Plumeria rubra acutifolia or West Indian Jasmine, a native of Mexico and Tropical America is a tree that in nature can reach about 40 feet (12 meters). In cultivation pot size and selective pruning easily control the size. The flowers are used as Leis in Hawaii and other tropical islands.
Blooming Time: From mid spring through fall the white flowers with yellow centers adorn the plant at the tips of branches. Individual flowers are 2 ½ inches (~10 cm) across and are very showy and fragrant.
Culture: Plumeria rubra acutifolia need at least 4 hour of direct sunlight per day with intermediate temperatures. We use a soil mix consisting of 2 parts loam to 1 part peat moss to 2 parts sand. The soil should be allowed to dry in-between waterings. The plants are fertilized every other week with a 15-30-15 fertilizer. In September fertilizer applications cease to allow the plants to harden off for the winter. In the winter the plants are kept at 50° F (10° C) and will lose their leaves. During this time water very sparingly so the roots don't rot from staying wet.
Propagation: Plumeria rubra acutifolia are propagated by cuttings or by seed. Cuttings can be taken from February to May. Cuttings 6 to 8 inches (15-20 cm) long should be allowed to form callus about 10 days before potting in a well-drained soil mix. The use of rooting hormones is a must. Do not keep the soil mix excessively wet or the cuttings will rot. Seeds are sown in a well-drained soil mix and will germinate in 14-21 days.
Plumeria rubra acutifolia was featured as Plant of the Week May 17-23, 2002.
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Cal's Plant of the Week was provided as a service by the University of Oklahoma Department of Microbiology & Plant Biology and specifically Cal Lemke, who used to be OU's botany greenhouse grower and an avid gardener at home as well. If the above links don't work, then try the overview site. You may also like to look at the thumbnail index. ©1998-2012 All rights reserved.