Frangipani

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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).

100 thoughts on “Frangipani

  1. Hi, I live in Adelaide and have recently planted a frangiapani in my garden. The plant is approximately 1.5 meters tall with a single trunk and a lot of leaves on top. It was planted about 4 months ago but has not developed any branches. Will these grow themselves or do I need to cut back the trunk to encourage branches to grow and if so, when is the best time of year to do this? Many thanks, Mark
    Whatever you do Mark, don’t cut back the trunk. This can encourage rot. Frangipani trees do not make a lot of growth in their first year or so after planting, so please be patient. It will form branches on its own if you don’t neglect the tree. Actually, you are lucky finding one with a single stem of that length. I’ve found that the ones that branch very close to the ground are difficult to weed around and weeds close to the base can cause collar rot. They can also split if they form too many branches before the main trunk is strong enough to support their weight.

  2. Hi. We bought a frangipani about 6 months ago. It has two main stems, and one has numerous large leaves and looks good.
    The other stem splits into three at the end, so I was looking forward to it growing, and three ends have the vey tiny bud leaves on them, but nothing else. I checked the stem and it is soft in the middle.
    Does this mean it is done for? Thanks in advance.

    Hi Mike. A soft stem is not a good sign. Try giving the tree a drink of seaweed extract tea at the directed strength. This helps strengthen cell walls. If the tree doesn’t respond, when the tree becomes dormant in winter, remove the entire damaged stem cutting it cleanly on the branch side of the ‘collar’ (the thickened part at the beginning of the stem). Cutting it now will very likely cause a lot of sap loss and may weaken the healthy stem. Don’t shorten it to below the soft part, either, as this can encourage rot. – Lyn

  3. Hi, I have a frangipani tree which is about 2.mtrs tall and the branches are tall and narrow, i would like to trim and move to another location what do you recommend. regards

    Colin, I have just answered the same question from Lynley. See Lynley’s answer below. – Lyn

  4. Hi. I live in Perth and have an established frangipani that has grown too big for the position it’s in. We either have to prune it severely or move it to another position. It is about one and a half to two metres tall and has all its growth on one side toward the sunlight. What is our best option and when should we do it. We have successfully transplanted this frangipani once before when it was smaller.
    Cheers, Lynley

    It is best to move frangipani trees in winter, when they are dormant, Lynley. However, you can start the process now by using a sharp spade to cut through the feeder roots around the tree slightly inside below where the branches extend (if that makes sense). A tree with a smaller root ball is easier to move and, if you do it now the tree will have time to grow more feeder roots closer to the trunk. Mark with paint on the soil the line you have cut so you can find it in 3 or 4 months. In winter, gradually work the spade under the root ball all the way around the tree, also working hessian or thick plastic under the root ball for wrapping the root ball or using it to drag the root ball to its new position. Depending on the size of your tree, it may be helpful to prune the tree before moving it. – Lyn

  5. My thirty year old frangipani just snapped at the base I want to keep it if possible how can we do this. Johanna

    Hi Johanna, I can understand from your photo why you are so upset. When mine snapped off, it left about 45 cm of trunk above the ground and new shoots formed because it had a substantial root system to support it. However, there is not much you can do to save this tree as you are virtually trying to grow it as a huge cutting. My advice is to remove some good sized branches and place them in the shade for a couple of weeks until they form scar tissue on the cut ends, then plant them into sandy soil or a pot with a sandy potting mix.

    Just a tip to avoid a similar problem in future – don’t allow grass (or weeds) to grow close to the trunk. Frangipani trunks are quite fleshy and prone to rot. Plants grown close to the trunk keep the tissue damp and encourages collar rot. – Lyn

  6. Hi, We live in perth and are selling house We want to transport 3.5 -4 mtr Frangipani. The new owner is developing so it will be destroyed. I think this size tree is just too large for where we are moving and was wanting to take as many and as large as possible branches with me. But not sure what size and where to cut?

    Hi Jazz, it is difficult to transplant large frangipani trees because the roots are very brittle, and the same thing applies to very large cuttings. Although they are easy to strike, the roots of large cuttings often snap off when being transferred from, plastic pots to the soil. The best way to strike large frangipani cuttings is to put them into large, plastic nursery bags filled with a sandy potting mix, with lots of holes in the bottom so that, when it comes time to transplant them, you can slit the bag open and ease the tree into the ground. You can place the bags into larger pots to provide stability and ease of transport.
    I have found that cuttings shouldn’t be longer than 1.2 metres. Choose a few strong branches of suitable length that have several shoots at the end. They strike well if you cut through the branch at the outer side of the thickened part where the branch starts to grow from the trunk (the collar or wrinkle). Make a clean cut through the branches by having someone support the branch while it is being cut.
    Place the cuttings in the shade for a couple of weeks until the cut ends form scar tissue then plant each of them in a separate pot/bag of the sandy mix burying 20 cm of each cutting in the mix and supporting the cutting with a stake. Water gently to settle the mix.
    – Lyn

  7. Bought our new house recently in western Sydney and there is a really well shaped frangipani (approx 2.5m – 3m tall) in our front yard. On inspecting it closely I noticed that it has a large section of rot right at the base. Is this repairable or does it mean I have to remove this lovely specimen?
    Stem rot can occur in frangipani when conditions don’t suit them, and some of them are mentioned here: Frangipani stem rot.
    In addition, for frangipani trees in the ground, grass growing too close to the tree can deprive the tree of nutrients they need to resist rot. Plants growing near the tree can prevent air flow and keep the trunk area moist. (This happened to one of our trees that had agapanthus growing around the base). It is difficult to diagnose the cause of rot in your tree without seeing the situation. If the rot is right at the base, it could be poor drainage or excess watering. Now is the best time to take cuttings of frangipani. I’d suggest taking a couple of decent-sized cuttings (just in case), eliminating any possible causes of the rot, and giving the tree a good drink of seaweed extract tea. – Lyn

  8. We’ve had to remove a big franjipani tree (approx 4 metres high). Will a big cutting taken from the main trunk (approx 6 inches diameter) survive if treated like a normal cutting? We want to have a fairly big size plant to put in the garden.

