Growing Plumeria Guides (2024)

Comprehensive Guide: Protecting Plumerias from Sunburn During Peak Summer Days


Plumerias are a favorite in tropical gardens with their alluring fragrance and captivating blooms. However, their tropical origin doesn’t make them invincible to sunburn, especially during scorching summer days. Sunburn manifests as white or pale discolorations on the leaves, impairing both the plant’s health and aesthetic appeal. Here’s a detailed guide to safeguard your plumerias from sunburn, complete with the “why” behind each method, during times when they are exposed to extreme sun.

1. Gradual Sunlight Exposure

Acclimate Plants

Why: When a plumeria is suddenly exposed to intense sunlight, it can experience shock. This is because the plant’s internal systems, optimized for lower light conditions, are unprepared for the sudden change, making them vulnerable to sunburn.

How: The acclimation process should last at least one week. Start by placing the plant in partial shade, gradually increasing the exposure to direct sunlight daily.

Provide Morning Sun

Why: The UV intensity is comparatively lower in the morning, which allows the plant to conduct its necessary metabolic processes without the risk of sunburn.

How: Position your plumerias where they will receive morning sunlight and be shaded or partially shaded during the more intense afternoon sun.

2. Shading Techniques

Use Shade Cloth

Why: Shade cloths filter harmful UV rays while allowing enough light for photosynthesis, creating a balanced light environment that prevents sunburn.

How: Opt for shade cloths with a 30%-50% light filtration rate. Make sure the cloth is stretched over a frame so that it doesn’t touch the foliage.

Utilize Umbrellas or Other Shade Structures

Why: Temporary shade solutions can provide immediate relief during unexpected hot spells.

How: Deploy garden umbrellas or temporary canopies during peak sunlight hours, especially when a heatwave is forecasted.

Plant in the Proximity of Larger Plants

Why: Larger plants or structures act as natural barriers, dispersing the intensity of direct sunlight. How: Plant your plumerias near larger, taller plants or under the dappled shade of a large tree.

3. Watering Practices

Water Early in the Day

Why: Early morning watering allows the plant ample time to absorb the water it needs to withstand the day’s heat.

How: Water the soil thoroughly but avoid waterlogged conditions.

Avoid Watering Leaves in Full Sun

Why: Water droplets can act as miniature magnifying glasses, intensifying the sunlight and increasing the sunburn risk.

How: Water the base of the plant, steering clear of the leaves, especially when the sun is at its peak….more

Maintain Consistent Moisture

Why: Consistent soil moisture allows the plant to regulate its internal processes more efficiently, making it less susceptible to sunburn.

How: Use a layer of mulch to retain soil moisture, ensuring it doesn’t touch the stem to prevent rot.

4. Proper Planting and Potting

Choose the Right Soil

Why: Proper soil composition ensures a balanced moisture level, reducing stress that can make the plant more susceptible to sunburn.

How: Use a well-draining soil mix that retains just enough moisture.

Use Appropriate Pots

Why: Light-colored pots reflect sunlight, keeping the soil cooler and thereby reducing the risk of heat-related stress and sunburn.

How: Choose pots in lighter shades like white or beige when potting your plumerias.

5. Monitoring and Care

Regularly Check for Signs of Sunburn

Why: Early detection of sunburn allows you to take immediate corrective action, preventing further damage. How: Inspect your plumerias at least twice a week for any signs of leaf discoloration.

Prune Damaged Parts

Why: Removing sunburned leaves and branches allows the plant to direct its energy and resources toward healthier growth, aiding quicker recovery.

How: Use sterilized pruning shears to remove damaged parts, not leaving open wounds on the plant.

Adjust Plant Position if Needed

Why: Constant exposure to direct, intense sunlight can lead to recurrent sunburn. How: If your potted plumeria shows consistent signs of sunburn, consider relocating it to a less intense sun exposure area.

6. Sunscreen Products for Plants

Why: These specialty products provide additional UV protection to the plant’s foliage.

How: Follow the manufacturer’s guidelines for application rates and frequencies.

7. Nutritional Support

Balanced Fertilization

Why: A well-fed plumeria is more resilient to environmental stresses, including sunburn. However, over-fertilization can result in tender new growth that is particularly susceptible to sunburn.

How: Follow a balanced fertilization regime based on soil test results, and be cautious not to over-fertilize.


With informed care strategies, guarding your plumerias from the harsh effects of sunburn is more than possible. A blend of intelligent shading solutions, mindful watering routines, optimal planting techniques, and ongoing surveillance can not only prevent sunburn but also contribute to the general well-being of your plumerias. This investment of time and care will help ensure that your plumerias continue to be the crown jewel of your tropical paradise. Harsh sun conditions are more common during the peak of summer and in areas with extreme heat.

Growing Plumeria Guides (2024)
Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Kerri Lueilwitz

Last Updated:

Views: 5807

Rating: 4.7 / 5 (67 voted)

Reviews: 82% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Kerri Lueilwitz

Birthday: 1992-10-31

Address: Suite 878 3699 Chantelle Roads, Colebury, NC 68599

Phone: +6111989609516

Job: Chief Farming Manager

Hobby: Mycology, Stone skipping, Dowsing, Whittling, Taxidermy, Sand art, Roller skating

Introduction: My name is Kerri Lueilwitz, I am a courageous, gentle, quaint, thankful, outstanding, brave, vast person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.