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, you may need a short stake to keep it upright. If the cutting is very large (1.5 m), you will need a larger pot with plenty of drainage holes and 3 stakes to support the cutting. Gardening Australia has an excellent video of this method: https://www.abc.net.au/gardening/factsheets/staking-a-tree/9493998

I find strips cut across old T-shirts or men’s singlets make could flexible plant ties. 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).

120 Replies to “Frangipani”

  1. does a cutting from a frangipani have to have a heal or just a straight cutting from a branch ,also one of my young plants has got like shrinked look about it just above the soil can anyone tell me what has caused this kind regards

  2. Frangipani cuttings can be taken straight across a branch, Trina. They don’t require a ‘heel’ at the base but, the interior of the cutting is quite tender, and usually rots if the cuttings are planted before the tissue at the base of the cutting has hardened, which is what is meant by ‘healing’ in this case. I’d say your poor little tree has rotted inside if it feels soft above the soil line.

  3. I have a 2.5 Mtr tall frangipani, which has had a branch broken off on one side, half way up the tree. We do not appear to be getting any new growth in the location of the broken branch. How do I stimulate growth in the location of the broken branch to re-balance the shape of the tree. Should I cut the tree back to the location of the broken branch, which will halve its height?

    How long ago did the branch break off, Greg? Frangipani foliage naturally forms an umbrella shape but it probably won’t produce any new branches until next spring, unless the damage was on the south side of the tree, in which case it may not re-grow.
    Did you trim the broken branch? It could get rot in the damaged part where it broke off, and the branch won’t then produce new growth. There is a small ridge called a ‘collar’ where the limb joins the main trunk. Broken branches should be trimmed neatly to the outer edge (limb side) of this collar so that the tree can form scar tissue without interfering with the sap flow in the main trunk.

    If you find the asymmetry very disturbing, you could cut it back during early winter when the tree becomes dormant, as pruning the main trunk of frangipani trees during the growing season can cause serious sap loss. We had the top half of a frangipani tree completely snap off during high winds in winter. In the following two years, the tree produced a set of new branches and quickly re-grew to its original height. It now looks better than ever. – Lyn

  4. I’ve had two frangipanis for approx a year now and i’d like to know two things: (a) when will they flower? (b) how do i treat frangipani rust in australia? thanks, Sarah
    Sarah, it depends on how established the frangipani trees are. With a well established plant with 2 or 3 branches you could start to get flowers next summer or, at the latest, the summer after. Don’t forget to keep the soil just damp under young trees and give them a light application of complete fertiliser each spring.
    Rust is a sign that the trees are lacking trace elements. Add a twice annual drink of seaweed extract tea to the soil. If the infestation is severe also spray them with chamomile tea (you can make it up using tea bags). – Lyn

  5. I am raising my garden beds. Is it necessary to leave a gap around the base of an already established frangipani tree

    I would leave a generous gap around the base of the frangipani tree Meg, as burying the trunk deeper can cause collar rot. However, frangipani need free drainage, and if you are raising your garden beds to improve drainage, you could still have problems with base rot if the soil surface around the tree is much lower than the surrounding bed. You have not said which part of Australia you live in so I can’t advise a precise time to do this but, If you are planning to raise the beds considerably, I would take remove a couple of branches of your tree towards the end of winter in your area, and use them as cuttings (using the method described above) in case you lose your tree through poor drainage. – Lyn

  6. Hi I am trying to find out some imformation about replanting a frangiapni,it has been in a pot for 20 years an I want to put it in the ground.I have had the pot sitting in the position where I want to plant it for 5 years and it has been growing well there so I think it should be ok.Is there anything I should do to the soil ? or when sould I plant it.I
    live in Melbourne Vic……. thanks Glenn

    Glen, I’ve answered your question in a separate post on Transplanting Frangipani in the Ornamentals category. – Lyn

  7. Hi I have a new frangapani about 2 years old and about 1.2m high I accidently bumped one of the lower branches,
    however the branch didnt snap off but slightly loosened it from the main trunk,it bleed a small amount of white sap
    from the joint…as I dont want to remove this branch will it re-knit as a broken bone does? – Steve

    If you can brace it somehow Steve, it may seal itself, depending on whether the xylem and phloem (sap and water carrying) tissue are still intact. If the damage is not severe and you can get some pantihose, you can use it as a sling supported by one of the upper branches. It is a bit difficult to give a definite answer without seeing where the break has occurred. However, as the entire height of the tree is only 1.2 metres, and this was one of the lower branches, it may be better to let nature take its course, as very low branches can be a nuisance as the tree matures, and these branches often require pruning at a later stage. – Lyn

  8. Hi Lyn -One of the branches of my frangipani has been snapped off. It has flowers it. Can it be repotted or do I cut the flowers off and leave it till winter?? Helen
    Hi Helen. The branch can be left in a dry place out of direct sun until the broken end callouses over – usually 2 – 3 weeks in warm weather. Don’t remove the flowers, you could damage the tip. They will drop off themselves.
    Fill a suitable sized pot with a very sandy potting mix and place the cutting in the mix with a support stake if it is a large branch. (After the Full Moon on the 30th Jan. would be a good time to do this.) Keep it just damp and out of direct sunlight in a warm place until you start to see white roots through the holes in the base of the pot. The cutting can then be planted out next spring, unless you live in a very warm climate in which case, it should be ready in autumn. – Lyn

  9. Hi – I have a fragipani that has not branched yet but flowered the last 2 years. It was a cutting originally and is in a pot. It is about 3 feet hih. How can I make it branch?

