Transplanting Frangipani

Glen, in Melbourne, wants to know the best time to transplant a well-established frangipani tree from a pot to the soil, and should he do anything to the soil. The best time to transplant Frangipani is at the end of winter, while the tree is still dormant but close to breaking dormancy. In Warm climates, this can be done from the second week in August (during a Full Moon phase) but, as Melbourne has some more cold weather to come, Glen would be wise to wait until early September. Before planting any tree it is wise to check soil drainage, and this is extremely important for Frangipani as they won’t tolerate wet feet. (See Planting trees ) If soil is on the heavy side, some coarse river sand can be mixed through the soil used to fill the hole. The hardest part about transplanting Frangipani is getting them out of the pot because their roots are very brittle and can snap off if jolted, especially if the plant is large. If the tree is in a plastic pot, the safest way is to cut the pot away to remove the tree. If the tree is in a very sturdy pot, run a piece of wire around the inside rim of the pot to loosen the root ball, or hose gently around the inside edge of the pot. Then gently turn the pot on its side and ease the tree from the pot. If the pot has a large hole in the base, a broom handle or dowel can be used to gently push the root ball from the base. After settling the tree in its new location, water gently to settle the soil but do not tramp the soil down. Apply a 5 cm layer of mulch when soil has warmed, keeping mulch clear of the trunk to avoid collar rot. Although the Frangipani is very drought tolerant, the tree will need regular watering until established. Water when the top cm of soil is dry.

50 thoughts on “Transplanting Frangipani

  1. Hi, I’ve got a frangipani growing in a pot but the ceramic pot is broken and the root has started growing out of the pot into the paving underneath. I’d like to move the frangipani and the pot/re-pot it. Can I cut the root that’s growing out the bottom without killing the whole tree?
    Hi Mark,
    Frangipanis do not have a tap root, so it is safe to cut through the root growing out of the pot.
    When you re-pot it, be gentle with the remaining root ball, as the roots are brittle and you don’t want to lose more roots. Also, put some gravel in the base of the new pot before filling, and place the pot on some pieces of tile to ensure the drainage hole/s remain clear.

  2. Hi. I have a large frangipani tree in my front yard. Approx 2m tall and 3m wide. We’re about to demolish the house so it has to be moved to the backyard if it’s to survive. I was wondering what the best approach is to move the tree. The trunk branches out just about soil level so there isn’t enough space to just cut the trunk and replant. Any advice would be a huge help. Thanks, Luke
    Hi Luke, as feeder roots for most trees lie under the out edge of the foliage, you will need a professional to move a tree that size, if you want it to survive.
    Otherwise, take some decent sized cuttings as described in Frangipani and start again.

  3. Hi Lyn! I’m in Melbourne with a white flowering frangipani , When is the right time to upsize the pots? Currently I have a cutting that has grown to around a 1m tree, it’s in quite a small pot but it is very healthy. I was wanting to upgrade into a larger one to hopefully stimulate more growth but the pot I have bought is around 3 sizes larger than the one it is in, is this okay? The new pot has numerous holes so drainage won’t be an issue but what soil should I put into the new pot if I can use it or should I buy one just slightly bigger? is standard premium potting mix okay for them? Thank you so much for this thread, it’s helped heaps!! Cheers

    Hi Steve, frangipanis will become dormant in your area soon, so you won’t get more growth until early spring. The best time to re-pot is in late winter, just before new growth begins. It would be best to transfer it to a pot about twice the size of the current one. If the new pot is too large, the mix can turn sour before the tree forms enough roots to fill most of the pot. As for potting mix, I’d add 1/4 propagation sand to the standard potting mix to make sure new roots have easy movement through the mix. If the roots are pot bound, gently hose the root ball to loosen tangled roots before placing the tree in the new pot.

  4. Hello would love some advise, we have a 12 year old frangapani tree that we bought in a pot 2 years ago, we planted it in our front yard when dormant and it has grown and looks BEAUTIFUL and has been able to finally get bigger
    Problem is we are re landscaping our front yard and really want to move it to our back yard by our huge bay window to be able to enjoy it. We were wanting to wait until dormant to move but we are having a pool installed so will be pulling the fence down and this will be our only time to move it around the back. This will be in the next month or so ,can you transport a tree during this time of year while it is full leaf and flower. We are located in Adelaide.

