How I Plant Plumeria or Frangipani From Seeds

How I Plant Plumeria or Frangipani From Seeds

Why Grow Plumeria (Frangipani) From Seeds?

There are over 300 varieties of Plumeria (Frangipani), and not one nursery will stock them all. So, when I wanted a variety that I liked, I had no choice but to buy the seeds online.

Plumeria From Seeds Will Not Always Give You the Same Variety as the Parent Plant

Buying plumeria seed online is also the only way to get a new or special variety.

The problem when propagating by seed is that you do not know the results. The flower can be similar or different from the parent plant. This can be annoying, especially if you like a certain variety. Although others say that it will take at least two years before it blooms, mine took slightly less than a year.

If you grow plumeria from cuttings, the plant will be similar to the parent plant. It will also bloom earlier.

Despite these disadvantages, I had no choice but to grow the variety that I like from seeds.

Are you faced with similar predicament and not sure how to propagate the seeds? Then, this article will guide you with photos and easy to follow instructions.

Plumeria is the botanical name, and frangipani is the common name.

Frangipani Seeds—Growing Instructions

To grow your plumeria or frangipani from seeds, follow the tested and proven steps below:

1. Moisten the Frangipani Seeds

If you buy seeds online, you do not know if the seeds were recently harvested or are a couple of months old. Freshly harvested seeds will germinate faster, while older seeds will take a longer time.

To hasten the germination process, the seeds need to be plumped up with moisture.

The easiest way is to place the seeds between moistened tissue papers. Leave them for 24 hours in a warm environment. You will notice that the thicker part of the seeds will swell. The seeds will now be ready for sowing.

2. Prepare Potting Mix

Meanwhile, you can either prepare your own potting mix or buy it ready-made from a nursery. For this project, I used Baba brand 'Seedling Package'. It came with 0.88 lb. (400 gram) peat moss and ten numbers of cultivation pots that are 2 inches (5 cm) deep.

If you don't use this cultivation pot often, you can save money by reusing or recycling 0.12 gallon (500 ml) empty mineral bottles. Cut off two thirds of the bottle and use the bottom one third. Make holes at the base and, after cleaning, your cultivation pot is ready for use.

3. Transplant the Swollen Seeds

Moisten the peat moss (or potting mix) and make a small hole in the mix.

Gently push the plumeria seed about 0.2 inches (5mm) into the mix. Make sure the swollen end is at the bottom and the seed wing is at the top. Allow part of this wing to stick out of the soil.

Tenderly press the soil against the side of the plumeria seed.

4. Create a Mini Greenhouse Effect

Place these pots in an empty plastic container and cover it to create a mini greenhouse effect. Place it in a warm, lighted area, but not under full sunlight.

Check daily to make sure the soil is not dry. If the top soil looks dry, mist it with water.

5. Wait for the Seeds to Germinate

Depending on the freshness of the seeds, it will take from seven days to over a month for them to germinate.

In the photo shown below, this seed germinated exactly seven days after sowing. The rest of the seeds in the other pots started to show signs of new life only after two weeks.

Most of the time, the leaf will emerge with the remains of the husk still attached. It will drop off as the leaves grow bigger.

If any of the seedlings show signs of mold during the germination process, treat it immediately with a mild fungicide.

6. Remove the Husk If It Sticks to the Cotyledons

The husk will usually fall off by itself, but occasionally this may not happen soon enough. If these husks are not removed from the cotyledons (i.e. the embryonic first leaves of the seedling), the seedlings might rot and die.

You may have to assist by spraying it with a fine mist and gently removing these husks.

7. Transplant the Seedlings

Once you see a new set of leaves and the seedling is more than three inches tall, you can start to transplant it to a bigger pot.

Gently remove the seedling from the cultivation pot and, together with the peat moss (or your potting soil), transplant it to the new and bigger pot.

In my case, the plumeria plant will finally be planted in the ground. So, I reused an empty 2.5 gallon (9.5 liter) empty mineral bottle as the pot for transplanting. It is also lighter and easier to move around.

Potting Soil

I prepare my own potting soil using one part peat moss, two parts finely crushed clay bricks, and three parts garden topsoil. You can do similar 'recipe' or buy ready-made potting soil.