    Frangipanis in pots are slower growing CJ. A lot depends on the pot size and how much nourishment it is getting from the mix. As I said in the above post, shortening the stems will cause dieback so you can’t pinch out the tip to encourage side growth. Frangipanis are trees, not shrubs, and it is not uncommon for trees of this height to not have formed branches. These trees can take 10 years to reach 2 metres unless they are in warm conditions. Is yours in a warm spot? If so, is it getting enough water to encourage new growth, or is it just getting enough to keep it alive. Flowers aren’t necessarily a sign of good health in plants, CJ. Stressed plants that think they are dying put a massive effort into reproducing. You often see this in old citrus trees.
    There is not much you can do except look after it, keep it healthy, and have patience that it will produce branches when it is ready. – Lyn

  10. Hello, I have a frangipani in a 13 inch pot with only one branch from bottom of pot to top of leaves it is 18 inches and it is very happy. The climate I live in NW/Victoria border is very hot in Summer an quite cold and some frost in Winter. A friend told me that I must bring the pot indoors during Winter (I have it on a patio) but what about the gas heating? Can you please help Many thanks

    Pauline, the common white frangipani is more cold tolerant than the coloured varieties, but it is a tropical succulent and will need some protection where winters are cold. Bringing the plant inside is not going to be practical as it gets larger and develops more branches. The branches snap easily and the more it is moved, the more likely it is that this can happen. The most common cause of death in plants brought indoors is over-watering. Try to find a position for your tree where it will be able to stay through summer and winter.

    It is impossible to tell you exactly where to position your plant without knowing the direction your patio faces, what materials the surrounding walls are made of, and whether the area has some overhead protection.
    The best way to protect frost-tender plants is to position them where cold air can drain away, as cold air always flows downwards – like water. Placing the pot on a table or raised stand on your patio may be enough to protect it from frost if your patio has a pergola over it.

    The best frangipani trees I have seen in temperate climates are against north-facing brick or concrete walls, and protected by an overhanging eave. If your patio faces north, the lower angle of winter sun will allow the patio to absorb some warmth during the day, and slowly release it at night keeping the air around the plant slightly warmer. However, if your patio is on the lower part of a slope it will tend to trap cold air, and plants are more likely to be frost damaged.
    You will find some tips on cold protection in this post: http://aussieorganicgardening.com/?p=137
    Lyn

  11. Hi, my mother has 2 frangipanis in pots. A white variety and a red (has a peppery fragrance). both are apprx 1-1 1/2 mtres but are now failing. i think she has been watering them excessively during the dormant period and now they are showing signs of decaying on all the branches from the tip. Some are quite severe with half the branch being affected. i have told her to stop watering them for the time being but I was wondering if she should cut off the bad parts before it spreads further? Or is it too late?
    Your advice would truly be appreciated. Thanks.

    Rachel, the problem with frangipani trees that develop die-back, which is often caused by cold (and the redder ones are extremely sensitive to cold), is that if you prune part of the way along the branch, the rot or die-back often continues, because they tend to belong more to the succulent plant group than the woody tree group.
    The best way to handle die-back on frangipani is to remove the whole affected branch – but not flush with the trunk.
    The branch needs to be cut cleanly through at the branch side of the “collar,” which is the thick band of tissue between the trunk and the beginning of each branch. If you look carefully, you can see where it starts and ends.
    Cutting here allows more mature ‘wood’ on the tree to develop scar tissue and seal the cut. If you remove a branch too close to the trunk (and this applies to virtually all trees), part of the scar tissue forms internally – blocking the sap and water flow to the rest of the tree, and causing further die-back.
    As cold weather is common in winters where your mother lives, it would be best if she only tried to grow the paler-flowered, hardier frangipani varieties, because frangipani are, after all, plants that evolved to do best in more tropical conditions. – Lyn

  12. Hello. I have 2 frangipani trees in the ground in my courtyard in Sydney, one approx. 6 meters tall, the other 4m. White & yellow, with pink undersides. They were quite healthy until this summer, but both now infected with rust. I want to treat organically, so will try chamomile or milk and detergent. They may also be stressed, because both had enormous floral displays all through summer but small and few green leaves. I may have overwatered and overfed, having been here only 2 years and quite new to gardening. I changed habits last year, but summer had very high rainfall. The large tree has a long and 2 and a half foot high walled garden bed built up on two sides, with a well for the trunk. I fed (Seasol) and watered the garden beds, which would have also fed the tree. There is also courtyard paving to one side, and an asphalt footpath the other. The courtyard faces north, and a lot of light & heat is reflected off the building. This year the large tree also produced a great deal of 6 petal flowers and even a few with 7 petals! It also had both the largest AND smallest flowers I’ve ever seen. The soil seems to be quite sandy and well draining. I would like to remove the raised beds but don’t want to do anything to further distress these beautiful & valuable trees until they are stable. Any advice gratefully accepted, many thanks!
    If the chamomile does not work, sulphur is the normal treatment for rust diseases but it can’t be applied in hot weather and it does not not seem very effective against the rust that attacks frangipani trees (Coleosporium domingense), anyway. Basically, plants develop diseases when they do not have access to the nutrient elements they need to resist them. This can be caused by poor nutrition or soil that is too acidic or alkaline for some nutrients to be absorbed by the affected plants. Seaweed fertilisers such as Seasol are supplementary fertilisers and do not provide enough of some of the major elements to be the sole fertiliser, while overuse provides excess potassium – which may explain the excessive flowering.
    However, you could try spraying the foliage with an organic liquid seaweed fertiliser at the recommended strength. Seaweed is not a disease treatment but it will provide a foliar feeding of essential nutrients needed for disease resistance, including sulphur. When leaves fall, rake them up and dispose of them in sealed garbage bags. Then, give soil around the tree a 3 cm layer of compost (covered with mulch that is kept a hand span from the trunk) or a moderate application of complete organic fertiliser and a drink of liquid seaweed fertiliser – once a year should be enough – and don’t over-water the tree. – Lyn

