Plumeria growers worldwide, especially in temperate climates, are looking for dwarf and compact varieties to grow in pots.

This allows for easy handling of the plants when cooler weather arrives and the plants need to come indoors.

What exactly would be considered a dwarf plumeria plant? This question might be answered by plumeria growers in different ways.

Some consider plumeria plants to be dwarfs as long as they don't exceed a height of eight feet which might be considered tall but definitely not dwarf by others.

In later years many dwarf plumeria plants have been introduced to the public with Plumeria rubra 'Devine' and Plumeria rubra 'Mini White' being labeled the true miniatures. These two miniatures are very floriferous with flowering occurring at sometimes one inch or less from the last flowering point on the plant. Generally, there are more than forty growing tips, branches, on one average two foot tall 'Divine' plant.

Plumeria obtusa 'Dwarf Singapore Pink' is considered a true dwarf plant which, even under ideal conditions, rarely grows more than six to eight inches per year. 'Dwarf Singapore Pink' develops several branches after each inflorescence starts to develop. The leaves of “Dwarf Singapore Pink' are oblong and have a shiny green color. The white flowers with a yellow center have a sweet fragrance. With proper growing conditions, 'Dwarf Singapore Pink' grows and flowers throughout the year.

Flowering Plumeria obtusa 'Dwarf Singapore Pink'
Plumeria obtusa 'Dwarf Singapore Pink'

Plumeria obtusa 'Dwarf Singapore' has white, cup-shaped flowers with a lemony fragrance. It grows and flowers, like 'Dwarf Singapore Pink', throughout the year if provided with the right growing conditions.

Plumeria obtusa 'Dwarf Deciduous', an easy to grow plumeria, produces white flowers with a golden center. The fragrance of the flowers is strong and reminds one of citrus. Plumeria obtusa 'Dwarf Deciduous' is a very floriferous plant with many flowers opening at the same time resulting in full inflorescences, flower stalks.

Plumeria 'Dwarf Richard Criley', an evergreen variety, produces flowers which are similar in shape to 'Dwarf Singapore Pink', but larger in diameter. 'Dwarf Richard Criley' produces rainbow colored flowers with an orange center that bleeds into the petals. The flowers have a light spicy fragrance.

Plumeria 'Dwarf Siam Yellow' has uniquely crinckled glossy leaves. The flowers are yellow with a sweet fragrance. 'Dwarf Siam Yellow' is a slow grower.

These are some plumeria plants which are considered “dwarfs”. Select hand pollination results in new releases of dwarf varieties each year.

Compact plants are not necessarily classified as dwarf plants.

But what entitles plumeria plants to be classified as compact plants?

Plumeria can be considered compact when they bloom and branch at short distances resulting in a many branched tree.

Plumeria 'Pink Pansy' has white pansy shaped flowers with a golden yellow center and marked pink edging. The fragrance of these flowers is extremely sweet. 'Pink Pansy' is a very compact grower and great candidate for container gardening as it can be kept on the small side, four to six feet, with correct pruning.

Plumeria 'Penang Peach', named after the Malaysian island of Penang, is another compact growing variety. The flowers of 'Penang Peach' are yellow to orange, have a very sweet fragrance and excellent keeping quality. One distinct characteristic of 'Penang Peach' is that the leaves have a hook at the tip.

Plumeria 'Yellow Jack Compact' produces three to four inch yellow flowers with small white edging. The petals reflex, bend backwards, creating a lovely effect. The fragrance is very sweet. 'Yellow Jack Compact' is a very compact growing tree.

As time goes on more and more dwarf and compact plumeria varieties with outstanding characteristics, like big colorful flowers with good keeping quality, will be developed to bring joy to both indoor and outdoor gardeners.