Once you have it transplanted, water it every alternate day, but make sure the soil is not waterlogged.

You can now introduce fertilizer that is high in phosphorus content to help your young plumeria grow strong and healthy. I use the organic fertilizer that is a mixture of cedars, cypress, pines, and plantains. I use it once a week.

8. Move the Plants to Full Direct Sunlight

Plumeria or Frangipani loves direct sunlight, but this must be done gradually. A week is about just right for this 'moving transition period' from shaded to direct and stronger sunlight.

You start by putting them in a shady and protected area. Leave them for a few hours. Increase the time for the next few days until it is a full day exposure but still under the shade. During this period, keep nudging the plants to be closer to the full sunlight. After a week of doing this, the plants will be ready to be exposed to full sunlight on a daily basis.

That's it, folks. Just sit back and enjoy your hard work. And make sure you water and fertilize as directed.

What If My Seedlings Do Not Germinate?

You followed the above planting procedures but the seedlings do not germinate. Then, chances are the seedlings may be ‘old’.

Plumeria seeds must be planted as soon as they are harvested because of their short lifespan.

So, when I had this problem, I wrote to the seller and explain the problem. He was happy to replace it with new seeds but I had to wait for two months for the next harvest.

When I planted the new seeds, all grew within a week!

Buy Plumeria or Frangipani Seeds Online

Plumeria or Frangipani is an easy plant to maintain. With proper care and attention, it will reward you with beautiful blooms and fragrance.

They come in many colors and they have their own unique fragrance. It grows easily even in cold climate, but expose it to full sunlight. It is quite contented if you plant it in a pot, but it will only grow to the size of the container.

Why don't you start your own plumeria collection now? You have more choices and varieties if you grow them from seeds.

If you Google plumeria or frangipani seeds online, you will find several websites that sell them online. For example, you can find the dark red-black flower variety on

Planting Plumeria Cuttings

Frangipani can be grown from cuttings, grafts, and seeds. I have done only from cuttings and from seeds but have yet to try from grafts. The accompanying photos are some of the cuttings that I planted recently.

These cuttings started to show sign of new life after about a week of planting.

So, how to grow plumeria cuttings? Just follow these guides:

  • Take a cutting of about 15 inches long from your desired plumeria plant variety. Make sure it is a healthy plant.
  • Remove most of the leaves, if any, from the cutting
  • Put it aside for a few days for the cut ends to harden. This is to prevent any possible infection and to encourage root growth
  • Once it hardens, dip it in rooting hormone. Then plant it into your favorite potting mixture, and water it.
  • Don't over water as the cut end can rot.
  • Place it in a slightly shaded area and not under direct sunlight.

Plumeria Plant Care

Plumeria plant is hardy and easy to care for. Just follow these steps for a healthy plant:

  • Plumeria loves the sun so make sure it receives as much sunlight as possible
  • Don't over water them.
  • Fertilize every two weeks and with NPK 10-30-10, this will encourage blooms.
  • You can prune the tree if required but if it is too drastic it can reduce flowering.
  • Plumeria rust i.e. an orange powder that covers the leaves and on the undersides of leaves can cause defoliation. But this will not kill the plant. Treat this problem with any fungicide.
  • Plumerias may have the occasional visit from spider mites, scale or whiteflies if it is left too dry for too long and not receiving enough sunlight. Spray these visitors with liquid dishwashing soap using 1 to 2 tablespoons per gallon of water.

Trivia: Have You Smelled the Many Fragrances of Frangipani?

Various varieties of frangipani or plumeria will smell differently. With its rich and sensual floral fragrance, the cosmetic industries had been using it for years.

If you have not smelled the real frangipani before, here are some of the perfumes that featured frangipani in its composition. The fragrance is not like the real thing but good enough!

  • Coco and Beige by Chanel
  • L'Air du Printemps and Love by Nina, by Nina Ricci
  • zar Femme by Christian Lacroix
  • Bora Bora for Women by Liz Claiborne
  • Coral Flower by Lolita Lempicka
  • Frangipani Absolute by Ormonde Jayne
  • Versace Woman by Versace

Questions & Answers

Question: How often should I water my plumeria seedlings after germination?

