Identifying Frangipani pests:

Although Frangipani do not often experience many problems with pests and are relatively easy maintenance, there are a few key players that can do major damage to the plant.

If you are a Plumeria gardener, you may fear the sight of this little critter -->
Pseudosphinx tetrio, also called, Plumeria caterpillar or Plumeria moth, is the most common pest of Plumeria rubra. These caterpillars stay busy eating away and may actually gnaw off entire leaves if they are left alone. They have bright beautiful colors in the caterpillar form (seen to the right), but then change color to brown or gray before turning into moths. To get rid of these hungry plant-killers, you can simple pick them off with a tweezers or your fingers. Otherwise, organic pesticides will get the job done without harming the Frangipani.

Another visible and pesky pest is "Frangipani rust" which is a fungus that creates clustered spots on the plant. The spots are concentrated areas of the fungi's reproductive spores. When the spots become too large, they burst open, releasing the spores onto nearby leaves and plants. This "rust" can be treated with a fungicide. If not treated, the leaves will fall off. For best results, remove the spot before it bursts open!

Another well-known pest of Frangipani are s
cale. These are small, hard-shelled insects that stick to the underside of the leaves of the plant. These insects cause the leaves to curl or fall off as they feed on the leaves and flowers. While you may find pesticides to treat the scale infestations, there are also natural insecticides such as predatory bugs that will eat the scale.

Lastly, Frangipani rot is a common occurrence when the plant has been watered too much or too frequently. This is less visible than other issues, but you may notice that the stem has turned brown or yellow, or even black. The rotting Frangipani becomes susceptible to fungus infestation. Trim rotting stems or branches of the Frangipani with a sharp pruning spears, and be sure to sterilize the shears with rubbing alcohol between the cuts to avoid spreading the rot.

Check out some additional odds and ends that you probably didn't know about the beautiful flowering
plant of Plumeria rubra on the Facts page.
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