    Hi Jan, it will have the best chance of survival if you place the cutting (after scarring has sealed the base) into a bag or into soil directly where it is to grow, rather than in a pot. Soil or potting mix around the cutting should be quite sandy to allow good root penetration and drainage. The reason for this is that frangipani roots are very brittle and, the larger the cutting, the easier it is to snap them when transplanting. If started in a bag, you can cut down the sides of the bag so the root ball is disturbed as little as possible during transplantation. – Lyn

  9. Hi Lyn, I was pulling out the weeds around my frangipani and accidently ripped off a big chunk of the roots. I am so worried that this would kill the plant. I was just wondering if there is anything I could do to ensure that the plant will recover. Any advice would be appreciated. Kind Regards, Mahsa
    Hi Mahsa. Give the tree a good drink of water and a light application of complete fertiliser, then a drink of seaweed extract at weak black tea strength. Seaweed helps stimulate root growth. Then put a 5-cm layer of organic mulch around the base of the tree – keeping it a hands width from the trunk. This will prevent grass or weeds growing in the root area and protect the tree from future damage to its brittle roots. – Lyn

  10. I have 3 Frangipani cuttings ready to plant into 15 litre/30cm plastic tubs , I have course propergating mix, 2 of the cuttings have 30cm stems before branching into 2 branches, my 3 third piece has a 30cm stem with 2 long branches each of which has 2 short branches. My Question is how deep should I plant the main stems?.
    Tony, ideally, you should have at least 10 cm of the trunk in the propagation mix with the cutting supported by stakes. I think that the cutting that will produce the best tree from your collection will be the the one with the two long branches which each have 2 branches – if you remove one of the long branches. The reason for this is that, if you only have 30 cm stems before the cuttings start to branch and you need to bury 10 cm of the cuttings, you end up with plants that start branching 20 cm above soil level. Depending on the angle of the new branches, you end up with a multiple trunk tree, or one with branches close to the ground. – Lyn

  11. Hi, I live in Brisbane and we would like to take some large cuttings from our neighbour’s frangipani tree that is overhanging our fence.
    We would like to grow the two cuttings in pots on our deck that is in full sun and quite exposed to any breezes that blow near our house – though we really dont live in a windy location.
    I appreciate that it would be best to prune the tree at the end of its dormancy and leave it to scar over but I wonder if given the exposure of the site we want to transplant them into, would it be better to plant them directly into the pots on the deck or leave them to strike in the shade under our house for a few weeks first? I dont really want to have to move the giant pots we will plant them into so they would have to be transplanted out of smaller pots. Cheers, Christine

    You do need to let them form scars on the cut end first, otherwise they tend to rot. It is unwise to plant cuttings into very large pots as the soil in the pots is not being used by the small, new root system, and it tends to go sour. That’s why gardeners pot plants on into larger pots before they are ready to be planted in their final position. You will probably have more success if you strike them in 20-30 cm pots or in hession bags, in a sheltered position, then transplant them into the large pots when the roots begin to appear at the base of the pots. – Lyn

  12. Hi, im sorry if you have already gone over this with others but I just want to make sure im doing the right thing.
    6 weeks ago, I dug up a mates frangipani tree, the tree is about 2.5 metres tall and about 1.5 metres diameter at top, with quite long, thin branches (my mate did absolutely nothing to it).
    I let it sit for about 8 days, dug a hole 600mm deep, and filled with a soil conditioner with an included fertiliser and water saving agent, just a cheap bag from bunnings, then I mixed this with say 1 in 3 the normal sand (well draining) as I put the mix in the hole once the plant in place I was slowly adding water to the mix too, I staked the tree, and pulled off the leaves (a small bit of white sap excreted from most of the leaves I pulled off). I then noticed after about 2 weeks in the ground, with putting say 2 buckets of water on the tree every day, that some of the extremities (more the joins of the stem to branch) were quite spongy (main trunk and branches quite hard). I was paranoid that it could be stem rot, so I’ve removed a majority of stems that had such a soft join, to about an inch below the soft part, back to a relatively firm part of the branch. Needless to say it was quite brutal.
    1. do I need to treat the cut ends of the branches with anything?
    2. do I need to continue with 2 buckets of water everyday?
    3. is there an acceptable level of softness, bearing in mind the tree is 6 weeks from being moved and when I put it in I noticed some branches were a little soft to begin with…there are a couple of spots that might be an 8 out of 10 for firmness…but removing these will drastically effect the look of the tree.
    I have a beautiful smaller frangipani that I’ve had from a clipping, its about 1.2 metres tall had very fat hard branches and stems, the tress does not show the same characteristics, sorry for the long winded storey.

