Care of the Frangipani Plant
- Frangipani plants require full sun to grow and flower well
- Plants need well drained soil (they don’t like to get wet feet)
- Fertilise twice a year - at the beginning of spring and during summer. Use a slow release fertiliser which is high in phosphate (for strong root growth) and potassium - which will in turn promote the most blooms.
- Water well during the warmer months (leave it to nature in the cooler months)
- If you need to transplant your Frangipani plants, do it in Spring or Summer.
- Prune Frangipani in Spring and Summer.
“Rust” (Coleosporium plumeriae)
A recent fungal problem (within the last 15 years) is the occurrence of rust.
- The rust (Coleosporium plumeriae) fungus is the small orange pustules that appear on the back of the leaves in late summer.
- Rust is an unsightly problem but will not kill the tree but can lead to premature defoliation.
- To prevent rust use copper based fungicides these need to be sprayed prior to the rust pustules appearing on the base of the leaves. In late spring start spraying the leaves and continue this on a fortnightly basis through to Autumn. This will inhibit the rust pustules from blooming and keep the plant clean from rust.
- To reduce the occurrence of rust remove older lower leaves on a regular basis and dispose. Don’t add them to the compost or let them fall to the base of the tree.
“Black tip” (specific to Plumeria obtusa in cooler climates)
- In early spring,at the first signs of new growth, a bacterial problem commonly known as “black tip” can appear. This causes die back of the new growth but creates more branches.
- “Black tip” rarely kills the tree.
- The cause of the “black tip” fungus is low spring temperatures combined with high humidity. By late spring when temperatures increase the “black tip” disappears.
- To try and reduce its unsightly appearance seaweed extract liquid fertilisers can help. Begin foliar spraying at the first signs of new growth prior to the first signs of the “black tip” fungus and then spray once a week until early summer.
Generally frangipani are not effected by pests but there are some that can cause problems
“Fruit spotting bug” (QLD only)
- Nymphs are 3mm orange with 2 black dots, adults are 1cm green similar to a cockroach.
- This insect sucks the sap on the new green growth and is most active in late summer. It leaves small bruise marks and brown indentations at the end of the tips, severe infestions can completely destroy the tips of the tree.
- Two treatments of any general insecticides, mid summer early autumn will stop infestions
- Regularly spraying the growth tips of the tree with common every day flyspray is also effective.
- Bugs are most active mornings and evenings.
- Grasshoppers can shred the leaves of a frangipani just as they do to palms but not to the same extent, a theory is that the toxic nature of the milky sap of the frangipani doesn’t make the leaves all that appetising.
- Leaf burn can occur on frangipanis this is usually due to watering of the leaves during the intense heat in the middle of the day. If you’re foliar watering do so in the morning or late afternoon.
- If your tree develops thin narrow yellowy leaves, it can be due to herbicide damage from sprays such as ‘glysophyate/round up’. Ensure to avoid spraying too close to the tree or on windy days.
Click on the image to enlarge
Above: Watering Frangipani Plants
Above: Rust infected leaf
Above: Leaf affected by Black tip
Above: Frangipani plant affected by fruit spotting bug
Above: Frangipani leaves affected by grasshoppers