Plumerias are a jaw-droppingly beautiful addition to your flower garden. Whether in pots or in the ground, they produce stunning blooms that just feel like summer.
Have you had rough luck with plumerias, though? I know I have!
Since most people live outside of plumeria’s natural habitat, it’s important to recreate their preferred environment as much as possible.
Fertilizing your plumeria is one of the easiest ways to remind it of home. With the proper nutrition, they grow the most beautiful blooms, and they smell absolutely divine. Keep reading to learn how to properly fertilize your plumeria so it can not only survive, but thrive!
In this guide, you’ll learn:
- Why you should fertilize your plumeria
- How to choose the right fertilizer for your plumeria
- How fertilizer will promote beautiful, fragrant plumeria blooms
- And much more!
Below is a quick list of my favorite fertilizers for plumeria. Keep scrolling to learn more of my top tips to choose and use the best fertilizer for your plumeria.
Nelson Plumeria Plant and All Flowering Tropicals Food
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Flower Fuel 1-34-32
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Miracle-Gro Blooming Houseplant Food
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Humboldt's Secret Flowering Flower Stacker
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Dr. Earth Exotic Blend Palm, Tropical, & Hibiscus Fertilizer
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My Overall Top #1 Pick: Nelson Plumeria Plant and All Flowering Tropicals Food
Although I love all of these awesome fertilizers, I couldn’t help but choose Nelson Plumeria Plant and All Flowering Tropicals Food for my number one pick. There are so many reasons why this is the perfect fertilizer for your plumeria–let’s get into them!
Firstly, the fact that the word ‘plumeria’ is in the name is a good sign. Since plumeria is a tropical plant, a lot of the soil in the continental U.S. isn’t right for it. The majority of gardeners will have to grow potted plumeria rather than putting it in the ground, which means buying potting soil.
Potting soil, unless it’s specifically for tropical plants, still won’t cut it for your plumeria. Nelson’s fertilizer is here to help! Specially designed for plumeria and other tropicals, it contains all the right ingredients (we’ll talk composition later, don’t worry).
What I will say now is this: there’s a lot of phosphorus in this fertilizer. Now you might be thinking ‘hey, phosphorus doesn’t necessarily mean blooms!’ but hear me out. Phosphorus is vital for photosynthesis, and it helps the plant properly retain energy from the sun. Since plumeria love strong, hot sun, this nutrient will help them get enough energy from sun that maybe isn’t as powerful.
This fertilizer is also fast-acting, meaning you’ll see bigger blooms in no time. And since that’s kind of the whole point of growing plumeria, who doesn’t want that?
It’s good for indoor and outdoor plumeria, as well as in the ground and in the pot. Truly a fertilizer that does it all! Keep reading to learn more about my other favorite plumeria fertilizers, as well as why you should invest in them!
Top 5 Best Fertilizers For Plumeria
In a hurry? Check out our top 5 picks below! Keep reading to learn more about these wonderful fertilizers for your plumeria.
- Nelson Plumeria Plant and All Flowering Tropicals Food (My Top Pick)
- Flower Fuel 1-34-32 (Best Pick To Increase Blooms)
- Miracle-Gro Blooming Houseplant Food (Best Budget Pick)
- Humboldt’s Secret Flowering Flower Stacker (Best Pick For Indoor Plumeria)
- Dr. Earth Exotic Blend Palm, Tropical, & Hibiscus Fertilizer (Best All-Natural Pick)
Why Should You Invest In A High-Quality Fertilizer For Your Plumeria?
Plumerias are a beautiful, tropical addition to any garden. Their summery blooms will turn your garden into a tropical paradise, and they smell absolutely amazing. They can be finicky, however, especially for those of us who live outside of their natural environment (aka a lot of people).
High-quality fertilizers can help to replicate your plumeria’s natural environment. Think of it like being at the zoo–each animal’s habitat is tailored to its needs, right? The same goes for your plumeria, and since the majority of us live outside of its natural habitat, we have to make a few modifications to keep it happy and healthy.
