Plumerias grow during the warm months and go almost completely dormant during the cold months. When dormant, almost all of the plants leaves will turn yellow and drop. This is normal.
Keep in a white (or as light a color as you can find like light beige) ceramic pot with drain holes. Darker colors will allow the sun to heat up the pot too much and cook the roots, killing the plant. A good sized pot is a 14-16 inch diameter pot. Plant the plumeria at the same depth in the new pot as it was in the smaller pot. Prepare the soil mix by mixing 1/3 Perlite or pumice, 1/3 sand and 1/3 Potting soil. You can add a pinch of bone meal and soil sulphur to the mix. These aid in adding a low grade organic fertilizer to the soil and sulphur has antifungal properties which help prevent rot. If you desire even more drainage you may add additional Perlite or pumice. We also recommended is using a prepackaged Cactus Soil. We use "Super Soil" brand in the red bag marked "Cactus & Palm Soil". It has the correct mix of ingredients for rooted plants or for rooting Plumeria cuttings.
We recommend using the "Egg Method" which involves the use of which uses the same planting techniques stated above and adds the additional step of placing a raw uncracked egg in the pot approximately 1" below the bottom on the end of the cutting. We have found this method helps increase early root development of freshly planted cuttings. This is due to the nutrients that are released from the fermenting egg. (Below are pictures of how to plant a plumeria using this method).
Step 1: - Place Eggs in Potting Medium
Step 2: - Cover Eggs and add Bone Meal
The Egg Method is based on the anaerobically fermenting process of eggs and probiotics, which benefits plants tremendously. It has been used in agriculture production for many years. The pictures below show
the existing roots of a rooted Celadine Plumeria that we repotted using the egg method.
Step 3: - Place Cutting or Rooted Plant in pot about 1" above covered eggs
Step 4: - Continue to Place Soil around Cutting or Rooted plant to just below the rim of the pot
Applying the Egg Method has resulted in....
Increased flower production
Increased production of growth stimulants
Pictured to right is our freshly repotted plumeria plant which was planted using the egg method. This plant grew vigorously all summer long and produced a blooming inflorescence while rooting.
In spring and fall when the weather is nice put it in full sun. The more full sun it gets during nice months the more it will flower. Plumerias can take a couple of summers to start flowering. When moving the plant to a site to get more sun, the leaves will sunburn some. This is normal. Newer leaves emerging will be more adapted to the new light conditions.
In the summer, when our temperatures exceed well over 100 F, on daily basis it is best keep your plumeria on a covered patio, on the east side or south side of your house. Place it near the edge of the patio so that it gets lots of indirect light, but is shielded from direct sun overhead. In the middle of summer, an east facing patio will give the plant direct sun before noon and a south facing patio puts the plant in the shade all day, because the sun is so high.
If your plumeria continues to burn from the sun, not just during transition to a lighter spot, move it deeper into the patio to give it more shade. In mid summer, flowers will last longer in the shade as well.
In the winter keep your plumeria on your covered patio in the same place as you would in summer. Place it near the edge of the patio so that it gets lots of light. Since the sun is low and in the south in winter, the plant will get direct sun all day on a south facing patio,
so south facing is preferable to east facing. Being on a covered patio will provide protection from the cold sky at night. If the news predicts a freeze, move the your plumeria inside for the night, or at least move it as close to the house as possible. Moving the plant in the winter shouldn't be too hard because the soil should be almost bone dry, making it much lighter.
Plumerias like to have the soil fully dry out between watering. The number one way to kill a plumeria is over watering.
In the winter when the plant is dormant water it once a month or even less than that. Just spray a little water on the surface to dampen the soil. Do not soak it. When the plant begins to show that it is emerging from dormacy usually in early spring the tip becomes a shiny green color. Once the claws begin to emerge you can begin to water and fertilizer your plants.
In the spring and fall when the weather is nice, water every 2-3 weeks. Soak the soil until water starts coming out the bottom of the pot.
In summer, water once per. week. Soak the soil until water starts coming out the bottom of the pot.
Do not fertilize during the plumeria's dormant period in winter.
Do not fertilize a plumeria at least a month after repotting it.
During the growing season use a fertilizer high in phosphorus (P) and potasium (K). Miracle Grow Bloom Booster 10-50-10 which has a high,(NPK middle number), is fine but I like Alaska Fish even better. If you used a grandular fertilizer the phosphous content should not exceed 20%.
If you do use fish emulsion you should alternate between 5-1-1 and 0-10-10 formula so it gets all 3 of the major nutrients. The 0-10-10 formula is hard to find so I order it through the internet. The 5-1-1 is always available at home depot. I use one cap full of emulsion per. one gallon of water with both formulas, mixed in a one gallon watering can. I use the 0-10-10 formula more often to promote blooming rather than growth, but you still want the plant to get some nitrogen every now and then.
Fertilizing once a month during the growing season should be enough.