorb the water before it is irrigated again without compromising with a minimum of six hours of sunlight every day.
Bright indirect light as a substitute to the natural sunlight can be used, but the energy which is contributed through the process is depleted substantially.
The non-mineral nutrients consist of Hydrogen (H), Carbon (C), and Oxygen (O), which should be provided to the plant at all times. These nutrients are abundantly available in the environment for the plant to absorb.
There is no specified amount of these nutrients to be absorbed as the absorption is involuntary, and the growers have little to no control over this process.
How is the plant fed?
When the non-mineral nutrients are combined in the plant, the process of photosynthesis takes place. In this, the plant changes the carbon dioxide, which it acquires from the environment, into starch and sugars. The by-product in the form of starch and sugars is the meal for plumeria.
Clubbed with non-mineral nutrients, plumeria also needs a variety of mineral nutrients to bloom properly. These nutrients are found in the soil and are absorbed with water through the roots of the plant.
Mineral nutrients are further classified into two categories, namely Macronutrients and Micronutrients. Macronutrients are the elements that are required by the plant in the majority, while micronutrients supplement the growth of the plant.
The trio of Nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), and potassium (K) dominate the nutrient content found in plumeria, with over two-thirds of the entire lot. Calcium (Ca), Magnesium (Mg), and Sulphur (S) is the other macronutrients that are required. The micronutrients which complement the growth are Iron (Fe), Manganese (Mn), Zinc (Zn), Copper (Cu), Boron (B), and Chlorine (Ci).
The assortment of the above-mentioned nutrients is crucial for a successful attempt at growing plumeria, but these nutrients are not always present adequately in the soil. This leads the Plumeria Growers and Gardeners to further strengthen the proportion by adding fertilizers.
Thus, Choosing the best fertilizer for plumeria becomes a dealbreaker for every grower.
How should plumeria be fertilized?
The trick to fertilize plumeria lies in striking the perfect balance between the available nutrients and the absent nutrients. The plant needs all 13 mineral nutrients in a perfect proportion so that no nutrient oppresses the machinery. Even if one of the nutrients is not present in the required ratio, it can cause the plant to grow poorly, topped with an overall slow growth rate.
To identify the nutrient which is lacking, the leaves should be monitored daily. Various signs of deficiency can be studied through leaves, which can be corrected by adjusting the soil and choosing the best fertilizer for plumeria, which it needs at that time. As mentioned before, the soil which is required for the growth of plumeria has to be slightly acidic, and sometimes the non-mineral nutrients affect that acidity. The choice of fertilizer should also complement the acidity of the soil.
After understanding how to fertilize the soil, it is also important to ascertain the exact time intervals of using the fertilizers. There should be scheduled use of fertilizers in order to obtain the maximum benefit.
When and how often should plumeria be fertilized?
The correct time to start fertilizing plumeria is in its growing season. You should fertilize it all summer long, once per week. Once the best fertilizer for plumeria is chosen, the consistency can be studied and put into a chart.
As an infant plant, plumeria needs optimum nutrition in its formative weeks of growth. But this does not mean that it should be over-fertilized. If the plant is fertilized more than its capacity to enrich, it can result in killing the plant as well. The same goes with the amount of water that should be used; waterlogging the plants acquainted with fertilizers will result in making the roots very brittle and will also wash away the properties of nutrients.
The plant requires more phosphorus in the beginning, and that is why the NPK ratio should not be stressed upon. The use of fertilizer can be adjusted as the plant starts to grow reasonably.
In winters, adequate doses of fertilizers should be used. The consistency can be lowered, but no scheduled date should be missed in order to obtain the perfect produce. No fertilizers are required when the plant is in a state of dormancy due to falling temperatures.
What are the different types of Fertilizers available for my plant?
There are many available types and variants of fertilizers which can be used, and that sometimes makes it confusing for a novice grower to choose from. In order to choose the best fertilizer for plumeria, we will be mentioning all of them with a strict analysis of their variants too.
Inorganic fertilizers are handcrafted after complex chemical reactions so as to suit the growth of the plant. They come with varied NPK ratios, and their labels should be studied carefully before buying them. Inorganic fertilizers are rich in nutrients, but they do not enhance the quality of the soil, organic fertilizers should be used for the latter.