    Hi Shauna, You didn’t say which variety of frangipani you have. I am guessing it’s white if it is still in full leaf and flower, as the more tropical varieties tend to become dormant a bit earlier in temperate zones. White frangipani are fairly tough, so you could move it now if you follow these general guide lines.
    Moving trees and shrubs

  5. Hi, I live on the east coast of Tasmania and have 5 frangipani in pots the pots are small and I would like to know if I should repot them now or in spring They have a lot of new leaf growth and look very health as far as I can understand, I have a good-draining potting mix and some pearlite
    I would like to send you a photo of them but not Shaw how to do that on my iPad
    Please reply ASAP as I do not want to loose them ,
    Kind regards, Lorraine
    PS I could send you a photo of them by my phone if that is ok with you

    Hi Lorraine, as I haven’t received any photos from you in response to my email, I don’t know how small you plants are. If they are in well-drained potting mix with perlite added, and they look very healthy, I would leave them be. They are unlikely to make a lot of new growth before they become dormant in your climate, so I would re-pot them at the best time for re-potting frangipani, which is as the first sign of growth activity in spring. – Lyn

  6. Hi, I am in Adelaide and am wanting to plant a 1m frangipani from a pot into a front yard garden bed I front of our house. The front yard faces south and the garden bed has a concrete path running behind in between the house and the garden bed. I am wanting to plant early September.
    Do you think the plant has much hope in this position? Thanks

    The position you prefer is not the best position for a frangipani, James. They are tropical plants and need warmth. It is unlikely to do well there.

    1. Hi we were just given a 1.5m tall branch that has fallen off a giant frangipani tree. We used some growth root hormone and have planted it and stakes it upright as we want a big tree. The leaves and flowers are wilted- some have said we should remove all the leaves and flowers? Is this correct? I will do this asap if that is the case? Any other tips? We really want it to survive. It is in a north facing sunny yard that receives full sun all day. Many thanks D

      Hi D, had the branch formed a scar over the cut end? If not, remove the branch from the pot or ground, and put it in a shaded area where it is protected from rain, until a scar forms, otherwise the stem may rot. When the cut end has healed, you can plant it.
      If the branch had formed scar tissue before planting out, just remove any flowers and leaves as, until it forms roots, it won’t be able to draw up water or nutrients to support them.

  7. Hi Lyn, I potted up several frangipani cuttings about two years ago and placed the pots against a fence which received lots of sun so they’re doing well. However, I went to transplant a few of them into the ground only to discover they have rooted into the garden soil. It’s only May here in Perth and, looking at your website, I now believe I
    should wait until August before transplanting. Should I leave them until August when their roots will obviously be bigger and harder to remove or should I get them out now and place in bigger pots until August? Thank you, Catherine

    Hi Catherine, the frangipanis (being tropical plants) are unlikely to make more growth in Perth before the beginning of September, you can leave the transplanting to the end of August. In the mean time, you can use a sharp knife to cut off the roots protruding from the pot to make transplanting easier when the ground temperature starts to warm. As roots have protruded through the base of the pots, and probably blocked the drainage holes, only water the pots when the top cm of mix is dry, as water-logged frangipanis will rot at the base.

  8. Hi, I just acquired an uprooted frangipani cutting around 1.5 m high. It is rooted and branched but not in a pot yet. Should I plant it in a pot first and transplant later, since it is still winter (I’m in inner west Sydney) or it would be ok to plant it in its permanent home at this time? Thanks for your advice.

    If you live in a frost-free area, and have a well-drained spot for your cutting, you could plant it in its permanent home now, as that will avoid any transplant shock later. Keep the soil just damp until signs of new growth in spring, then give it a light application of a complete liquid fertiliser at weak black tea strength.

  9. Hi there, i live in Sydney and i am going to plant a frangipani tree, i was wondering how far you recommend to place it from a fence? I dont want to allow it to get too big as i don’t have a large area, only 25sm so was hoping to plant it as close to the fence as possible. Thanks so much

    It depends what is on the other side of the fence. If it is concrete (e.g. driveway, patio) The tree roots will seek the constant dampness under the concrete and the tree is likely to make more vigorous growth. If it is soil, 30cm should be enough.

  10. Hi, I live in country QLD about 1200km from Brisbane. We have an established Frangipani tree around 3m high. We are looking to move this tree to allow our new house to be built. Is it possible to transplant it now coming into winter or will it not survive? I don’t have the luxury of waiting until the end of winter as my house will be completed in mid July. Thank You in advance

    Megan, it is very difficult to move such large trees, as it takes more than a month to prepare them for a move, and a tree that size would require mechanical transport to its new position. See: Moving trees and shrubs
    Your best solution would be to remove some branches and use them as staked cuttings in their new position.

  11. Hi, I have two 1.5 metre frangipanis in pots. One has three braches & had three flower clusters this year. The other has four main branches, with two large offshoots plus a few smaller ones. This tree only produced one flower cluster. If I remove some branches is it likely to produce more flowers?

