Plumeria may not bloom for a variety of reasons including inadequate sunlight, Soil Issues, Overwatering, or Pest infestation.
Plumerias are beautiful plants with large clusters of sweet-scented flowers that bloom almost throughout the year. They require little maintenance and are easy to propagate and hence make excellent garden plants.
Typically Plumeria blooms during the hot sunny summer and hence you will often see blooming Plumeria flowers between April and August.
Sometimes, they do not bloom much to your disappointment. Let us look at the reasons and how you can make Plumeria bloom by overcoming the same.
Reasons For Plumeria Not Blooming
While Plumeria is an easy-maintenance plant, sometimes, it may not bloom if the situation is not ideal. Let us look at them below.
1. Inadequate Sunlight
Plumeria requires a lot of sunlight to bloom and thus thrives in USDA Zones 9-11. If the weather is cloudy or you have placed the plant in a partial or fully shady place, it is best to relocate it or remove the obstacle to sunlight.
It would need at least 6 – 8 hours of direct sunlight. If you are growing the plant indoors, it is best to keep it in a window towards the southeast where it can receive direct sunlight.
Apart from direct sunlight, you should also ensure that the temperature remains above 65 F during the daytime and doesn’t go below 50 F at night.
In case, it is not possible for you to provide direct sunlight or the right temperature, you should invest in grow lights.
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2. Soil Issues
Loose Well draining Sandy soil is ideal for growing Plumeria.
For the blooming of flowers, a plant would also typically require high phosphorus content. Thus a lack of phosphorus may cause your plumeria not to bloom.
We would recommend you apply fertilizer high in phosphorus and low in Nitrogen as phosphorus helps blooming whereas Nitrogen promotes excessive foliage.
Do also note that Plumeria prefers soil that is slightly acidic between the range of 6.4 to 6.8.
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Plumeria doesn’t need much water and hence thrive in well-draining soil. It is in fact quite easy to overwater Plumeria.
You should water Plumeria usually once a week or when the soil is dry. You can do a simple finger dip test by thrusting your finger about two inches deep in the soil and checking if the soil is wet.
In case it is wet, you can wait for more time before watering. Else if it is dry, you can water your Plumeria.
For the Plumeria planted outside, you would not require watering it during the rainy season as it will get the water from the rains and absorb the water from the atmosphere.
How to check if your Plumeria is overwatered?
It is important for you not to overwater your Plumeria as it can lead to root rot leading the plant to die.
Though the roots are underground, they still need good airflow. With a short supply of air, oxygen levels deplete resulting in the growth of fungus and reduced ability of roots to absorb the nutrients.
The signs that can point you to overwatering of Plumeria are the Yellowing of leaves or brown leaves with black tips.
4. Pest infestation
Like other plants, Plumeria is also susceptible to pest damage. Bugs like Spider mites, Whiteflies, Thrips, Scales, Mealybugs, etc can attack Plumeria leaves causing them to wilt and drop.
They usually attack the underside of the leaves and suck the sap out of the leaves. This inhibits the ability of plants to do photosynthesis causing the failed bloom due to a lack of nutrients.
A severe manifestation of these pests can also mean death to your plant that can spread to nearby plants as well. Thus it is important to check these foreign devils.
We would recommend checking the underside of the leaves closely regularly. If you see any pests use a cotton swab dipped in rubbing alcohol and wipe them off.
You can also use a water splash using a garden hose to direct the water and wash away the pests.
In case it doesn’t work, you can apply Neem oil to get rid of them. Most often it should work in getting rid of pests before you look for insecticidal soap or synthetic insecticides.
An Interesting Video on growing Plumeria
Plumeria Bud Drop
You might notice that your plumeria buds are falling off before they bloom. This falling off of the Plumeria young buds to the ground before blooming is called as “Plumeria Bud Drop”.
Cold Temperature, Lack of sunlight, or excess moisture are most often the reasons for causing it.
But sometimes, your plumeria may suffer from Black Tip Fungus disease as well. In this case also, instead of blooming, the buds fail to open and fall off. Often you can notice it with the new growth of your plumeria turning, yellow, then brown, then black.
Sadly you can’t save them and should just cut the infected plant to save the other.
When Do Plumerias Bloom?
It loves the sun and would bloom throughout the summer starting in early summer and going until fall.
To encourage the blooming, you would want to fertilize the plant with high phosphorous fertilizer. Also, it is best to deadhead the dead flowers that promote new flowers.
Is your Plumeria not old enough to bloom?
So what is the right expectation for a Plumeria to bloom? Well, it is when Plumeria is about 3 – 4 years old that you can start to see it blooming and adding beauty to your garden.
Also, if you have transplanted your plant to a new location, it may take some time to adjust, and may miss a blooming season.
Tips to get your Plumeria to bloom
Below are some care instructions to help your Plumeria bloom.
- The very first thing you should check is if your plant is getting sufficient sunlight. If it is not getting at least 6 hours of sun, you should take corrective measures.
- Use a Fertilizer having more phosphorous as that will promote blooming.
- Check for any pest infestation and if required, take preventive/corrective measures as they can inhibit the growth.
- Do not worry if your plumeria is young and not blooming. Some bloom when they are 3 – 4 years old.