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Growing Frangipanis in WA

Author

Baileys Fertiliser

Published

20 November 2020

Stunning perfume flowers and exotic large green leaves - no plant adds a touch of the tropics quite like frangipanis. These show stoppers bloom from November to May and thrive in tropical and warm-temperate climates. They're right at home in Perth gardens if established at the right time of year. 

Depending on the species, they grow into small trees from 3-6m tall with a wide umbrella-like habit that's ideal for providing shade. There are both deciduous and evergreen species, and compact dwarf or semi-dwarf cultivars suited to pots, small courtyards or poolside. 

Planting

Frangipanis like a sunny spot, with well-draining soil. Late spring to early summer is the best time to plant as they're sensitive to frost until established. 

If planting in-ground, dig the hole twice as wide and to the same depth as the root-ball. Enrich the backfill with Baileys Soil Improver Plus on a 50:50 ratio.  Gently remove from container, being careful with delicate roots and position, backfilling with amended soil.  Water in well and stake until established.

Add a layer of a fully composted, organic mulch such as Baileys Moisture Mulch around the base, keeping it away from the trunk.

If planting in heavier clay soils amend you planting area prior with gypsum and Baileys Soil Improver Plus worked into the soil well. 

Growing in Pots

Select a pot that will match the size of your plant and will allow it to grow for a couple of seasons. A pot diameter of at least 40cm will be required for dwarf varieties.  Plant in a quality growing media such as Baileys Premium Potting Mix and stake to hold in place until roots have established. Water well, until water runs from the drainage holes and position to receive full sun for a minimum of 6 hours a day. 

If over time the tree becomes pot-bound, lift and prune back the roots before re-potting into fresh potting mix.

Watering & Feeding

Water regularly for the first year during establishment but leave to dry out in-between watering.  After the first season, occasional watering will be sufficient, and flower colour can actually be intensified by reduced watering. A common mistake people make with frangipanis is giving them too much water after they have been established which can cause rot. Avoid watering in winter and while dormant (leafless). 

Feed in autumn and spring with an organic-based, broad spectrum fertiliser with good levels of nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium. Nitrogen is needed for healthy green foliage, phosphorous for flower and root development and potassium for good plant cell structure and strength, as well as improving disease resistance.  Baileys Soil Matters Garden is ideal.

How to Propagate

Frangipanis are easily propagated and late spring to early summer is the best time to take cuttings, although this can be done at almost any time of year. 

  • Choose a firm stem and take a cutting at least 30 cm long using sharp secateurs. The base of the cutting should be of old wood, which is grey, green wood can be too soft and may not develop roots as easily.
  • Remove most of the lower leaves and any flower buds
  • Dip in rooting hormone
  • Stand cuttings upright out of direct sunlight to harden for 1-2 weeks depending on the time of year. The cut will start to swell, a sign that it's ready to start growing roots.
  • Insert into a pot filled with coarse sand and water sparingly until roots form.

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