Plumeria buds falling off

Plumeria buds falling off? (Here’s Why & How to Fix It!)

Plumeria buds fall off mainly due to Blacktip fungus disease. Plumeria buds could also fall off when they are exposed to frost. Excess moisture in the soil also causes the Plumeria buds to fall off.

Plumeria, also called Frangipani is grown for its beautiful flowers. Plumeria foliage looks awesome too.

Even amateur gardeners can grow Plumeria. Plumeria buds might fall off due to several reasons. Knowing the reason is crucial to treat your plant.

The plant is grown for its beautiful flowers, what if the buds keep falling off. Let’s see why and how to fix the problem.

Plumeria buds turn black

Plumeria buds turn black and fall off when the plant is infected by a fungal disease called ‘Black tip’. Plumeria buds might turn black and fall off when it’s too cold outside.

Black tip fungus on Plumeria

Blacktip fungus attacks Plumeria if the crowns have been exposed to frost or cold winter morning dew. The fungi love wet, cool, and shady areas.

The healthier and larger your Frangipani, the more resistant it is to the Blacktip fungal infection.

Signs of Blacktip fungus on Plumeria

The infected plant’s buds and leaves turn black. The bases of the stems also turn black when your Plumeria is infected by Blacktip fungus.

A black mold is seen on the infected Plumeria leaves. You’ll notice that the plant’s growing tips have turned black.

When does Blacktip fungus attack Plumeria?

Blacktip fungus usually attacks Plumeria in early spring. This means the disease is seen just after new growth. I have never seen this fungus being fatal to a Plumeria.

Low spring temperatures along with high humidity pave way for the Blacktip fungal infection in Plumeria plants.

The Blacktip fungus shows up when the external conditions are suitable. It spreads like crazy.

You need to respond as soon as you see the early signs. Once the disease gets adequate time, it’s not that easy to control it.

Severely infected Plumeria?

Severe infection of Blacktip fungus leads to the death of the growing tips of Plumeria. If the plant is small, the fungus could even kill it.

The infected tips fall off the plant and new growth can be seen. The plant will branch out as if it had been pruned.

Don’t let this happen many times as Plumeria will find it hard to blossom if it went through this for a long period.

How to Prevent Black Tip Fungus in Plumeria

  • Grow your Plumeria plant in as much sun as possible.
  • Install as many fans as possible, this makes a great difference.
  • Don’t mist your Plumeria at night(when temperature falls below 60F). You may water your plant but don’t mist it.
  • Spray ‘Fung-away’ on your plant once a fortnight even if there are no signs of the disease.

Plumeria Blacktip fungus treatment

  • Prune off the infected tree branches a couple of inches below the visibly infected stems.
  • Spray an approved fungicide on the infected plant as soon as you notice the infection.
  • Reduce the humidity around your Plumeria.
  • Install more fans in the room where your keep your Plumeria. I’ve seen this work very well.
  • Spray ‘Fung-away’ on the infected plant and the area around it once a week. Spot-spray the plant until the infection subsides.
  • Fight off the disease until the temperatures rise. The disease will subside once the temperatures rise.

Cold temperatures

Plumeria buds also fall off the plant if the temperature is too low. This happens when the plant is exposed to frost or cold winter morning dew.

Sudden drastic changes in temperature trigger such reactions by your Plumeria. Plumeria loses the buds when the temperature falls suddenly.

The buds and leaves of Frangipani turn black, just like in the case of Blacktip. The lower stems don’t turn black in this condition.

When the temperature drops below 50°F, the plant goes dormant dropping all its leaves.

How to prevent frost damage in Plumeria?

  • Move the plant to a place where the temperature doesn’t fall below 40F.
  • You can keep it near some windoes or in the basement under the lights. Keep the lights on for 15-16 hours a day.
  • Reduce the amount of water you give your Plumeria.


Plumeria also drops leaves profusely if it’s been overwatered for a while. Waterlogged conditions arise if the soil is heavy or if it’s overwatered.

Flowers and buds drop off when Plumeria is overwatered. Plumeria might like moist soil but don’t let the soil get soggy.

The leaves get wilted and droop when the plant is overwatered. Eventually, the leaves turn brown.

Fungal infections are favored by waterlogged conditions. Root rot is common. The stem starts to rot from the bottom up.

Tip: Check the soil with bare fingers if needed. Water only when the top 2 inches of the soil is dry.

How to treat an overwatered Frangipani

  • Stop watering immediately if you diagnose the issue as overwatering.
  • Remove any mulch that’s around your Plumeria.
  • Check the water draining ability of the soil/potting mix. Mix Perlite in it if needed.
  • Treat the soil with a suitable fungicide.

Thrips on Plumeria

Thrips are sap-sucking insects that feed on Plumeria buds. Thrips damage the buds so much so that they fall off if disturbed slightly.

Thrips are small, black insects that have pincers at the posterior. Thrips aren’t considered harmful if there are just a few of them.

Thrips reside in the buds and damage them so much that they drop off even if slightly disturbed.

Get rid of Thrips on Plumeria

  • Wipe the affected branches off using a cotton swab dipped in rubbing alcohol.
  • Spray Neem oil on the branches where you see a thrip infestation.
  • If the infestation is severe, spray Insecticidal soap on the branches.

Natural flower drop in Plumeria

Plumeria drops all the flowers and foliage in winter. This happens because your Frangipani goes into dormancy in winter.

If the soil drains well, your plant gets enough sunlight and you don’t see any fungal infection, this is probably the reason. Is it winter over there?

You may want to move your Plumeria to a warmer place for the winter. New growth appears in the spring season.

Blossoms and new foliage will be seen in Plumeria. Just wait patiently and your plant will be back on its feet.

Happy Growing 🙂