Frangipani trees do not require regular pruning. If a branch is inconveniently placed, it can be removed during winter while the tree is dormant. Frangipani trees will bleed sap if pruned during a growth period. Do not shorten branches of frangipani trees, or dieback will occur. On all trees and shrubs, a thickening of the stem forms where the new branch begins to grow. This is called the ‘collar’, or ‘wrinkle’. On frangipani trees, remove the entire branch, cutting through the branch at the outer edge of the collar. If you remove the branch flush with the trunk, scar tissue that forms will damage the phloem layer that transports carbohydrates in plants.
If you want to take cuttings from your frangipani, the best time to do this is at the end of winter. Remove a lateral branch for each cutting, as described above. Keep these in a dry spot, out of direct sunlight, for a couple of weeks to allow the cut end to form scar tissue. If you take the cuttings during Last Quarter phase, they should be ready for potting during the following Full Moon phase.
For each cutting, half fill a 20 cm pot (with plenty of holes in the base) with well-washed coarse sand that has a little moistened coco peat or compost mixed through it to help keep the mixture damp. Avoid using a normal potting mix for frangipani cuttings because they will rot if the mixture stays too moist. Anchor the cutting in the sandy mix, and gradually fill the pot with the same mix. If the cutting is very large, you may need a short stake to keep it upright. Gently water the mix to settle it around the cutting. A drink of seaweed extract tea can help stimulate root growth. Place potted cuttings in a warm, well-lit area, out of direct sunlight, and keep the cutting mix just damp. During spring, when white roots appear at the holes near the base of the pot, your cutting is ready for transplanting.
Frangipani roots are very brittle, and may snap if you tip the plant out of the pot. Gently remove the mix from the top half of the pot, and then use a hose to gently wash the rest of the sand away. Transplant into well-drained soil in a sunny position. Mature frangipanis are quite drought-tolerant but young plants will require a weekly watering in dry weather until they are making good growth. Organic mulch is beneficial if it is kept well clear of the trunk. These trees only require a light application of complete organic fertiliser in spring (but not at planting time).

103 thoughts on “Frangipani

  1. Hi There, Ive just spent the morning trying to remove my Frangipani from a pot to transplant into the garden. I managed to remove the mound of roots directly below the surface of the stem but as I was tugging I snapped the main root system which was much further embedded in the pot. Will my tree die or can it survive this move with only the many finer roots to help sustain it? Thankyou

    ‘Tugging’ was where you went wrong, Lara. Frangipanis have very brittle roots and the easiest way to transplant them from a pot into soil is to cut the pot away so you don’t put any stress on the root ball. I don’t know if your tree has retained enough roots to keep growing. Protect it from wind, apply the double stake method as shown in this Gardening Australia episode Tree Staking,
    and keep the soil around it damp until you see new foliage growth. You can also give it a drink of seaweed extract tea at weak black tea strength.

  2. Hello and Merry Christmas, My rainbow Frangipani seems to show splitting at the base of the trunk what is happening and should I be concerned? It’s in quite a large terracotta pot, in generally all day sun. It is currently about a metre tall with flowers just this year, it was potted from a cutting in Autumn 2017.
    I generally water every second or third day in summer. Thank you for your time.

    Are you sure the pot has good drainage, Sally? Terracotta pots often only have one drainage hole and, if the pot is sitting on the ground, it can easily become clogged and watering it so often could be causing the problem. Or the plant roots could be blocking the hole. It helps to put a good layer of coarse gravel in the bottom of large pots to help prevent drainage problems.
    The base of the pot needs to be resting on some tile pieces so that excess water can drain away, and a good rule is only water when the top centimetre of potting mix is dry. – Lyn

  3. Hello, I have a few frangipani trees in pots. They have one long stem – about 1 metre high and lots of leaves on the top. I’m going to plant them into the garden this weekend.
    How will these grow? Will more branches grow from the stem? Where do the new branches sprout from? I’m not really sure what to expect of them in the future.

    The new branches will appear at the top of the stem, Shelby. Be patient, they are slow growing at first. It is good that they have a clean trunk for at least 1 metre. Frangipanis that branch close to the ground can be a nuisance for weeding and mowing as they mature. – Lyn

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