Plumeria

'Frangipani'

Plumerias are easy to grow and care for. They thrive both outdoors in warmer climates, and indoors, with bright light, in almost any climate. Plumeria are drought-tolerant and suitable for xeriscaping (zeer-i-skey-ping or zeer-i-skeyp) as they only require average watering. Once acclimated to their new environment they are relatively carefree and can do well for short periods when neglected.  Maintenance can generally be kept to a minimum, and they are not usually affected by insects or viruses.

Very few plants and flowers in the world can compete or compare to the beauty and pleasure that these plants will provide their owners. The flowers are both long-lasting and fragrant, and usually bloom over long periods of time. Plumeria flowers make beautiful arrangements and the plants are suitable for growing in containers. With new hybrids and species, the array of colors and fragrances are almost endless .  There are more than 300 named varieties of Plumeria. (American Plumeria society, Florida.)

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ABOUT PLUMERIA: Plumeria (/pluːˈmɛriə/) is a genus of flowering plants in the  dogbane family, Apocynaceae. Most species are deciduous shrubs or small trees. The species variously are indigenous to MexicoPolynesiaCentral America, and the Caribbean, and as far south as Brazil, but are grown as cosmopolitan ornamentals in warm regions. Common names for plants in the genus vary widely according to region, variety, and whim, but frangipani or variations on that theme are the most common. Plumeria also is used directly as a common name, especially in horticultural circles.

Description: Plumeria flowers are most fragrant at night in order to lure sphinx moths to pollinate them. The flowers yield no nectar, however, and simply trick their pollinators. The moths inadvertently pollinate them by transferring pollen from flower to flower in their fruitless search for nectar.

Plumeria species may be propagated easily by cutting leafless stem tips in spring. Cuttings are allowed to dry at the base before planting in well-drained soil. Cuttings are particularly susceptible to rot in moist soil.

Etymology and Common Names: The genus is named in honor of the seventeenth-century French botanist Charles Plumier, who traveled to the New World documenting many plant and animal species. The common name "frangipani" comes from a sixteenth-century marquis of the noble family in Italy who claimed to invent a plumeria-scented perfume, but in reality made a synthetic perfume that was said at the time to resemble the odor of the recently discovered flowers. Many English speakers also simply use the generic name "plumeria".

In Persian, the name is yas or yasmin. In Bengali the name is "Kath Golap", in Hindi champa, in Marathi chafa, in Telugu deva ganneru (divine nerium), in Meitei khagi leihao. In Hawaii, the name is melia, although common usage is still 'plumeria'. In Malayalam it is called pāla and chempakam. In Sri Lanka, it is referred to as araliya (අරලිය) and (in English) as the 'Temple Tree'. In Cantonese, it is known as gaai daan fa or the 'egg yolk flower' tree. The name lilawadi (originating from Thai) is found occasionally. In Indonesia, where the flower has been commonly associated with Balinese culture, it is known as kamboja, in Bali especially it is known as jepun. In French Polynesia it is called  tipanie or tipanier and tīpani in the Cook Islands. In the Philippines it is called kalachuchi.

In Culture: In Mesoamerica plumerias have carried complex symbolic significance for over 2000 years, with striking examples from the Maya and Aztec periods into the present. Frangipani trunk in KolkataWest BengalIndia.

These are now common naturalized plants in southern and southeastern Asia. In local folk beliefs they provide shelter to ghosts and demons. The scent of the plumeria has been associated with a vampire in Malay folklore, the pontianak; frangipani trees are often planted in cemeteries. They are associated with temples in HinduJain, and Buddhist cultures.

In several Pacific islands, such as TahitiFijiSamoaHawaiiNew ZealandTonga, and the Cook Islands plumeria species are used for making leis. In modern Polynesian culture, the flower can be worn by women to indicate their relationship status—over the right ear if seeking a relationship, and over the left if taken.

Plumeria rubra is the national flower of Nicaragua, where it is known under the local name "sacuanjoche" and plumeria alba is the national flower of Laos, where it is known under the local name champa.

In some Bengali culture most white flowers, and, in particular, plumeria (Bengali, চম্পা chômpa or চাঁপা chãpa), are associated with funerals and death.