  13. Hi. I have a beautiful 2 .2 high and wide established yellow franjipani tree. The neigbours want to put a privacy screen about 35cm from the base of the franjipani tree. We live in a caravan park with rules ,so any privacy screen post has to be set in concrete in at least a 25cm wide, 45cm deep hole. Im very concerned about the effect this will have on the root system and tree as a whole. Can anyone give me information on how big the root ball /root system would be on a tree my size and the consequences of pouring concrete into a hole so close to the tree. If it will negatively affect the tree I may have grounds to object.
    How far away should the edge of the cement hole be from the tree trunk to be completely safe?
    Thanks for your help.
    Sothereitis, your problem is a common one, and I have answered it in a separate post, see New concrete near trees.

  14. I am so sad my frangipani, which is about 12 ft tall was damage during a storm about a week ago. 3 very large branches broke off – over 1/2 of the tree, when my oak tree dropped a big branch on it. What should I do? I have the branches in the shade on my patio. Should I cut these to make several plants or try to plant them as they are? The branches are all at least 3 feet long with many small branches coming off of them. Many are flowering too. I live in Florida, if this makes a difference.
    Hi Diane, if the bases of the branches have not bled a lot of sap, and have sealed themselves with scar tissue while lying in a shaded spot, you could try planting them as they are because July is the middle of summer where you live. Mix a lot of sand into the planting holes if soil is on the heavy side to make it easy for the plants to form delicate new roots. Stake the plants until they are well established and water them regularly – and you could be lucky getting them to grow into new trees. After planting, water the soil around them with a liquid seaweed fertiliser diluted according to directions. There are substances in seaweed that help stimulate root growth.
    Don’t worry about your broken tree. We had a large frangipani snap off halfway up the trunk in a wind storm and the tree formed a new crown that looks better than ever. – Lyn

  15. Hi, I live in Auckland NZ. I have white frangipani over 1.5m tall in a large pot. It last flowered about 4 years ago which was it’s first year in the pot. Now we are getting good leaf growth and new stems in the summer but the new stems rot in the winter and we have to cut them off.
    Penny, other gardeners may have had the same problem so I am posting my answer on the main page. – Lyn

  16. Hi there I live in Goosebery Hill W.A, I have quite a few Frangies in the ground and 3 in pots. One plant had a branch break off it so I planted in ordinary potting mix straight away and now it has leaves growing on it, this was only last summer. One of the frangies in the ground has started to go soft at the top which I broke off, now it is going further down the plant. What do I do now ? I also had cutting a few years ago and placed them in a bucket of water and they sprouted roots so I planted them in the garden. I did not let them dry out. Can I also cut into a branch to make a side branch grow from there. Hopefully I have asked all the questions I need to know. Thanks for you answer. Laureen.
    Hi Laureen, you can find information here about dieback in Frangipani: http://aussieorganicgardening.com/?p=1158
    You were certainly lucky to get the frangipanis to grow in a bucket of water, as the cuttings usually rot if kept too moist. As you can see from the post above, it is usual to allow the cuttings to form a callous before putting them into soil.
    I have no idea whether cutting into a branch would produce a side shoot. However, when a branch or trunk snaps off in wind, two or more branches usually form just below the break – so it is possible. Why don’t you try it and see what happens? – Lyn

  17. Hi, we live in Perth, WA and we want to transplant a 4m pink frangipani. I’ve read your information regarding the best time to transplant, however we’re restricted by time as the property that the frangipani is planted on is soon to be sold and we really need to transplant the frangipani now. It hasn’t flowered much this summer yet and it hasn’t been regularly watered (it has been on my ageing grandmother’s property). It does look healthy though. Your advice would be very much appreciated.

    Ooooh, it is a big ask to move a frangipani that is 4 metres tall Cath, because these trees have very brittle roots. It is not easy to move them when they are larger than 2 metres. If you try to move such a large frangipani, the weight of the trunk and branches could snap the roots and the tree will struggle to produce enough new roots to support the large area of top growth — resulting in the loss of the tree. You would need to reduce the top growth significantly to move a frangipani tree of this size.
    However, a tree that tall should have a selection of good branches with multiple shoots. An alternative course of action would be to prune off several of these and use them to propagate new plants, to make sure you have at least one of your grandmother’s tree, even though it is not the best time of the year to take cuttings.
    Don’t prune them flush to the trunk – prune at the outside of the collar as indicated in this article, making the first cut on the underside of the branch so that when the branch is almost sawn through its weight won’t tear the base of the pruning. Then, put the branches in a warm spot out of direct sunlight to form a callus at the base, and proceed with the instructions given in this article. Use 3 stakes in each pot to support a large branch.
    If you can, leave the pruning until last Quarter phase (January 16th – 22nd this year) to reduce bleeding of sap as much as possible — best days, 19th and 20th. – Lyn

  18. Hi there, I recently planted a healthy looking frangipani plant (although it was root bound in a pot) into the ground. However since the transfer, the leaves have all gone limp, brown and appear as though it might loose its leaves in a few days. Is this normal? I have been watering it everyday, the weather in Perth has also been rather hot lately which probably doesnt help. I really hope the plant is not going to die. Can anyone suggest what I should do to rescue my frangipani plant? Thanks. Jenni

    Jenni, you may have snapped some of the roots when you were transplanting it. It is very easy to do with these trees as the roots are very brittle, and I’ve done it myself once or twice when transplanting a tree as small as 60 cm high. if the root system is reduced it won’t be able to absorb enough moisture to support the sap flow and the extreme heat in Perth at the moment would not help. If you think damaged roots are a possibility, you could try giving it a drink of seaweed extract tea as seaweed contains compounds that can stimulate root growth.
    I’d just keep the soil damp around the tree and provide it with a bit of temporary afternoon shade until this severe heat wave passes. It may surprise you by producing new shoots in spring if it loses its leaves now. I wouldn’t assume it is dying unless the branches start to go soft. If they are not soft in late winter, give a light application of compost or complete organic fertiliser to the soil surface and cover it with mulch. Don’t dig the fertiliser into the soil.

