Highway 98 North
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Article - original release July 25, 2004
Culbert - Extension Horticulture Agent
for a Tropical Look
you looking for an easy to grow tropical tree that is sure to make your Florida
Yard a tropical paradise?
adding a Frangipani tree to the warmer areas of your yard.
This easy to grow tree will cover itself with fragrant colorful flowers
from mid-spring through the beginning of winter or can be grown in containers if
your landscape will be visited by Jack Frost.
many different species of
plus several hybrids and hundreds of cultivars.
While it is a native of
is the most common species of Frangipani. It is a deciduous tree with 18
inch-long leaves. They have many flower colors ranging from rose with a yellow
center to tricolored white, rose and yellow flowers.
species (P. alba)
has white fragrant flowers and narrow leaves that have rolled back
edges, while P. obtusa
has white bloom with a yellow center and evergreen leaves with a rounded tip.
Plumeria rubra, Photo Courtesy Texas A&M University
Okeechobee Master Gardener Bill Hendry has this Plumeria variety growing in his yard.
Plumeria obtusa, Photo courtesy Thomas Boller, University of Basel, Switzerland.
Mature Frangipani tree - note domed shape. (Photo by Dan Culbert, UF/IFAS)
While most frangipani are deciduous, there is a white flowered evergreen Plumeria known as Bridal Bouquet, Plumeria pudica.
Multiple branches grow from a single node; these may be removed for propagation and can to strengthen the Frangipani tree. (Photo by Dan Culbert, UF/IFAS)
In the landscape, give this plant some room, as it can spread into a dome shaped mass that can reach 25 feet tall and wide. It has inch thick fleshy stems with a full canopy of long leaves. All parts of the plant contain a white sap which can irritate the skin. Frangipani is closely related to the Oleander and Allamanda, all know to be poisonous.
Frangipanis are planted in the ground, they should be placed where they will get
full sun or light shade.
well-drained soil and a site where there is good air circulation, but protected
from the North winter winds.
interior and central
though this is a tropical plant, many Frangipanis will drop their leaves in the
short days of winter. They will resume their growth of leaves and flowers once
night temperatures return to the 60-degree levels.
Because of this leaf drop in the fall and a dead stick appearance in
winter, consider where it is placed in your Florida Yard.
nurseries carry this plant in a variety of sizes.
Hobbyist growers and some commercial sources can supply many different
color varieties of
give you some internet links to some of these colorful sources.)
is very easy.
Recently a delivery
truck backed into my frangipani, breaking off a few of the lower branches.
I took the outermost one or two feet from these branches, removed all the
leaves and flower stalks then cleaned up the cut ends.
Placing these sticks in a shady spot for a few weeks will allow the cuts
These foot long
“cuttings” are then used to grow new Frangipani.
recommend that the cuttings be inserted several inches into a container of
well-drained potting soil and placed in a shady area until new leaves start to
New growth indicates that new
roots have formed, and the plant can then be gradually moved into brighter
Frangipanis destined for
the landscape also respond to early container rooting to get them off to a good
established, routine care of this tree is easy. If your lawn surrounds your
Frangipani, lawn fertilization will be sufficient for good growth. Monroe County
Agent Kim Gable says that they will respond to super bloom fertilizer applied
during the warm growing season. In our area, avoid the use of high
phosphorous containing fertilizers (the middle number) unless soil tests
indicate they are needed. Excess nitrogen will make the plant larger and less
Apply about 1 pound
per inch of trunk diameter, distributing granular fertilizers in a big circle
two feet beyond the end of the branch tips.
far as insects are concerned, Frangipani may occasionally be bothered by scale
insects, according to Collier County Extension Entomologist Doug Caldwell. They
are occasionally chewed on by large (6-inch) red-footed zebra-colored
caterpillar. One frangipani caterpillar can devour three good size leaves a day
before it turns into a Tetrio Sphinx moth (Pseudosphinx
A more significant pest is Frangipani rust (Coleosporium plumierae), a fungus that causes early leaf drop in the fall and winter. Look for yellow, powdery spots forming under the leaves. Once a leaf has become infected, there is nothing that can be done for that leaf, and it will infect new leaves. Control begins with raking up and disposing of all infected leaves your household waste. Use of 3 or 4 applications of fungicide spray at 2 to 3 week intervals can also help break the rust cycle. Fungicides will allow the leaves to stay on the tree a few weeks longer, allowing it to store more food reserves and return from its winter dormancy with a stronger growth rate.
If you need additional information on Frangipani, take a look at our internet site, http://okeechobee.ifas.ufl.edu or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can visit with our Okeechobee County Extension office for more information or call us at 863-763-6469 or stop by our office at 458 Hwy 98 North in Okeechobee.
pests are Rust (left) and the Frangipani caterpillar.
Pest photos by D. Caldwell, UF/IFAS
|Frangipani seed pods (above) are unusual. Young pods may be curved, but most will be straight. When they split open, many winged seed will be released. If you wish to save them to grow from seed, wrap a thin wire around the pod before they turn brown to prevent the seed from scattering. (Photos by Dan Culbert, UF/IFAS)|
Brown, Stephen. Plumeria pudica Bridal Bouquet, Fiddle Leaf Plumeria. Fort Myers: UF/IFAS Lee County Extension Service, October 2009. http://lee.ifas.ufl.edu/Hort/GardenPubsAZ/PlumeriaPudica.pdf
ibid. Plumeria alba White Frangipani. Fort Myers: UF/IFAS Lee County Extension Service, October 2009. http://lee.ifas.ufl.edu/Hort/GardenPubsAZ/PlumeriaAlbaWhiteFrangipani.pdf
ibid. Identification of the Four Forms of Plumeria rubra. Proceedings of the Florida. State Hort. Soc. 121:406–407. 2008. http://lee.ifas.ufl.edu/Hort/GardenPubsAZ/GL25_Brown.pdf
Frangipani for the Bugs.
Dunfrord, James C. and Barbara, Kathryn A. Frangipani Hornworm (Featured Creatures, EENY-344). Gainesville: UF/IFAS Department of Entomology March 2011. http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/in621
E. & Watson, Dennis.
alba (White Frangipani).
Koeser, A.K. Hasing, G., and McLean, D. Plumeria: Propagation from Cuttings [ENH-1228]. Gainesville, UF/IFAS Extension Service, October 2013. http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/ep489
- Well Known Exotic Tropical.
LaBelle: UF/IFAS Hendry
Nelson, Scot. Plumeria Rust. Manoa: University of Hawai'i Cooperative Extension Service (PD-61) January, 2009. http://www.ctahr.hawaii.edu/oc/freepubs/pdf/pd-61.pdf
Vannoorbeeck, Luc. Grafting Plumerias (PowerPoint presentation, Miami Master Gardeners) 2010. [Ask me for a copy!]
Wichman, T. Plumeria Gainesville: Gardening in a Minute [webpage] 2013. http://gardeningsolutions.ifas.ufl.edu/giam/plants_and_grasses/flowering_plants/plumeria.html
|Plumeria can be rooted from cuttings, grafted (left) or grown from seed (right). Photos by L.Vannoorbeeck.|
Virtual International Plumeria
Commercial websites on Plumeria are numerous. Point your web browser to your favorite search engine and look for Plumeria or Frangipani.
Amateur websites showing the diversity of these plants are also numerous. Here is one of my favorites from Houston Texas.
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