How to grow frangipani trees in Perth

Growing frangipani trees in Perth

Frangipanis are wonderful plant for any Perth garden. You will find these beautiful deciduous trees brighten up suburban front yards throughout summer. Frangipani trees have lovely scented flowers come in gorgeous shades of white, yellow, pink, orange, purple and red and frangipanis add a tropical vibe to the front or backyard.

If you have ever wondered how to grow frangipani in Perth then look no further. Frangipani are a relatively easy flower to grow, and there are a few tricks to successfully growing frangipani in Perth, Western Australia. Get these right and you will be laughing.

When to plant frangipani trees in Perth:

Late spring to early summer is the best time to plant frangipani to avoid the chance of frost until plants are established.

Where do frangipani grow best?

Frangipanis grow best in well-drained soil, full to part sun and frost-free conditions. Franglais will grow well in sandy coastal soils and are known for tolerating salty ocean air. Frangipani don’t grow well in clay soils and in this case it is best to grow them in large pots instead.

How much water do frangipani need?

Frangipanis only need around one inch of water per week when planted in the garden, and for potted ones, they will need more regular watering. Frangipani prefer dry soil and over-watering is the most common way to kill them. It is best to limit watering during the winter months when your frangipani plant is dormant. When you see the first signs of growth for the season you can start watering weekly again.

Frangipani thrive with little maintenance, and limiting watering to once a week will result in more flowers.

How big do frangipani grow?

Frangipanis can grow to around 6m high and 5m wide. A relatively slow growing plant, Frangipani grow about 20cm per year. This slow growth, along with their small root ball, makes them ideal around pools, and beside walls, and containers as the roots will not do any damage to structures.

Types of frangipani in Perth, WA:

Below is a list of some of the more popular varieties of frangipani;

  • Black Widow Frangipani – A stunning frangipani from the Leelawadee reange, it can also be called ‘Scott Pratt’. It is a lovely small tree, able to grow up to 6m tall and 6m wide with spectacular dark green leaves that have a purple tinge. In the warmer months it produces scented flowers that are a deep cherry red colour with lightly curled petals.
  • Cream Frangipani – The original frangipani with yellow centred flower fading out to white which the plant produces in summer and autumn. ‘Cream’ can grow to 8m tall and 4m wide.
  • George Brown Frangipani – George Brown has lovely flowers with brown purple centres fading out to light purple edges, it blooms in summer and autumn. It is a smaller growing frangipani growing to 4m tall and 4m wide.
  • Jakarta Red Frangipani – Jakarta red has blood red flowers through summer and autumn. Will grow 2.5-3.5m tall and 2.5m wide.
  • Lulu Frangipani – Lulu has pale pink flowers with a darker pink edge and is very fragrant. Will grow 2.5-3.5m tall and 2.5m wide.
  • Puu Kahea Frangipani – Puu Kahea has some of the largest Frangipani flowers, with striking pink and yellow stripes.
  • Tropical Blushing Frangipani – Ideal hardy deciduous feature tree with gorgeous blooms and large green leaves. Can be grown in a large pot or in the garden and is commonly used to provide a tropical appearance to the area they are planted.
  • Tropical Mango Delight Frangipani – Can be grown in a large pot or in the garden and is commonly used to provide a tropical appearance to the area they are planted.
  • Apricot Delight Frangipani – Apricot Delight has pink and yellow striped flowers with a coconut scent that are present on the plant in summer. It is a cultivar bred to be drought tolerant and grows to 6m tall and 5m wide.
  • Bali Palace Frangipani – Bali Palace produces a yellow medium to large fragranced flower in summer and autumn. The tree grows to 3.5m tall and 2.5m wide.
  • Cotton Candy Frangipani – Cotton Candy has a sweetly scented flower with pink petals that fade to white as they move towards the yellow centre. The tree can grow up to 6m tall and 5m wide and is drought tolerant.
  • Heidi Frangipani – Heidi has lovely bright yellow flowers lined with white and a sweet perfume that is at its strongest at night. It has a long flowering period with blooms covering the plant throughout summer and autumn. It is a large tree growing to 8m tall and 6m wide.
  • Raspberry Royale Frangipani – Raspberry Royale produces large fragrant deep pink to red flowers.
  • Pink Cheeks Frangipani – Pink Cheeks produces a very pretty white and yellow flower with a pink blush outlining the petals.

