Understanding the Stages of Plumeria Growth

Plants have a life cycle, just like humans and other animals. The plant life cycle describes the stages the plant goes through from the beginning of its life until the end when the process starts all over again.


The life cycle of a plumeria begins with a seed. You are probably familiar with plumeria seeds and may have even planted a few.

A seed has a protective coating called the shell. The shell contains everything needed to start a new plumeria. Inside the seed, the coating is an embryo, which will become the new plant, and the endosperm, which provides the nutrients for the embryo.

Each plumeria seed contains a small parcel of nutrients that is all they need to germinate and begin growing their first pair of leaves.

Plumeria belongs to the dicot (dicotyledon) group. The name of this plant group is derived from the number of cotyledons or seed leaves that the embryonic seedling has within its seed. A dicot, or dicotyledon, will have two cotyledons.


Plumeria seeds need three things to grow: oxygen, moisture, and warm temperature. When the proper conditions are met for the seed, it will begin to sprout. The roots push their way through the seed coating and begin growing into the soil. There are many good methods used to germinate plumeria seeds.


A small, fragile young plumeria is called a seedling will then poke its way out of the ground and start growing towards the sunlight. The seedling will get most of the nutrients from the seed leaves but as soon as new leaves have grown the seedling gets many of the nutrients it needs to grow from the soil through its roots.

The seedling also gets nutrients from the sun. A plumeria’s leaves contain a green pigment called chlorophyll. This pigment uses sunlight, water, and carbon dioxide to produce energy for the plant in a process called photosynthesis

As plumerias’ roots develop and spread, a boost of quickly absorbed, well-balanced nutrients fuel the rapid growth from spindly seedling to a healthy plumeria.


Photosynthesis helps the seedling grow into mature plants. The mature plumeria produces flowers, which ensure that the life cycle continues.

Nitrogen is a key component of chlorophyll, the green pigment in plumeria, so it’s the critical nutrient when their energy is focused on growing leaves, roots, and a stem.

The roots extract nutrients and water from the soil. These are carried to the plant by the stem, which also serves to support the plant. The leaves create energy through photosynthesis.


Developing buds is possibly the most important part of a plumeria’s development. After all most purchase a plumeria to see it bloom. Phosphorus is in extra high demand at the start of a plumerias’ reproductive cycle, the transition from growing leaves to forming buds. Remember, plumerias do not need as much Phosphorus as many other flowering plants. If you believe your plumeria is lacking Phosphorus you should only apply it at this stage of growth. Using a high Phosphorus fertilizer at any other time will be detrimental to your plumeria.


The flower is the part of the plumeria needed for reproduction. It is made up of many different parts. The petals are usually bright and colorful for attracting insects to help with the pollination process.

The stamen is the part of the plumeria that produces pollen. Pollen is a powdery substance, often yellow, that contains half of the genetic material needed to create a new plant. 

The stigma is the part of the flower the receives the pollen. It contains the ovules of the plant. The ovules will become seeds when they are fertilized by the pollen.


The process of getting the pollen from the stamen of one plant to the stigma of another is called pollination. Pollen may be carried by the wind, but it is often transported from one flower to another by insects. Some types of bats even help with the pollination process.

Thrips, Spinks Moth, and other insects are attracted to flowers by their colorful petals and fragrances. While the insect crawls around the plant drinking the nectar, it gets pollen on its legs and body. When the insect flies to another plant to drink more nectar, some of the pollen from the first plant is deposited onto the second plant.

Remember, pollen contains half of the genetic material needed to produce a new plant. The ovules, located in the stigma, contain the other half. When the pollen reaches the ovules of a plant, they are fertilized and become seeds.

Plumerias are among the plants that contain both can be self pollinated as well as cross pollinated. Self pollination is the transfer of pollen grains from the anther to the stigma of the same flower.


When fruit, with plumeria it is the seedpods that are verging on full maturity. It takes about 9 months for a plumeria seedpod to reach full maturity. Important to know that plumeria seedpods will continue to mature during dormancy.


Dormancy is the state in which a plant or plant part exhibits little or no growth and in which most, if not all, metabolic activity ceases for a period of time.

The plumeria functions best when there is ample water and temperatures are well above freezing throughout the year. Except when in moist, tropical regions, however, plumeria are exposed to dry periods and cool temperatures below 40 degrees for varying lengths of time during the year. Plants, unlike animals, do not have the luxury of body insulation or locomotion.

Hence, plumerias cannot seek shelter or use other active ways to survive water shortages and cold weather. Consequently, many plumerias become dormant to avoid unfavorable environmental conditions. In dormancy, their metabolic activity either ceases or is drastically reduced. Even in tropical regions, the plumeria will go thru some form of dormancy.

Dormancy evolved as a means of surviving unfavorable environmental conditions.

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