Plumeria in a Pot

This is a picture of a plumeria plant I have growing in a pot.  It just started blooming for the first time a few weeks ago, and the fragrance of the flowers is incredible.  Plumeria flowers are used to make leis in Hawaii.  Plumeria, common name Frangipani, is a tropical plant that is native to Central America.  I am stunned that we have managed to get it to bloom here in northern California.

I bought it at a grocery store 3 years ago.  It was about 7″ tall when I bought it.  It’s now about 2-2.5 feet tall.  After transplanting it into a larger pot about 2 years ago, my partner fertilized it regularly with fish emulsion, an organic fertilizer.  Since then, it has grown substantially.

Every winter, we take the pot indoors in November when the low temperatures start to fall below 40 degrees.  It’s a deciduous plumeria.  So it loses its leaves every winter and becomes dormant.  The label didn’t indicate what species of plumeria it is, but I’m guessing that it’s P. alba.

Last fall, the plant started forming buds, but the weather began to turn cold before they opened.  All of the leaves eventually fell off.  But the buds stayed on.  About half of the buds turned brown and shriveled up during dormancy.  The remaining buds have been opening now that the plant is growing again.  This plant seems to thrive in the warm sunny days of summer in direct sunlight.  And it does not seem to mind being indoors in the winter in a spot where it gets only indirect sunlight.  I think deciduous plumeria could be grown in a pot in any climate that has a long, warm growing season.

July 19 2008 03:54 pm | Plumeria