As it turns out, frangipanis grow quite well in Australia. Gardening expert Leroy James answers this query about frangipanis from our dear reader Dorothy.
Dorothy wrote in (by snail mail! We get so little of it these days, so it is lovely to see that the art of letter writing is not lost in this modern age) asking if she can grow frangipanis in Australia’s cooler climate. Her return address says that she is in Melbourne, but this question is relevant to all readers south of Queensland.
Leroy James, who has several advanced degrees in gardening and over fifty years of experience, including a stint as a royal gardener, stopped by our office to write the following reply:
I am pleased to tell you that you can quite easily grow frangipanis in Australia. Now, depending on where you live, you may not be able to just plonk the plants in your garden. It appears you are from Melbourne, in which case I recommend that you make use of pots, placed against a wall if you have one available to you. Frangipanis are fantastic for growing in the sheltered environment of the courtyard, though if you live in a large house with a sprawling yard, I am sure you will be able to find the perfect sheltered home for your pot plants.
When I worked for the king and queen of Albajeria, in fact, the frangipani was the official flower of the kingdom so I have plenty of experience in growing frangipanis. If you are unaware, Albajeria has biting cold winters. They chose the frangipani as the official flower to boost tourism by tricking people into thinking it is a tropical country. When it rained, we would take the frangipanis inside to protect them from the elements.
Do write back and let me know your favourite type of frangipani, lulus blood is my personal favourite. Happy planting.