    No. Reducing branches is likely to result in less flowers as each branch usually produces a flower cluster, although younger branches can take longer to produce flowers. If they are the same variety of frangipani, it sounds as though your pots may not have received the same balance of nutrients, and the tree producing a lot of branches may have received more of the nutrients that stimulate growth. Try watering in a complete organic liquid fertilise, such as Charlie Carp, and see if flowering improves in spring–summer.

  12. Just curious about something…
    Why is it beneficial when potting up a cutting to place it under/beside the mother tree?
    Heather, I have never heard of that practice, and I don’t know that it is beneficial. Cuttings require more regular watering than mature trees, and it’s best to keep them out of direct sunlight where you can check regularly that they don’t dry out. Frangipani,in particular, have winged seeds that are designed to carry new plants well away from the parent tree.

  13. Hi, I am needing to move the rather large tree FROM the ground INTO a pot. Can you please email me some advise. I don’t know how I should take it out of the ground without breaking all it’s roots. Is it even possible?

    Hi Xena, it depends how large a tree you want to move. For best results, Frangipanis should be transplanted at the end of winter. There is advice on moving trees in this post: Moving trees and shrubs Use some of the branches you remove to strike cuttings, in case the transplantation is not successful. Instructions for taking cuttings can be found in this post: Frangipani
    However, if the tree is taller than 1.5 metres and has more than 4 or 5 branches, it would be best to get professional help to move it.

  14. Hi Lyn I’m thinking of transplanting from a pot to ground for a regular client. Soil is a dark landscape type mix, soft when dry. Frangipani is 6ft and looks like it’s had 2 major prunes with last growth seeming to be a touch on the spindly side. Leaves looking healthy and vibrant with only one branch in flower(red/pink). Was planning to put in a couple of bags of soil mix though now thinking twice with bagged chicken manure, Wettasoil and fertiliser. Though now thinking chicken manure on top with season mix might be a better option. Two questions am I too late in season now and should I prune last growth now or middle of winter and should I go back to near the last collar or can I go higher like 6” or so? Thankyou and great thread by the way!

    Hi Dave, I think you are being a bit heavy-handed with the fertiliser. Frangipanis are not heavy feeders. Their main requirement is good drainage, as they don’t like wet soil. If you can, leave the pruning to the end of winter while the plant is dormant, and prune just outside the collar. Pruning further along the stem is likely to result in die back.
    By the way, this is general advice as you haven’t said where your client lives, or what type of soil they have.

  15. Hi Lyn, We are in Perth and about to dig up a frangipani from a friend, approximately 2 metres tall. We won’t be ready to re-plant it until nearer to summer. Would it be ok to just put it in a pot in the meantime? I’ve read the guide on moving trees so hopefully it will be ok ? Thank you x
    Yes, Emma, you can put it in a pot until you are ready to plant out. This week, up to and including 23/8/2019, the Moon is in Full Moon phase, which is a good time to transplant dormant perennials.

  16. Hi, I live in Cedar Vale, South East Queensland & would like to transplant a well established frangipani that’s is on my property to my pool area garden. It’s 2.5 m high & just short of that wide. It’s dormant at the moment, I wondering if this would be the right time to give moving a go? And if so, what are your suggestions for transplanting to give it the best chance of survival? Thank you so much!
    Katrina, winter is a good time to move a frangipani tree. Advice on how to do this can be found in this post: Moving trees and shrubs

  17. Hi Lyn. I live in Adelaide and I have a red Frangipani in a small pot that I would like to repot in a larger one. The plant is over 1.5 metres high with a very long thin trunk. I am worried that the trunk will snap in the strong winds, as the plant looks top heavy. Can I plant it lower into the new pot and cover up some of the trunk to stabilise it?
    For a start Allison, frangipani are not happy growing in strong wind areas and they can snap off. I have had that experience. Secondly, planting it lower in the pot will most likely result in the plant rotting at the base. They should be replanted at the same depth they were in the smaller pot. Firmly staking the plant in its new pot will assist in keeping it stable until it settles in.

