Home ImprovementRemodelingCleaningGardeningLandscapingInterior DesignHome AppliancesPest ControlDecks & PatiosSwimming Pools & Hot TubsGaragesBasements

How I Plant Plumeria or Frangipani from Seeds

Updated on May 4, 2017
greatstuff profile image

Mazlan acquired his love of gardening at a young age and it has been his passion for over 55 years.

Why Grow Plumeria (Frangipani) from Seeds?

There are over 300 varieties of Plumeria (Frangipani) and not one nursery will stock all. So, when I wanted a variety that I liked, I had no choice but to buy the seeds online.

One of the advantages of growing frangipani from seeds; you can get new varieties of plumeria (frangipani)
One of the advantages of growing frangipani from seeds; you can get new varieties of plumeria (frangipani) | Source

Plumeria from Seeds Will Not Always Give You the Same Variety as the Parent Plant

Buying plumeria seed online is also the only way to get new or special variety.

The problem when propagating by seed is you does not know the results. The flower can be similar or different from the parent plant. This can be annoying especially if you like a certain variety. Although others say that it will take at least two years before it blooms, mine took slightly less than a year.

If you grow plumeria from cuttings, the plant will be similar to the parent plant. It will also bloom earlier.

Despite these disadvantages, I had no choice but to grow the variety that I like from seeds.

Are you faced with similar predicament and not sure how to propagate the seeds? Then, this article will guide you with photos and easy to follow instructions.

Note: Plumeria is the botanical name and Frangipani is its common name

My frangipani seeds that I ordered online from a reliable nursery in Thailand
My frangipani seeds that I ordered online from a reliable nursery in Thailand | Source

Frangipani Seeds - Growing Instructions

Follow the tested and proven steps below, to grow your plumeria or frangipani from seeds:

1. Germinating Frangipani Seeds

If you buy seeds online, you will not know if the seeds were harvested recently or if they are couple of months old. Freshly harvested seeds will germinate faster while older seeds will take a longer time.

To hasten the germination process, the seeds need to be plumped up with moisture for it to grow.

The easiest way is to place the seeds between moistened tissue papers. Leave it for 24 hours in a warm environment. You will notice that the thicker part of the seed will swell. The seed will now be ready for sowing.

Soak dry plumeria seeds for about 24 hours between moist tissue paper. After 24 hours, the thick end of the seed should be starting to puff and swell up.
Soak dry plumeria seeds for about 24 hours between moist tissue paper. After 24 hours, the thick end of the seed should be starting to puff and swell up. | Source

2. Prepare Potting Mix

Meanwhile, you can either prepare your own potting mix or buy it ready made from nursery. For this project, I use Baba brand 'Seedling Package'. It came with 0.88 lb. (400 gram) peat moss and ten numbers of cultivation pots that are 2 inches (5 cm) deep.

If you don't use this cultivation pot often, you can save money if you reuse or recycle 0.12 gallon (500 ml) empty mineral bottles. Cut off two thirds of the bottle and use the bottom one third. Make holes at the base and after cleaning, your cultivation pot is ready for use.

These are the pots and potting mix that I used to sow plumeria seeds.
These are the pots and potting mix that I used to sow plumeria seeds. | Source

3. Transplanting the Swollen Plumeria Seeds

Moistened the peat moss (or potting mix) and make a small hole in the mix.

Then, gently push the plumeria seed about 0.2 inches (5mm) into the mix. Make sure the swollen end is at the bottom and the seed wing is at the top. Allow part of this wing to stick out of the soil.

Tenderly firm the soil against the side of the plumeria seed.

Put plumeria seed in a well-drained potting mix with the seed wing partly sticking up. Check daily to make sure potting mix is moist, but do not overwater.
Put plumeria seed in a well-drained potting mix with the seed wing partly sticking up. Check daily to make sure potting mix is moist, but do not overwater. | Source

4. Create a Mini Greenhouse Effect

Place these pots in an empty plastic container and cover it, to create a mini greenhouse effect. Place it in a warm lighted area, but not under full sunlight.

Check daily to make sure the soil is not dry. If the top soils look dry, mist it with plain water.

Place the pots in a plastic container. Then, cover the top to create a mini greenhouse effects for these plumeria seeds to germinate
Place the pots in a plastic container. Then, cover the top to create a mini greenhouse effects for these plumeria seeds to germinate | Source

5. Plumeria Seed to Germinate

Depending on the freshness of the seed, it will take from 7 days to over a month for the seed to germinate.

In the photo shown below, this seed germinated exactly seven days after sowing. The rest of the seeds in the other pots started to show signs of new life only after two weeks.

Most of the time, the leaf will emerge with the remains of the husk still attached. It will drop off as the leaves grow bigger.