  19. Hi there, I have just recently receved some frangapani cut offs but i replanted them straight away into the ground. Will they be ok or should i pull them all out for a couple of weeks then replant them?
    Not at all a green thumb but love these trees. I live on the south coast nsw Any advice would be great.

    Hi Mel, If they had formed a scar at the base, they should be fine but, it the branches had been freshly cut and oozing sap, it would be best to keep them in the shade for a couple of weeks to dry out. – Lyn

  20. Hi, I have some cut offs from a frangapani tree i have kept them in a dry warm place for the last two weeks, they still have nice green leaves on them whilst some have dropped off the base of them have dried out but the middle of the stems have started going soft. What does this mean? Will they be ok and should i replant them now? And should i pull off the remaining leaves or leave tham as they are?

    Melissa, they probably won’t be ok if the stems have started going soft. It means that the cuttings were removed when the sap flow in the branch was too high. The best time to prune and take cuttings of frangipani is in winter, during Last Quarter phase. Sometimes cuttings are taken from trees damaged during the growing season but there is no guarantee that these will not go soft. I’d only keep the cuttings without soft stems. Sorry. – Lyn

  21. Hi Lyn, I live in Perth and am planning to renovate the courtyard on the western side of my house.
    I am hoping to move my 2 small (aprox 1.2m tall) white/yellow frangipanis into planter boxes approximately 1m sq in each corner so that they can grow larger in the coming years.
    They are both currently against the east side of the house in small pots so I know they handle the sun quite well.
    1 plant would be against the North/East facing walls (full sun), whilst the other would be against the South/East facing walls (very little direct sun).
    I’m concerned the plant in the South/East corner may not live if it doesn’t get much sun… Should I just move it there and see what happens? Or would you not recommend such a move?
    Any advice will be greatly appreciated :o)

    Frangipanis are tropical plants Kylie, so the south/east is not the best spot in temperate climates such as Perth, even though the white flowered one is the hardiest of the group. Try putting the one planned for the south/east corner in a large pot first, and see how it performs. Then you can try moving it to a warmer spot or, if it appears to do well, you can transfer it to a planter box.– Lyn

  22. Would appreciate some info about pruning my white Frangipani,there is a large branch coming out of the side of the tree, this branch is top heavy & is bigger than the main trunk, it is supported by a rope attached to the trunk, I would like to trim it so that the side branch is shorter, as, everytime the wind blows it turns my security light on plus I’m thinking it will probanly snap off in a very high wind, I love the tree and am anxious to keep it so any information would be great, also I would like to turn the cut branch into new tree’s, will this be possible. Thank you.
    Madeline, whole branches of frangipanis can snap off in high winds, especially if the tree is not in a group of other trees or tall shrubs. However, when you remove part of a branch of these trees the remaining part of the branch can rot. The safest thing to do is remove the entire branch following the instructions in this post, as the tree will heal more easily if it is cut just beyond the ‘collar’. If the branch is too large to handle as a cutting, you can trim the branch to a suitable size once it has been removed from the tree. Then follow the instructions for forming scar tissue on the cut end before potting it up. – Lyn

  23. Hi, I have a large tree 4.5m with 4 trunks. Is it possible to remove one of these and replant (no root ball) in the usual way, i.e. drying out or is it only possible to take cuttings from the crown?
    No it is not only possible to take cuttings from the crown. However, that size is a big ask at this time of year when plants are in active growth. You could try it, after allowing the cut end to form a scar in a shaded position. Then transplant it into its permanent position in a sandy loam with 3 stakes to support it until it becomes established. Give the soil around it a drink of seaweed extract tea to help stimulate root growth, and keep it watered regularly until it is growing strongly. I don’t think you will be successful if you try to strike such a large piece of tree in a pot because the weight of the trunk and foliage are likely to snap the roots off when you try to transplant from the pot. Hope this helps. – Lyn

  24. Hi, I believe my partner may have sprayed Weed & Feed near our Frangi as it seems to have partly mutated with quite long thin prongs instead of the leaves and the flowers look like tiny stars. Can you please advise as we love our Frangi and do not want to lose it.

    Toni, your poor tree has suffered herbicide damage. Collateral damage from herbicides often occurs, especially with products that are applied with a hose or on breezy days. One of the ingredients in ‘Weed ‘n Feed’ is related to Agent Orange, the herbicide used in the Vietnam War and there is no remedy for this damage as herbicides are designed to kill plants. The only way to avoid it is to not use herbicides. Just make sure that you don’t allow the tree to become water-stressed, and keep your fingers crossed that it will eventually recover. – Sorry, I can’t offer more helpful advice in this case. – Lyn