  18. Hi Lyn, thnaks for your reply. Well the time is up for the tree. I have to get this tree out within 3 weeks. My original question still stands though. Can I take a cutting about 4m long and transplant repot inot the ground this large 4m section. The tree in question is actually about 7m tall and 4m wide, with 2 huge branches from about 1m up from ground level. Way to big. I can handle a 4m cutting. I this possible. If so what do I do. Thanks in advance. Justin
    As you are unable to wait until the tree is dormant, it is best to take the cutting in Full Moon or Last Quarter phase to reduce sap bleeding. The question is, while you may be able to handle a 4 metre cutting, will such a large cutting be able to produce enough roots quickly enough to support good growth. The large cutting will have to be well-staked to support it until it forms enough roots. I would also take a couple of smaller cuttings and pot them in case the large one doesn’t survive.
    To take cuttings, follow the instructions in this post: Frangipani

  19. Hi Lyn, I live in Sydney and have a 1.5 meter white frangspani in a pot that I want to transplant into a garden bed. Would it be ok to transplant now (April) or do I need to wait until spring/summer? Kind Regards, Mark

    Mark, it depends on how cold winters are in your area. Frangipanis will become dormant soon in temperate zones and it is very easy to break their brittle roots during transplanting larger plants. I’d be inclined to wait until the ground starts to warm in early spring and the plant is more likely to recover quickly from any damage to its root ball. – Lyn

  20. Hi Lyn, I have a red frangipani which I have had in progressively larger pots for about 15 years. I’d like to attempt to plant it in the garden now. Looking at the size of it I wish I’d done this rather than put it in this huge pot. I know it’s going to be very difficult to get out due to the size of both the plant and the pot. I have sons lined up to help! I’ve read through your previous replies and hopefully have the patience to wait till August. My question is – if the root ball is as big and heavy as I expect am I better off hosing the potting mix off the roots rather than risking the weight of soil and roots breaking it up?

    Definitely hose the mix off the roots, Trish, but not with a strong jet as the roots are quite brittle.

  21. Hi, I live in Perth and have just been given a 3mtr high x 1mtr wide frangipani that was in the ground previously. It was taken out a month ago and put into a large 90l pot, however I am building and would like to plant it in the ground in 6 months. I was hoping to get some guidance as to what I should to to keep this plant until that time? Should I leave it in this pot or temporarily plant it in the ground and transfer later? Many thanks Christal
    Leave it in the pot and keep the soil just damp, then plant it in the garden after the soil warms in Spring. Frangipani have brittle roots and the less you move them, the better. – Lyn

  22. Hi There, This is a great thread thanks. I have a similar issue to Michele above. However my tree is about 4.5m tall and will be demolish if I don’t move it. It has 2 large trunks shooting out from just above ground level. Its too big for me to move the entire thing. However I have in the past had broken branch from the tree, around 1.5m tall. I dried them out and stuck them into pots and water seasol, etc and 2 years later they are going ok, not great but ok. My question is how big a cutting can I do this to too, and is there anything else I should do to a big cutting.
    The fact the broken branch cuttings are just doing ok, may be due to the cuttings having ragged ends, or drainage may not be adequate.
    See my post on Frangipani

  23. We had to move our 1.5 metre frangipani immediately due to construction nearby. Unfortunately its mid summer in nth NSW and a hot dry summer. First week it seemed ok. Now into 2nd week the bottom leaves are yellowing. I know not to over water frangipanis but am wondering if I could be underwatering or overwatering?
    Or could it be transplant shock because of hot weather? Its averaging 31C every day Thanks

    Did you fill the planting hole with water before you planted? If not, the water you applied after planting would be drawn away into surrounding drier soil. Give it a thorough drink if weather has been dry where you are. Newly planted trees and shrubs need a bit more TLC until they settle in. Also remember that transplanted trees often have a reduced root area. Mulch around the tree (keeping it clear of the trunk) to help keep the soil damp and encourage new feeder root growth. – Lyn

    Thanks Lyn, I did water the planting hole very well initially. After what you wrote, I did start watering it more and now it looks like its going to take off. Thanks for advise, Michele

  24. Hi Lyn, We are about to subdivide our lot here in Perth and I’m going to attempt to transplant (by about 10m) my mature frangipani (about 4 meters high).We’ll have earthmoving equipment – have you any guides to how to move the tree with heavy equipment? Also, I understand I’ll have to remove a lot of branches (and I’ve read your guidance about the collar) but have you any tips on which branches to choose and how many to leave on the tree? And final question, I know our sand is perfect for established frandipanis (intensely sandy – doesn’t hold water at all) but when I replant, what should I mix the earth with to ensure my tree is not stressed when all of the water drains away?
    1. Whether or not you are using earthmoving equipment, you will need to prepare the tree a month or so before. See: Moving trees and shrubs
    2. The number of branches you need to remove depends on how much of the root ball you have had to remove. I would remove as many as possible (at the collar), just leaving a basic tree framework. The less branches the tree has to provide moisture for from a reduced rootball, the better chance of success.
    3. I would add some garden soil and a modest amount of mature compost to the new planting hole. This will help to retain moisture and provide some nutrition to get the new growth off to a good start.