    Hi Matt, your tree’s symptoms are not encouraging for a good prognosis. For a start, 6 weeks before your comment would be late November. You haven’t said where you live but late spring is not the best time to transplant frangipani. The best time is in late winter while the plant is still dormant. Frangipani roots are very brittle and the feeder roots may have been damaged during the move or dried out during the 8 days (depending on how it was treated in that time). Damaged roots or a reduced root area would not be able to support such a large structure and the tree can’t photosynthesise to provide energy for growth with the leaves removed. If you have to move a tree again, this post may help: Moving trees and shrubs.
    I’d be inclined to cut your losses with this tree and replace it with the smaller healthier tree, and only water the tree when the top centimetre of soil is dry.– Lyn

  13. Hi there, I have a neighbour’s large frangipani overhanging a herb patch I’ve planted recently. Will the frangipani leaves falling in winter and flowers in summer affect my herbs, or will they provide a natural mulch? I have chilli, tomatoes, Italian herbs, coriander and fenugreek in my patch. Thanks
    Hi Kamal, the flowers break down fairly quickly into mulch but the large leaves don’t. The main problem with the overhanging tree is that the feeder roots will be under your herb garden too, and the tree will be using the water and fertiliser you provide for your herbs. Perhaps you could transfer your herbs to a raised bed, such as those made from corrugated iron that come in a variety of colours or sizes. – Lyn

  14. Hi I have a 2 mtr frangipani which has been transplanted about 10 mths ago. It’s been growing well and has some flowers but it now has some spongy branches which have even drooped!!! I know I should cut them back but should I do it now (Feb in qld) or wait and should I do anything else to it. I fertilise with dynamic lifter plus and we have had a lot of rain over the season ???? Thx Mell

    Check the drainage around the tree, Mell. Frangipani need well-drained soil and not too much fertiliser. I only fertilise mine when they are very small. If soil stays wet around the base of the tree or takes some time to disappear, apply some mined gypsum around the base out to the edges of the branches. This should improve drainage. If branches need removing, leave it until they are dormant in winter. – Lyn

  15. I had a frangipani stem cutting given to me in May last year (2015). It had beautiful green leaves and a cluster of new blooms in the centre. After the flowers bloomed and dropped, however, a V-shaped dent was left at the top of the stem. It eventually healed but split into 2 branches. It’s been 10 months now and the branches have been growing steadily but the stem is still about the same height and diameter. The stem does not seem to be growing into a trunk nor have the height and the branches look so towering I am afraid the tree will split into 2 or simply topple over from a top too heavy. Is there anything I can do now? Or is this normal growth for the frangipani and I should just sit back and let it grow?
    Hi Patricia, although I haven’t seen a photo of your frangipani, I wouldn’t worry too much. Frangipani often send out branches close to the ground. We have several like that and they have grown happily for at least 20 years. It is also common for the stem not to look like a trunk for quite a few years. The most common cause of tree splitting is when frangipani are isolated in a windy position without anything nearby to reduce the force of strong wind.
    Their low branching habit can be a bit of a nuisance for weeding or mowing in the area when they get quite large. However, this can be overcome by removing some lower branches completely. Never shorten them. – Lyn

  16. Hi there, I just removed a frangipani with some root ball (not much) without reading these instructions. Clearly the wrong time of year but it’s done now. I also pulled off the majority of the leaves as I didn’t see the point of them just wilting off. Do I have a chance of making this work? If so, any pointers? Would removing all the leaves help? There is also a low branch I would like to remove but it seems from your instructions perhaps I should wait?
    You haven’t said where you live, so I’m going to guess it is still reasonably warm in your climate. Do not remove any more leaves. Put the tree in a pot with some good quality potting mix or, lie it on a large piece of hessian and pack plenty of potting mix around the root ball then tie up the hessian around the root ball, and keep it watered. This will help encourage it to form new feeder roots. Then you can plant it out and prune the unwanted branch in late winter. – Lyn

  17. I have a new frangipani tree to pot on my protected verandah. I have been told potting mix and scoria mixed together is good soil is this correct?

    Light weight scoria fines help lighten heavy soils, however, they increase retained moisture significantly. As most potting mixes also contain quite a bit of bio-char, which is also water-retentive, I would not mix them together as frangipani need a freely draining mix. A layer of coarse scoria (several cm thick) in the bottom of the pot instead of gravel would help drainage, but I always mix some coarse river sand through the potting mix when potting frangipani. – Lyn

  18. I have a frangipani tree and have had it for 2 years and it is yet to grow any branches or flower at all. The trunk has lots of leaves though. Its about 1.5 metres high. How can i help it to grow branches
    Hi Jannelle, It is not uncommon for frangipani to not branch out or flower for several years. That is because the branches are quite thick (not twiggy like most young trees) and it takes time for the tree to produce enough sugars for energy.
    The fact that your tree has lots of leaves shows that it is healthy and storing carbohydrates for future growth. Water it regularly in dry periods, give it a light application of complete organic fertiliser each spring, keep mulch away fro the trunk, and I’m sure your patience will be rewarded. – Lyn

  19. Hi, I live on the Gold Coast and have literally a garden full of frangipanis. I have quite a few large branches, approx 2.5 long with multiple smaller branches that are growing in the wrong position., over paths and into the frangipanis directly next to them. I am getting older and worry that I may need to move address in approx 5 years and would like to take these with me. In 5 years these branches which are laterals will have completely outgrown where they are and will be in the way. I would like to cut them now So they will have as much growth as possible . What size pot should I plant these into To last that long without repotting and do you think May is cold enough to cut them. I was thinking 400mm, each branch are at least 10cm thick near the collar. Thanking you

