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Sunday, March 15, 2020

How to Care and Cultivate Plumeria rubra (Part 1)


I'm not fan of big trees but this one had captured my heart. 
The mysterious aura concerning fragrant flowers and the Balinese style plants truly add glamour and glory in small space garden. 

Plumerias commonly known as Frangipani are truly remarkable specimen. 
You either love them or hate them and it these extreme spectrum - love knows no bounds.

Like most tropical plants their general care is very much similar.


These require direct sunlight areas, they can tolerate shaded area but requires to be planted in outdoor garden space. They won't bloom in heavy shaded areas. Also it may not do so well as indoor plant.

Daily watering but these will able to establish itself once the roots are set on ground. However these will flourish better on the drier side. Too much water can cause them to root rot.


Daily watering is ideal but these will able to establish itself once the roots are set on ground. However these will flourish better on the drier side. Too much water can cause them to root rot. To consider that this tree / plant behaves like a deciduous - hence it may need to shed off most of its leaves to focus more on blooming - too much water may cause the plant to focus its growth and development on foliage rather than blooms.


One downside of this plant is that the leaves can succumb to rust. Do use antifungal spray to deter them or best remove the affected leaves and spray on the stem & crown center to totally wipe them out. Also mealybugs and scale insects may infect them - hence checking on these factors may improve better floral blooms when they are in season.


The blooms often appear in clusters where one crown can last for a week to 3 weeks depending on the cultivar and plant condition. The fragrance is very evident during evening time and these full blooms last for a day - blooming from flower bud in the night and falling off on the next day.

However the fragrance still lingers upon the fallen bloom until flower withers away.    


The best method would be stem cutting. 
Immediately after the cut, let the cutting drip off the latex milk from the wound and let it caulous itself for few days.

Once the wound is closed or dried - plant it in a potting mix and keep in a bright shade until the new growth had taken place and slowly introduce to open outdoor area where it receive good sun & rain for better growth.

Tips for Flowering: (Pruning & Feeding)

One of my safest method which I would strongly recommend it to snap and break off all the leaves, snap off all of them and apply flowering fertilizer once after removing the leaves. 

The new shoot will appear with the flower spike first. 
New flowers will appear for few days from the flower inflorescent.

I had snap and broke off all the leaves from the stem. The snap-breaking will be like handling a succulent cracking effect. I would suggest not to use scissors rather just snap quickly downwards.
Do it quickly from bottom to top crown. If possible do it fast as the sap will start flowing within 3-4 seconds time. By then, you want to move out from there.

Water the broken leaves part immediately by spraying water on them to stop the bleeding. The sap will stop flowing once in contact with water.


If you have gotten the sap, milk or latex on your hands:
Do not wash with water rather, apply cooking oil on your hands and wipe it around the affected area and then wash with soap and water.
Immediate contact with water and soap alone will make the sap become sticky and more stubborn to remove.

Otherwise - Do use Gloves to avoid Latex stains on your hands.

1) Snap off the foliage quickly from bottom to the top crown.
2) Water / Wash off the stem to stop the plant from bleeding 
3) Apply flowering fertilizer immediately and water the plant on the same day.

Also this helps to remove all the rust infected leaves that you don't have to apply heavy on poisonous pesticide or chemical fungicide to deter the fungus attack.

Do click on the link below for more information on Other Types of  Tropical Fragrant Flowers:

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Tropical Garden, Batu Caves, Malaysia
My Malaysian Tropical Garden mainly focused on unique and colorful plants ranging from rare to common plants all around the tropical belt across the world. Ideal for inspiration for challenging areas in the garden space - indoor gardening, balcony gardening and small green spaces especially for ariods, bromeliads, begonias, edibles, cascading & vertical garden plants, succulents & cacti, orchids, together with both shade and sun loving plants.

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