Answer: I usually check the soil if it is damp, then I refrain from watering. If it feels slightly dry, then I will spray the soil with a sprayer; don't water it with a watering can.

Question: What does the seed pod of a Frangipani look like?

Answer: The Frangipani seed pod is like a twin-lobed dark colored banana or sausage, and is about five to seven inches long.

Question: What do I do if my plumeria seedlings are leggy? How do I prevent legginess in Plumeria from happening?

Answer: This usually happens when it does not receive enough sunlight. Move it to an area that has the most sunlight for the most part of the day.

Question: What is the best time of year to plant seeds and also to plant cuttings of Plumeria? I understand that plumeria is dormant in winter.

Answer: It sounds like you are from a temperate country. The best time to plant frangipani from both seeds and cuttings are in spring and early summer. Fortunately for us from tropical countries, we don't have to worry about this matter.

Question: I bought Plumeria Rubra seeds online just last night. Are these the same as Frangipani? The flowers on the ad look the same.

Answer: Yes, they are the same. Plumeria Rubra is the scientific name and frangipani is the common name.

Question: I have a ten-year-old Plumeria tree with pink flowers made from cuttings. This winter put out seed pods that I wrapped in stockings. This morning I saw that they had opened and I have a bunch of seed wings. Since they are only about a week old at the most will I still need to soak them?

Answer: I will still soak it in water but only for half a day to hasten the germination process. Frangipani seed's husk is quite hard so soaking in water gives a better rate of success.

Question: Do Plumeria or Frangipani plants support butterfly life?

Answer: Frangipani has good fragrance and may attract butterflies.

Question: What type of fertilizer should I use for my Plumeria seedlings?

Answer: I don't use any fertilizer in the first two weeks of its growth but use my favorite Miracle-Gro All Purpose Plant Food after that period.

Question: Is it ok to put the seedlings into Miracle-Gro compost?

Answer: Yes, it is OK to put the seedlings into the compost.

Question: How big should the plant be before potting up to a 1 gallon pot? Does it make a difference what time of year it is?

Answer: I usually re-pot after about 3 months of healthy growth. I live in a tropical country so it does not matter what time of year to re-pot. If you live in temperate countries, it is best to do in the spring and summer.

© 2014 Mazlan

Mazlan (author) from Malaysia on April 19, 2020:

Hi Tony

Referring to your emailed question on harvesting seeds from pods of existing plant - Remove the Plumeria seeds from matured pods only otherwise the immature seeds will not germinate. How to know when it has matured and ripen? Easy, if it looks wilted and dry then it has ripened The pod will also split open. Hope this helps.

Mazlan (author) from Malaysia on April 14, 2020:

Hi Ljudmila Stoppel. I am sorry, I don't understand what you are trying to say. Is it...." you bought the Plumeria seeds and you got only the seeds and nothing else"?

Ljudmila Stoppel on April 14, 2020:

my seeds been send back to thawai-just got the letter a week ago

the been just seeds in letter-nothing else-

very disappointing-well Ljudmila

Ljudmila Stoppel on April 14, 2020:

my seeds been send back to thawai-just got the letter a week ago

the been just seeds in letter-nothing else-

very disappointing-well Ljudmila

Mazlan (author) from Malaysia on July 26, 2019:

Marujitasw, thanks for sharing this. Yes, your son is right. That's where you get the frangipani seeds. Hope it turns out well for you. Good luck.

Marujitasw on July 26, 2019:

Thanks so much for the great information about hoe to start the plumeria from seeds. I bought mine while visiting Florida. It was about 12 inches tall in 2015. Three years later it bloom and the fragrance amazing. I live in Illinois. Big change in climate. Every year it has been blooming. 2018 was the first. This year I saw a brown pod and I wasn’t sure what it was. My son said: this is where the seeds are. About a week ago, one of the pods got dry and opened. I saw the seeds and today, I found your website and I’m amazed. I have already placed the seeds in a snack plastic bag j def wet paper towels. I placed the bags outside for the day but the weather is cool at night so I bring them in and tomorrow I will put them back outside. Thanks so much again, I hope I get good results. Next week I will shop for the soil and make sure I get everything I need.

