Why Are White Spots on My Frangipani (Plumeria) Leaves?

If your plumeria leaves are developing white spots, then there is something wrong. It is important to determine the root cause before it causes any damage to your property.

Powdery mildew is the most likely reason for white spots on the leaves of plumeria. Additionally, oedema, excessive sun exposure and fungal infections could be the cause of this issue. Spots that appear can aid in identifying the issue and take steps to correct it.

In this post I’ll go into depth about the various possibilities for the white spots to appear on the leaves of plumeria. Additionally, I will walk you through the steps to solve the issue.

Why Does My Plumeria Have White Spots?


Oedema can be caused due to excessive watering the Plumeria plant. The roots draw excessive amounts of water and it is not able to be utilized, so it begins being released through the leaves.

The leaves may form spots of white and streaks of yellow when the water has been removed because they have been damaged. The most visible spots are on the bottom of the leaves.

How to Fix

Examine your Plumeria prior to watering it to ensure it is completely dry. Change your watering schedule if you find that it remains wet after it’s time to water it again.

The only time to water your plant is when it’s dry can reduce the chance of oedema developing and also causing streaks of white, corklike, spots on your leaves.

Excess Light

The Plumeria’s need at least 6 hours of sun per day in order to develop properly. Indoor Plumeria plants must be located close to a source of light for at least six hours per day.

In the spring and summer, the indoor Plumeria can be taken outdoors, but you must introduce it to the sun slowly.

Insuring that your indoor plant is exposed to the sun for all six hours on the first day could cause your plant’s leaves to develop white spots, known as sunburn.

How to Fix

Introduce slowly your home Plumeria to the sun outside by introducing it to partial shade, and then increasing the amount of sun it gets.

This gives the plant enough time to adjust to the new surroundings without burning. Be sure to water your plant before putting it outside because it will dry out quickly in the sun.

A well-watered garden can help keep sunburn at bay by making sure that the leaves are kept damp.

If your leaves have a white sunburn, you can cut the leaves and allow your plant to spend the chance to be indoors and away from a bright light source.

frangipani (plumeria) white and yellow flowers

Temperature Stress

Plumeria is a fan of temperatures between 65 degF to 80degF (18-27degC.) and moderate weather. and mild weather., so they are able to tolerate warmer temperatures more than colder ones.

In winter, Plumeria start to shed their leaves and then go into dormancy. The leaves could begin to form yellow or white spots prior to the leaves fall due to fluctuations in temperature.

How to Fix

It is essential to shield Plumeria from the cold by keeping them inside in the winter months.

If temperatures rise above 80 degrees Fahrenheit ( 27 degrees Celsius.) you’ll need to replenish your water supply since they use their water more quickly at higher temperatures.

Maintaining your Plumeria in warmer temperatures will help prevent fall of the leaves due to stress caused by temperature.

Powdery Mildew

If you see white powdery spots on the tops of your leaves, then your Plumeria plant is suffering from powdery mildew.

The spots can also be seen on the underside of leaves as well as on flowers. It appears as if the plant has become dusty. you can clean it off but it’ll reappear.

If not addressed, an extreme case may start to change the leaves to yellow and eventually end the life of the plant. Powdery mildew is as a result of a different type of mildew.

It thrives in humid but dry conditions, and in lower light levels. For plants that are outdoors, you will notice it most often in the latter half of spring and early summer , when temperatures begin to rise and the humidity rises.

How to Fix

To avoid the growth of powdery mildew, plant your Plumeria in an area which is mostly sunny, or place your indoor plants nearer to the lighting source.

It is important to water your plants regularly to fight dry conditions that promote mildew that is powdery.

It is recommended to water overhead early in the morning to ensure that your plant can have time to dry before getting cool in the afternoon. Also, try not to overhang plants, creating a shaded environment to your plants.

If you have already noticed symptoms of mildew, then begin treatment by dissolving a teaspoon dishwashing soap as well as a tablespoon of baking soda into a gallon of water. Make sure to thoroughly spray your plant with the mixtures , and repeat the process as needed.

If you’d prefer, you can purchase an antifungal spray from the neighborhood hardware shop or plant nursery. Follow the instructions for how to use the product on your particular plant.

Pest Infestation

There are a few webbed-like areas on your leaves from Plumeria. Perhaps you noticed tiny white dots on the Plumeria plant. It could indicate that there are bugs within your plant.

  • Spider mites form webbed appearance on the underside of leaves. They feed on the juices of plants to live.
  • Mealybugs are found under the leaves, near the veins. They feed on the plant, leaving behind a sticky white honeydew-like substance.
  • Thrips appear like small white dots that appear on the leaves, and they can also be attached to flowers. They leave silver streaks after feeding from the plant.
  • Leafminer babies tunnel through the interior of leaves, creating patterns of white spots all over the leaf.
  • The Leafhopper may cause a cloudy white appearance to your leaves when it suckers the sap from your leaves. If you observe any of these symptoms, then you’ve got a pest. after you’ve identified what you have, I’ll assist you in eliminating the pests.

How to Fix

  • Spider mites can be prevented by misting the undersides of your leaves frequently. If you’ve noticed they’re living in your plants you could give it a thorough rinse, making sure to clean every leaf and then wipe them off with a gentle wipe. It might require more than one rinse to eliminate the entire plant.
  • If you are suffering from mealybugs, it is recommended to begin by wiping down each leaf using a cotton ball that was submerged in ruby alcohol to eliminate any bugs you spot. It is also possible to spray the entire plant using one gallon of water mixed with one tablespoon dish soap to eliminate them.
  • Thrips can be a bit more difficult to get out and will require Neem Oil or an insecticide soap. It is recommended to adhere to the instructions of the product and treat them regularly until you don’t notice them on your pants.
  • Leafminers will need White Oil as well as Neem Oil. It is possible to make White Oil by combining one teaspoon of vegetable oil and one teaspoon of dish soap, as well as two cups of water. Spray the plant with a generous amount, but be careful not to overdo it.
  • The Leafhopper is an insect that is relatively new to Plumeria plants. To prevent infestation, clean up dead leaves near the base, and then trimming away the dying leaves. Regularly hosing down your plants will prevent egg-laying. It is also possible to employ an insecticide to eliminate the eggs from your plants.

