Plumeria Leaves Turning Yellow: Why and What to Do


Who isn’t a fan of the plumeria plant and its mesmerizing flowers? However, the sight of yellow leaves can give us a headache.

 But don’t worry. Yellowing leaves are completely curable. All you need is a little patience and dedication towards your plant.

So, why are plumeria leaves turning yellow?

The primary reason for plumerias turning yellow is lack of water or overwatering. This is what causes yellow leaves in most of the plants. Another reason is temperature control. Plumerias cannot survive below 40 degrees. Plumeria leaves might also turn yellow if it has pest infestations or fungal infections.

These are the reasons for plumeria plant leaves turning yellow in a nutshell. However, if you want a detailed analysis of the reasons and their solutions, read along.

Photo of Plumeria
Photo by Lawrence Wee

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Plumeria Leaves Turning Yellow: Explained

Large and leathery leaves are the specialty of a plumeria plant. Their leaves and flowers are the main attraction for a gardener. Growing a plumeria plant is a fun project until the leaves start yellowing. 

Yellowing of leaves can happen for numerous reasons. Sometimes it’s considered natural. Old leaves in a plant tend to yellow and wither. The plant cuts off all nutrition and water connection of the old leaves with the main stem. So, by shedding the old leaves, the plant can grow new ones. 

So, if you see yellow leaves at the bottom of the plant, you can cut them off with garden scissors. 

Here’s our list of scissors you can use for your plumeria plant –

Fiskars 91095935J Steel Pruning Shears Bypass Pruner 
VIVOSUN 1-Pack Gardening Hand Pruner Pruning Shear 

Something to keep in mind while working with plumerias-

You need to remain extra careful while trimming leaves or chopping roots. Because the milky sap from the broken leaves and roots might cause irritation. Especially if it touches your skin or eyes. 

So, when dealing with plumerias, it’s advised to put on safety gear (gloves and goggles). And after trimming, sterilize the tools with alcohol or Lysol.

Now if the yellowing leaves are new. You’ll need to examine its condition and begin its treatment.

Go through all of the reasons explained below. And find out what is causing the yellowing. If any of the reasons match, take immediate action.

Lack of/Too Much Water

This is the primary reason for the yellowing of leaves. Sometimes gardeners provide too much water. On the other hand, some forget to care for their plumerias. 

Plumerias require regular weekly watering. Especially because indoor plumerias tend to dry quicker than outdoor ones. This happens because of the low humidity in houses which increases evaporation and plant transpiration. If you don’t water regularly, your plumeria leaves will become yellow.


Since plumerias are used to growing in humid surroundings, it’s essential that you water the plant twice a week. Which roughly means one inch per week. And make sure before you water plumerias, to check the soil beforehand.

It’s also important to keep the plumeria plant in a container or pot with a good drainage system. This will prevent overwatering and root rot. You can also apply mulch around the plant. This keeps the plant from drying.

Wrong Temperature

Like we mentioned before, plumerias grow best in a humid environment. So you live in an area where the temperature drops below 40 degrees.

 In this cold weather, plumerias enter into dormancy for survival by shedding leaves.

Your plumeria will struggle and might develop yellow leaves. 


Of course, it’s possible to prepare your plants for adverse weather. If you live in cold surroundings, it’s ideal to bring the plant indoors where the temperature will remain over 40 degrees Fahrenheit. 

Or you can use an HVAC system (Heating, ventilating, and air condition system) in the room for storing plants. The plumerias grow well at a temperature between 65-70 degrees Fahrenheit in winter with light watering. You can also drape the plant to keep it from extreme weather.

Pest Infestation

If your plumeria leaves start yellowing despite regular watering and cold weather, it’s probably infested with pests. Tiny spiders or microscopic mites develop a kind of web in the leaves. This causes the leaves to become yellow or have brown spots.


The best way to deal with an infestation is to use insecticidal spray on the plant. 

There are many varieties of insecticidal soaps and sprays available in the market. Here’s a curated list of products we recommend for your benefit-

Our Recommended Insecticides 
1. Natria 706230A Insecticidal Soap Organic Miticide

2. BioAdvanced Dual Action Rose and Flower Insect Killer
3. Garden Safe Brand Multi-Purpose Garden Insect Killer


Once you get rid of this infestation, you’ll be surprised to see your plumeria green leaves again.

Fungal Infection

Another reason for your plumeria having yellow leaves is a fungal infection. The leaves might be affected by a fungus known as Plumeria rust. This causes yellow spotting under the leaves and the leaves eventually wither away.


Don’t get too worked up if your plant has plumeria rust. All you’ll need to do is use any kind of fungal spray. 

Plus, keeping the base of the plant clean and the leaves dry help to prevent fungal infections. 


Question: How often should I water my potted plumeria?

Answer: Plumerias like any other plants require regular watering. But two times a week is ideal. However, potted plumerias dry quicker than outdoor ones. So you might have to increase your watering schedule. Also, ensure that the pot has a proper drainage system.

Question: Are coffee grounds good for Plumeria?

Answer: Big yes! Because coffee improves the quality of the soil by providing various nutrients especially nitrogen. Coffee also acidifies the soil which is preferable for Plumerias to grow in.

Question: Do plumerias like full sun?

Answer: Yes! But not more than six hours a day. Plumerias grow best in humid environments but of course, all plants need some sun! Make sure the plumerias are planted in soil with a good drainage system and facing southwards for proper sunlight.

Signing Off

By now we hope you found out the reason for your plumeria leaves turning yellow

Trust me when I say, following through with our solutions will be worth it. Especially when you’ll witness Plumeria flowers (with amazing fragrance!) bloom.

Let us know which of the solutions helped cure your yellow plumeria leaves in the comment section.

As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Celina Nance

It’s been a life-long wish of Celina Nance to have a lawn full of colorful flower beds. But living in Arizona city, that seems kind of impossible. But Celina Nance didn’t stop and created a full-form balcony garden instead. And she often shares stuff that she does/solves/innovates throughout the journey.

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