Mazlan (author) from Malaysia on March 05, 2019:

Hi Peter. I bought it about five years ago and I can't remember the supplier's name. I bought the seeds through ebay. My apologies.

Peter on March 05, 2019:

Hi Mazlan,

can you advise your 'trusted seeds source' in Thailand ?




Mazlan (author) from Malaysia on February 07, 2019:

Karen, did you soak the seeds before putting the seeds in soil? Please follow the steps as highlighted in my article and you should have success.

Some of the reasons for failure: the seeds could be 'old' and not stored properly.

Thanks for dropping by and good luck.

Karen on February 07, 2019:

I recieved seeds as gifts and have had no luck with germinating any. Could use some helpful hints before the few i have left are gone. Love them and would love to have them.

Mazlan (author) from Malaysia on January 31, 2019:

Cece, it has been awhile back and I can't remember the website or the company's name. You can check on eBay and Amazon, that's where I bought them.

Cece on January 24, 2019:

Thanks for your fast response. I will check out Sg Buloh. Also, could you recommend/share the website you purchased the seeds from from Thailand?

Mazlan (author) from Malaysia on January 24, 2019:

Hi Cece. No, I don't sell any and most of the frangipani cuttings are from friends. There are a few nurseries in Sg Buloh that you can check out. I have not bought any cuttings from the Thai nurseries, only seeds. Give it a try and share it here, if it is OK with you.

Cece on January 24, 2019:

Hi Mazlan,

I have a friend who loves this plant and collects a variety of them. Where would you recommend to purchase cuttings from? Any place that carries unique colours that you know of? Or do you sell any cuttings from your own collection? I found a website that sells, Thai based, but I am not sure if there would be any problems mailing cuttings over to Malaysia, they say no problem but I am wary... Just wanted to ask around first.

Mazlan (author) from Malaysia on September 05, 2018:

Hi Miranda. Where are you from? In the tropics, anytime is fine. if you are from the temperate countries, spring will be ideal.

Miranda on September 03, 2018:

When is the best time to plant seeds I'm planting mine now

Mazlan (author) from Malaysia on June 06, 2018:

Hi Jack. I know how anxious it can be to see them like struggling to survive. Can you place them in an area that received more morning sunlight? It could be due to lack of direct sunlight.

On the slits, not heard of them but it could work. You want to try and share it later here? Love to hear back from you.

Good luck and thanks for dropping by.

Jack Huang on June 05, 2018:

Dear Mazlan,

Thank you so much.

Yes, it is a rainy season now. Most of the seedlings look like the ones in the pic right above section 7. But it stays there for like two weeks now. I would really love to see them grow stronger, more like the ones in section 7(first pic), but they are now like mal-nutrition baby. I tried some fertilizer and water them regularly. didn't see much change. Err. so anxious.

Regarding the cutting from my parents, they are growing superbly. No bragging but they are gifted and have very good Feng Shui, I guess. No matter what they grow, it grows. A neighbor came over the other night saying we should try to make some slits on the stem, "and then the little thing will give you more branches, right from the slits." is it true?

Mazlan (author) from Malaysia on June 03, 2018:

Jack Huang, my reply to your comment as shown below as:

1. Were there any husks that need to be removed that are affecting the growth? or

2. Not enough sunlight?

3. Give it a few more days and see how it goes after you do the above adjustments.

4. With regards to the cutting, it will have more branches as it grows (about 5 months later you might see some, or even earlier if it grows well)

Hope this helps


Your comments were:

Hi from the other side of the planet.

I have planted several seeds and they all are shotting out sprout now. However, it looks as if they are not growing properly. Would you please reply me so that I can send you some more pictures?

Plus, my mom's plumeria does not give out many branches. What shall we do? Oh, fyi, it comes from a cutting.

Mazlan (author) from Malaysia on March 03, 2018:

CYL, thanks for dropping by and I am glad this article on planting frangipani from seeds has helped you in one way or another.

