Summer Care for Plumeria

Summer is the most critical time of they year to care for your plumeria. Watching for signs of heat stress, insects. but proper watering tops the list.

Yellow leaves are normal to a point, plumeria put on new leaves and shed the old ones at the bottom. But if you see more than normal, you should first check your soil for too much or too little water. 

Whether you’re coping with a mini heatwave or a summer-long slog of extreme high temperatures, here are a few tips to help you to help your plants cope with heat stress.

It’s obvious that in hot, dry weather, plumeria will need more water to keep them healthy and productive. But it’s important to be smart about watering to make the most of every drop.

The best time to water is early in the morning, when moisture is slower to evaporate and water levels can be recharged ahead of the heat of the day.

Check soil regularly, every day if you can, and water if it’s dry at finger depth. Remember, it’s better to really drench the soil once every few days, rather than merely dampen the surface daily.

Plumeria in smaller pots dry out very quickly and may need watering twice a day, especially if it’s windy too. Check that the water is actually being absorbed, you don’t want it just running straight down cracks between the potting soil and container wall. Continue watering until you see water running out of the bottom. Do not use pot saucers to hold the water around your pots for longer.

Stop Fertilizing

When temperatures rise above 90-95º F, plumeria can really start to struggle. Plumeria tend to drop leaves, a natural response that reduces water loss. They may also slow down or stop producing new leaves as they try to cope with the heat.

Now you may think the answer is to fertilize your crops to make them stronger, but this only exacerbates the situation, because plants will then need even more water to process all that fertilizer. A sudden flush of nutrients also signals to the plant that it’s time to grow, a dangerous and stress, inducing move in soaring temperatures. So stop fertilizing and concentrate on watering instead.

It is best to use a slow release fertilizer at the beginning of the growing or blooming season.

During Extreme Heat Add Some Shade

When it’s over 100 degrees it may be a good idea to add some shade. You can find shade cloth at your local big box store in different levels of sun block, from 15%, 30%, 40% and more. Plumeria won’t grow as fast under it or bloom as much, but they’ll still receive some sunshine and will be a lot less stressed.