How I Plant Plumeria or Frangipani From Seeds
Why Grow Plumeria (Frangipani) From Seeds?
There are over 300 varieties of Plumeria (Frangipani), and not one nursery will stock them all. So, when I wanted a variety that I liked, I had no choice but to buy the seeds online.
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 a new or special variety.
The problem when propagating by seed is that you do 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.
Plumeria is the botanical name, and frangipani is the common name.
Frangipani Seeds—Growing Instructions
To grow your plumeria or frangipani from seeds, follow the tested and proven steps below:
1. Moisten the Frangipani Seeds
If you buy seeds online, you do not know if the seeds were recently harvested or are a 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.
The easiest way is to place the seeds between moistened tissue papers. Leave them for 24 hours in a warm environment. You will notice that the thicker part of the seeds will swell. The seeds will now be ready for sowing.
2. Prepare Potting Mix
Meanwhile, you can either prepare your own potting mix or buy it ready-made from a nursery. For this project, I used 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 by reusing or recycling 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.
3. Transplant the Swollen Seeds
Moisten the peat moss (or potting mix) and make a small hole in the mix.
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 press the soil against the side of the plumeria seed.
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 soil looks dry, mist it with water.
5. Wait for the Seeds to Germinate
Depending on the freshness of the seeds, it will take from seven days to over a month for them 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 signs of mold during the germination process, treat it immediately with a mild fungicide.
6. Remove the Husk If It 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.
You may have to assist by spraying it with a fine mist and gently removing these husks.
7. Transplant the 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 plumeria plant will finally be planted in the ground. So, I reused 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.
I prepare my own potting soil using one part peat moss, two parts finely crushed clay 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 waterlogged.
You can now introduce fertilizer that is high in phosphorus content to help your young plumeria grow strong and healthy. I use the organic fertilizer that is a mixture of cedars, cypress, pines, and plantains. I use it once a week.
8. Move the Plants 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 them 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 the plants to be closer to the full sunlight. After a week of doing this, the plants 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 fertilize as directed.
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!
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. For example, you can find the dark red-black flower variety on Amazon.com.
Planting Plumeria 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.
So, how to grow plumeria cuttings? Just follow these guides:
- Take a cutting of about 15 inches long from your desired plumeria plant variety. Make sure it is a healthy plant.
- Remove most of the leaves, if any, from the cutting
- Put it aside for a few days for the cut ends to harden. This is to prevent any possible infection and to encourage root growth
- Once it hardens, dip it in rooting hormone. Then plant it into your favorite potting mixture, and water it.
- Don't over water as the cut end can rot.
- Place it in a slightly shaded area and not under direct sunlight.
Plumeria Plant Care
Plumeria plant is hardy and easy to care for. Just follow these steps for a healthy plant:
- Plumeria loves the sun so make sure it receives as much sunlight as possible
- Don't over water them.
- Fertilize every two weeks and with NPK 10-30-10, this will encourage blooms.
- You can prune the tree if required but if it is too drastic it can reduce flowering.
- Plumeria rust i.e. an orange powder that covers the leaves and on the undersides of leaves can cause defoliation. But this will not kill the plant. Treat this problem with any fungicide.
- Plumerias may have the occasional visit from spider mites, scale or whiteflies if it is left too dry for too long and not receiving enough sunlight. Spray these visitors with liquid dishwashing soap using 1 to 2 tablespoons per gallon of water.
Trivia: 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 featured frangipani in its composition. The fragrance is not like 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
Questions & Answers
How often should I water my plumeria seedlings after germination?
I usually check the soil if it is damp, then I refrain from watering. If it feels slightly dry, then I will spray the soil with a sprayer; don't water it with a watering can.Helpful 9
What does the seed pod of a Frangipani look like?
The Frangipani seed pod is like a twin-lobed dark colored banana or sausage, and is about five to seven inches long.Helpful 9
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© 2014 Mazlan