CYL on February 22, 2018:

I bought a few seeds online and all the 6 seeds had sprouted and ready to move to bigger pots now. Thanks for showing how to do these.

Mazlan (author) from Malaysia on June 27, 2017:

Linda, Please check my email on how to do this.

LindaChang on June 24, 2017:

Thank you, Mazlan. I sent th email but there was not an option to attach the pictures? Linda

Mazlan (author) from Malaysia on June 24, 2017:

Hi Linda. Email me the photos and let me take a look. On the top, just below my profile photo you will see ' contact author'. Click on this link to email me.

LindaChang on June 24, 2017:

Hi Mazlan, my seedlings are a couple of months old and the leaves are beginning to droop and discolor. I have them in 4" pots and give them a sprinkle of water in the morning. I put them out in full sun lite for several hours or all day on the weekends. I have pictures but don't see how to add them here. I started adding fertilizer this week but that hasn't seemed to make a difference. Could they be too dry? I didn't think they should be too wet. Could the pot be too small?

Thank you.


LindaChang on June 13, 2017:

Thank you, Mazlan. They already have their first set of true leaves so I'll give them a little fertilizer. I appreciate your quick response!


Mazlan (author) from Malaysia on June 12, 2017:

Hi, Linda. Thanks for sharing your experience with planting from plumeria seeds.

On your question on when to fertilize, I do this after 6 months since I used a good potting mix that has compost and manure in the mix. Otherwise you should wait until the seedlings developed its true leaves. This can be after the 1st or 2nd month depending on how the seedlings developed.

I suggest you use fertilizer high in phosporus such as NPK in ratio of 1:2:1

Hope this helps.

LindaChang on June 12, 2017:

I harvested a seed pod from my plumeria tree a couple of months ago and was able to grow 27 out of 30 seedlings. I have since transplanted them into small 4" pots and they have already grown their first set of true leaves and a 5th leave is starting to grow on many of them. I give them a small sprinkle of water every morning, but make sure they don't stay too wet, and I put them out in the sun as much as I can. At what point do I start to fertilize them and what type of fertilizer? Most of them are between 4-6 inches tall with very healthy leaves.

Thank you.

Mazlan (author) from Malaysia on June 12, 2017:

Kirstie..sometimes online sellers are interested in only short-term gain.

But there are others that are genuine.

So it is always a good practice to read reviews before buying from a particular seller.

Anyway, buying cuttings or mini plants are also good choices. You get to see the plant flowers earlier than plants that grow from seeds. You are also assured of getting the flower color that you had picked.

Good luck and have fun.


Kirstie on June 12, 2017:

Thank s for your reply. No the seedlings do not a bit like your photos! So I was sold a pup, or father several puppies! I might try again with mini plants.

Mazlan (author) from Malaysia on June 05, 2017:

Kirstie, do you have a photo of these plants? Maybe you place the pot away from sunlight area? Are your seedlings/plants similar to what I showed in my article? I can't give you a definitive reply without this info.

Kirstie on June 03, 2017:

I am not convinced that the seeds I bought through Amazon and which came from China are actually frangipani seeds ? I followed all the instructions and after only a few days the seeds germinated. Now several weeks later they are tall and stringy with no trunk support , falling over in their pots I have potted on once as instructed and there are only a few surviving at this point. The leaves are long,narrow and with a pair of mini teeth projecting from the length. Any ideas? Thanks

Mazlan (author) from Malaysia on January 16, 2017:

Hi, dinyar. Unfortunately, I don't have a blog on that topic. Personally, I find planting from cutting as quite simple, maybe because I had success on most of the cuttings :-)

Anyway, here are the steps:

1. Dry the cutting for about a week in a shaded area (if the cutting is fresh)

2. Check the base, if it is brown in color then it is ready for planting. If it is still white, then you have to leave it to dry for a few more days.

