I am considering buying a Plumeria plant in the spring. Since I have never owned one before, I am wondering about its thrivability here in Savannah and also soil requirements for the pot it is planted in.
The Gardener’s Answer
Hi, Kathi: It is always exciting to introduce a new plant to the garden. Plumeria, also known as Frangipani, is a wonderfully scented tropical. It is native to tropical areas of the United States. This means it will not survive freezing temperatures and even 40 degrees F is pushing it, so this is one you will have to bring in for the winter. Luckily for those of us who do not live in the tropics, Plumeria are great container plants. If they are given the right environment you can enjoy the fragrant blooms throughout the growing season. There are many cultivars and hybrids to choose from, each a different color, scent, and growth habit. They all require full sun, meaning they need a minimum of six hours of sunlight each day. It is important to use a good quality container mix. Plumeria will not tolerate saturated roots so using a potting mix made specifically for containers that is loose, well-drained, peat-perlite based will help prevent this from being a problem. Plumeria are heavy feeders so fertilizer is a must during the growing season (May-August). It is best to use a fertilizer that is high in phosphorus because this is what will help to encourage your Plumeria to bloom. This is the middle number on the fertilizer so if a product is labeled 10-50-10 this one would be high in phosphorus. Either a slow-release or liquid fertilizer will work just fine. You can feed your plant twice a month during the growing season and then avoid just before you bring your plant indoors until it goes back out the following spring. During this time the plant will go dormant so you can cut back on your watering as well as fertilizing.