In Tamil Film Enga ooru Paatukaran, the song "Shenbagame Shenbagame" is based on the flower, although it also refers to the name of the female lead, Shantipriya and a cow in the same film.

In the Philippines and Indonesia, plumeria, which is known in Tagalog as Kalachuchi or Kalatsutsi (Plumeria acuminata), often is associated with ghosts and graveyards. Plumerias often are planted on cemetery grounds in both countries. They are also common ornamental plants in houses, parks, parking lots, etc. in the PhilippinesBalinese Hindus use the flowers in their temple offerings. In Malaysia, the plumeria's scent is known to be associated with the pontianak.

Indian incenses fragranced with plumeria rubra have "champa" in their names. For example, Nag Champa is an incense containing a fragrance combining plumeria and sandalwood. While plumeria is an ingredient in Indian champa incense, the extent of its use varies between family recipes. Most champa incenses also incorporate other tree resins, such as Halmaddi (Ailanthus triphysa) and benzoin resin, as well as other floral ingredients, including champaca (Magnolia champaca), geranium (Pelargonium graveolens), and vanilla (Vanilla planifolia) to produce a more intense, plumeria-like aroma.

In the dialect of Kannada spoken in the Old Mysore region of Karnataka of southern India, the flower is called Devaga Nagale. In the Western Ghats of Karnataka, the local people use cream colored plumeria in weddings. The groom and bride exchange plumeria garland at the wedding. It is alternatively called devaganagalu or devakanagalu (God's Plumeria). Red colored flowers are not used in weddings. Plumeria plants are found in most of the temples in these regions.

In Sri Lankan tradition, plumeria is associated with worship. One of the heavenly damsels in the frescoes of the fifth-century rock fortress Sigiriya holds a 5-petalled flower in her right hand that is indistinguishable from plumeria.

In Eastern Africa, frangipani are sometimes referred to in Swahili love poems.

Some species of plumeria have been studied for their potential medicinal value.

Taxonomy: The genus Plumeria includes about a dozen accepted species, and one or two dozen open to review, with over a hundred regarded as synonyms.

Plumeria species have a milky latex that, like many other Apocynaceae contains poisonous compounds that irritate the eyes and skin. The various species differently in their leaf shape and arrangement. The leaves of Plumeria alba are narrow and corrugated, whereas leaves of Plumeria pudica have an elongated shape and glossy, dark-green color. Plumeria pudica is one of the ever-blooming types with non-deciduous, evergreen leaves. Another species that retains leaves and flowers in winter is Plumeria obtusa; though its common name is "Singapore," it is originally from Colombia. Source :(Wikipedia)

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Rooting & Caring For Plumeria Cuttings 101

  • Measure and mark the cutting about 3 to 4 inches from the bottom.

  • Fill your container with a good quality potting soil to about 1 inch from the pot rim. Adding about an inch of loose stones to the bottom of the pot will help with drainage.

  • All the cuttings come with a rooting agent already applied to the rooting base.

  • Carefully remove the tape from around the bottom section of the cutting. (NOTE: If you see some small white spots beginning to protrude from the lower portion of the cuttings when you remove the tape, do not be concerned about it as it is likely the roots already starting to form.)

  • Make a hole the size of your cutting to a depth of 3 to 4 inches to comfortably accommodate the cutting.

  • Leaving the rooting agent on the cutting, insert the cutting into the prepared hole.

  • Press and firm the soil all around your cutting making sure to fill in any air pockets. Add more soil if needed. 

  • If planting indoors, it is optional to fill the pot with pea gravel or decorator stones. If stone are added, again press and firm it down. 

  • Water well and place in a shaded area outside, or near a bright window if inside.

  • Roots should start to form almost immediately.  Leaves should appear in 2 to 3 weeks.

  • Once your Plumeria is growing, water sparingly when the soil is dry to the touch to one inch depth.

  • Fertilize in early spring with a fertilizer high in phosphorus. (i.e. 15-30-15 or other “Blooming Fertilizer)

  • Sit back and enjoy one of the most beautiful and easy to care for plants on earth.  Happy Gardening!