    Hi Rosemary, Frangipanis tend to bleed sap if pruned while not dormant. I’d wait until winter (Jun–July in your area). You can put them into a 30 cm pot filled with potting mix that has had washed river sand added to it and a 2-3 cm of gravel in the base. They will need staking as their roots are very brittle and the weight of the large cuttings can pull them sideways, snapping the roots. You can make them longer than 400 mm because you will need to bury about 150 mm in the potting mix. I’ve raised trees from cuttings that are at least 600 mm long. Don’t forget to put the cuttings into a shady spot for a couple of weeks before potting to allow scar tissue to form on the cut end. This will help prevent them from rotting. – Lyn

  20. Hi, I live in Perth and my 20 year + Frangipani has blown over in a recent storm and snapped at the base. It is not quite winter here but I have taken several cuttings as per your previous comments to others. When I took the cuttings they did bleed sap so I am hoping they will still strike? Also do I need to remove the leaves? The cuttings have been in the shade for a couple of days and the leaves are starting to wilt. Many thanks
    Danni, just leave the cuttings in the shade for a couple of weeks until scar tissue forms on the ends. Frangipanis are starting to shed their leaves naturally at this time of year, but if you remove them prematurely they will bleed. I have had an entire tree of a similar age snap off in unusually high winds and was most surprised that it started to grow again next spring and, after several years, it has grown back better than ever because the base had a well-established root system. – Lyn

  21. Hi, I’m from Perth WA and have just finished reading the past comments and responses but can’t see anything that relates to what I’m looking for.
    I have a number of Frangipani’s down the side of my house which are currently roof heigh and becoming a little wide for the walkway. I wish to trim the total height and width. As there are some branches which are thicker than others, is it preferable trimming the thinner branches, also I just wish to confirm the best place to cut the branches? Thanks….

    Hi Phil, the first paragraph of the post above describes where to remove branches. Yes, it is best to remove the thinner branches. The thicker branches are older and stronger. – Lyn

  22. I was given a cutting from a pink tree. I have been told that it may not flower pink next time is this true.
    I want to put a cutting from a pink and a yellow tree together and what I am trying to achieve is a tree that has both pink and yellow flowers. Will this work.

    Hi Sharon, plants that are produced from cuttings are the same as the tree or shrub they came from, so it will have pink flowers. If you want to produce a pink and yellow frangipani, you will have to collect mature seed pods, and grow them from seed. You will need to grow a lot of them to flowering stage before you will know if you have the colour combination you want. It will take some years.
    A quicker way is to buy a peach frangipani. We have several of these and the flowers smell like ripe peaches. A sample of this variety is second from the left of the frangipani photos on this link: frangipani from seed update
    Some nurseries will allow you to order by mail in winter, while the plants are dormant.
    http://www.frangipanifarm.com.au/varieties-p-z.htm

  23. G’day Lyn Thanks for all the great info on your site
    I have a large frangipani cutting (more of a tree with no roots) 3m high 1.5m across the top.
    After I have dried it out how deep can I bury the trunk into the ground ?
    I’m thinking the deeper the better for stability but will the trunk start to rot?
    Also should I remove branches now or just remove the leaves as they appear in summer. Thanks again, Andrew

    Andrew, you haven’t said where you live, but I am guessing you are in Sydney. Please correct me if I am wrong. You may be a little optimistic expecting such a large cutting to survive when it does not have any roots. It will take some time for enough roots to form to allow absorbed moisture to reach all parts of the plant. It would help if you could reduce the size considerably. However, do not remove the leaves when they form. It is the carbohydrates formed in the leaves through photosynthesis that provides the energy that plants need to grow.
    Regarding the depth to plant, at least 30 cm, but not if that will put it in subsoil as frangipani need excellent drainage.Sand mixed through the planting soil will help both penetration of roots and drainage. Large cuttings also need a 3-stake support with stretchy fabric around the outside of the stakes until they are showing good growth. This method allows slight movement in wind but prevents the cutting falling over.

  24. Hi there, I live in Adelaide, we have a substantial frangipani growing down the side of our house, i would love to cut a section off to replany at the front of the house, it would be in front of a fence with northern sun shining. When you say late winter would you say now would be perfect? It has lost all leaves now. And am I correct in thinking go no bigger than 1.2 metres high, and a Y shape if possible? After i cut, do i just lay it on a table to dry for a while before replanting? Thanks in advance Jo
    Hi Jo, Thank you for saying where you live. It really helps me to get an idea of your conditions. I wouldn’t call it late winter yet, as there is more cold weather to come and, if you are planning to plant your cutting directly where it is to grow, it’s unlikely your cutting will start to produce roots until the ground warms well into September. Having said that, planting it directly where it is to grow will avoid the problem of roots snapping while transplanting, as their roots are very brittle. I’d take the cutting of the size and shape you suggested later this month and you can put it on a table for the cut end to form a scar, as long as the table is in the shade.
    Soils are variable in Adelaide and, if your soil is heavy, I’d mix some river sand through the planting soil. I usually add 1/3 sand. This will ensure good drainage and easy root penetration. After planting, put some mulch on the soil around the cutting (keeping it clear of the trunk) in the early afternoon when the soil is warmest. This will help insulate the soil from temperature fluctuations. – Lyn

  25. Hi. I just transplanted a fragipani fruit salad variety aporox 1 metre tall very slim tree.
    I realised i have snapped off one of the feeder roots. 2 still remain with some smaller ones. The feeder root snapped at the base : ( What ahould be my course of action now. Perth late August. Thanks for any advise.