Understanding soil acidity is vital in keeping a healthy plumeria, since they tend to come from sandier places. Sand, of course, increases the acidity of the soil, which is why the more alkaline soil of the continental U.S. can be unsuitable for them. Plumeria fertilizers tend to include sulfur to increase the soil acidity and make them feel at home.
Plumerias are happiest in Zones 10a through 12a, although they’ve been known to thrive in both hotter and colder climates. Not sure what zone you’re in? Check out this map of the USDA hardiness zones to learn about them and what they mean for you. Knowing your growing zone is important for gardening in general, but especially when dealing with picky plants like plumeria.
Like I said, most of us live where plumerias don’t, which would be a huge shame if it wasn’t for this awesome YouTube video detailing just how to overwinter your plumerias so they’ll bounce back in the spring:
If you follow these steps, you shouldn’t have a problem with your plumerias bouncing back to their vibrant, happy selves come springtime. But the key to achieving bigger blooms faster is proper fertilization.
Did you know you can propagate your plumeria in water? It’s super easy, and it literally gives you free plants (if you’re willing to have a little patience, of course!) I definitely recommend it, but making sure the mother plant is healthy is the key to having a healthy, viable propagation. Fertilizing your mother plant is one of the easiest ways to ensure that your propagations take off!
Proper fertilization can also increase the vibrancy of your plumeria. Not only will you see bigger blooms, but brighter ones, too. They’re similar to clematis and peonies which also require a special fertilizer in this way. The nutrient composition of your fertilizer is what will improve the overall vibrancy of your plumerias.
Fertilizers are composed of three main ingredients, those being nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. All are vital in healthy plant growth, but they serve different purposes. I’ll get into more about composition later, but for now, know that phosphorus and potassium are the most important nutrients for flowering and (for fruit-bearing plants) fruit growth.
A high-quality fertilizer will have a balanced and specifically formulated ratio of nutrients. All of the fertilizers on this list are made just for tropicals, but of course, you can buy fertilizers specific to herbs, succulents, tomatoes, you name it.
I try to stay away from generic, all-in-one fertilizers. They’re kind of like one-size-fits-all jeans–if you haven’t tried them, please don’t, they are a blatant lie. All-in-one fertilizers might work for hardier plants like tomatoes or peppers, but for the delicate plumeria, steer clear. The same goes for other tropicals, which is why there are special palm tree fertilizers, too.
Lucky for you, none of these fertilizers are generic–hooray! Keep reading to learn more about the specifics of choosing the right fertilizer for your plumeria to keep it vibrant and healthy.
How to Pick the Best Fertilizer For Your Plumeria?
I know I touched on the different components of fertilizer earlier, but an in-depth knowledge of fertilizer composition is vital for a healthy plumeria plant and, of course, beautiful blooms.
The composition of your fertilizer has a direct correlation to the flowers your plumeria plant produces. Like I touched on earlier, fertilizer is composed of three main ingredients: nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. Any fertilizer you buy should have three numbers representing these three ingredients (they look like this: 10-10-10).
A good fertilizer for your plumeria (especially for flowering) will have lower nitrogen and potassium numbers and will look something like this: 5-25-5 For example, my top pick on this list has a ratio of 5-30-5. The lower concentration of nitrogen means your plant will focus less of its’ energy on green growth, and more on blooming.
There’s no need to stress over the numbers on your fertilizer, though. A little more nitrogen won’t hurt your plumeria, nor will it prevent it from blooming. Phosphorus is simply the element that plumerias need more of to bloom, so as long as there’s a high concentration of that, you’re good to go.
Any of the fertilizers in this article are great for your plumerias and are designed specifically for producing gorgeous flowers, so you don’t have to worry!
Organic Versus Inorganic
In my experience, organic fertilizer is almost always better than inorganic, especially when dealing with edible plants. Since plumerias aren’t exactly edible (most of the plant is actually toxic), there isn’t too much need to worry about this.