If any of the seedlings show sign of mold during germination process, treat it immediately with a mild fungicide. (You can buy the organic fungicide from Baba).

Frangipani seeds will germinate from seven days to over a month. This particular pot had the seed leaves emerging after seven days.
Frangipani seeds will germinate from seven days to over a month. This particular pot had the seed leaves emerging after seven days. | Source

6. What to Do If the Husk Sticks to the Cotyledons

The husk will usually fall off by itself, but occasionally this may not happen soon enough. If these husks are not removed from the cotyledons i.e. the embryonic first leaves of the seedling, the seedlings might rot and die.

Hence, you have to assist by spraying it with a fine mist and gently remove these husks.

Notice the husks that still remain to the young leaves or cotyledons
Notice the husks that still remain to the young leaves or cotyledons | Source

7. Transplanting Plumeria Seedlings

Once you see a new set of leaves and the seedling is more than three inches tall, you can start to transplant it to a bigger pot.

Gently remove the seedling from the cultivation pot and together with the peat moss (or your potting soil) transplant it to the new and bigger pot.

In my case, the plant will finally be planted in the ground. So, I reuse an empty 2.5 gallon (9.5 liter) empty mineral bottle as the pot for transplanting. It is also lighter and easier to move around.

These young Plumeria Seedlings are now ready for repotting to bigger pots (usually after it had develop at least two true leaves)
These young Plumeria Seedlings are now ready for repotting to bigger pots (usually after it had develop at least two true leaves) | Source

Potting Soil

I prepare my own potting soil using one part peat moss, two parts fine broken bricks and three parts garden topsoil. You can do similar 'recipe' or buy ready-made potting soil.

Once you have it transplanted, water it every alternate day, but make sure the soil is not water logged.

You can now introduce fertilizer which is high in phosphorus content to help your young plumeria grow strong and healthy. I use organic fertilizer that is a mixture of cedars, cypress, pines and plantains. I use it once a week.

Moving it to Full Direct Sunlight

Plumeria or Frangipani loves direct sunlight, but this must be done gradually. A week is about just right for this 'moving transition period' from shaded to direct and stronger sunlight.

You start by putting them in a shady and protected area. Leave it for a few hours. Increase the time for the next few days until it is a full day exposure, but still under the shade. During this period, keep nudging it to be closer to the full sunlight. After a week of doing this, it will be ready to be exposed to full sunlight on a daily basis.

That's it folks. Just sit back and enjoy your hard work. And, make sure you water and put fertilizer as directed.

Plumeria seedling can be transplanted to a bigger pot once it developed its second set of leaves and are at least 3 inches tall
Plumeria seedling can be transplanted to a bigger pot once it developed its second set of leaves and are at least 3 inches tall | Source
My 3-month old plumerias or frangipanis that were planted from seeds.
My 3-month old plumerias or frangipanis that were planted from seeds. | Source

What If My Seedlings Do Not Germinate?

You followed the above planting procedures, but the seedlings do not germinate. Then, chances are the seedlings may be ‘old’.

Plumeria seeds must be planted as soon as they are harvested because of their short lifespan.

So, when I had this problem, I wrote to the seller and explain the problem. He was happy to replace it with new seeds, but I had to wait for two months for the next harvest.

When I planted the new seeds, all grew within a week!

RELATED ARTICLE: Check this article below, if you want to plant roses in tropical country and get a recipe for homemade organic fertilizer.

Buy Plumeria or Frangipani Seeds Online

Plumeria or Frangipani is an easy plant to maintain. With proper care and attention, it will reward you with beautiful blooms and fragrance.

They come in many colors and they have their own unique fragrance. It grows easily even in cold climate, but expose it to full sunlight. It is quite contented if you plant it in a pot, but it will only grow to the size of the container.

Why don't you start your own plumeria collection now? You have more choices and varieties if you grow them from seeds.

If you Google plumeria or frangipani seeds online, you will find several websites that sell them online. Prices vary. I got mine at US$2.99 for five seeds.

You can also buy them through Amazon.com

I was lucky with this plumeria cutting as it grew after about a week of planting. Some of my other cuttings died as it had rotted at the base. Could be due to over watering.
I was lucky with this plumeria cutting as it grew after about a week of planting. Some of my other cuttings died as it had rotted at the base. Could be due to over watering. | Source

Photos of Plumeria that I Grew From Cuttings

Frangipani can be grown from cuttings, grafts and seeds. I have done only from cuttings and from seeds, but have yet to try from grafts. The accompanying photos are some of the cuttings that I planted recently.

These cuttings started to show sign of new life after about a week of planting.

Plumerias or frangipanis that I had planted from cuttings
Plumerias or frangipanis that I had planted from cuttings | Source

Plumeria Trivial: Have you Smelled the Many Fragrances of Frangipani?