Fungal Diseases

Black Sooty Mold begins with the white spots that insects creating on your plants as they release their honeydew-secretion secretions.

The honeydew that is left behind provides the perfect habitat for the black sooty mould to flourish. In time the plumeria will develop dark spots on the leaves.

The honeydew spots that are white begin to darken and appear to be covered in soot, as the name suggests.

How to Fix

To avoid black sooty mold, it is recommended to identify the infestation of insects in its beginning stages before the white stuck spots that appear on the plants are the breeding grounds to the mold.

It is necessary to eliminate the insects to stop the honeydew from accumulating on the plant.

Fertilizer Problems

The plants of the Plumeria family are heavy feeders during spring and summer months, requiring lots of fertilizer. They require more phosphorus and less nitrogen.

Insufficient Nitrogen or the use of unbalanced fertilizers can result in spots of white and yellow in the leaf on your plants. The whole leaf may eventually become white and die.

How to Fix

Fertilizing your Plumeria regularly throughout spring and summer months will help prevent the white and yellow spots.

You’ll need an fertilizer that has more phosphorus and adhere to the instructions for correct use.

Don’t overwater your plants after fertilizing as it can remove the nutrients your plant requires.

Poor Air Circulation

A lack of circulation of air within the Plumeria plant could result in the development of the rust. Rust appears as a spot on the underside of leaves.

Overly humid, wet and poor circulation can create the perfect environment for rust fungus to infest your plant.

How to Fix

  • Place your Plumeria in a spot that will get enough sun to allow it to dry
  • Plant it in an area that has adequate circulation around the plant.
  • Transfer your plant to a new site if you see the formation of rust
  • Remove any leaves that are damaged

Improper Watering

If your Plumeria begins to display spots of white and the leaves are turning yellow and wilted stems, it could be due to excessive watering. Plumeria is a fan of lots of water, but it doesn’t want to be sat in water for long periods of time.

The water that is sat in causes the roots to decay and are unable to supply water or nutrients to the leaves and stems. The leaves will begin to change color and the stems will begin to wilt.

If you are unable to water your Plumeria can cause wilt, however the leaves will start to change color and appear dry and crisp. The plant will shed its flowers and leaves too.

How to Fix

To avoid overwatering, make sure the plant is not wet before watering again. You can test this by sticking your finger in the soil’s top.

If you water, do it in a thorough manner and let your plant drain the excess water to avoid root decay.

The problem of underwatering can be fixed with a thorough soak in a draining pot.

After it has spruced itself up, you’ll need to create an irrigation routine to make sure that it doesn’t dry again.

Frost Damage

If temperatures drop below freezing, you risk developing white crystallized spots on your plant , referred to as frost.

It is only possible to see frost in your outside Plumeria leaves early in the morning, just after the sun rises up, when the temperature is cooler.

How to Fix

It is suggested that you bring the pot of outside Plumeria inside when temperatures drop to below (10degC) to ensure their safety (Source: University of Florida).

You can also shield the Plumeria against frost damage by placing an enormous cloth or plastic over the plant, and then removing it when the temperatures begin to rise during the daytime.

If you have already suffered frost damage, you’ll need to cut off all the damaged stems and leaves to safeguard the remainder of the plant.

How to Avoid White Spots in your Plumeria Leaves

  • Follow a regular schedule of watering to ensure that you don’t allow your plant to drink too much water too quickly and cause burst points to appear in the leaves.
  • Make sure you fertilize your plant frequently throughout the growing season using the right amount of nutrients.
  • Make sure to protect the Plumeria from frost during winter seasons by bringing it inside.
  • Make sure to check every watering to be sure that there aren’t any insects that have made a home for themselves within your plant.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What is the reason my Plumeria leaves appear like powder?

If you see an oily material on top of the Plumeria leaves, it could be dust. it could be mold that has a powdery appearance. It can be treated by making a spray composed from a teaspoon of baking soda and one teaspoon of dish soap and a gallon of water.

Spray it all over the plants affected. Apply as often as you need to. To avoid reoccurrence, move your plant to a more sunny area and make sure to water regularly to avoid the dry, humid, and shady conditions that promote mildew that is powdery.

  1. What is the reason my Plumeria leaves show spots of gray and orange?

The overwatering process could result in it to cause the Plumeria plant to absorb the water too fast. It isn’t able to use all the water that it absorbed through its roots, so it is able to push it upwards through the leaves.

The leaves appear to bubble up in tiny spots which change to orange or white spots on top of leaves. This is due to the process known as Oedema. To avoid it, water your plants after the soil has dried. put it in a pot that has adequate drainage.

  1. How can you safeguard your outdoor Plumeria in cold weather?

Plumeria plants are not thriving at temperatures lower than 50 degrees F and can freeze when left in temperatures below freezing.

To keep them safe during the cold winter months, bring them inside. If that’s not possible then you can protect your plant by covering it with a large plastic or cloth to shield it from frost in the winter months.



Went from a bad gardener to a half-decent one over 10+ years. Super happy to share my tips and tricks with you :)