  25. Hi everyone. I’ve just found a 3m white Frangipani that had been pulled out and dumped in a salvage yard in Perth. Apparently it was removed from the ground about 5 weeks ago and has been lying outside ever since. Surprisingly it still has some leaves and flowers and the roots appear to be in reasonable condition. Can anyone please give me some advice on emergency TLC for this poor tree? I note from the comments above that overwatering the tree is not a good thing. Given it’s been out of soil for 5 weeks and the currently high temperatures in Perth, how much should I water it in the first 1-2 weeks? Thanks – Courtney.
    Frangipanis are very hardy trees, Courtney. Dig a hole where you want to plant the tree in a sunny position and water the hole thoroughly before planting the tree. Make sure the soil has a moderate amount of compost added. Fill in the hole carefully because the roots of these trees are very brittle – and DON’T stomp on the ground around the tree to settle the soil. After planting, water the soil to eliminate air pockets around the roots. Give the tree a thorough watering each week until it is showing signs of new growth (except during winter). In this heat, it will help if you can set up a bit of temporary shade just to protect it during the worst heat of the day until temperatures are more moderate. You may not notice any growth for a while but I will be surprised if it doesn’t delight you with new growth next spring. – Lyn

  26. I have a almost 2 mt high cutting of a frangipani a neighbour cut off a tree and I want to save it and in that height and I hope I haven’t killed it by leaving it in this full hot sun to dry out for 4 weeks now. I could have had it in the full shade and just the end in the sun but I didn’t know as I was told to dry it out in the sun for a couple of months, now I know I was given the wrong advice.
    I can see the tree suffering and drying out and stressed starting to wrinkle all the branches, it needs water but I also don’t want to shock the plant. I wish I had read your page before this.
    What would you say is the best thing to do now as I really would like to save this and grow it in my garden.
    I have put it all in the shade now except the end I wanted to dry out and have sprayed branches only with water and I think I should plant it now before it dies…I would like some advice as to what I should do PLEASE.

    Marie, recent heat wave weather is far too hot for these cuttings. No part of the cutting should be left in full sun to form scar tissue, and several weeks are long enough for scar tissue to form in Australian climates. Fresh frangipani cuttings should be left in shade where it is not in contact with moisture and the air will allow scar tissue to form over the cut end. Wrinkles on the branches are not a good sign. You may be able to save this cutting by putting it in a large pot containing potting mix with some river sand added. Place 3 stakes in the pot and use strips of stretchy fabric to support this tall cutting without constricting the trunk. Water it well and put the pot in a place with 50 per cent shade until you start to see new growth, then gradually move the pot to full sun. Once the tree is growing well, it can be planted into garden soil, if you wish. – Lyn

  27. Hoping you can help. I have a small potted frangipani that I’ve had for about two months. It’s been growing well and I couldn’t have been more delighted with its progress. Unfortunately the 45 degree weather in Sydney yesterday seems to have burnt most of the leaves. They have large brown marks all over them and a lot of the leaves have gone limp. I have watered it, but don’t want to over water. Is there anything I can do? Should I be cutting off these leaves? It’s only a small plant about 60cm high with less than 20 leaves that are max 30cm long. Any advice would be appreciated. Thx

    Do not remove the leaves. The brown patches are sunburnt but the plant needs the green parts of the leaves to produce energy to grow (photosynthesis). The limp leaves are an indication that the root ball has dried out. First of all Cathie, give the tree a thorough drink as described for re-wetting potting mix in Coping with heat waves by immersing the whole pot in water. A tree 60 cm high should not be in a pot that is too large to fit into a large bucket or a laundry tub, etc. This is because the mix in very large pots goes sour before small plants can get their roots through it.

    After a thorough watering, move the tree to a shady spot or put up some temporary shade over the tree and pot, until temperatures are more normal. This will reduce water loss through the leaves. It is important to keep the pot cool too in heat waves, as potting mix can get extremely hot. Once the mix has been thoroughly moistened again, you can water the tree as normal. Provided you have plenty of drainage holes in the pot, you are not likely to overwater it. – Lyn

  28. Hi Lyn, I have a beautiful frangipani that I planted in September 2011, last year I had beautiful bright pink flowers, it has grown quite tall now, but still no sign of flowers, am I being impatient or should I have seen signs of buds by now? It gets watered with retic 2x week and I hand water about once a week.I have used seasol in the last few weeks too. We are in Perth about 20 kilometers from the ocean. The plant faces SE, Thanks in advance 🙂
    Tash, I would think that a SE aspect is not the best one for your tree, as the deeper coloured frangipanis require more warmth than the common white one. The fact it flowered last year could mean that it had previously stored the nutrients it needed to flower.
    However, it could be lack of nutrients and the Seasol may help as it contains a good supply of potassium which helps flower development. Although not heavy feeders, these trees do need a light application of complete organic fertiliser (under mulch) in late winter or early spring. A generous watering once a week is plenty for frangipani trees, unless you have very sandy soil with little organic matter in it.
    If the Seasol has no effect by the end of summer, you may have to think about moving it to a warmer spot before it gets too large, if that is possible. – Lyn

  29. Hi i have been given a cutting it has two roots on it already would it be okay to out it in potting mix or should it still be in a more sandy type medium. Thanks

    It depends how dense the potting mix is, Kate. If you squeeze a handful of damp mix and it forms a sausage that just holds together when you open your hand, it will probably be ok to use as it is. If it forms a dense sausage rather like clay, you can add one third coarse river sand to ensure good drainage and make it easier for delicate new roots to work their way through the mix. – Lyn

  30. Hi, A friend has giving me a 2 1/2 meter cutting which a thief cut off her tree in the middle of the night!!! I was hoping to save it or some of it. It’s approx 2 meters wide but the smaller branches have started dying and going soft. Should I cut off all the smaller branches and plant the trunk/ bigger branch? Or is it to much of an ask?