They also do not fight the diseases and insects but work solely to enrich the plant with nutrients. All these fertilizers come with NPK ratios, which are numbers mentioning the ratio of Nitrogen, Phosphorus, and Potassium. Balanced mixtures of 20-20-20 is said to be a good fertilizer for plumeria.
For plants that need special attention, there are various micronutrient fertilizers available too. An example of the same can be urea, which contains only nitrogen and is exhibited as 42-0-0.
Granular fertilizers are organic fertilizers that are added to enhance the quality of the soil. They are used to feed the soil, which in turn feeds the plant. These are added directly into the soil even before the plant is planted. This helps the roots of the plants to absorb nutrients at their disposal as and when the need arises.
Even when these fertilizers are made of compost and are organic, it is always suggested to read the labels before putting them into the soil. Fewer fertilizers do not cause any harm to plants, but organic fertilizers can be dangerous too if they are blown out of proportion.
Granular Fertilizers should be mixed with water thoroughly before being added to the soil. If this is not ensured, they can cause damage to the leaves. Young Plumeria plants may only need a part of the strength of these fertilizers, and thus, overseeing the usage is mandatory.
Foliar fertilizers are designed to be applied directly to the leaves of the plant. They are less reactive, and they do not harm the leaves. They increase the speed of action and are used when the plumeria plant is excessively deficient in nutrients.
Even though foliar fertilizers are very advantageous, they come with some precautions. They should be diluted before use and should be applied in cool conditions. They might not work well in hot temperatures and might even damage the plant.
These fertilizers also come in tailor-made micronutrient design. Foliar fertilizers are often very expensive and should be used as a supplement to granular or inorganic fertilizers.
Our top picks for the different available fertilizers for Plumeria
FLOWER FUEL is an extra premium, hydroponic-grade bloom booster from Element Nutrients. It is created to supplement your favorite base flower nutrient. It is formulated with top-notch ingredients so as to assure a flavourful yield with the best results.
This is done by encouraging plants to absorb and use essential nutrients and organic chemicals at a faster rate. This is made up of a complex and highly complex combination of high decongestant agents, vitamins, and hormones, as well as the most common forms of phosphorus and potassium. What this means for you are bigger and better plants that produce a bigger and better yield.
- Premium ingredients
- Fast results
- Versatile utility
- Highly Effective
- Acidic influx
- Solubility issues
NutriStar for Plumerias is designed for plumerias and all other tropical areas that respond to low nitrogen levels and high levels of phosphorus. Nitrogen is formed by microbial release urea-form. In addition to high phosphorus, including bone meal, Plumeria plant foods contain essential to iron and magnesium.
This fertilizer compound contains the form of urea, monoammonium phosphate, potassium nitrate, and various other nutrients.
- High in calcium
- Balanced nutrient levels
- Faster metabolism
- Micronutrient rich
- Slow process
Scotts super bloom water-soluble food is a phosphorus-rich supplement that is extremely important for plumeria. It is water-soluble and derives efficient results. If the directions mentioned on the labels are used with caution, Scotts Super Bloom will never destroy the plant.
Plumeria plants need phosphorus in large quantities in their growing season, and hence any supplement rich in phosphorus is an ideal addition to the mix.
- Macronutrient specific
- Safe to use
- Contains harmful metal
Dr. Earth exotic blend palm, tropical & Hibiscus fertilizer polybag 4lb exotic blend palm, tropical & Hibiscus fertilizer is suitable for all tropical and underground plants. It is safe to use product which comes in different variants as per need.
The rapid release of nutrients coupled with the ability to continue eating in a few months ensures the green, healthy growth of the whole plant.
- Enriched with minerals
- Safe to use
- Organic Transparency
- Sustainably made
- Bad smell
Osmocote Smart Release is an all-rounder for the overall nourishment of the plant. It consists of 11 important ingredients, which are crucial for the plant to grow and blossom. The micronutrients are sometimes ignored in the mix, but this product ensures that your plant gets every minuscule nutrient it needs.
It is easy to use and also helps with the sustainability of the plant. Osmocote can be a great choice if you are looking forward to a balanced fertilizer for your plumeria.
- Easy to use
- Both Indoor and Outdoor usage
- Overall growth
- Balanced approach
- Not great for the environment
- Adds to micro plastics
Miracle-Gro is a trusted nutrient brand that is rich in phosphorus and is trusted to make the flowers bloom. Miracle-gro has always left its consumers satisfied with consistent results and is trusted for the overall and sustainable growth of the plant.
