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Plumeria - Frangipani

Plumeria - Frangipani

The flower of Paradise

Plumerie are the flowers with which in the Pacific islands it is customary to prepare large necklaces to give to guests; it is of shrubs of small or medium-sized, closely related to the oleander, the carissa, the adenium.

Plumeria, commonly called frangipani, is a plant known for the beauty of its flowers. In the Hawaiian Islands with the fragrant flowers, garlands are made to offer to guests as a welcome sign.

They have a thick stem and little branched, usually fleshy, it tends to grow stronger with age of the plant; the branches bear large green leaves, shiny and leathery, deciduous.

Throughout the summer at the height of the branches bloom large star-shaped flower bouquets, very fragrant, brightly colored, often with zoning in contrasting color. There plumeria It is commonly called Pomelia or frangipane; despite being originally from exotic places, some species are grown for decades in the Mediterranean, and in Sicily happens to see the specimens that developed in nature, with the same elegance and beauty of hybrid varieties selected for particularly large flowers.

There plumeria it has 7 or 8 species and belongs to the Apocynaceae family consisting of about 1000 species. Shrubs in the domestic cultivation of ornamental plants do not exceed 1.5 m and 2 m in height, but in tropical regions the plant can grow up to 10 m high.


- plumeria">A tropical plant in the garden, how to grow Plumeria

As with other tropical plants, whose exotic appearance makes them too interesting prey for gardeners, even the plumeria they can be grown freely only in areas of our country that enjoy a mild winter climate, completely free from frost.

So if we live in the north center, our frangipani plant will remain a potted plant, so that we can protect it without difficulty, and that we can move it to a sheltered place as soon as the freezing winter arrives.

This is not a houseplant, let's say you have a little more cold of a lemon tree: so do not let it outdoors in the winter, even chiudiamola home.

This is because in the house there is an excessively dry climate, and too little light, and our plumeria will hardly flower the following spring.

Generally these plants are grown in cold greenhouse, or are positioned on a south facing terrace, with the walls of the house to be her protection, and maybe even with some non-woven fabric cloth to keep out the chill.

In pots or in the ground, plumerie they are plants to be placed in the sun, in a well-lit area, with direct sunlight for at least a few hours every day.

You use a good universal soil, lightened with sand or pumice stone to avoid damaging water stagnation; we also avoid watering too often, and even in summer we wet the soil only when it has been dry for some time.

Ogni12-15 days, from March to September's add to the specific fertilizer for flowering plants watering.

In winter we leave the soil dry.

You will not need to practice pruning, unless that frost does not ruin the tips of branches, which will be removed in late winter to allow the plant to produce new healthy shoots.

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Characteristics of Plumeria

Young plants have a green fleshy stem tends to grow stronger with time and develop a significant branching. The branches bear large green leaves, shiny and leathery, that fall early winter and reappear in the month of May-June.

Between late June and early September, at the height of the branches bloom large bunches of flowers with 5-7 petals, usually fragrant, although some species is odorless. The color varies depending on the species and goes from purple to orange, to yellow or white, with the central part of a different color from the rest.

The root system is reduced, for this reason the plumeria lends itself to be grown not only in the garden, but also in a vase.


- plumeria plant">Propagate the frangipane

Despite being a fairly exotic plant, the frangipani, under the right cultivation conditions, blooms freely even in Italy; in addition to flourish also it produces fruits, these are long woody pods, which resemble those of oleanders, containing numerous seeds.

From these seeds we can get of flowering plants over several years.

Let's start by preparing the seed bed: fill a small jar with the lightweight soil mixed with perlite or sand; We compacted by hand, and should water, in this way we will have the security of not move the seeds after sowing.

Meanwhile, the soil gets wet uniformly take the seeds and immergiamoli in a little water, for at least 2-3 hours, so that you reidratino.

So scoliamoli and tamponiamoli slightly; at this point we put the seeds in the ground, making them sink for about half of their length, we vaporize the substrate and keep the pot in a warm and humid place, until the seeds have sprouted.


How to Grow Plumeria

Plumeria is a plant of tropical origin, which can be grown outside only in areas with a mild winter climate and completely free of frost. In all other regions, the plant must be grown in pots, so you can easily protect and move it in a sheltered place in winter.

This is not a houseplant, then in the spring and summer must keep it open. In fact, the excessively dry environment or the lack of light in the domestic environments would affect flowering in spring. From June to September water abundantly, but wait for the soil to dry out before watering again.

Generally in winter it is necessary to move it to a cold greenhouse, or place it on a terrace facing south, sheltered from the cold and wind.

In autumn and winter the plant is in vegetative rest so it does not need a lot of light, and it can be moved even in a not very bright place. The yellowing leaves can be cut 2-3 cm from the petiole or you can wait for them to fall on their own. In April we proceed to transplant.


Care of new seedlings

When the plants begin to produce some real leaves we can move them into individual pots, always with a fertile soil and light. From this point on, it will be good to keep the young plants in a well ventilated place, not excessively sunny, and we will periodically water, but only when the soil is dry.

Future plants will grow several centimeters per month, and within 3-4 years will get saplings, which will begin to flourish.

