Frangipani pests & problems

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Frangipani Rust

If you can see little puffs or pustules 

of golden yellow powder that start

out on the underside of your leaves

and resemble pollen, this is frangipani rust.

Frangipani rust is a fungal plant disease that is spread via the powder (spores) that get carried away with the wind or through overhead watering. Spores can spread for many kilometres in strong winds or just a few centimetres with a slight bump or breeze. See below our recommended way to control and help prevent the spread of rust to other frangipani plants.

Spider mites

These super tiny crab like insects

draw sap from the centre leaf vein

and then quick spread right across

the entire leaf. Damage resembles thousands of white dots.  treatment - spray the infested plant leaves on both sides with our mite spray to kill all spider mites and eggs. Sydney Frangipani mite spray is also non toxic and safe to use around pets. Sydney Frangipani mite spray is effective on most sap sucking soft bodied insects and is available in our online store.

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Moth larvae

Moth larvae are one of the most 

common problems of older frangipani

trees in the Sydney region. Trees start

to exhibit a crumbly beard like formation

on branch joints and along branches. Once the crumbling mess has been removed the moth larvae will be found as the cause of the mess. These pests will destroy the tree if left untreated. 

Recommended Treatment - Call for a quote


Anthracnose or black spot is a fungal

disease that is similar to frangipani 

rust and is brought on by hot humid 

conditions. It is generally spread by overhead watering and by infected leaves touching other plants close by. A bit easier to contain than frangipani rust.

Recommended treatment - Treat with our Stop Rust spray. Remove the leaves and re-apply if new outbreaks appear.

Curl grubs

Curl grubs are beetle larvae that feed 

on the roots of potted frangipani and

other potted plants. If you notice your

plants are starting to wobble in their pots and the tips of the frangipani are starting to really taper to to very small tips then the roots might be getter devoured by these little pests. They usually enter the pot from the soil/grass through the drain holes after rain when the pot is sitting on the grass or garden bed rather that concrete. These grubs are voracious feeders and really damage potted frangipani plants and prevent the plants from feeding properly and growing in a healthy and vigorous manor. 

Recommended treatment - repot and check the soil for curl grubs and remove all grubs


Possums are opportunists when it 

comes to frangipani. They will only 

bite branches that are newer, softer 

growth and generally will only eat what they can reach from the safety of a nearby fence or roof. This usually occurs in winter when theres not a lot of their normal food available. Leaves are occasionally eaten in spring summer but they don't really like the taste of them and only tend to go for them if they haven't tried them before.  

LED lights tend to keep them away but the best solution is to ensure they can't reach any branches from adjacent structures. Magnolias suffer also.

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Scale and mildew

Scale and powder mildew are bark

problems and look quite unsightly.

Left untreated it can cause stress to

the frangipani and it may not perform as well as a healthy plant would. 

Recommended treatment - spray with Sydney Frangipani mite spray and repeat spray after two weeks.  

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Aerial roots

Aerial roots or advantageous roots

happen on branches and trunks of 

frangipani trees. This can usually 

indicate that the tree is searching for nutrients it needs for growth. Older trees or trees with a damaged cambium layer quite often throw out aerial roots. If no obvious issues are present then a lack of nutrients left in the soil is the quite probably the cause. Recommended treatment - feed with our specially blended frangipani fertiliser twice a season to increase the amount of organic nutrients available to the tree.


Grasshoppers are a nuisance mostly

but in large numbers they can do a bit

of damage to leaves. Not particularly

a problem in Sydney. 

Recommended treatment - catch and release somewhere else perhaps : ) or if you have chooks they might find them quite tasty.


Lichen grows on the bark of the trees

and is harmless to the tree. There are

two main types of lichen, the smooth

one protects the tree quite well against 

sunburn, however the other type of lichen is mossy and holds water. We recommend the removal of this type of lichen as excess water against the tree in winter can promote rot. The picture on the left is that of the smooth lichen. 

Recommended treatment - For mossy lichen remove with a wet scour pad. 

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Leaf minors

These little bugs do destroy the look

of the leaves but rarely do they do any

real damage. They are easily spotted

at the end of their silvery trail.

Recommended Treatment - If you really want to get rid of them just remove affected leaves and place in the green waste. 

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Holes & cavities

Holes and cavities can be a result of 

the pith receding after pruning or

just from a rotten branch. These holes

can hold water and cause further damage from rot.

Recommended Treatment - For deep holes its is best to fill them with Sydney Frangipani Plumeria Repair paste to prevent water from ponding and seal the area off from insects. Sealed wounds means happy frangipani trees : )

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Fungal infections

Fungal infections usually start from 

within a branch that has rotted and 

has started to decay. 

Recommended Treatment - Cut off all branches that exhibit fungus or rot and keep cutting back to white healthy flesh and flowing sap, then it is most important to treat the soil by watering with Yates Anti-rot liquid concentrate. This works to kill of the fungal infection attacking the plants healthy tissue giving the frangipani every chance to recover.  

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Black tip

Black tip is a partial die off caused

by cold, still, winter air descending                 downwards that first affects the tips

of frangipani plants. Furthermore, frost events will kill entire mature frangipani trees from a single night of frost. Frangipani are NOT frost tolerant and should never be located where frost can occur. Once the plant cells freeze they turn mushy & black and that's it, their gone!

Recommended Treatment - Cut off all branches that are black & mushy and keep cutting back to white healthy flesh and flowing sap as pictured in the three photos to the left. Then treat the soil by watering with Yates Anti-rot liquid concentrate to kill off any infection.

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The presence of ants in your pots 

generally means your plants are dry 

as ants don't like water and will make

nests in pots when the right conditions suit them.

Recommended Treatment - Place copper coins in your pots or garden beds. See the picture to the left. For some reason this works and I need to thank David Konishi from Konishi Plumerias for this amazing idea. Regular watering will also help. 


Sunburn is usually more likely to

occur when the plants are lacking

water and dehydrated during summer.


Always ensure your frangipani are well watered during the hot summer months. In extreme cases, the cambium layer will discolour, burn and split open causing stress to the tree and reducing the trees ability to draw food and nutrients from the roots. 

Ring barking

Ring barking frangipani plants & trees

can happen really easily and can kill 

all frangipani trees including fully 

grown mature trees. Whipper snippers 

usually to blame as the cord damages the soft cambium layer very easily and continued damage will kill the tree. Trees planted in the lawn are mostly affected.

Recommended Treatment - Prevention!! The best way to prevent ring barking the tree is to use a lawn guard like these concrete half circles. See photo to the left. 

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Mealy bugs

Mealy bugs tend to be prevalent on 

the underside of leaves. These soft 

bodied insects like to congregate and 

make quite a mess. Check underneath leaves regularly for infestations.


Recommended treatment - spray with Sydney Frangipani mite spray and repeat spray after two weeks.  

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White flies

White flies generally like to breed in

greenhouse conditions. They are easily

controlled by spraying with our own

Sydney Frangipani mite spray.


Good ventilation will also discourage them. Thinning out the leaves and branches will help.

Recommended treatment - spray with Sydney Frangipani mite spray and repeat spray after two weeks.  


Who would have thought that I would                   have to add a segment on aphids for

frangipani but it happened this on quite

a few of our frangipani plants this season, so here's the best treatment - spray the infested plant leaves on both sides with our mite spray to kill all aphids and nymphs. Sydney Frangipani mite spray is also non toxic and safe to use around pets. Sydney Frangipani mite spray is effective on most sap sucking soft bodied insects and is available in our online store.

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