Dwarf Frangipani Varieties:

There are many dwarf frangipani varieties, these are two of my favourites;

  • Cherry Clusters Dwarf Frangipani – A lovely dwarf frangipani growing to just 2m tall and 2m wide. It produces stunning cherry red flowers in spring and summer. The flowers grow in dense, clusters and have a unique, curled appearance to the petals.
  • Singapore Pink Dwarf Frangipani – Grown in tubs, dwarf varieties make colourful pool-side specimens and are ideal for hot or sunny balconies. Petite Pink, also called Dwarf Singapore Pink, will grow 1-2m with pale-pink, pinwheel-shaped flowers.

How to grow frangipani at home:

Growing frangipani at home in the garden is pretty straightforward.

  1. Choose a sunny spot with well drained sandy soil. Enrich the soil with a dynamic lifter soil improver and fertiliser. If the soil is heavy clay add gypsum and fork in well or alternative plant in a large pot.
  2. Dig the planting hole twice as wide and to the same depth as the root-ball. Frangipani have a relatively small root-ball and are not invasive. Remove the shrub from the pot, gently tease the roots and keep as many roots as possible.
  3. Position the frangipani in the new hole and back-fill with soil, gently firming down. Water in well. Large plants may need to be staked until the roots establish to avoid falling over in the wind.
  4. Mulch around the base with organic mulch like bark chips, or pea straw, keeping it away from the trunk to avoid the potential spread of diseases.
  5. Water regularly during establishment but let them dry out in between watering to avoid root rot. After the first season, Frangipanis require little watering,
  6.  Feed in autumn and spring with a quality dynamic lifter soil improver and plant fertiliser to promote strong root development, healthy leaf growth and lots of flowers.

Growing frangipani in a pot:

You don’t need a large space to have your very own frangipani. Growing frangipani in pots is easy, fun and rewarding! In general growing frangipani in pots is a great idea. Below are the steps on how to how to grow frangipani in a pot;

  1. Pick a dwarf frangipani variety that can be grown in a pot. Choose a pot that’s at least 40cm in diameter. Position in a full sun location.
  2. Fill your pot with quality potting mix. Remove the frangipani shrub from the pot it came in, gently tease the roots and keep as many roots as possible.
  3. Position in hole and back-fill with potting mix gently firming down the top soil. Water in well. Large plants may need to be staked until the roots establish as the wind can tend to blow them over.
  4. Water regularly during establishment but let them dry out in between watering to avoid root rot.
  5. Feed in autumn and spring with dynamic lifter soil improver and plant fertiliser to promote strong root development, healthy leaf growth and lots of flowers.

How to propagate frangipani:

Frangapani trees are one of the easiest plants to propagate. The best time to take a cutting and propagate a frangipani tree is late spring to early summer. Just follow these three simple steps;

  1. Remove any old dead wood – Choose a firm stem from an existing plant, a friend or neighbours plant. Using sharp and clean secateurs, make a cutting about 30–50cm long. The base of the cutting should be of old wood, old wood is grey in colour.
  2. Rest the cuttings – Remove the leaves and place cuttings somewhere dry, well ventilated and in full sun. Allow the wounds to heal for at least 2-3 few weeks.
  3. Plant to frangipani cuttings – When the area behind the wound swells, insert cuttings, one per pot, into a fast-draining propagating mix. Water your cuttings deeply once a week allowing the soil to fully dry. You may need to stake frangipani cuttings to avoid them falling over in the wind until their roots have established.

When do frangipani flower in Australia:

Frangipanis typically flower in Australia between December to April, depending on the seasonal conditions.

Best fertiliser for frangipani:

Frangipani respond best to organic fertilisers which are high in nitrogen, potassium (or potash) and phosphorous. I recommend using a slow release pellet-based fertiliser in Spring. A natural based product like a Roses a Flowers Pelletised Plant Food is a good option.

This will include nitrogen is good for green growth, phosphorous for large flowers and healthy roots, and potassium or potash for good plant cell structure and strength, as well as improving disease resistance.

When to prune frangipani in Australia:

I recommenced pruning back and established frangipani tree in Spring after the last frost and prune plants back to a fresh stem. Always prevent mulches from touching the base of plants and so peel it back to prevent any fungal infection.

Companion plants for frangipani:

If you are in a coastal location in Perth and wondering what companion plants work well, I recommend African daisies, felt plants, blue chalksticks, and cushion bush.

Where to buy frangipani in Perth:

You can buy frangipani at your local nursery or you can even find frangipani in Bunnings at periods throughout the year.

Frangipani problems:

Frangipani can be susceptible to fungal diseases, such as downy and powdery mildew and frangipani rust, which can all be treated. Stem rot and black tip die back, as the names suggest, result in rotting stems and tip growth blackening and dying. Each of these is manageable and should not deter you from planting.

Check out our other how to grow in Perth guides:

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