  25. Hi Lyn, I am in Melbourne. I have been gifted a white frangipani as an early Christmas present. It is flowering profusely. It has about 4 branches and is about 1.5 metres tall, but in a small pot, about 30 cm. It is root bound, as the roots are pushing through the drainage holes.
    IS it too late to repot it? I want to put it in a wine cask but don’t want to jeopardise the flowering. I have read your posts above and it seems that if I don’t repot now, I will have to wait until about August/September 2019.

    How big is the wine cask that you want to move it into? I would not transplant it into a large wine cask as the roots have been compressed into a small area, and the mix in a large cask could become sour before the plant can use it. The general rule for repotting is to move to a slightly larger pot but, as frangipani has brittle roots, I can understand you wanting to avoid as much re-potting as possible.
    Make sure the wine cask has plenty of drainage holes near the base. Frangipanis can’t tolerate soggy soil.Place at least a 4cm layer of gravel in the bottom of the cask to assist drainage. Make sure the plant is watered before moving it. Get some river sand and mix a quarter of the volume of potting mix into the potting mix. Fill the cask with potting/sand mix to the level the bottom of the rootball when the plant is at the height you want it. Carefully trim off the roots protruding from the base of the pot, then run a piece of flat metal around the inside edge of the pot (a knife would not be long enough) to loosen any roots sticking to the pot. The safest way is to then cut down the sides of the pot to remove the frangipani. However, if you can’t do that, put the pot on its side on a table so the branches overhang the edge of the table, and gently ease the plant out of the pot. Position the plant in its new pot, filling the rest of the pot/cask carefully, and gently water the plant to remove any air pockets around the roots.

  26. Hello, I’m in the Perth suburb of Greenmount.
    We are re-designing our backyard and need to re-locate our frangipani. It is not very big, perhaps 1.5m. We need it to be moved sometime between mid-January to March.
    Will the tree survive a move at that time of year? Is there anything I can do to help it?

    Jacinta, have a look at Moving trees and shrubs, and follow those instructions – starting now to prepare it for the move. Be very gentle with it to avoid breaking the roots.

  27. Hi, I’m in Geelong, Vic. Is it to late re pot my frangipani into a larger pot as it is a bit top heavy. It has new leaves already some maybe 9 -10cm’s long.

    Hi Kerry, It’s definitely not too late to re-pot your frangipani in your area. I’d do it after tomorrow (23/11/2018) in the Full Moon phase. Be very gentle with it as the roots are brittle. – Lyn

  28. Hi, I’m in Sydney and we need to move our beautiful red frangipani tree for renovations. It is about 1 metre tall but spreads about 1 metre too. It has grown with a slant as I think It may be moving towards the Sun. The new position is well drained and mostly sunny. When would be the best time time to transplant it? We would hate to loose such a beautiful frangipani!
    You can start now, Jenni, so that it is ready to move later in November. Follow the instructions in this post Moving trees and shrubs. Treat the tree very gently because frangipani roots are very brittle, and it will help if you can remove a branch or two before moving the tree to assist the reduced root area. Use the removed branch/es as cuttings in case your tree does not survive the move. – Lyn

  29. Hi, my frangipani’s roots appear to be lifting nearby paving. I think it was as a result of the drought last year and my neglecting to water it. I am wondering if I lift the paving, can the roots be trimmed/ ground back down, so that the pavers can be laid flat again. They are currently a tripping hazard. The tree is quite mature but only about 2.5 metres tall.
    All plants will seek out moisture and paving keeps soil damp much longer. You would not only need to remove the roots, you would need to bury a sheet of iron vertically between the cut roots and the paving to avoid having to repeatedly remove the roots. Then you have to consider that the tree is more likely to be blown over by wind from the direction of the paving. It is not a good idea to grow trees that often produce low branches close to paths or traffic areas. Alternatively, you could take some cuttings after the Full Moon tomorrow, and plant one or more of them in a more suitable place. – Lyn

  30. Hi, can you please tell me the best fertiliser to use for a Frangipani in a pot.
    A light application of an organic poultry-based fertiliser in spring after weather warms. Or, if you prefer a liquid fertiliser, Charlie Carp works well.– Lyn

  31. Hi, I’m in Melbourne and I have 4 frangipanis 60 cm tall. They are planted in the the garden, but I have clay soil.
    During summer it was ok, but now the leaves are getting black and fall.
    Do you think transplanting them in pots are a good idea, and if yes when should I do it ?