    Hi Jayne. Snapping frangipani roots is very easy to do. At least there are still some roots left. Give the soil around your tree a drink of seaweed extract tea at the directed strength. This helps stimulate root growth. Keep it watered regularly, and put some mulch around it in early afternoon on a sunny day when the soil is warmest. Keep the mulch a hand width clear of the trunk. The mulch will help insulate the roots from cold nights and encourage root growth. Once the tree is showing signs of new foliage growth, you can give it a light feed of complete organic fertiliser. Don’t worry about the trunk being slim. Frangipanis take some years for the trunk to thicken.– Lyn

  26. Hi Lyn, I planted 2 x evergreen frangipanis in our garden at the end of summer, both about 1.8 mtrs tall. Both lost their leaves due to our cooler climate, not cold, we live in a temperate zone. It is now a month into spring and they are not showing any signs of new leaf growth. They only received rainfall during winter and the stems are firm to the touch. I’m unsure as what I need to do to promote new growth. More established trees in my neighbourhood all have new leaves forming. Appreciate any advice you can give. Thank you for your time. Kind regards, Donna
    Hi Donna, As you haven’t said which of the evergreen frangipani (Plumeria) you have purchased, it is not possible to advise the exact cause of your problem. Both P. pudica (with spoon-shaped leaves and more cold-tolerance) and P. obtusa come from much warmer climates. There are also hybrids P. puditusa that come from both the previous parents. These varieties are only evergreen in what most suppliers refer to as “suitable climates”. All frangipani that grow best in warm climates are slower to show growth in most areas than the common white frangipani. (Our deep lipstick pink trees take much longer to show signs of life than the other colours.) Another influence on frangipani growth is its position. Warm climate frangipani need a very sunny spot protected from wind, on the north side of a brick wall keeps them warmer through winter and they are more likely to start growth earlier.
    As the stems appears to be healthy, I’d say be patient a bit longer and, if there is no sign of life in another month, have a chat to the nurseryman who sold these trees, – Lyn

  27. Hi Lyn, I live in Brisbane and have too very large (6 metre) frangipani trees in the corner of our backyard on a slope in a garden bed. We wish to add about 0.5m dirt to the garden bed (3m x 2m) to level it out. Will adding this dirt to the base of the trees cause problems? If it will then we were thinking of a metal collar around the base of the trees. Any suggestions? Thanks

    From my experience, frangipani produce roots from the base of cuttings, and I have not noticed them producing roots along a stem or trunk, so burying the trunk another 50 cm. could cause problems. If you use a metal collar, it should be kept well clear of the trunk. Placing it close to the trunk would tend to keep the trunk damp and this can result in collar rot. – Lyn

  28. Hi Lynn, we transplanted a large frangipani late winter (live in perth), it had been dug up and out of the ground for a number of weeks before we got it and planted it. Before planting we put organic fertiliser in the hole, when planted watered with seasol and have been watering once a week with seasol. When we planted it there were leaves/buds starting to shoot but now they dont seem to be progressing. Just wondering if the fact that the tree was out of the ground for such a long time before we planted it is going to work against us and it not survive?
    If your tree was dug up, I presume it had roots. It is possible that the feeder roots may have dried out and it may not have enough feeder roots to keep all of it healthy. The only thing you can do is wait and see. Frangipanis can take some time to produce new growth, especially if the tree, or cutting, is very large. The other possibility is that if you used a lot of fertiliser, the fertiliser may have burnt the new growth.
    Don’t overdo the Seasol. Although that brand does not contain a lot of potassium, too much potassium can interfere with the absorption of other nutrients. I’d just water the tree enough to keep the soil just damp, and be patient as frangipanis are pretty hardy. – Lyn

  29. Hi Lyn, thanks so much for all this awesome advice! We are near Tweed Heads and have just been gifted a big branch of a beautiful pink and gold frangipani. It is about 1.6m high with a10cm d trunk. We intend to plant it directly in place with stakes as you’ve already advised, and our soil is already well draining sand. It has been cut some time ago, the tips of the branches have tiny new leaves, some of the branches are a bit limp. I was wondering if we should prune off some of these soft branches, or let it sort itself out?
    Also, the main branch cut wasn’t clean and tidying that up left about 1/4 of the stump unsealed, and there is a hollow in the middle about 7mm wide. We are hoping to avoid cutting any more off, as the height is good.Do we need to leave it the full 2 weeks to cure the little bit that is unsealed (would be great if it could be planted sooner), and should we worry about the small hollow? Thank you!