In fact, since plumerias aren’t typically eaten, I didn’t purposefully seek out any organic fertilizers for this list. These are, objectively, the top five best-quality fertilizers for your plumeria, and they all happen to be inorganic. In case you’d like to know about the difference, however, here’s some info for you:
“Organic” means exactly what you think: all-natural. It doesn’t mean it’s safe to eat with a spoon, but it is safe to apply to plants that you eat. It’s also less likely to crust on the soil or burn your plant, but when used properly, inorganic fertilizer shouldn’t do either of those things.
The hot summer sun can react with the added chemicals in an inorganic fertilizer and burn your plant, or the fertilizer won’t release the nutrients your plant needs at the roots, but again, when used properly, you shouldn’t have any problems.
Inorganic fertilizers typically have pesticides or some kind of additive in them to keep away bugs or other critters that could harm your plumeria. Despite some of the other problems they can cause, this is a huge perk!.
There’s no “right call” that I can make for you, which is why there are both organic and inorganic products on this list. You can also make your own organic fertilizer right from kitchen scraps!
My Reviews of the Best Fertilizers For Plumeria
1. Nelson Plumeria Plant and All Flowering Tropicals Food (My Top Pick)
This awesome fertilizer is at the top of my list for a reason!
It’s designed specifically for plumerias and other tropical flowers, so you know your plant is getting all the nutrients it needs, and none of the ones it doesn’t!
The high phosphorus content means big blooms and less leafy growth. Your plumeria will be able to focus on flowering rather than producing more leaves thanks to the nutrient ratio of 5-30-5.
The sulfur in this fertilizer also helps to replicate the conditions of plumeria’s naturally- favored acidic soil.
You can sprinkle this fertilizer right on the soil or, for better results, add to the soil, mix it up, and then water. I prefer mixing it into the first few inches of topsoil to avoid problems like crusting or burning.
The only downside is that this product isn’t water-soluble, so you do have some potential problems with your plumeria not getting all the nutrients it needs. Not to worry, though! You can always check out my other article about how to make liquid fertilizer from dry fertilizer.
|PROS (+)||CONS (-)|
|+ High phosphorus content|
+ Designed for plumeria specifically
+ Instant results
+ Increases soil acidity
|– Not water-soluble|
– Very strong phosphorus content can be harmful to the environment if not contained properly
2. Flower Fuel 1-34-32 (Best Pick To Increase Blooms)
This product is my high-end pick, but in my opinion, it’s worth the money for your plumeria!
The formula is designed specifically for flowering plants like your plumeria, and the low nitrogen content means your plant can focus on flowering rather than leaf growth.
It’s water-soluble and good for any and all stages of your plant’s life, from propagated cuttings (which you can do in water to see root growth, by the way) to towering bushes.
The only downside is that it is highly concentrated–you only need 1/4 teaspoon per gallon of water since the NPK ratio is 1-34-32. Be really careful not to overdose your plumeria when using this product, but other than that, it’s fantastic!
|PROS (+)||CONS (-)|
|+ Specially formulated for flowering|
+ Easy to use
|– Very strong and highly concentrated|
3. Miracle-Gro Blooming Houseplant Food (Best Pick For Propagated Plumeria)
This budget-friendly pick is perfect if you’re propagating your plumeria in water. The gentle 0.5-1-0.5 NPK ratio is ideal for propagation since it will improve growth without killing off the delicate plant.
Miracle-Gro is one of the most trusted and well-known brands in gardening, and I always recommend them for even the most advanced gardeners.
This product is also made specifically for flowering, which means you’ll be seeing blooms even on a fresh cutting. It’s also easy to use, which is another reason I recommend it for a propagation.
