Plumeria Care for Socal Climates

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Plumeria Care for Socal Climates

Plumerias are beautiful, colorful flowering plants that produce numerous flowers with fragrant scents. These flowers are famously recognized in Hawaiian leis and are easy to grow in our Southern California climate. It’s impossible to track all the different flowers and scents because there are countless varieties, however the pink, yellow and white varieties seem to be the easiest to grow. Reds and bi-colors sometimes need a little more care. Here are some simple tips I use to keep my Plumerias healthy and blooming.

In coastal regions, Plumerias can be placed in the direct sun without harm.  In inland areas, plants should be placed in a partially protection location. A little shade will protect foliage and stems from becoming scorched and will also prevent sun scalding on the stems.

Plumerias can survive with little moisture. You can even forget to water them and the plant will survive.  Overwatering is the most common mistake gardeners make when it comes to Plumerias. They can hold an excess amount of moisture in their stems and branches, which make this remarkable plant very durable in gardens or containers in hot areas.

Plant Plumerias in a well-drained soil.  Cactus mix is easy and effective as a soil medium.  Plumerias planted in heavy soils are susceptible to root rot.  This type of heavy soil should be amended with peat moss and perlite to add oxygenation and acidity.

During the cooler seasons Plumerias will start to defoliate.  This is natural; keep them in a protected place away from freezing temperatures and keep watering to a minimum.  Dry soil is okay; I usually water once a month or even less during the cooler months.

Fertilizing is a simple process. I use an all-purpose organic fertilizer and apply it in late February before the plant awakens from dormancy and pushes new foliage.

In order for Plumeria flowers to bloom, their soil should be around a ph level of 5.5 to 6.0. I use an acidic fertilizer called Nourish Bio Sol to acidify the soil and produce the best flowering results.

Plumerias perform well in containers.  Their roots are small and brittle so be careful when transplanting.

Roger’s Gardens has some magnificent Plumeria varieties in stock.  Here are some of my recommendations.

‘Cancun Dream’

Plumeria 'Cancun Dreams'


Plumeria 'Heaven'

‘Pacific Star’

Plumeria 'Pacific Starl'


Plumeria 'Playful'

‘Red Sparkles’

Plumeria 'Red Sparkles'

By | 2017-09-29T15:06:06+00:00 June 16th, 2016|California Friendly Garden Solutions, Gardening|4 Comments

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  1. Margie Peck June 17, 2016 at 9:26 am - Reply

    Can they get leaf curt similar to fruit trees? I live in HB.

    • Roger's Gardens June 21, 2016 at 10:44 am - Reply

      Hi Margie,

      Yes, Plumeria can have leaf curl. Curling is usually caused by insects sucking juices out of the foliage. Some times it could be a fungus problems. This is a very general response. If you have issues with you Plumeria I suggest taking some images and send them to me so I can diagnose them. This way I don’t have to guess what you problem could be.

      Steve Goto
      Nursery Sales Manager

  2. Jonette Ybarra October 7, 2017 at 3:13 pm - Reply

    I just bought my first Plumeria, it’s a 3ft “seedling”. I live in Corona. Should I leave it in the pot and bring it indoors for its first winter?

    • Roger's Gardens October 9, 2017 at 12:32 pm - Reply

      Hi Jonette,

      You could do that, but I suspect that you don’t need to go quite to that extreme. Certainly I would leave it potted if you can, since it is easier to move around. But depending upon where exactly you are located and where it is located in your garden you can leave it outside most of the winter. It is only during the coldest nights that it will be risky. If we have a few particularly cold spells, just take it under cover on those nights or during those periods.

      Happy Plumeria growing!


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