3. Before planting, dip the base into a rooting hormone powder/solution (you can buy this from the nursery)

4. Then place the cutting into your plant nursery bag/poly bag or flower pot that is already filled with mixed soil (I used ready-mixed potting soil bought from nursery) at depth of about 3inches

5. Place a stalk to support the cutting

6. Then water sparingly. Don't over water otherwise, you will damage the base and any roots that are appearing

7. Place it in a sunny area but not under direct sunlight (for my tropical environment)

That's it! Goodluck

dinyar on January 16, 2017:

Thank you very much for your reply. I did buy (a lot of) seeds from Thailand. I also bought cuttings from Thailand- Royal Purple. I wanted to ask you if you have a blog on How to grow Frangipani from Cuttings. I like the way write showing photos step by step in full detail.

Thank you.

Mazlan (author) from Malaysia on December 31, 2016:

Dinyar, if you type 'plumeria seeds' on eBay, you will find several sellers including those from Thailand. Likewise on

Hope this helps. Best of luck and enjoy the fun.

Dinyar M. Dalal on December 26, 2016:

I enjoyed reading your article and in my opinion, this is The Best article on how to grow Plumeria from seeds.

I am desperately trying to grow Plumeria and I have just ordered cuttings. I wish I saw this article before. Now I am searching all over the net for a reliable place in Thailand selling Fresh Plumeria seeds. Is it possible for you to suggest where you get your seeds from? I will appreciate it very much.

Thank you.

Best wishes,

Dinyar Dalal

Mazlan (author) from Malaysia on September 09, 2016:

Hi, Paul. That's great. Do you know that there is demand for these seeds? You can make money by selling them on eBay or Amazon!

Paul E White on September 06, 2016:

We have nine Frangipani trees in our garden here in Siem Reap, Cambodia. For the first time ever we have our first seed pod. Curved and dark brown, like a German sausage. I will certainly have a go at growing the seeds.

Mazlan (author) from Malaysia on June 28, 2016:

By 2 months it should be strong with thick trunk. Maybe your plant didn't have enough sunlight and fertilizer?

jim on June 27, 2016:

i grew 14 from seed but they are very leggy tall and the stalks are green they are 8in tall but only 2 months old but very healthy when will they start to look like plumeria trunks???

Mazlan (author) from Malaysia on August 31, 2015:

Hi thumbi7. India has a large varieties of Frangipani plants. I believe you use Frangipani in your religious ceremonies? Thanks for dropping by and I am glad you now know that it can be germinated from seeds.

Hi Kristen Howe. Thanks for reading and the compliments.

JR Krishna from India on August 22, 2015:

What a beautiful plant. We have so many varieties here. But I didn't know its name and that it could be germinated from seeds

Thanks for sharing

Kristen Howe from Northeast Ohio on August 09, 2015:

Mazlan, great photos of those beautiful flowers. This is an excellent hub and well detailed on how to grow them at home. Voted up!

Mazlan (author) from Malaysia on January 03, 2015:

Hi Lisa. Fortunately, I had no problem with the custom. It was sent using normal envelope, so I guess that probably explains it.

Lisa on January 02, 2015:

Hi mazlan,

Great info on how to plant plumeria. Do you face any problems with the customs when you buy the seeds online?

Mazlan (author) from Malaysia on January 02, 2015:

Hi Dianna. Delighted to hear from you and much appreciated for the compliments. Frangipani grows well in flower pot, so you will always have a space for it, but must be in a sunny spot.

All the best for 2015.

Dianna Mendez on December 26, 2014:

Oh my, what beautiful plants. I love the delicate yellow within the white petals. You wrote this with great detail and I'm sure readers will be able to duplicate your methods well. I would try it if I had the space to grow them. Thanks for the information.

Mazlan (author) from Malaysia on December 14, 2014:

Hi oliversmum. You are right, Frangipanis are absolutely beautiful flowers and you have a lot of them in your country, Australia. There are several reputable breeders of world class frangipani cultivars in Australia. If you intend to start your own Plumeria/Frangipani collection, you are lucky to be down under as you have easy access to several of these breeders.

Thanks for being the first to comment and thanks for dropping by.

oliversmum from australia on December 13, 2014:

Greatstuff Maian. Hi. Thank you for all this wonderful information and photographs. What absolutely beautiful flowers,so many varieties and colors to choose from. :) :)

Watch the video: Growing Plumerias with Steve Hampson (June 2021).