    It’s natural for your frangipanis to lose their leaves at this time of year, Eleni, and if you have had a lot of rain they could turn black. However, if you are concerned about poor drainage in your clay soil, it might be wise to put them in pots, at least until you can improve the drainage of soil in your garden beds. – Lyn

  32. Hi I have a couple of questions about transplanting and pruning. I am in Sydney.
    I have a very large old tree overhanging our back lane and it gets damaged by delivery trucks. I would like to prune some very large branches (10-15cms diam) and wondered if it is ok to do this now, from the perspective of the health and regrowth of our tree and for passing on the large cuttings to grow.
    I also need to move a 3metre high Frangipani tree. I grew it from a 2metre cutting and it was planted 5 years ago so I think the root ball won’t be that big. It is still in leaf and flower but we are giving it away and need to move it soon due to work we are having done. Do you think it has an ok chance of surviving? I realise it’s not the optimum time for either of these jobs but hoping that it is possible.
    Thanks in advance. Jalna

    If you can’t wait until the end of winter to prune frangipani, Jalna, the best time to do it is in Last Quarter moon phase when sap flow tends to be lower and sap bleed is reduced. This year, 2018, between April 8 and 15, or May 8 to 14.
    Three metres is the average height of a building storey. It is a big ask to move such a large tree, especially one with brittle roots. See: Moving trees and shrubs
    You will have to reduce a number of branches to compensate for a smaller root ball. If you choose branches with a good length between the trunk and new shoots, you can use these as cuttings so that if the large tree does not survive the transfer, the whole project won’t be a failure. Again, this should be done in Last Quarter phase. – Lyn

  33. I have recently been given a frangipani in a ceramic pot and the ends of branches are a little wrinkled and soft, guessing rot. Leaves all look healthy no flowers. I want to transfer to ground, any tips, can I transfer to ground or should I cut back and treat with an antirot. We are just coming to end of summer in Western Australia.
    The best time to transplant is at the end of winter, Lisa, but ceramic pots usually have only one small drainage hole and I think that is the cause of the problem. It will probably die if you leave it in the pot, so I’d be inclined to put it in the ground now (be very gentle with the root ball), treat the affected branches with the Anti Rot, cross your fingers, and say a little prayer that it pulls through. If the Anti Rot stops the rot progressing, your tree could form new shoots from below the soft area. – Lyn

  34. Hi we have a massive pot with 4 frangipanis in it .. have got cutting over the last 2years…all different colours.. we have recently moved to lower blue mountains and the plants themselves are looking amazing.. new growth nearly every day.. can I plant them in the ground as I am scared they all will grow too big for the pot.
    Jenny, Frangipanis are tropical plants. White frangipanis are the hardiest and most cold tolerate, but the others need warmer temperatures. If you were planning to remove them from the pot, the safest thing to do would be to re-plant each one in its own large pot (40 cm diameter) as soil stays warmer in pots, and put them in front of a north-facing wall until you see how they cope with your winter temperatures. North-facing walls absorb heat during the day and slowly release it at night. Or, if planting them in the ground, plant them where they are protected from wind and where cold air can drain away from them. – Lyn

  35. Hi, I am contemplating planting a frangipani in our front yard, well-drained spot but it is near a solid sandstone wall and my husband is worried that the roots might become too big and push the wall out. Can you please let me know if this might happen? I know what frangipani roots look like, but once established, do the roots become huge and do this kind of damage?? I had hoped they would be more of a surface-type root which wouldn’t cause a problem. Hope you can help!!

    Although I have many mature frangipani trees, none of them are close to walls (although one is about 2 m. from the laundry wall without any obvious damage), so I can’t speak from personal experience. In Sydney, you often see frangipanis growing in tiny terrace house gardens without obvious damage, but one of our readers had a problem with a frangipani pushing up a concrete path. The feeder roots of trees are normally below the outer edge of the foliage canopy so they catch the rain that runs from the leaves. As your tree matures the root system will become quite large. Perhaps another reader has had some experience with this problem. – Lyn

  36. Hi, I’m in Brisbane. I have two 1.3m Frangipanis in a pot which came with the house I bought. I’d like to plant it into the ground to let it grow but the roots have grown through the bottom of the pot into the ground. What’s your advice for a successful transplant? Thanks!
    Frangipani roots are easily broken during transplanting. The safest way is to cut the pot away (if it’s plastic) and gently ease the plant into its new position. Otherwise, you can try lying the pot on its side and hosing the soil away from the roots. You will have to be very careful planting it. Sit it on a mound in its new hole, then add some soil and gently water the soil around the roots, then repeat the process until the hole is filled. The plant will probably need staking until it is established.– Lyn

  37. Hi, I’ve just been given a large Frangipani branch off a friend’s tree. It is about 2 mtrs high and has been in a pot since September and has some tiny roots and is flowering. I’ve transplanted it into my garden (wrong time I know but the pot was too small and it had to be moved from my friend’s yard so it was now or never).
    I have a stake supporting the branch and have watered it in and it looks sturdy. I’ll fertilize and mulch but wondering how I avoid collar rot given it only has a few small roots and the bottom of the branch? Thanks Vanessa

    You mentioned ‘a stake”. It might help to read this episode from Gardening Australia on
    Tree staking.
    To prevent collar rot, ensure that the soil where you planted the tree is free-draining and keep mulch a hand width from the trunk of the tree.