Unfortunately, only then we will know the size and color of flowers, as the plumeria in Italy are all hybrids, and therefore is unlikely to be able to learn about the plant that will originate from the seeds.

If we intend to play a plant identical to the one we have, we will remove the woody cuttings, removing them from the branches that have flowered in summer.

Generally the frangipani cuttings have a good success rate, it is therefore not necessary to try to root an excessive number of cuttings, 4-5 specimens will be sufficient.


Exposure and temperature of Frangipani

In pots or in the ground, plumeria are plants to be placed in the light, but not exposing them too much to direct sunlight. Be careful to keep the wind away also.

Plumerie fear cold and frost, so already in autumn it is necessary to place them in a protected place where the temperature does not drop below 150 C. Better a dry and airy place.


Soil and fertilization

You can use a good universal soil, but porous, draining, which does not retain excess water. The universal soil can be lightened with very large sand or pumice stone, to avoid harmful water stagnation.

In spring, when the vegetative growth begins with the first leaves, administering a balanced fertilizer every two weeks. The appearance of the flowers, use a fertilizer with a greater amount of phosphorus and potassium to promote flowering.


Watering

We avoid watering too often, and even in summer watering must be regular, but avoid excess water, especially not giving water when the soil is already wet. In autumn and winter thin out the watering let the soil dry.


Pruning

It will not be necessary to prune, unless the frost damages the tips of the branches, which will be removed at the end of winter, to allow the plant to produce new healthy shoots. However, you can cut branches to give the plant a particular shape, but remember that the frangipani It produces flowers only at the ends of branches, and if you cut them, you have to wait 1 or 2 years for flowering.


Propagate the frangipani

Although this is an exotic plant, the frangipani, under the right growing conditions, it flourishes even in Italy. In addition to flower, also it produces fruit: long woody pods with many seeds, which resemble those of the oleanders.

From these seeds we can get of flowering plants over several years.

For sowing

With the seeds it is unlikely that you can get a plant identical to the original one. Choose a shallow vessel and not plastic because in the summer it would heat too much and would burn the roots. Prepare the seedbed by filling the pot with light soil, mixed with perlite or river sand; compact with your hand and water: in this way you are sure not to move the seeds after sowing.

Meanwhile, the soil gets wet uniformly take the seeds and immergiamoli in a little water, for at least one night, so that you reidratino.

So let's drain them and dab them lightly; at this point we sneak the seeds in the soil, making them sink for about half of their length, vaporize the substrate and keep the pot in a sunny place, and with a temperature not less than 180-200 C, but the ideal would be 250-300 C. Keep the soil moist, until the first shoots appear.

Seedlings should appear after 2-3 weeks, but it will take 2-4 years after sowing to see the seedlings bloom.


Cutting the Frangipane

At the beginning of spring, the apical part of a 30-40 cm branch is taken, with an oblique cut. The cuttings must be dried in a warm and dry place for about ten days, then they must be buried in a soil with a lot of coarse river sand.

The potting soil should be kept moist, but not soaked to prevent the cuttings from rotting. Place the cuttings near the surface to keep it from rotting. To ensure that it remains straight, you can use a brace. Watering infrequently, at least until the first roots appear, and if necessary, spray the cuttings. Wait snack roots for transplanting.

From cuttings you are obtained specimens identical to the mother plant in just one year.


Plumeria - Frangipani: Care for new plants

When the plants begin to produce a few leaves, we can move them into individual pots, always with a fertile soil and light. From this moment on, it will be good to keep the young plants in a well-ventilated place, not excessively sunny, and we will periodically water, but only when the soil is dry.

Future plants will grow several centimeters per month, and within 3-4 years will get saplings, which will begin to flourish.

Unfortunately, only then we will know the size and color of flowers, as the plumeria in Italy are all hybrids, and you can not know in advance the characteristics of the plant that will originate from the seeds.

If we intend to reproduce a plant identical to the one we have, we will have to take some semi-woody cuttings, removing them from the branches that have not bloomed, in summer.

Generally the cuttings of frangipani have a good success rate, it is therefore not necessary to try to root an excessive number of cuttings, 4-5 specimens will be sufficient.


Pests and diseases of Plumeria

Plumeria is very resistant to pests and diseases. The main problems are connected to the rot of both the roots and the apical part due to the humidity of the environment and the soil. To avoid rot, a soil with high drainage is recommended. While in winter choose the right place for the plant: a dry, airy environment with a temperature not lower than 100 C. To avoid rot, it is advisable to treat the plant with a fungicide. If the rot has already affected a part of the plant, it is better to eliminate the damaged part by disinfecting with a fungicide.

If other pests (red spider, mealybugs and aphids) are found, wash the plant.

The plumeria calendar
SowingMarch, April and May
Planting April and May
FloweringLate June and early September


Plumeria - Frangipane: Tips

The plumeria, such as oleander, must be handled with care, since it generates a poisonous latex from sticky consistency that escapes from the cut branches or from detached leaves. Therefore, not to take risks, you should always wear gloves.




Video: How and Why to Prune Your PlumeriaFrangipani (October 2021).