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Australian Guide to Growing Frangipani in Pots

Frangipanis can grow into reasonable-sized trees but there are dwarf varieties that are ideal for pot growing.

Who doesn’t love the sweet fragrance of a lovely frangipani? These deciduous trees have large green leaves and gorgeous waxy flowers in a range of different colours. 

Being a tropical plant, frangipanis grow best in sub-tropical and tropical regions but it’s also possible to grow a frangipani in a pot if you happen to live in an area that gets a bit colder.

This way, you can move the plant before winter arrives so that it’s protected from frost and freezing cold temperatures.

Here’s how easy it is to grow frangipani in a pot.

Select a decent-sized pot

Frangipanis can grow into reasonable-sized trees but there are dwarf varieties that are ideal for pot growing.

Frangipani plants in pots | Plant care

To give the plant plenty of room to grow, choose a large pot that is at least 40 cm in diameter. As the pot will get quite heavy when full with potting mix, you might want to invest in a moveable stand with wheels that you can place under the pot.

Most importantly, make sure that the pot has good drainage holes so that excess water can drain away from the roots of the plant.

Fill the pot with a premium potting mix

When growing frangipanis in a pot, it’s important that you select a premium potting mix as this will help to sustain your plant. High-quality potting mixes have an open structure so that water can drain through freely.

potting | Plant care

Most of the mixes available on the market also contain some fertiliser that should be able to sustain your plant for at least six months before you need to add more.

Plant your frangipani into its pot

Planting your frangipani is pretty straightforward. Just create a hole in the centre of the potting mix to accommodate the root ball of the plant.

Take the frangipani out of its nursery pot and gently tease out the roots a little. Backfill around the plant with more potting mix and firm down gently.

Give the plant a good watering so that the mix can settle down around the roots. It might also be a good idea to stake your frangipani until the roots have grown enough to support the plant.

Caring for your potted frangipani

During the warmer weather, you want to position your plant in a nice sunny spot either in your garden or on your patio. Frangipanis will flower best in full sun.

Frangipani flowers | Plant care

Water your plant when the soil is dry. Frangipanis do like regular watering but they need the soil to dry out in between.

The best way to determine if your potted frangipani needs water is to check the moisture in the top 5 to 10 cm of soil. If it’s dry, water your plant thoroughly and let the excess drain away.

If the soil is still damp, wait for another couple of days and check it again.

Frangipanis do benefit from regular fertilising in order to flower profusely. You can use slow-release fertiliser pellets and add these in spring and autumn.

Fertiliser 1 | Plant care

In late autumn when the temperature starts to drop, it’s a good idea to move your potted frangipani to a sheltered spot. 

As these plants are deciduous, they will lose their leaves and be dormant over winter. However, they do still need to be protected from frost.

Popular dwarf frangipani varieties you can grow in pots

There are actually quite a range of dwarf frangipani cultivars that you might want to consider growing in a pot.

Frangipani ‘George Brown’

A true dwarf cultivar with gorgeous flowers in varying shades of lavender, purple, orange and light brown.

Frangipani ‘Cherry Clusters’

This cultivar will only reach a maximum height of 2 metres and has bright cherry-coloured flowers that are heavily scented.

Frangipani ‘Fruit Salad’

This is another heavily scented cultivar that has delightful flowers in shades of yellow, pink and orange. It will only reach a maximum height of 2 metres.

Frangipani ‘Darwin Petite Pink’

The flowers on this cultivar are quite delicate and smaller than other varieties. However, they’re highly scented and have white petals with a deep pink throat. This is also an evergreen variety.

Frangipani ‘Little Rainbow’

This is an evergreen cultivar so it won’t lose its leaves in winter. It features tri-colour flowers in shades of orange, pink and yellow.

FAQ

How much sun does frangipani need?

Frangipani is a sun-loving plant and should be grown in a sunny spot. At a minimum, it needs at least 6 hours of sunlight daily to thrive and flower prolifically.

Can I use Seasol on frangipani?

Seasol is perfectly fine to use on frangipani but remember that standard Seasol is not a fertiliser but rather, a soil conditioner. It will help your plant to grow strong roots and will improve its overall health.

How do you encourage new growth on a frangipani?

To encourage new growth on a frangipani remember to fertilise in spring with a reasonably balanced fertiliser that contains nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium. You can also encourage branching if you prune the long stems back by about one-third but leave at least 7cm of stem above where it has branched previously. This pruning will usually result in two more new stems from where the cut is made.

Photo of author

Annette Hird

Annette Hird is a gardening expert with many years of experience in a range of gardening related positions. She has an Associate Diploma of Applied Science in Horticulture and has worked in a variety of production nurseries, primarily as a propagator. She has also been responsible for a large homestead garden that included lawn care, fruit trees, roses and many other ornamental plants. More recently, Annette has concentrated on improving the garden landscape of the homes that she has lived in and focused a lot of energy on growing edible plants as well. She now enjoys sharing her experience and knowledge with others by writing articles about all facets of gardening and growing plants.

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