The biggest downside is actually the packaging. If you don’t clean the pump properly, it can get sticky or not work as well as it should. Just something to keep in mind!
|PROS (+)||CONS (-)|
|+ Trusted brand|
+ Easy application
+ Perfect for a propagation
+ Boosts blooms
+ Instant results
|– The packaging can get sticky if not cleaned properly|
4. Humboldt’s Secret Flowering Flower Stacker (Best Pick For Indoor Plumeria)
This fertilizer is amazing for literally growing. stacks upon stacks of flowers on your plumerias!
The gentle formula of 0-7-5 is perfect for even young plants or new transplants. I’d go so far as to call this a beginner-friendly fertilizer since you’re able to make a mistake or two and it won’t kill your plant.
It’s liquid, which means no crusting on the soil or preventing your plumeria from getting the nutrients it needs. It can also be used if you’re propagating cuttings in water since it’s hydroponic-grade, which makes it perfect for an indoor plant.
It’s also highly concentrated, so one little bottle makes at least 29 gallons! Talk about bang for your buck. The small bottle makes it easy to store inside, and the gentle nutrient composition is great for a potted plumeria.
The biggest downside is the nutrient content, however. For hardier, more established plants, especially ones that are used to being fertilized with a stronger product, it can be too gentle.
|PROS (+)||CONS (-)|
|+ Hydroponic grade|
+ Gentle formula for young plants
+ Can be used for propagations
+ High phosphorus content
|– Formula can be too gentle for hardier plants|
5. Dr. Earth Exotic Blend Palm, Tropical, & Hibiscus Fertilizer (Best All-Natural Pick)
I love Dr. Earth products, and it’s a shame this fertilizer isn’t higher on my list (more on that in a second).
Dr. Earth Fertilizer is the only non-GMO certified product in the United States (I don’t know if maybe I’m just a plant nerd, but I think that’s pretty cool). It’s also certified organic.
This product is pet-and-kid friendly, so you don’t have to worry about using it on an indoor plumeria. Of course, monitor your pets and kids and make sure they aren’t taking an ice cream spoon to it, but the worst it will give them is an upset tummy.
And, of course, it’s formulated just for your tropicals. Say goodbye to wilting palms and drooping plumerias!
The only reason this fertilizer is not higher on my list is the nutrient content. It’s 6-4-6, so it encourages leafy growth rather than blooming flowers. It’s great for young plants, however, and other kids of tropicals where the flower is not quite as important (aka palms and tropical ferns).
|PROS (+)||CONS (-)|
|+ Non-GMO certified|
+ Formulated just for tropicals
+ Gentle NPK ratio
+ Safe for pets and kids
|– High nitrogen content promotes leafy growth|
In my opinion, you can’t find a better fertilizer for your plumerias then Nelson Plumeria Plant and All Flowering Tropicals Food! (Even if it is a mouthful).
This fertilizer is designed specifically for your plumerias, which means they’ll get everything they need and nothing that they don’t. Say goodbye to boring plumerias without any blooms. (seriously, if we just wanted green bushes, we would go buy green bushes, right?)
The 5-30-5 nutrient composition will produce bigger blooms without excess leafy growth. It’s perfect for all plumerias no matter if they’re in the ground or a pot, or indoor or outdoor.
I feel like plumerias, sometimes more so than other plants, have a lot of pressure placed on them. We want beautiful, vibrant flowers from them. With Nelson Plumeria Plant and All Flowering Tropicals Food, you’ll be helping them exceed even your greatest expectations.
Final Thoughts On The Best Fertilizers For Plumeria
Plumeria are a gorgeous and aromatic addition to any garden, and they bring an extra sense of wonder to gardening.
I’ll never forget seeing my little cousin’s face as he admired my grandmother’s towering plumerias (at the time, his favorite movie was Lilo&Stitch, so you can imagine his joy at seeing Lei flowers in real life).
With proper fertilizer you’ll be growing jaw-dropping plumerias practically overnight. They add a wonderful tropical feel to any garden, and bring you that same sense of peace as a beach vacation.
The right fertilizer can and will help transform your backyard into a tropical oasis. Now all you need is a drink inside a coconut and some sunblock!