To grow frangipani from seed, you’ll need to:
- Harvest the seed from a frangipani tree or purchase seeds
- Pick the right container
- Pick the right soil
- Plant your frangipani seeds
- Wait for the seedlings to sprout
- Re-pot or plant them outside
- Care for your mature plant
In this article, we’ll explore the steps to successfully grow frangipani from seed through maturity for a beautiful, fragrant, flowering tree.
What Is Frangipani?
Frangipani, also known as plumeria, is a plant that grows as a shrub or small tree and is native to the tropical Americas, including Mexico, Venezuela, and Brazil.
Frangipani is related to periwinkle and oleander and is known for its strongly scented white-tipped flowers with light yellow centers.
People often think frangipani is a Hawaiian flower since it grows plentiful on the Hawaiian Islands, and you can often find it in leis.
However, the flower is not native to the islands.
Additionally, according to the USDA, frangipani thrives best in hardiness zones 9 to 11, and it blooms in summer and fall.
A full-sized frangipani bush or tree can be anywhere from 20 to 25 feet tall (6-7.5 m).
7 Steps to Grow Frangipani From Seed
Step One: Harvest Your Frangipani Seeds
To harvest the seeds from a mature frangipani tree or bush, you’ll first need to find a suitable tree.
So, keep in mind that mature trees will be anywhere from five to ten years old before they begin producing seeds.
Thus, make sure you find a tree that is old enough so you can harvest its seeds.
Then, you need to ensure you only gather fully matured seeds.
Underripe seeds will not germinate.
Therefore, you’ll need to let the seed pods mature for about eight months before they’re ready for harvest.
To determine whether the seeds are ready for harvest, check the color of the seed pod.
Seed pods that are ready for harvest will turn from plump and green to wilted, dry, and brown.
As a best practice, you should wait until the seed pod becomes so dry that it cracks open and disperses the seeds on its own.
Some people use a mesh bag or nylon pantyhose to cover seed pods that are almost ready to burst so that they can easily catch the seeds.
But however you get your seeds, remember that each seed pod will yield between 20 to 100 seeds.
So, you’ll most likely only need one pod.
Finally, once you’ve harvested the seeds from the pods of the frangipani tree, prepare them for planting immediately or store them in a paper bag in a cool, dry place for later use.
Step Two: Test Your Frangipani Seeds
Before you plant frangipani seeds, make sure the seeds are viable by testing them.
To test the seed, drop a few in water and let them soak for three hours.
The seeds that float are ready for planting because they will most likely germinate.
However, seeds that sink are likely dead and will not grow.
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Step Three: Pick the Right Container
Frangipanis have a shallow root system as they grow, so you should choose a short pot with a wide base to grow your seedlings.
This type of pot should also be easy to move indoors and outside as weather conditions require it.
And don’t forget that frangipani grows slowly, so you will not need to re-pot often.
However, as the plant grows, it’s easy to re-pot into larger containers more appropriate for its size.
These pots should have enough drainage at the bottom to keep water moving through them and should be sturdy enough that they don’t become top-heavy as the tree begins to get taller.
Step Four: Pick the Right Soil
As with the pot, the soil for your frangipani needs to be well-draining.
Frangipani seeds grow best in rich, loamy soil that is slightly acidic.
They also like dirt with plenty of organic matter with good air and water flow.
Just avoid any soil with clay, as the frangipani roots will rot.
Furthermore, if you are using fertilizer, don’t use any that has too much nitrogen, or you’ll get more leaves than flowers.
Step Five: Plant Your Frangipani Seeds
Plant frangipani seeds in damp soil with the thinner part of the seed poking out of the ground just slightly and the thick end of the seed pointing down into the dirt.
Also, always keep the soil moist and warm while germinating seeds by covering your pot with a plastic top.
Then, when the seeds begin to sprout in one to three weeks, you can remove the plastic cover and gently take out the seed’s husk if it is still attached.
Next, keep the plant in partial to full sunlight as it grows, being careful to ensure the soil stays damp and warm.
Step Six: Water Your Frangipani
Mature frangipani should get around an inch of water each week, ensuring the soil has mostly dried out before rewatering again.
Yet, if the frangipani is dormant, it needs less water.
Generally, you’ll need to water a dormant indoor frangipani every two to three weeks, but a dormant outdoor frangipani is drought-resistant, so you shouldn’t water it.
Step Seven: Re-Pot Your Frangipani
After six to eight weeks, your frangipani plant is mature enough to re-pot.
At this point, you can either move the frangipani to a larger pot to allow its root system to develop or replant it outdoors.
In either case, make sure the soil is well-draining, and the frangipani gets plenty of sunlight.
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Where Do You Get Frangipani Seeds?
Frangipani seeds are easy to purchase online or at your local nursery if you live in the appropriate climate.
Often marketed as “plumeria,” you can purchase seeds for frangipanis in a variety of colors for anywhere from $10 to $30 per 10 seeds, depending on their rarity.
Before you go through the work of growing your frangipani from seed, though, see the instructions above to ensure the seeds are viable and will grow.
Why Should I Grow My Own Frangipani?
You should grow your own frangipani because it is a beautiful tree or shrub, and its fragrant flowers will bring you joy for years.
Growing your own frangipani from seed also ensures its hardiness and that it can adjust to the soil type, sun, and other weather conditions on your property.
And once mature, frangipani doesn’t take much care.
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Learning how to grow frangipani from seed is rewarding and can cost far less than buying a mature plumeria tree.
Growing your tree from seed can also yield better results.
And as long as you choose viable seeds, pick the right soil, keep the plant moist and warm, and give the roots plenty of space to spread out, growing frangipani from seed is a simple process that yields beautiful, fragrant results.
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