Last Updated Aug 7, 2012 · Written by Craig Gibson
Frangipani trees are perfect for the Australian climate as they are drought, salt and fire tolerant. They also look and smell fantastic, with flowers ranging in colour from reds, to maroons, to pink, to yellow, to orange, and white. Read on to find out more about how to grow frangipani trees.
Frangipanis are usually grown from cuttings and it’s easier than you might think to do so. Cuttings can be taken from the following parts of the tree: herbaceous stems, woody stems, softwood, semi-hardwood, and hardwood. When you are taking the cutting, however, be careful of the sap as it is an irritant and it can burn the skin. Allow the cutting to dry out for a week or more, to allow the wound to heal. You can then plant the cutting directly into the ground or into pots of sand. Only water the cutting once a fortnight until roots have developed.
Frangipanis will grow well in any type of soil but they grow best in soil that is well drained and slightly acidic (with a pH of 6.1 to 6.5). They will grow in most climates, excepting severe frost prone temperate climates, and they prefer hot climates.
If you wish to grow your frangipani in a cold climate, plant it in a pot and take it indoors during the cold winter months, so it’s not affected by the frost.
Plant the frangipani in an area that gets at least six hours of direct sunlight a day. This will ensure optimum flowering in the tree. For some inspiration see the garden design ideas in our photo section or consider chatting to local landscapers in your area.
The frangipani tree should be kept dry during the cooler months of the year. During the warmer months, water regularly but take care not to over water. Frangipanis do appreciate fertilising during the growing period and prefer an organic fertiliser that is high in nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. Animal manure, fire ash, and compost are all favourites of the frangipani. If you are planting your tree in a pot, use a potting mix that has 30 percent sand and some slow release fertiliser added.
The leaves of the frangipani can be affected by fungus, mould, and rust. If your tree is affected, spray the tree with a copper-based fungicide and white oil solution. A mixture of milk powder and white oil or detergent has proven to be very effective against rust and powdery mildew. Keeping the plant well nourished will protect them against infection.
Frangipanis respond very well to pruning and can be kept at your preferred size with regular pruning. To create a densely branched tree, prune the branches to one half or one third of their natural length. The pruned branches will then sprout multiple branches near the pruned ends. To prune in order to produce no branches, simply prune the branches right back to the main trunk so that no further branching can occur.
If you don't have the greenest fingers or the time dedicated gardeners can help you maintain your frangipani tree.
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