    Hi Ann, I wouldn’t worry about the small hollow in the main stem, if it is firm to the touch, as cells contract when they dry out. The unsealed section does need to be allowed to form scar tissue before planting. Leave the branch in shade (protected from rain) until the scar forms. If you rush to plant it now, rot could form in the unsealed section and you could lose the whole plant.
    The soft branches need to be removed on the outside of the thickening (collar) where the branch joins the main trunk as they won’t grow, and can spread die-back further. Don’t cut them flush with the trunk as the scar tissue will block the sap flow to other branches. – Lyn

  30. Hi Lyn, I have just been given a 50cm cutting of an evergreen frangipani (plumeria obtusa) with lots of leaves but no flowers, snapped off the main tree yesterday and it’s drying in the backyard. I live on the Gold Coast and my backyard is north facing with lots of sun. Can I put it straight in the ground after 2 weeks? Do I need to tidy up the bottom where it was snapped off? Many thanks for your advice. Tracey
    Hi Tracey, you only need to tidy any ragged pieces on the cutting and keep it in a shaded spot (protected from rain) until the scar forms on the base before you plant it. When you plant it, I’d give it some temporary shade through the hottest part of the day in summer, until it shows signs of growth. – Lyn

  31. Hi There. I have a well established Frangipani in Coogee in Sydneys Eastern Suburbs. I am just wondering if the leaves and flowers are good mulch. I usually throw them in the green waste bin as they seem to get greasy and mouldy if I leave them on garden beds.
    Deciduous trees provide their own mulch from their fallen leaves. As they break down, they return carbon to the soil, which provides a habitat for soil micro-organisms that perform a range of beneficial jobs. The reason that the leaves appear greasy and mouldy is because fungi break down the tough lignins in leaves. Left to nature, the process takes a fairly long time. However, they will break down more quickly if you run over the fallen leaves with the lawnmower, and then cover them with a light layer of organic mulch. – Lyn

  32. Hi Lyn, we’ve just had some very hot humid days on the Gold Coast and overnight we had a big storm with lots of rain. This morning i noticed that branches on my frangipani tree has become quite saggy and bent over almost like the inside stem has snapped but the outside ‘skin’ is holding it together. The tree is in a pot so i can’t stake it successfully enough to lift the branches. Will it rectify it’s self in a few days or am i best to trim off the droopy bits? I’ve taken photos but not sure how to upload them? Thanks Roddrick
    Mmmm, Roderick, that doesn’t sound good. It’s sounds a bit like rot may have developed. Some large pots only have one hole in the base and pots with multiple drainage holes are preferable. Have you checked the drainage in the pot? These trees need excellent drainage and, if roots block the drainage holes, rot can set in. Also, pots should have some pieces of tile under them to keep the drainage holes clear of hard surfaces. If you can correct any drainage problems, you may save the tree. – Lyn

  33. Hi Lyn. We planted a frangipani in our front garden about 5 or 6 years ago. The tree itself has grown to about 2.5m high with a spread of around 4m and appears to be really healty. The problem is that we are yet to have a single flower on the tree. There are plenty of buds and the petals try to make a start but they just won’t bloom. I have tried using fertilisers high in NKP but it doesn’t seem to make any difference. The tree is in full sun and we only water it occasionally unless any hot spells are forecast (when we increase watering of all our plants). The ground has a high clay content but I dug a lot of gypsum and compost into the ground when the tree was first planted. Any clues? Thanks, Ian
    Hi Ian, you haven’t said where you live or what coloured frangipani you planted. Some varieties require quite tropical conditions. Our deep pink ones bloom much later than the other colours. It’s as though the temperature is an indication of when to bloom. The white frangipani is the most tolerant of temperate climates. Some trees drop their buds when fertiliser is applied at the wrong time. Frangipanis only need a light application of organic complete fertiliser at the end of winter. – Lyn

  34. Sorry Lyn, we’re in the western suburbs of Adelaide.
    We bought the fragipani from a nursery as one with a yellow and white flower but, since we’ve never seen a flower, I’m just assuming that’s what it is. I’ve been back to the nursery for advice and they suggested feeding with a fertiliser high in nitrogen, potassium and phosphorous and this appeared to be consistent with other online research we’d done. I’ll take your advice for fertilising at the end of next winter.
    Our climate doesn’t appear to be a problem as there are many healthy frangipanis of varying colours in and around our suburb. Most of the owners tell me they just planted them and water them occasionally. Maybe we just got a dud…. Thanks, Ian

    Well Ian, that is a complete mystery to me. The common white frangipani should grow well in most temperate areas. Your tree appears to have made good growth in the past 5 or so years, so obviously it is not short of fertiliser, and I’d be inclined to ignore what the nursery told you, especially after reading this on the very helpful site, Frangipani trees :
    Lack of Frangipani FlowersWhen a frangipani is stress free, it puts most of its energy into green growth. When a frangipani is stressed, it’s more likely to produce flowers.
    Like humans, frangipanis need a period of growing before being able to reproduce. When they reach a mature age, less energy is put into growth and more energy is put into reproductive functions. Mature frangipanis continue to grow year after year but there are still periods when more energy is put into green growth than reproduction functions and vice versa.
    When frangipanis are stressed, they put less energy into green growth and more energy into reproduction. When frangipanis roots are disturbed and in times of drought, frangipani trees flowers more. This stress seems to be an indication that the life of the frangipani tree is under threat and signals that it’s more important to produce seedpods (which come from flowers) rather than green growth.