Various varieties of frangipani or plumeria will smell differently. With its rich and sensual floral fragrance, the cosmetic industries had been using it for years.

If you have not smelled the real frangipani before, here are some of the perfumes that feature frangipani in its composition. Not so close to the real thing, but good enough!

  • Coco and Beige by Chanel
  • L'Air du Printemps and Love by Nina, by Nina Ricci
  • zar Femme by Christian Lacroix
  • Bora Bora for Women by Liz Claiborne
  • Coral Flower by Lolita Lempicka
  • Frangipani Absolute by Ormonde Jayne
  • Versace Woman by Versace

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • greatstuff profile image
      Author

      Mazlan 3 weeks ago from Malaysia

      Linda, Please check my email on how to do this.

    • profile image

      LindaChang 4 weeks ago

      Thank you, Mazlan. I sent th email but there was not an option to attach the pictures? Linda

    • greatstuff profile image
      Author

      Mazlan 4 weeks ago from Malaysia

      Hi Linda. Email me the photos and let me take a look. On the top, just below my profile photo you will see ' contact author'. Click on this link to email me.

    • profile image

      LindaChang 4 weeks ago

      Hi Mazlan, my seedlings are a couple of months old and the leaves are beginning to droop and discolor. I have them in 4" pots and give them a sprinkle of water in the morning. I put them out in full sun lite for several hours or all day on the weekends. I have pictures but don't see how to add them here. I started adding fertilizer this week but that hasn't seemed to make a difference. Could they be too dry? I didn't think they should be too wet. Could the pot be too small?

      Thank you.

      Linda

    • profile image

      LindaChang 5 weeks ago

      Thank you, Mazlan. They already have their first set of true leaves so I'll give them a little fertilizer. I appreciate your quick response!

      Linda

    • greatstuff profile image
      Author

      Mazlan 5 weeks ago from Malaysia

      Hi, Linda. Thanks for sharing your experience with planting from plumeria seeds.

      On your question on when to fertilize, I do this after 6 months since I used a good potting mix that has compost and manure in the mix. Otherwise you should wait until the seedlings developed its true leaves. This can be after the 1st or 2nd month depending on how the seedlings developed.

      I suggest you use fertilizer high in phosporus such as NPK in ratio of 1:2:1

      Hope this helps.

    • profile image

      LindaChang 5 weeks ago

      I harvested a seed pod from my plumeria tree a couple of months ago and was able to grow 27 out of 30 seedlings. I have since transplanted them into small 4" pots and they have already grown their first set of true leaves and a 5th leave is starting to grow on many of them. I give them a small sprinkle of water every morning, but make sure they don't stay too wet, and I put them out in the sun as much as I can. At what point do I start to fertilize them and what type of fertilizer? Most of them are between 4-6 inches tall with very healthy leaves.

      Thank you.

    • greatstuff profile image
      Author

      Mazlan 5 weeks ago from Malaysia

      Kirstie..sometimes online sellers are interested in only short-term gain.

      But there are others that are genuine.

      So it is always a good practice to read reviews before buying from a particular seller.

      Anyway, buying cuttings or mini plants are also good choices. You get to see the plant flowers earlier than plants that grow from seeds. You are also assured of getting the flower color that you had picked.

      Good luck and have fun.

      Cheers.

    • profile image

      Kirstie 5 weeks ago

      Thank s for your reply. No the seedlings do not a bit like your photos! So I was sold a pup, or father several puppies! I might try again with mini plants.

    • greatstuff profile image
      Author

      Mazlan 6 weeks ago from Malaysia

      Kirstie, do you have a photo of these plants? Maybe you place the pot away from sunlight area? Are your seedlings/plants similar to what I showed in my article? I can't give you a definitive reply without this info.

    • profile image

      Kirstie 7 weeks ago

      I am not convinced that the seeds I bought through Amazon and which came from China are actually frangipani seeds ? I followed all the instructions and after only a few days the seeds germinated. Now several weeks later they are tall and stringy with no trunk support , falling over in their pots I have potted on once as instructed and there are only a few surviving at this point. The leaves are long,narrow and with a pair of mini teeth projecting from the length. Any ideas? Thanks

    • greatstuff profile image
      Author

      Mazlan 6 months ago from Malaysia

      Hi, dinyar. Unfortunately, I don't have a blog on that topic. Personally, I find planting from cutting as quite simple, maybe because I had success on most of the cuttings :-)

      Anyway, here are the steps:

      1. Dry the cutting for about a week in a shaded area (if the cutting is fresh)

      2. Check the base, if it is brown in color then it is ready for planting. If it is still white, then you have to leave it to dry for a few more days.

