Frangipani rust is a fungus which survives on the underside of frangipani leaves.
It first appears as a few very small gold spots on the underside of old frangipani leaves but the spores quickly multiple and turn into hundreds of gold spots. The spots look similar to rust spots on metal so the name has stuck. When disturbed, the spores take a powdery dust form and easily float through the air to infect nearby frangipanis.
Because frangipani rust multiplies rapidly and is easily transferred to other frangipanis,
it’s important to treat the frangipani rust as early as possible and as often as possible to ensure the rust does not spread.
There are many fungicides which are affective against frangipani rust and one is a fungicide by Yates. Many fungicides can be found the Bunning’s garden section.
Nitrogen assists frangipanis to have healthy growth however too much nitrogen can result in too much growth. If a frangipani produces branch growth without branch strength, the branch is likely to flop or bend at some point.
To completely remove a frangipani branch from a frangipani tree, you should cut it off around 5mm to 10mm from the fork. Try not to damage the lower feeder branch or the other branch extending from the fork or the fork itself.
If you cut too close to the fork, you risk damaging the fork. If you cut further away from the fork, the remaining branch stump will rot. The rot usually only extends back to the fork so it’s not such a problem, the main problem is the appearance of the rotted knob.
Ideally, the remaining branch stub will harden without rot.
Cropping a frangipani tree has several benefits.
1-A frangipani tree which has grown too tall might obstruct a pleasant view, might overhang a neighbour’s property, might create too much shade and might produce flowers too high to reach. Cropping the frangipani tree back to a 1 or 2 metre stump can improve these concerns.
2-A frangipani tree with too many branches can struggle to keep healthy branches. The branches will compete with each other for nutrients and sunlight. The shorter and lower branches that miss out on sunlight will often become weak, become soft and will often die. Cropping the frangipani tree back to a 1 or 2 metre stump allows the frangipani to produce new branches which can all get plenty of sunlight and nutrients.
How to crop a frangipani tree?
1-Decide a height where the main branches are a similar thickness and positioned evenly.
2-Cut all the branches off at that height. Try to make the cuts vertical or at least on a 45 degree angle. Horizontal cuts can create a cup shape and hold rain water which can lead to rot.
3-Painting the open cuts with wound healer or horticultural paint will help protect the frangipani from rot as well.
When frangipani branches are cut off, new shoots can grow from around the cut however it takes many years for the cut to completely heal over. Also, for the next year or two, the new shoots will be small and weak. If you need to prune your frangipani, it’s best to do it so it will not need another prune for another 4 or 5 years.
In fact, frangipanis respond better to cropping (cutting all branches off at half the height or lower) than pruning (cutting a few or some branch tips off).
Letting a small frangipani grow without pruning will result in the most attractive frangipani tree.
An interesting feature of the Hot Pink or Cerise Frangipani is its ability to heal over much quicker than other frangipani varieties.
Frangipanis are low-maintenance. After they are planted in the ground, they will most likely get all the nutrients and water from the local soil. It’s possible to prune frangipanis but frangipanis will keep a nicer appearance if their branches are not pruned. If a branch is broken off by a child or pet, the frangipani, especially if established, will continue to grow.
During the initial years, it’s best to monitor your frangipani plant in case any problems arise. Small frangipanis can weaken and die in unfavourable conditions.