Plumerias, also known as Frangipani and Lei Flowers, are native to tropical regions such as Hawaii. Unfortunately, they don’t have a large tolerance range, so they don’t grow well in other climates. This may be a bummer to many people who want to grow these plants but don’t live in the ideal climate.
Thankfully, Plumeria adapts very well to being potted indoor plants. They can grow, thrive, and even bloom if they get the proper care. To grow a Plumeria plant indoors in a pot, you must ensure the pot is sizable with drainage holes to prevent bound roots, use well-draining, acidic soil, and provide warm temperatures and sunlight.
Plumerias are not only fast-growing but don’t tolerate being root bound, so keeping them in the same pot for too long can cause serious damage; they are also pretty top-heavy and can easily fall over.
While this isn’t the only requirement that Plumeria has, it is one of their most important, and if you can follow the guidelines to take care of them, you will find yourself with a beautiful tropical plant in your home.
Do Plumerias Grow Well in Pots?
Plumerias do very well in pots. They can handle being in pots for a short time before being transferred outside, or they can stay as an indoor houseplant in a pot their whole lives without any problem.
There are two main requirements for growing Plumerias in pots. The first is that they need a sizable pot. Even with younger Plumeria, you likely want to start with a one-gallon pot at a minimum.
The general rule of thumb is one gallon per foot (one gallon per 0.3 m) of trunk length. This helps to ensure that your plant not only has plenty of room but won’t topple over. Plumerias tend to be top-heavy, so they need plenty of soil to help keep them stable in a pot.
You also want to ensure that your pot has a good amount of drainage holes. Often, nursery pots are preferred as they have plenty of drainage holes for your plant.
How Do I Get My Plumeria to Bloom Indoors?
To get your Plumeria to bloom indoors, they prefer a fertilizer heavy in phosphorus. Generally, while they are in their growing season, you can fertilize them about once a week. However, you don’t want to over-fertilize them either, so keep an eye on the pH of the soil.
If the soil becomes too acidic, you can add a little (about a tablespoon) of Epsom salt to your soil about once a month. Additionally, you can get a liquid fertilizer, which you can spray directly onto the leaves to help your plant get the nutrients it needs to bloom.
However, just fertilizing your Plumeria isn’t enough. You must ensure your plant has all its requirements met to be happy and healthy as an indoor plant.
So, let’s look at what all Plumeria needs to be happy, thrive, and produce flowers.
What Is Plumeria Care Indoors?
What Kind of Soil Is Best for Plumeria?
Plumerias want well-draining soil. They don’t like soil that holds a lot of water. For that reason, a cactus potting mix is usually the best option. If you want to make it a little better, add some perlite and moss to make it a little more acidic and oxygenated.
Does Plumeria Like to Be Root Bound?
Plumeria does not like being root bound in any way. It is best to re-pot them at least once a year to prevent any problems. The best time to repot is in spring.
Do Plumeria Like Coffee Grounds?
Plumeria like acidic soil, usually around 6.5 to 7 pH. Coffee grounds provide acidity to whatever soil you are using and some vital nutrients. You can always check the soil first to see if it is basic or neutral in pH. If it is, adding some coffee grounds is a great idea.
How Do You Water Potted Plumeria?
It is best to water your Plumeria only once the soil dries out entirely. Usually, you can do this using the finger method. Simply take your finger and stick it about 2 inches (5 cm) into the soil. If you don’t wish to use your finger, you can stick any other small object into the soil, like a chopstick or popsicle stick. It is probably time to water if it feels dry and no soil is attached to the stick.
Once the soil is fully dry, you can water your Plumeria until the water pours out of the drainage holes. Then, you will wait and water again only once the soil is dry. Ensure you occasionally check that the drainage holes aren’t plugged up. If they become blocked and water doesn’t drain from your pot, you may have a Plumeria with root rot.
If root rot isn’t taken care of in your plant, you may start to notice your Plumeria turning yellow and eventually dying, so it is best to act quickly to prevent any further damage. Thankfully, using some fungicide and repotting a Plumeria can solve most of your problems.
Can I Use a Grow Light for my Plumeria?
If you live in a warmer environment that may be too hot for your Plumeria, grow lights can be useful. It prevents your Plumeria from overheating in the sun but still provides your plant with the light it needs.
It can also reduce how much your Plumeria’s soil dries out, so you can often go without watering them for a longer time.
When Should I Repot My Plumeria?
For the most part, Plumeria can be repotted about once a year. This is especially true for young Plumeria, which is growing quickly. If you don’t re-pot your Plumeria enough, they may become so top-heavy that they fall over fairly often.
Also, Plumeria can become root bound if not put into a new pot often enough. Plumerias don’t do well with being root bound, so not changing the pot often enough can lead to serious problems.
Does Plumeria Like to Be Misted?
Plumeria does like to be misted. They like fairly average humidity. So if you live in a dryer location, they may enjoy a little extra humidity. Usually, around 40 to 50% humidity for your Plumeria is ideal.
If you live somewhere that is a lot drier, then giving your Plumeria a proper misting once or twice a week can help your plant greatly. However, if your Plumeria is blooming, make sure that you only mist the leaves and not the flowers themselves, or it may damage the leaves.
How Do You Encourage Plumeria to Branch?
If you want your Plumeria to branch, prune it. Before they start to bloom in summer, you will want to prune the extra leaves and branches. Late spring is best. With every cut, two or three new branches will grow out of the cut, encouraging it to branch.
Usually, you want to cut about 2 inches (5 cm) above the junction where two branches meet up. If your plant has grown much taller than you would like, and you want it to become shorter and bushier, you can cut it down to about one foot (31 cm) above the soil.
That way, you can get your Plumeria to be shorter and bushier. Whenever you cut, you will want to cut at a 45-degree angle to produce the best results. Always use clean and sterilized tools when cutting to prevent infections or bacteria from spreading and harming your plant.
Plumeria is a beautiful plant, but they have a specific temperature range that doesn’t make them ideal for many climates, especially throughout the US. However, Plumeria makes excellent indoor plants, as long as you are willing to take the time to give them the care and space they need.
When trying to get your Plumeria to grow in pots indoors, it is most important to make sure they have enough space to grow. Provide your Plumeria with a large pot that has drainage holes and use well-draining soil to ensure your plant doesn’t develop root rot.
With enough care and fertilizer, your Plumeria will even be willing to bloom while indoors. However, it is important to constantly check on your Plumeria’s soil while fertilizing to ensure you don’t make the soil too acidic. Your plant might end up being injured rather than growing and blooming.