Lismore Garden Club News

Frangipanis are one of the most popular and commonly grown plants in our region and that can be said for most warmer regions of Australia. If you wish to capture and retain a tropical feel to your home garden they are a critical inclusion. In my view, fragrance plays an integral part in the selection of ornamental garden plants and the frangipani is right up there with the best.

The correct botanical name for the common frangipani is plumaria rubra and this is available in a big range of beautiful hybrids that usually grow from 3 to 5 metres. The largest I have seen is a couple of trees growing between the post office and courthouse in Grafton and they are about 6 metres each. They were probably planted in the late 1800s. They grow even bigger in the South Pacific.

Another genus that has become popular in the warmer parts of Australia is the Singapore frangipani, plumaria obtuse, which has rounded ends to both the leaves and petals. It doesn’t lose its leaves in winter in Northern Australia and is also available in a dwarf variety.

Most of us are familiar with the easiest method of propagation which is by taking a cutting about 60cm long and placing in a shady spot in the garden for about a week to dry out before planting it into a pot or directly into the garden in a full sun location. It is best to water it in with Seasol as this promotes root growth.

Frangipanis are almost free of pests and diseases with the exception of frangipani rust, Coleosporium plumeriae. It will be evident as masses of small yellow spots under the leaves. Spraying in March with a sulphur or copper-based fungicide will help control the disease but will not eradicate it. It is important to collect and bin the leaves in the rubbish bin and not the green bin. Whether you spray or not your plant will lose its leaves in autumn and produce clean leaves again in spring.

The Lismore Garden Club meets on the second Thursday of the month at 1pm at the Lismore Workers Club. Potential new members most welcome. For further information phone Ray on 6625 1773 or Rosemary on 6629 3353.

Finally: “To find the world a friendly place, we have to show a friendly face.”

Happy gardening

Ron Burns

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