      3. Before planting, dip the base into a rooting hormone powder/solution (you can buy this from the nursery)

      4. Then place the cutting into your plant nursery bag/poly bag or flower pot that is already filled with mixed soil (I used ready-mixed potting soil bought from nursery) at depth of about 3inches

      5. Place a stalk to support the cutting

      6. Then water sparingly. Don't over water otherwise, you will damage the base and any roots that are appearing

      7. Place it in a sunny area but not under direct sunlight (for my tropical environment)

      That's it! Goodluck

    • profile image

      dinyar 6 months ago

      Thank you very much for your reply. I did buy (a lot of) seeds from Thailand. I also bought cuttings from Thailand- Royal Purple. I wanted to ask you if you have a blog on How to grow Frangipani from Cuttings. I like the way write showing photos step by step in full detail.

      Thank you.

    • greatstuff profile image
      Author

      Mazlan 6 months ago from Malaysia

      Dinyar, if you type 'plumeria seeds' on eBay, you will find several sellers including those from Thailand. Likewise on Amazon.com

      Hope this helps. Best of luck and enjoy the fun.

    • profile image

      Dinyar M. Dalal 6 months ago

      I enjoyed reading your article and in my opinion, this is The Best article on how to grow Plumeria from seeds.

      I am desperately trying to grow Plumeria and I have just ordered cuttings. I wish I saw this article before. Now I am searching all over the net for a reliable place in Thailand selling Fresh Plumeria seeds. Is it possible for you to suggest where you get your seeds from? I will appreciate it very much.

      Thank you.

      Best wishes,

      Dinyar Dalal

    • greatstuff profile image
      Author

      Mazlan 10 months ago from Malaysia

      Hi, Paul. That's great. Do you know that there is demand for these seeds? You can make money by selling them on eBay or Amazon!

    • profile image

      Paul E White 10 months ago

      We have nine Frangipani trees in our garden here in Siem Reap, Cambodia. For the first time ever we have our first seed pod. Curved and dark brown, like a German sausage. I will certainly have a go at growing the seeds.

    • greatstuff profile image
      Author

      Mazlan 13 months ago from Malaysia

      By 2 months it should be strong with thick trunk. Maybe your plant didn't have enough sunlight and fertilizer?

    • profile image

      jim 13 months ago

      i grew 14 from seed but they are very leggy tall and the stalks are green they are 8in tall but only 2 months old but very healthy when will they start to look like plumeria trunks???

    • greatstuff profile image
      Author

      Mazlan 23 months ago from Malaysia

      Hi thumbi7. India has a large varieties of Frangipani plants. I believe you use Frangipani in your religious ceremonies? Thanks for dropping by and I am glad you now know that it can be germinated from seeds.

      Hi Kristen Howe. Thanks for reading and the compliments.

    • thumbi7 profile image

      JR Krishna 23 months ago from India

      What a beautiful plant. We have so many varieties here. But I didn't know its name and that it could be germinated from seeds

      Thanks for sharing

    • Kristen Howe profile image

      Kristen Howe 23 months ago from Northeast Ohio

      Mazlan, great photos of those beautiful flowers. This is an excellent hub and well detailed on how to grow them at home. Voted up!

    • greatstuff profile image
      Author

      Mazlan 2 years ago from Malaysia

      Hi Lisa. Fortunately, I had no problem with the custom. It was sent using normal envelope, so I guess that probably explains it.

    • profile image

      Lisa 2 years ago

      Hi mazlan,

      Great info on how to plant plumeria. Do you face any problems with the customs when you buy the seeds online?

    • greatstuff profile image
      Author

      Mazlan 2 years ago from Malaysia

      Hi Dianna. Delighted to hear from you and much appreciated for the compliments. Frangipani grows well in flower pot, so you will always have a space for it, but must be in a sunny spot.

      All the best for 2015.

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 2 years ago

      Oh my, what beautiful plants. I love the delicate yellow within the white petals. You wrote this with great detail and I'm sure readers will be able to duplicate your methods well. I would try it if I had the space to grow them. Thanks for the information.

    • greatstuff profile image
      Author

      Mazlan 2 years ago from Malaysia

      Hi oliversmum. You are right, Frangipanis are absolutely beautiful flowers and you have a lot of them in your country, Australia. There are several reputable breeders of world class frangipani cultivars in Australia. If you intend to start your own Plumeria/Frangipani collection, you are lucky to be down under as you have easy access to several of these breeders.

      Thanks for being the first to comment and thanks for dropping by.

    • oliversmum profile image

      oliversmum 2 years ago from australia

      Greatstuff Maian. Hi. Thank you for all this wonderful information and photographs. What absolutely beautiful flowers,so many varieties and colors to choose from. :) :)

    Click to Rate This Article