Plumeria, also known as frangipani, is a tropical plant native to Mexico, Central America, and the Caribbean. It is popular for its use in Hawaiian leis and other floral arrangements, as well as for its ornamental value in gardens and landscapes.
Hardiness: Plumeria plants are tropical plants and cannot tolerate frost or freezing temperatures. They are hardy in USDA zones 10-12, where the average annual minimum temperature is between 30-40°F (-1.1 to 4.4°C). In cooler regions, plumeria plants can be grown in containers and moved indoors during the winter months to protect them from cold temperatures.
Growth Habit: Plumeria is a small tropical tree or shrub that typically grows up to 30 feet (9 meters) tall in the wild but can be maintained as a smaller plant through pruning. It has a vase-shaped growth habit with leaves that are oblong and leathery.
Flowers: The plant produces beautiful, fragrant flowers in a variety of colors, including white, yellow, pink, and red. The flowers are star-shaped and have a waxy texture, and they typically bloom in the summer and fall.
Fragrance: Plumeria flowers are often very fragrant, exuding a wonderful scent of jasmine, citrus, and gardenia.
Height/Spread: Plumeria is a small tropical tree or shrub. It may be upright and compact or open and sprawling. It grows at a moderate rate up to 20 ft. tall (6 m), though most seen in home landscapes are kept pruned about 6-8 ft. tall (180-240 cm).
Uses: Plumeria trees have widespread use in tropical landscapes around the world thanks to the endless variety of the color, size, and fragrance of their blossoms. They make a ravishing accent or specimen plant and can also be grown in containers, bringing color and fragrance to patios and decks.
Tolerances: Plumerias are salt-tolerant and drought-tolerant, though you will need to keep it watered during dry spells.
Sumbol: Plumeria also has symbolic significance in many cultures, representing love, loyalty, and immortality.
Millions of Plumeria flowers are produced each year, most of them being used for making colorful leis on many Pacific Islands. In Hawaiian culture, Plumeria flowers worn in the hair have a relationship meaning: A flower worn behind a woman’s left ear means she is in a relationship. If it is worn behind the right ear, she is interested in finding a romantic partner.
Plumerias are relatively easy to grow and care for, making them a favorite among gardeners and horticulturists.