  38. Hi, I would be really grateful for your advice. I’m in Perth in the southern suburbs.
    I’ve just had my 2.5m plus frangipani tree twisted out of the ground and put back the wrong way by the fence contractors replacing broken fence sheets. Not impressed.
    From your reading your site, it looks like they would have damaged the brittle roots and I should do some pruning because it has less roots now. I’m about to help them put it back the way it was facing, but I’m fearful of losing it. It’s obviously an oldish tree at that height.
    Is there anything more I should do? Thanks very much.

    Ok, Ryan. There is a good chance the roots have been damaged or reduced by the fence contractors, so you will need to reduce some of the branches to help it re-establish. If you are fearful of losing the tree, select several pruned branches that would make good cuttings, and follow the steps to propagate these as a back-up. I do hope your tree pulls through it’s damaging experience. – Lyn

  39. Hi, I live in Sydney close to the harbour so wondering the best way to plant a cutting from an old tree into a medium to large pot? I have had Hydrangea in the pot without much success, I think it may be due to the salty air? Also, what is the best soil/ potting mix for me to purchase? Many thanks, Robyn

    Robyn, it is best to start frangipani cuttings in a medium pot as the mix in a large pot can become sour before the plant is large enough to use it, then carefully transplant when an established root system has formed. This article Frangipani will answer your procedure and potting mix question. – Lyn

  40. Hi, I live in Adelaide. I have a 3m tall well established frangipani tree that I want to relocate about 5m to the other side of the front yard. The tree currently still has all its leaves. I’m worried that it may not survive the move. Any advice would be appreciated. Thanks, Sophie.

    Hi Sophie, the best time to move frangipani in Adelaide is in late winter, while the tree is still dormant. If you follow the instructions on Moving trees and shrubs, you can start preparing the tree for its move now.
    You will probably have to remove some branches to compensate for the reduced root ball size and improve its chances of survival. Remember to remove whole branches rather than shortening them. This is best done when the tree loses its leaves. – Lyn

  41. Hi. I live in Perth and I am having trouble with my framgipani Trees. The leaves are smaller this year and flowers are late. I have 3 in a limestone planter box behind our wTer feature. Not too sure if not enough drainage. Leaves are light green, normally they are dark green. Thanks.
    Hi Kylie, poor drainage could be the problem but the limestone may have made the mix too alkaline and the plant can’t absorb some of the nutrients it needs to produce chlorophyll and healthy flowers. as well as checking drainage, I’d also check the pH in the potting mix and replace as much of it as you can if the pH is higher than 7.0. – Lyn

  42. Hi, were on the coast an hour north of Sydney & have the opportunity to acquire a small frangipani 1.5 m wide & high. It is mid November & has leaves – is it still possible to move it? Thanks Margaret

    Hi Margaret, you can move it if you follow this procedure: Moving-trees-and-shrubs/
    Try to choose a cooler day for the move. – Lyn

  43. Hi, I have a frangapani tree that has been growing in a old wine barrel for about 8 yrs I would like to take it out of the wooden barrels and put it into a new big pot, but the only pot we can find big enough is a large terracotto one about 2ft wide do you think this would be big enough. The tree is about 6ft tall and just starting to get new leaves. Cheers Dianne Lawson.
    Frangipani can grow well in large pots, but they will remain smaller than if they are grown in open ground. Make sure the pot has a good-sized drainage hole and put some gravel in the base of the pot as frangipani will rot if drainage holes become blocked and drainage is poor. – Lyn

  44. Hi, I live in Perth. And I have 3 small frangipani cuttings about 1m tall,that are about to sprout leaves whilst still in pots. Is it too late to transplant them into the ground? Thanks!
    Hi Sarah. Late October – early November is not too late to transplant them in temperate areas. Just take care getting them out of the pots because their roots are brittle and make sure the soil they are going into is well-drained. – Lyn

