My Plumeria needs repotting. What is the best soil and pot type? What amount of sunlight is best – morning, noon? Watering schedule? Question from Jean of Diamond Bar, California
Answer: Frangipani or Plumeria (Plumeria species) shrubs are tropicals that are native to Mexico, Central America, and South America. There are many species that have been bred to create a fine array of colorful varieties–nearly 400 garden varieties are registered.
Plumeria Growing Needs
There are several things that plumerias need to grow well. They grow and flower best with full sun (6 hours or more per day) and warm temperatures (60 to 90 degrees F). Because they are susceptible to root rot, they require contains and potting soil that is slightly acid (6.4 to 6.8 pH) and drains well. Black Gold All Purpose Potting Mix with a little added Black Gold Perlite would be ideal. There are specialty plumeria flower fertilizers on the market or you can choose, or you can simply use a fertilizer formulated for flowering shrubs.
How to Repot a Plumaria
Repot your plumeria every two to three years. A new pot should be at least three inches larger than the last. Plumerias emit a milky latex when damaged, which can be irritating to the skin and eyes, so wear garden gloves and long sleeves when repotting them.
Cover the bottom of the pot with a shallow layer of mix. Then gently lift your plumeria out of its old pot. Adjust and center the root ball in the new pot. Add new soil to the base as needed. Once planted, there should be 2 inches of headspace at the top for watering. If the roots are intertwined, or pot-bound, then gently tease them apart along the bottom and sides to increase establishment and water and nutrient uptake.
Add fresh mix along the sides and work it down firmly to increase soil-to-root contact and remove air pockets. Water in your new plant until water runs from the bottom of the pot. Fill in any receded spots along the sides and water in again. Begin to fertilize a week or two after planting. Follow the manufacturer’s recommendations.
Happy plumeria planting!
Black Gold Horticulturist