I live in central Florida and have had this potted plumeria on my covered balcony for just over one year. It is potted in a well draining soil mixture, watered 1x/week with liquid soluble Hawaiian Bud n Bloom 5-50-17 fertilizer, and receives partial sun. The plant was growing really well until about 6 weeks ago when some leaves began turning yellow, acquiring brown spots, then dropping. Any help here would be appreciated! Thanks! enter image description here

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  • Its hard to tell whether the pot is too small for the plant, can you add a photo showing both the plant and pot please?
    – Bamboo
    Sep 12, 2018 at 20:55
  • Please send a picture of the underside of a few leaves? What soil did you use in these pots? Was it sterilized potting soil or garden soil? The fertilizer you are using is very odd, I'll look it up. Indeed the numbers are for reproductive growth with the N being so low. But your pictures are showing symptoms of too little chemistry with which to use to make food for the plant via photosynthesis. It would be nice to know more about the soil as well as the pH of that soil. Is there anything else other than...soil? Rocks, gravel beneath the soil? Is there a drain hole?
    – stormy
    Sep 13, 2018 at 4:55
  • That is lack of humidity. Oct 15, 2018 at 5:32

2 Answers 2


The majority of Plumeria are deciduous so it's not surprising that the leaves are falling off. It's how they do. There are a few (at least one) species that keeps it's leaves year-round.

There is a lot of good information on Plumeria culture like this:

How Not to Kill Your Plumeria

and here:

Wisconsin Master Gardener

I've never had luck with Plumeria, I live in the wrong climate. When I was a kid we had a large Plumeria tree in the front yard. It was awesome.

Good luck!

  • I used to live in Hawaii with Plumeria everywhere. Most Plumeria are evergreen and would not survive any frost or freeze. There are a few deciduous Plumeria but mostly they've adapted to the subtropics where abscission of leaves is important for survival. These leaves are showing chemistry imbalance. 5-50-17 is an odd combination. Way too low in nitrogen, way too high in phosphorus.
    – stormy
    Sep 13, 2018 at 4:48
  • I've been to Hawaii and every source I've found says the majority of Plumeria species are deciduous, not evergreen. Every source I've seen also says to use a high phosphorus fertilizer for Plumeria. Over-application of any fertilizer can certainly cause imbalances. Not knowing what the manufacturer says for application and frequency of this fertilizer it's hard to say, but it sounds too frequent to me. Without more specifics, it's hard to come to a reasoned conclusion.
    – Tim Nevins
    Sep 13, 2018 at 13:54
  • I don't know any plants in the tropics that lose their leaves seasonally. Leaves are the second most fragile part of a plant and only abscise when there are freezing temperatures. You had a Plumeria in Wisconsin? Now, then I would totally expect abscission. And we are on the same page with the fertilizer.
    – stormy
    Sep 13, 2018 at 21:49

It's the Hawaii bloom and bud..... I pretty sure you bought it on amazon... it says use 2 scoops however the middle number is 50 and is to high! so you should half what the directions say or just switch to Beyer rose 3 in 1, its the best honestly besides using exclalibur fertilizer which is expensive..... change the soil mixture in the pot immediately and get rid of the poisoned soil. With the Hawaiians bud a bloom you should only use a scoop per 2 gallons of water. Suppose do fertilize at the start of spring when the plant wakes up and then again in 4 months or so. A good soil mix to use will be Sand, Cactus soil and perlite you can even throw some bark in there.. the roots need to breath and don't like wet feet ..

Also plumeria do go to sleep! The go dormant in winter, they will drop all there leaves. At which point you should move the plant to inside the house or garage in a dark warm area.. and do not water when it's dormant. This happens because we are Not in hawaii where the weather stays warm. I'm also in florida and made the same mistake with that Hawaiians bud and bloom and almost killed my plumeria.. florida plumeria society is the one who told me to change the soil and use the Beyer 3 in 1 rose stuff.. its a fertilizer, insecticide and fungicides all in one

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