    I know this applies to citrus trees and it probably explains why my frangipani trees flower every year although I don’t fertilise them because I have too many other things to look after, but I do keep the fallen leaves under them as mulch. This prevents grass growing close to the trunk (which they hate) and provides a habitat for the soil microorganisms that perform multiple beneficial tasks to keep gardens healthy.
    As frangipanis are tropical trees and winters can be quite cold in the southern states, you could give your tree a drink of seaweed extract tea (weak black tea strength) in autumn to help build cold-resistance and better quality flowers. Potassium in organic residues is more readily available to plants than in inorganic fertilisers. – Lyn

  35. I Transplanted a largish white scented frangipani 2 years ago. It is around 2.5 meters tall and this year was the first year it has really bloomed. Every stem has healthy white flowers and looks wonderful, but today I noticed the stems are wrinkly and spongy, yet the flowers are lush. This softness goes down the stems a good 30- 40 cm. Had black rot on other plants in the past and trimming puts them back a couple of years. Tempted to prune to stop it travelling further down the plant. Is this the way to go as it is only Feb? or is it normal because of the heat and humidity we are having in Sydney this year? Maybe I have over-watered? What to do? Thanks

    Two possibilities, John. You said it was a ‘largish’ tree when you planted it, and it has only been growing for 2 years. It may not have formed enough roots yet to keep the entire tree healthy with the result that some of it has developed dieback. If it had roots when you planted it, some may have been damaged during planting as they are very brittle and it is easy to snap some off when replanting. The other possibility is that you may have to check the drainage around the tree. Frangipanis hate having wet feet. Only water when the top cm of soil is dry. The fact the tree has produced a lot of flowers so soon after transplanting can indicate that the tree is stressed and urgently needs to reproduce its own kind. Don’t shorten the branches if you prune. The post above indicates where you should remove rotted growth on these trees. – Lyn

  36. Is it possible to use an entire flowering branch (60 – 120cm) of frangipani as a cut flower? And if so, how? Should i scorch the end to seal off the sap, and then just put it in a tall vase of water – or would it prefer to be left without water, or perhaps “planted” in a pot of coco-peat or similar, kept only just damp? It only needs to last 2 days to a week. I’m in Adelaide, if that helps.
    I don’t see why not. We recently had to prune some flowering frangipani branches that were blocking access to a gutter and the flowers remained for some time. Although, rather than put it in water, I would put it in a damp medium, probably sand would be best as this would be heavier than coco-peat and hold it steady. The sand would also absorb any sticky sap leakage. – Lyn

  37. Although I know it’s probably not the ideal time of year, I’ve been able to obtain some cuttings from a large frangipani tree that had split and fallen a couple of days ago. I am in Adelaide, so it is the end of summer and the tree was not dormant, so the branches are covered in leaves and flowers. I have the cuttings curing presently, but am unsure of whether I should be removing the leaves or not (I assume it’s best to remove the flowers so energy can be directed to root growth?). Also, if the weather is in the high 30’s, is it ok to leave them outside in the shade during the curing process? Many thanks!
    Hi Prue. Remove the flowers but the leaves will leak sap if you remove them now, and they will wither and drop off when ready. Keep the cuttings in shade where they won’t be wet by rain and plant during winter. Or, you can pot them in mid-late autumn and plant them out in spring when they show signs of new growth. – Lyn

  38. Hi, I live in Brisbane and have a well established frangipani tree near my side fence. My neighbours are having a new garage built and there is scaffolding rubbing against a number of large limbs. Will this cause any lasting damage to my tree?
    Hi Kate, if the scaffolding is rubbing on large limbs, are these branches going to be an obstruction to the finished garage? If the scaffolding has only removed the outer skin, they may recover as long as the scaffolding is removed soon, but if it is deeper damage, it may cause die-back and the branches may need to be removed. – Lyn

  39. Hi Lyn
    Thanks for the advice. Hopefully the builder will remove the scaffolding shortly and there won’t be any lasting damage to the tree.

  40. Hi Lyn, I live in Sydney and have a beautiful almost 100 year old Frangipani tee in the front garden which has a canopy of 6 mtrs and is approx 6 mtrs tall. I am undertaking some landscaping works in the front yard and was intending to make a feature of the tree by having the new path to the front door meander past the tree. Unfortunately during the excavation for the new front path I have found a large root of the tree just below the surface of the ground where I want the path but the levels for the path would require the removal of this substantial root. The root appears to be approx 10 cm to 15 cm diameter at the point the root would need to be cut which is approx 1 metre from the trunk of the tree. Almost 80 cms of root would need to be removed. I am afraid the removal of this root my damage my beautiful tree. I require your expert advice as to the feasibility of removing the root without endangering the tree?
    Many thanks, Philiip

    Hi Phillip, if your tree is close to a 100 years old it has a substantial root system and removing only one root a metre from the trunk is unlikely to kill the tree. The feeder roots for the tree lie below the outer edge of the foliage canopy. As long as you don’t disturb these around the rest of the tree, it should survive the surgery. – Lyn

  41. Hi Lyn, I have had a potted frangipani for 7 years on my verandah, however just lately it is in trouble. Unfortunately, it has curl leaf and a white fungus under the leaves and showed no signs of flowering this past summer. I sprayed it with a sulphate mix for the fungus and curl leaf which worked for a while, the fungus disappeared – however, the curl leaf has returned. The plant grows to the sun so it is lopsided, the branches have now drooped and are soft, I fear it is dying although it has just flowered, three months later than usual! I have moved it to my back deck which isn’t covered and have fed it with Maxfeed miracle grow. I would dearly love to save this lovely plant if I can, any advice would be gratefully received. It has three stems, two of which flower regularly but has not grown any more limbs since I have had it.

