Belonging to the oleander family, Apocynaceae, Plumeria Pudica is a small tree native to tropical regions of Panama, Colombia and Venezuela. It is a fast propagating tree. In the Indian culture, many consider the tree to be a symbol of immortality because of the same.
Plumerias are quite hardy and hence easy to care for. They do not have any special requirements.
Best blooms will be achieved when the plant is provided with full sunlight however the plant will grow fairly well even in low light and shady conditions.
The plant has dark green fiddle-shaped or spoon-shaped leaves. Flowers grow in a cluster. They are white in colour with yellow centres cover the tree like a bouquet and hence the common name. Although the flowers are not very fragrant, they do look very attractive. And the unique foliage makes the tree look beautiful even when it is not flowering. Growing season starts in spring.
Plumeria is fairly drought resistant but for better growth water the plant consistently. However be cautious not to over-water the plant. Consistently over watering the plant can lead to rot and eventually kill it. Check the topsoil before watering the plant. If it is we don't water. Water it deeply during the summer months.
You can use sandy or loamy soil. The plant is quite adaptive and can even resist salty soil. Just make sure that a well-draining soil is used because heavy clayey soils can lead to water-logging which is not healthy for the plant.
It can grow up to 6 to 15 feet. You can prune it to maintain the size.
Plumerias are heavy feeders and especially potted ones will require regular feeding of fertilizers for good blooms. Fertilize with a balanced fertilizer once in two weeks during the growing season i.e. spring through summer. Water the plant before fertilizing and don't fertilize in the winter months.
Most of the times, the plant remains pest and insect free. Sometimes Plumeria can have fungal problems during cold weather. Treat the plant immediately by removing the spongy branches and followed with fungicides. If you notice scale or spider mites treat the plant with appropriate insecticides.
The plant is usually grown for ornamental purposes. You can use the flowers in preparation of garlands.