  45. Hi, I live in Sydney. I have a 2 m high frangipani, it produces more flowers than leaves, but it really has only about 3 branches. Due to another which kept it partially shaded, the tree grew sideways to get the sun. I am unsure whether to snap the branch off that has grown sideways, or reposition the whole tree. The whole tree is crooked, and i feel like i’d like to reposition it before it grows any bigger. I also think the soil is too much clay, and it would do well to turn the soil and dig some gypsum? or sand? into the soil I am doing this near to the tree anyway, as i also have a foxtail palm and a fishtail palm going in. Any advice appreciated. Thanks, Karen
    Hi Karen. Yes, I’d move the tree A S A P, or it will probably keep sending out sideways branches. The gypsum sounds a good idea, and I would mix one third washed river sand through the new planting hole. Remember to make the hole wider than deep, and fill the hole with water before planting, so you can check if drainage is good. If water is still there after an hour, choose another spot or plant tree in a mound. – Lyn

  46. Hi, I live in Maroochydore. My frangipani is just starting to get its spring leaves. It’s close to the outside of my pool fence and due to new pool safety legislation I’m pretty sure it’s a bit too close to the fence. I need to move it. Is it too late in the season? It’s about 2m high and wide. Would love some advice. Suzie

    With a bit of luck you should be ok moving it now in your climate, Suzie. However, you may have to remove a couple of branches to compensate for a reduced root ball. As this question from readers occurs from time to time, I have added a post today covering the general guidelines for Moving trees and shrubs. – Lyn

  47. Thank you Aussie Organic Gardening, your repotting of Frangipanis has to the best site in my search for repotting, very helpful 🙂
    N.Z. (Auckland)Temps, are similar to Sydney’s I think, so I am looking to re pot my Frangipani before we re locate. My plant is now quite small for its pot, of about 4 seasons, I am looking to replant in my wine barrel, before it starts to re sprout for spring, I trust this is exceptable.
    Many thanks again, Lois ????

    Hi Lois, if the plant is quite small for its existing pot, I would not move it directly into a wine barrel, as the growing mix in pots is likely to turn sour if the plant is not large enough to make use of the mix. For trees, there should only be about ten centimetres space all round between the existing pot and the new one. If the existing pot is much smaller and there is no sign of root growth through the holes in the base of the pot, what I do is leave the plant in the existing pot and stand it on bricks, rocks or gravel in the larger pot so that the existing pot rim is level with the new one. I don’t replant into the new pot until I know the tree roots need more space.
    Or, did you mean the pot is getting too small for the plant? In 4 seasons it should have made a fair bit of growth. It that case, it’s perfectly acceptable to replant it into a wine barrel as long as there is not too much difference in the sizes of the containers. Remember to do it gently, as the roots of Frangipani are very brittle.– Lyn

  48. Hi, I live in Sydney and I want to transplant a 8 foot high Frangipani tree that is in the ground to a new spot, how and when do I do this? Thank you Peter

    It is not easy to move frangipani trees when they are larger than 2 metres. These trees have very brittle roots. When 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. If you must move the tree, it should be done while the tree is completely dormant. Frangipanis are moved in the same way as other trees – i.e. cutting through the roots with a sharpened spade, then working some hessian or plastic underneath to wrap the root ball, and moving it that way. Keep the root ball damp at all times.
    You will need to reduce the top growth significantly before you attempt to move it. Reducing the branch area will compensate for the smaller root area as you will not be able to remove the entire root ball without earth-moving equipment. However, a tree that wide should have a selection of good branches with multiple shoots. Prune off several of these to reduce the canopy size and you can use them to propagate new plants. That way, if the tree does not survive the move, you will have at least one replacement.
    Don’t prune the branches flush to the trunk. Where a branch joins the trunk there is a slightly thickened section of the branch (called the collar). Prune the branch at the outer side of the collar, 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 on my blog: Frangipani
    Use 3 stakes in each pot to support a large branch cutting.
    When you are ready to plant the tree that you moved, don’t forget to first fill the hole with water to check drainage and prevent transplant stress from water applied after planting being drawn away into surrounding drier soil (see Planting trees).– Lyn

  49. I’ve taken 5 cuttings from my frangipani and put them all in a large pot.They are all growing nicely now with lots of leaves. Should I retransplant them so they have more room or leave them where they are? We are moving to a new place in a month or so when I hope to put them in the ground.

    The roots of these trees are quite brittle and easily snapped off during transplanting Jean, and the fewer times they are transplanted the better, so I would leave them where they are until you move, then plant them into their permanent position or into individual large pots. If the pot they are in is plastic, you can cut down the sides of the pot to make removal easier and reduce root loss. Water the newly transplanted trees regularly during warm months until established. – Lyn

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