    It’s worth a try, Emma. Once branches begin to rot, they won’t recover and the rot can spread. I’d remove the damaged branches at their ‘collar’ as described in the post, and then put the cutting in a dry, shady place to allow scar tissue to form (about 2 weeks in dry weather). Once the base of the cutting has formed a scar or callus, you can then pot it into a free-draining potting mix. – Lyn

  31. Hi, I have a 2m high frangipani in my garden which has been growing very well and flowering beautifully. I have just noticed that some of the branches at the top are starting to feel soft. Is there anything I can do to save it. I really don’t want the tree to die. It is still flowering even though the branches are feeling soft. Thanks in advance

    Hi Jen, you may find the cause of the problem in this post: Frangipani stem rot. – Lyn

  32. Hi, Hope you can help! We live in Perth, and have (2 days ago) taken some large (2m approx tall by 1.5 wide) branches from an old neglected frangipani, on a block due for demolition. There wasn’t much sap when we took the cuttings and they didn’t bleed much at all (maybe because the plant hadn’t been watered for years?). The stems DO all look healthy, (not wrinkly or soft, and no rot).
    We left these branches were outside in the sun for one day, now (day 2) I have read your blog & have moved them all to our garage, as it is the only dry, shaded spot we have.
    Is it ok to keep them completely in the dark 9 no light at all) for a week for the callus to form? Should I cut off all the leaves and flowers? Do you have any other suggestions for striking success with these big branches? I have not had any luck with big frangipani cuttings before.

    Hi Sue, I wouldn’t leave them in the dark or cut off the leaves as they won’t be able to photosynthesise and make sugars for growth. Can you lie the cuttings in a wheel barrow (or similar) where they are not in contact with damp soil and put the barrow under the shade of a tree? They only need to be left there until the cut end forms scar tissue (about 2 weeks).

    For such large cuttings you can try striking them in large hessian bags, or woven feed bags. Fill the bags two thirds full with equal parts of good potting mix and well-washed river sand. Put the filled bags close to where the trees will be planted to reduce the amount of movement at planting time, and poke plenty of holes in the base of each bag. Put the cuttings in the bags and stake the cuttings for support. Keep the growing mix damp until they produce signs of new growth. Then dig a hole for each tree, place the bag in the hole, position the stake supports for the tree, cut down the sides of the bag and gently ease the base of the bag from under the root ball before filling in the hole and watering thoroughly.
    Or, you can try planting the cuttings directly as you probably have sandy soil in your area. Set up 2 stakes beside each tree and use some stretchy fabric to support each tree (old pantyhose or T shirt fabric torn in strips).
    The reason I suggest these methods is that frangipani roots are extremely brittle and the commonest problem with large cuttings is that, when planting out, the weight of the trunk snaps the roots as it is being removed from the pot. Hope this helps. – Lyn

  33. Hello, We have a frangipani tree that we want to plant in the ground, ( we live in perth) but we are worried about the roots. Will the roots adventually uplift our ground. And is it ok to plant close to our limestone wall? Will it be too hot for it.
    Frangipani trees like warmth as they are tropical plants. We have many frangipani trees (some near buildings) and have never had any problems with their roots. I would check the pH of the soil though and make sure it is not too alkaline. If it is, the tree won’t be able to absorb the nutrients it needs for growth. – Lyn

  34. Helloooo! We have a few Frangipanis in large pots that don’t seem to be very happy (about a year in the pot). I have just had a little dig around the soil in the pots and it seems to me that the roots are still exactly where they were when we potted them. They were in pretty dreadful clay soil and we put them in some nice compost type stuff. It seems they are almost “stuck” in the horrible wet clay that they came in. I thought by putting them in a well draining compost the roots would reach out for the good stuff! The ends of the branches are green and there appears to be some little “claws” coming so I don’t think they’re dying, I just don’t think they’re happy and I doubt we’ll get flowers. I think we’ll be lucky to get leaves. I’m wondering if I should pull them out and start again as I’m sure they’ll just pop out of compost soil. Please help!
    Rebekah, it is quite common for frangipani trees to sulk for a while after transplanting.I have one that hasn’t made any obvious growth this year, but I know it will start growth in spring. Your trees sound healthy. Make sure too that they are in a warm spot (you haven’t said where you live), as too much shade or not enough warmth will result in poor growth.
    Watch for any soft tissue on stems while they are not making obvious growth as this can be a sign of poor drainage and some packaged composts can retain a lot of water. I usually mix a bit of river sand through compost for these trees. It is a good idea to place the pots on some pieces of tile to ensure the drainage holes at the bottom of the pot are clear as frangipanis must have good drainage. If there is heavy clay still clinging around their roots, try watering in some gypsum close to the trunk, and see if that improves the situation by allowing the roots to get out of the clay. Gypsum is also known as clay breaker. The only problem with pulling them out and starting again is that because their roots are very brittle, they may snap off and your trees will have to grow a new set of roots. – Lyn

  35. Hi Lyn, I have a 5- 6 m pink frangipani. The storm last week snapped off a 3 – 4 metre branch. The diameter of the branch is around 20 – 30 cms. Is there any chance of transplanting this branch. My soil structure where the branch is hopefully transplanted is full of limestone at around 30cm under the surface. The branch still has leaves on it, should these be removed? Can you recommend anyone to assist with the transplant? Look forward to your reply. Regards, Brad

    I really don’t like your chances, Brad. From the photo you sent, it is clear that this tree has too much foliage area for developing new roots to handle a water supply to the leaves – especially as the tree is still in active growth. The best time to transplant these cuttings is when they are dormant because they form scar tissue quickly at the base and are less likely to rot when put in the ground.
    However, do not despair. A storm completely snapped the trunk (1 metre above ground) of one of my large frangipani trees. We propagated from some of the smaller branches lying on the ground as I didn’t want to lose this particular ‘Peach’ variety, but did nothing to the original stump, yet the tree has come back bigger and better than before. The large root system allowed it to grow new branches fairly quickly. – Lyn

