What is a sun-hardened frangipani?

A sun-hardened frangipani is one that has been growing in a sunny position. It’s one that can be placed or planted in a sunny position and not be damaged by the sun.

If a frangipani has been growing in a shady position and is suddenly put into a sunny position, the sun is likely to burn its leaves. The sun might also burn the frangipani wood, especially if the plant is small and the sun is hot.

Frangipanis should be exposed to the sun gradually. After a seedling or a small frangipani plant has had 2 or 3 years to grow in filtered sun or full shade, it should be moved to a position with more filtered sun and a little direct sunlight. The amount of sun for larger frangipani plants or small trees can be increased on a monthly basis.
The amount of sun for small frangipani plants can be increased each year, in winter or spring.

How much sun do frangipanis need?

Frangipanis grow better if they get some sun every day however sun can sometimes damage some frangipanis in some conditions.

Seedlings can dry up and get sunburnt very easily so it’s best to keep them in a pot in a shady position for their first 2 or 3 years.

If frangipanis in pots, bags or containers are top heavy, the wind can easily blow them over. If a frangipani lies on its side on a hot sunny day, it will get sunburnt. Imagine going to the beach for the first time in the middle of summer and laying in the sun without sun cream. That should remind you of how the sun can burn living tissue that is not used to getting sun.

Some frangipanis with dark flowers and frangipani species with thin branches are more delicate and cannot handle as much sun. They should be grown in the shade for a few years and gradually exposed to the sun. After a frangipani has become sun-hardened, it can be planted into the ground in a sunny position.

How to help a frangipani plant become sun-hardened?

Frangipani plants that are planted into the ground in a position with full sun, will slowly become hardened to the sun. After they grow into an established tree, the will flourish and maintain health and strength more than established frangipani trees with partial sun.

Do frangipanis make a good feature tree?

Frangipanis are  a common ornamental plant. They have thick foliage and colourful and scented flowers. They are often planted near homes, businesses and in public areas such as roadside gardens and urban parks.

Can I keep a frangipani in a pot?

If you are hoping to keep your frangipani in a pot, there are some advantages and disadvantages.


-If your frangipani is in a pot, you can easily move it around. You can move it to a protected area while it’s dormant in the coldest months and you can move it to a warmer position for spring, summer and autumn. You can more easily take it with you, if you move house.

-If your frangipani is in a pot, you can sell it without having to dig a hole and you don’t need to disturb or break any of the roots. It’s easy for the buyer to move it into position and plant it. This is why we have hundreds of our frangipanis in pots at out Eumundi frangipani nursery.

-Since the pot has a flat base, it will stand firm in a truck or trailer and can be transported safely without it falling over.


-Soil in pots dry out faster than the ground. Unlike in-ground frangipanis, potted frangipanis need to be watered.

-If a frangipani is potted up with rich soil or quality potting mix, the frangipani will have sufficient nutrients for 2 or 3 years. After that, fertilizers will be needed to keep the soil fertile.

-If you put your frangipani in a large ceramic pot, it will look good for many years however the roots will continue to get bigger and bigger. Unlike plastic pots, transplanting from a ceramic pot can be difficult and you might not want to go to a larger ceramic pot.

I don’t have personal experience with frangipanis in ceramic pots but I have seen other types of trees split their pots and all plant roots will thicken quickly if they are allowed to grow out a drainage hole and into the ground.

Can I grow a frangipani on a balcony?

Many people successfully grow frangipanis on a balcony. Generally speaking, if a balcony gets some sunlight each day, the balcony will catch and store the heat better than an open area.

See also, Can I keep a frangipani in a pot?

If your frangipani gets too big for your balcony, asks us about exchanging it for a similar variety half the size (South East Queensland only). If we agree, we’ll put your new frangipani in your pot with fresh potting mix.

See also, Why do people sometimes crop frangipanis? 

Where do frangipanis grow?

Frangipanis are native to Central America and surrounding regions where they have grown in the wild for centuries. Frangipanis have flourished in those areas which have hot tropical climates. Despite the rainfall, those areas are mostly dry to either being well drained coastal areas or dry inland deserts.