    How long is it since you re-potted your tree, Amanda? It sounds as though it is pot-bound, and the roots may have blocked the drainage hole/s, causing the droopy branches. Good drainage is essential for these trees. – Lyn

  42. Hi Lyn, I live on the Gold Coast.I bought a few different frangipanis in 200ml pots a while ago and due to moving, being busy etc have only just planted them after a couple of years. The one that I am querying has about 1.5 mtrs growth that is long and thin with two branches starting from the base. It is also leaning over from the base and bends over almost parallel to the ground and is resisting my efforts to stake it. Im worried that I am going to break it if I force it. I would also like this tree to just have the one stem, and start branching. I have taken a photo but not sure how to upload it. I understand that I need to wait till Jun/Jul to cut off one of the shoots but not sure where I should make the cut so that it has a single trunk? Should I also cut the other stem to make the tree branch to to hopefully get it to straighten up. Also, how close can you plant individual trees together? Many thanks Lyn – Robyn

    You may not be able to rescue that one, Robyn. Some plants, if grown from a downward-pointing cutting tend to keep growing horizontally. That’s how they get conifers that grow horizontally, instead of upright. If you do decide to remove one branch, cut it just beyond the ‘collar’ as it says in the post above.
    Regarding how close to plant the trees, we have some that have a 5 metre canopy but it has taken a long time to reach that size. Frangipanis grow well in your area and they will probably grow more quickly although the deep pink ones tend to be slower growing. Larger single trees are prone to snapping off if exposed to wind and they seem to be more wind-resistant when trees interlock slightly. We usually plant ours about 2–3 metres apart. They can be further apart if there is other tall foliage in the area to help provide a windbreak. – Lyn

  43. Hi, what an amazing site. I was googling my Frangipani trees problem and u cam this!, I’ve solved alot of questions I had except one. I live on the east coast of NZ by the beach. I have a yellow frangipani tree planted a year go from a pot. It is doing really well, beautiful flowers, but I’ve just noticed at the base the outer bak has broken away and many little roots are growing and exposed. What does this indicte and do I cover them or leave them exposed? Thank you so much for your wonderful site.
    Kindest regards

    Maree, I haven’t noticed this on any of our trees. First I’d check that your tree isn’t pot-bound, i.e. needing to be moved to a larger pot. If it doesn’t, I’d just cover the new roots with some fresh potting mix. – Lyn

  44. Hi Lyn, Firstly what an amazing site and thread.
    I am from Perth, WA. In our council area we currently have green waste collection. Last night I collected some Frangipani (FP) cuttings. 4 of them a cuttings with about the girth of a 20c piece. I’ve read the threads and have a good idea on how to deal with them (dry out the wound, plant in sandy soil and wait until Spring for them to “spring” to life). I also sourced some cuttings that are more stump like in girth – about the size of a tea cup in diameter… pretty much like stumps. I have two pieces. One is about 2 metres in length – cut at both ends. The other is single stump at one end, branching out to four branches… which have all been cut.. this pieces is about 1.5m in length. Question – is there anything special I need to do to these older pieces of FP? I know I would need to stake them – however what are the chances that they will take given that we are in April… and Spring is 5 months away. Thanks for any advice.. Martin

    I don’t know Martin, I have never tried to grow frangipani from just a stump, nor have I grown them from branches that have the tops removed. You could try them and see how they respond. It’s wise to stake all frangipani cuttings for the first year or so, as movement can snap their young, brittle roots. – Lyn

  45. Hi Lyn we have a frangipani that we grew from a branch about 10 years ago its 2 meters tall and approx. 6 inches around the stem. The problem is that there are 2 branches that are now growing to close to a gate and getting very difficult to open the gate.
    Do we cut the branches off or our preferred option can we straighten the tree, if we can straighten what would be the best way to go about it. Cheers Greg

    Ten year old trees are rather set in their ways, Greg. Branches of frangipani often grow out sideways or close to the ground and need to be removed. If you remove the entire branches as advised in the post above, the tree will produce new branches from the growing tip further up the tree. – Lyn

  46. A friend has just bought a b&b in Bali with a lovely garden containing many frangipanis. It’s supposed to be the dry season and slightly cooler than summer, but it’s been unusually warm and wet. Most of the frangipanis have never been trimmed and look a little spindly. A few of them are flowering, but not very much, perhaps in response to the unusually warm conditions. What should be done to encourage more spreading in the canopies and when is the best time to do it?
    Hi Robyn, frangipanis are tropical trees and love warm weather, as long as their drainage is good, the wet season shouldn’t bother them. It depends how old the trees are, as it can take some years for frangipani to spread out. Also, it depends how closely the trees are planted. – Lyn

  47. Hi Lyn,
    We’ve recently removed a large chinese elm, which had been casting shade and making a couple of large (3-4m) frangipanis grow long spindly branches towards the light. I’d now like to take the opportunity to re-shape them to a more regular shape and for stronger canopy growth. Based on what I’ve seen here and elsewhere, it seems I can prune fairly aggressively without major consequences. Do I need to be careful about where on the branches I cut to allow for new branches to grow? Are there limitations on the proportion of branches I can remove? The trees are quite old (say 30-40cm trunk), but it looks as though the previous owners of our house last pruned 4-5 years ago as there is a lot of spindly new-ish growth. We’re in brisbane. Thanks! Mike

    Mike, it says in the first paragraph of the post where to remove the branches. Mature trees can handle a fair bit of pruning while they are dormant. You can remove spindly new growth if you think it is going to spoil the shape of the trees. Also remove any interlocking branches that will be in constant shade as they mature. These branches often suffer from die-back. – Lyn

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