  36. Hi, I am in South Australia and have a very old large pink frangapani planted very near the house. It is getting very top heavy and bending away from the house.
    I would love to prune it back. When do i do this and how hard can I prune? Any tips you can give me? Thanks, Gail

    Hi Gail, your tree should be dormant now, which is the best time of year for pruning and taking cuttings of these trees. You can prune them quite severely now (up to 5th August this year) as long as you follow the guide lines given in the first paragraph of the above post – i.e. remove complete branches beyond the ‘wrinkle’ or ‘collar’. As always when pruning branches, make the first cut on the underside of the branch. This will prevent the weight of a large branch tearing at the pruning site and leaving a ragged cut where disease is more likely to enter. Then cut through the branch from the top. – Lyn

  37. Hi I have a mature frangipani tree growing very close (in fact right on) to a retaining wall. This wall is beginning to crack on the neighbour’s side. Is this the frangipani’s roots or is the wall just aging and cracking with natural earth movement? I really don’t want to cut down my beautiful frangipani but my neighbours are requesting that I do. Lisa
    Hi, Lisa. Frangipani tree roots aren’t particularly invasive and you often see mature frangipani trees growing in tiny gardens of terrace houses without obvious damage. Retaining walls without sufficient ‘weep holes’ will bulge or crack during long rain periods (but you haven’t said which part of Australia live in). However, it would be difficult to prove that the tree is not the problem without disturbing the fence foundations and you have to decide how important it is to keep peace with your neighbour. On the upside, it is a good time to take cuttings of frangipani trees and you could propagate a new tree if you have another spot for it. – Lyn

  38. I have Frangipani cuttings I got from a friend 4 weeks ago, he said to plant them in a week or so but have not done so. Is it too late to plant them now? They still look okay and are still very firm although a few of the bottoms where cut have shrivelled. Can I cut the shrivelled part off and let them form another callous or have I lost them altogether? I really hope I can save them somehow! I appreciate your help in this matter.
    No, Margaret, it is not too late. The cut ends should be allowed to shrivel before planting, as it prevents the cutting rotting when placed in damp soil – so don’t cut them off. Late winter-early spring is a good time to propagate frangipani cuttings. – Lyn

  39. Hi Lyn, firstly thanks for the years of answering the questions above I’ve learnt alot already! My question is for a heavy prune how do I stimulate re-growth? I’ve heard I need to make cuts to stimulate new growth?
    I’m in Kempsey NSW and have an old 4meter high tree that’s very uneven and one sided due to a shed it was growning aginst being removed and the old owners children climbing the tree and breaking lots of branches. Cheers Bryan

    Bryan, to stimulate quick regrowth most perennials are pruned during First Quarter phase, but the frangipani is an exception as the trees tend to bleed a lot when sap flow is high, and this can lead to rotting. I would wait until well into Full Moon phase (say about 21st or 25-27 Sept. this year) to prune your tree. First of all, entirely remove any damaged branches at the outer side of the branch ‘collar’ as described in the post above. Then select several well-placed branches to keep and remove the rest as described. Without the shed obstructing its growth, the tree will choose a more balanced shape, and should come back better than ever. Give the tree a light application of complete organic fertiliser and water regularly (and deeply) in dry weather. – Lyn

  40. Hi there, we just brought a lovely Bali whirl and on the way home a branch broke off. My husband has taped it back on in the exact same spot, will it graft back on as it was a great shape and it was the middle branch that broke off.
    Hi Sindy, successful grafting of your special double-flowered frangipani branch will depend on whether on not there was good sap flow when your husband taped it in position and how warm the weather is where you live (you forgot to mention your location). In autumn, sap flow is slowing in frangipani trees and they are beginning to shed their leaves and become dormant in many areas, so the graft may not be successful.
    However, if the graft is not successful and the branch has not rotted at the base, you can remove it from the main tree and follow the directions in the post above for striking frangipani cuttings. You could end up with two lovely ‘Bali Whirl’ trees. – Lyn

  41. Hello! We have 5 frangipani plants in pots on our patio. 3 of them are about 18 inches tall and have been established in pots for about 2 years now- we are thinking they may need to be transplanted into a bit of a larger pot- they lose leaves on occasion but still continue to have new leaves appear- no flowers yet though- Are we ok to transplant these and/ or should we wait for a better time of year? These pants mean a great deal to us- we brought these cuttings back with us from our tree when we relocated from Florida- Thank you so much for your help!!!

    Janine, I’m sorry to say that I don’t think your frangipani plants are going to be very happy in Oregon as they are tropical plants. You could try growing them in a heated conservatory. The best time to transplant them is at the end of winter when the ground starts to warm as this is when they start their growth cycle. Transplanting frangipani must be done gently as the roots are very brittle and can snap off. – Lyn

  42. Hi, I live in Perth and have just moved 2 frangipanis which are about 6ft tall to sunnier locations. During the move I had to cut the roots. What are the chances of survival as this was done last week (late august)? And what are the best actions to take to maximise their survival chances? Lots of water or none? Thanks in advance.