It can be mixed easily with water and is also safe to use.
- Easy to use
- Consistent growth
- Slow results
The above-mentioned products have been trusted with results by the consumers and have achieved impressive ratings on many eCommerce websites. They can be chosen according to specific purposes.
These are some of the leading products in this domain, but you can also research more about similar products.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Are coffee grounds good for plumeria?
Plumeria does well in a land that is slightly acidic, and therefore coffee lands definitely hold a niche for planting plumeria. These lands are slightly acidic and also hold small amounts of nitrogen, which helps with growing plumeria.
If the above-mentioned routines are followed with discipline, coffee grounds will just work automatically for better results.
2. Why is my plumeria not blooming?
There are a considerable number of reasons for plumeria to not bloom. The most prominent reason if the irrigation is not done properly and if adequate sunlight is not provided. Another reason is not using the correct combination of fertilizers.
Pests also contribute to plumeria not blooming and sometimes destroy the entire plant. The plants should be given exposure to mild insecticides to avoid this. Another reason for this to happen is when the stems are not old enough.
Fertilizers make up for the lost nutrients which are not available in the soil, and hence only the best fertilizer for plumeria should be chosen after analyzing the ratios of the nutrients which are available.
3. Do plumerias like the full sun?
Yes, Plumerias prefer full sun; however, the partial sun can also suffice. The process of photosynthesis cannot be conducted without sunlight, and hence exposure to direct sunlight for at least 6 hours is non-negotiable.
Artificial bright lights can also be used, but the amount of energy which is obtained falls short. Sunlight also helps in draining the irrigated soil and thus should not be compromised with.
4. What temperature is too cold for plumeria?
Plumeria originates from the tropical areas and thus are adaptive to warm temperatures. They bloom in full sunlight and can get severely damaged in cold weather.
Temperatures falling below 35 degrees can cause extensive damage to the tips of the plant, wherein if the temperature falls below 32 degrees, it can destroy the plant. It is advised to move them to a warmer place when the temperature falls below 40 degrees.
The only key is to keep the plant in warmer conditions when the temperatures are falling low.
5. How do you winterize a plumeria plant?
Plumerias are extremely sensitive plants and have a very low tolerance to low temperatures. In order to winterize them, they should be moved to a basement or a garage when the temperature falls below 40 degrees.
If moving them is not a feasible option, then they can be exposed to warm lights or can be covered with a blanket. The blanket can be removed during daylight.
6. Why my plumeria are leaves turning yellow and falling off?
This condition can occur when the weather conditions are not favorable for plumeria. During winters, due to exposure to lower temperatures, the leaves sometimes turn yellow and start falling. However, the plant banks on its strong roots and stems even in harsh conditions despite being completely leafless.
Another reason for the leaves to drop can be inadequate water supply. During the summer season, the flow of water should be scheduled. If the irrigation is insufficient, it may cause the plant to go into dormancy.
But if the plant is watered with caution and still the leaves start to turn yellow, it could be infested with spider mites, microscopic pests that create fine, visible webs and can cause leaves to become deformed, turn yellow or brown, and fall off an affected plant. These mites can be controlled by keeping a regular check and spraying insecticides at regular intervals.
The plumeria plant is a worthy addition to your kitchen garden if you are ready to give it the attention which it requires. It blooms into beautiful flowers, which enhance the scenic beauty of the area all around.
To use products based out of plumeria is always a delight because of their fragrance and organic benefits but to grow them is definitely a disciplined task. From the acidity in the soil to the intermittent irrigant to the right fertilizer, everything counts.
Choosing the best fertilizer for plumeria is quintessential for its growth and sustainability, and hence only the best out of the available choices should be chosen. For someone who is trying their hand for the first time with Plumerias, this article can be a good starting point. We have tried to cover almost everything related to planting them along with the frequently asked questions.
If the basic conditions of growing the plant can be put into perspective, a little monitoring as a part of your daily schedule will make the needful. Cheers to vibrant Plumerias in your garden!
James Fields is the founder of Gardener to Farmer. His passion for gardening goes back to his childhood days when he would visit his grandfather during the holidays and help him with the plants in the backyard. This has now translated to creating a dependable resource for gardening.