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Have you been looking for an easy to grow tropical tree that is sure to make your landscape a tropical paradise? Consider adding a plumeria tree (also known as frangipani tree) to the warmer areas of your yard. Plumeria is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful and delightful plants grown in our subtropical growing environment.
Plumerias are tropical plants so last winter’s extended periods of freezing temperatures exacted a toll on plants left out in landscapes to fend for themselves. The good news is that plumerias can easily be re-established from cuttings.
This easy-to-grow tree will cover itself with fragrant colorful flowers from mid-spring through the beginning of winter. Plumerias can be maintained as a shrub or small tree grown in the garden or in a container on the patio.
There is absolutely nothing like the sweet fragrance of plumerias in full bloom, with fragrances reminiscent of jasmine, citrus, spices, gardenia, and other delightful scents. These flowers are treasured for their durability, fragrances and colors of whites, yellows, pinks, reds, and multiple pastels.
There are several different species of plumerias, plus several hybrids and hundreds of cultivars. While plumerias are native of Central America and the Caribbean area, it is probably thought of as a symbol of Hawaii–it is best known as the source of the Hawaiian lea, a necklace made from a string of these fragrant flowers.
Whether you already grow, or have an interest in growing, plumeria, attending an upcoming seminar entitled “A Passion for Plumeria” will be of value. Master Gardener Loretta Osteen will provide the presentation. Topics to be discussed include proven varieties, proper fertilization, soil and light requirements, pruning, propagation methods, and methods of overwintering.
Loretta’s passion for plumeria started during a family vacation to Hawaii many years ago. “I wanted to learn about these things,” says the Galveston County Master Gardener. She then joined the Plumeria Society of America, an organization founded in Houston.
Then she started growing plumerias in her home landscape on Tiki Island. Like other Master Gardeners with a passion for growing a specific plant or group of plants, Loretta’s home landscape became a bit crowded. She was fortunate to also own a lot next door and was able to fill it with plumeria.
More than 200 plumerias now surround her Tiki Island home. Loretta fondly describes watching drivers in cars passing by her property then slow down to an almost crawl to take in the view of so many different plumeria plants with blooms in a rainbow of colors. While Loretta was able to provide protection from last winter’s freezing temperatures to most of her plumerias, she reported that she could not save every plant. As a result, this summer’s floral display will not likely be as expansive.
Loretta’s will present her seminar on Saturday, June 2, from 1:00 – 3:00 p.m. at the Galveston County AgriLife Extension Office located in Carbide Park (4102-B Main St. in La Marque). Pre-register by e-mail ( or phone (281-309-5065). Program participants who pre-register will also be eligible to receive a variety of door prize drawings including potted juvenile plumerias, seedling plumerias and other plants.
William Johnson is a horticulturist with the Galveston County office of Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service. Visit his website at

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