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The Plumeria or Frangipani

Posted by Raffaele Pagano on

There Plumeria (Pomelia or Frangipani) belongs to the Apocynaceae family - the same as the oleander, periwinkle or false jasmine - it is native to the Caribbean, the Pacific Islands and Central America. It is experiencing great success for its ornamental qualities, thanks to the large green leaves and flowers, gathered in showy inflorescences, in different colors (from white to red, from pink to yellow and orange, in some cases two-colored), intensely and pleasantly scented.

In the countries of origin it can reach a height of ten meters, and in our southern regions, planted outdoors it can reach considerable dimensions; in the central and northern regions it is instead grown in pots and sheltered for the winter, but in summer it can be moved to the garden or onto balconies and terraces.

It is very sensitive to light, and in winter, when the days get shorter, it can also lose all its leaves, only to re-emit them in early spring, when the days get longer. It cannot even stand drafts and, in the event of severe drops in temperatures, it is advisable to protect the apex of the branches.

It should be watered starting from spring, increasing the quantities as the temperatures rise, while in the rest period the watering can be reduced, almost to cancel it.

If grown in pots, it should be repotted every two to three years, without however using much larger containers than the previous ones. The substrate it must be well drained and ventilated: it is advisable to add inert materials such as perlite or pumice.

 Curiosity: The Plumeria is the national flower of the Hawaiian Islands. It is used in traditional multicolored garlands, but also to immediately identify the 'status' of women: those who wear a flower behind their right ear are single, those who have it behind their left ear are married! Another flower used for the same purposes is that ofHibiscus.

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