    Sorry for the delay in answering your question, Jason. Fingers crossed they will be all right. Occasionally, I have snapped the roots of large cuttings when transferring them from pots. As long as they have been moved to free-draining soil and you give them regular, thorough watering, rather than a daily sprinkle with the hose, until they are showing signing of new growth as the weather warms, they will probably pull through. You could try giving them a drink of organic seaweed extract tea. It is recommended for stimulating root growth. Once established, they are fairly drought-resistant. – Lyn

  43. Hi, I live in Auckland, NZ. I have a frangipani base stem is approximately 600mm. The top of it was damaged a year or two ago and has since sprouted three branches out the top. The base has always been slightly curved but it continues to grow curved and the branches are also curving. It is very lopsided and curving over itself back towards the ground. (I can supply pictures if that would help.) I have repotted this one at an angle in the pot in a hope that it would decide to “chase” the sun and straighten out, but it has only continue to get worse. So my question is what is this best way to counter act this issue? The base did not sprout any leaves last year, so not sure if it will survive if I remove the three branches and replant these as new cuttings. I have a “sibiling” that was acquired at the same time it is probably 1500mm and growing fairly straight up with no branches. Thanks, Ian

    I think it may not be possible to correct the problem with the curved plant, Ian. The base cutting may be genetically programmed to grow in a curve. Let me explain. Plants grown from cuttings produce a replica of the piece that provided the cutting. Horizontal or ground cover conifers are grown from a cutting taken from the side of an upright parent conifer. These plants will continue to produce branches that grow in a horizontal way, except for an occasional shoot that will revert to an upright position. While I have not previously noticed this problem in frangipani (but I always choose straight branches for cuttings), I have to be careful to only take upright shoots when taking cuttings for our commercial rosemary, or I end up with plants that produce horizontal or downward curving branches. However, although the other cutting has no branches yet, it will probably grow into a normally-shaped tree providing it has a healthy growth bud at the top. – Lyn

  44. Hi,
    Thank you for the response. It wasn’t what I was wanting to hear, but it is enlightening and opens a few doors of experimentation for future “projects”. I am not sure what to do with it now. It is a bit silly looking on the deck, but I hate to just chuck it out. With the curving branches I don’t see much point in wasting 12months+ of growing and space to end up with three additional curved frangipanis! LOL I think it may just get banished to the back of the property. The other one is a very healthy and happy plant. -No need to post/reply just wanted to say thank you!
    Cheers,
    Ian

  45. I live adjacent to a world heritage tropical rainforest and the forest extends onto my property. The previous occupants planted a lot of exotics including about a hundred frangipanis. They don’t belong here and I am trying to get rid of them (along with a lot of other weeds). The trouble is that frangipanis seem to be immortal. In this climate the things regrow after being chopped down or dug up. It is not possible to burn the pieces and if I leave them on the ground then they take root. How can I kill these pest plants?
    Frangipani trees are basically succulents that are very drought tolerant so it is possible in the right conditions they could grow roots after cutting down. If you don’t have a local green waste centre where they shred plants and turn them into compost, I suggest you cut them into shorter pieces and place them under black plastic that has been well anchored so that no light can reach the pieces. PLants need light to produce energy they need for growth. If you deprive them of light and moisture, they will gradually die off and rot down. You could also add some cow or horse manure to the pile to help speed the process. – Lyn

  46. hi Lyn, I have a large Frangipani tree in the Perth area. Someone has obviously tried to chop a large branch, which eventually broke off. I would like to know how to seal the break where the branch has been pulled off ( approx 5 to 6cms long) thanks. Mary

    Mary, as I have said in the above article. “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”. Now is a good time (Last Quarter phase) to remove the branch with a clean cut in the growing season as sap flow tends to be lower in this phase. If the tree is healthy, it should seal itself when pruned at the collar of a branch. – Lyn

  47. I accidentally whipper snippered a couple of chunks out of the trunk of a 2 year old frangipani in Brisbane – is there a recommended way to deal with the damage?
    A healthy tree should heal itself, Jon. Damaged trees isolate the damaged section to block disease and form scar tissue around the damage. ‘Pruning pastes’ can actually seal in disease. If your tree receives adequate water, has received a moderate amount of complete fertiliser and is growing in freely-draining soil, it should have a healthy immune system and be able to repair itself. Keep mulch at least a handspan from the trunk to allow good air circulation.
    Just a tip to prevent future problems – don’t allow grass or weeds to grow close to the trunk. Apart from making the trunk easily damaged by whipper-snipper or mower, the base of the trunk tends to stay moist and this can encourage ‘collar rot’. – Lyn

  48. I have a Frangipanni about 3feet tall the trunk feels very soft,at the end of the branches there a few “leaves” but don`t seem to be doing much,the soil is very clay like.What would you suggest??
    Hi Bernie, the very soft trunk is not a good sign. It sounds as though poor drainage in the soil, or the soil being too dense for roots to penetrate, may be the cause of your problem. Frangipani trees need free draining soil to avoid rotting, and it helps to work some sand through the soil before planting. Is there any way you can dig it up, hose clay from around the roots and replant it in a raised mound with plenty of sand mixed through the topsoil? You may lose the tree doing this as their roots are very brittle, but its prognosis doesn’t seem good leaving it the way it is. Or, you could put plenty of compost on the soil surface around the tree, keeping it clear of the trunk, then cover it thickly with mulch and hope that earthworms will improve the soil structure before the trunk rots. – Lyn

  49. Hi, I live on the Sunshine Coast QLD, I have a Singapore White Frangipani approx 1.5m High (Currently in 45L Bag). We want to plant in a small area behind our pool but the area has very heavy clay and ordinary Drainage. If we were to dig a hole twice as deep and twice as wide and plant 150mm about surface in a mound and fill remaining hole with a mix of new garden Soil and Maybe River sand plus Gypsum to the base of the hole would this plant likely survive? Is there anything more that can be done to give it the best opportunity? thanks Locky
    Hi Locky, I’d make the hole 3 times wider and put the mined gypsum in the base of the hole before adding the new soil to make the mound for planting. Fill the hole with water and leave it for an hour. This post will explain why: Planting trees. – Lyn

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