Plumeria Stem Wrinkled: Reasons, Remedies & Treatment!

Plumeria often goes through some issues like any other plant. If you notice that your plumeria stem gets wrinkled, relax, you’re not alone. Many people go through this condition.

Considering those issues, today we’ll discuss the reasons and solutions for plumeria stem wrinkled

Plumeria stem wrinkling happens if the soil remains excessively moist. The stem of the plumeria plant may become wrinkled if it suffers from dehydration. You must provide ample water to prevent dehydration which will keep the stem from getting wrinkled. Moreover, if your plumeria plant doesn’t get sufficient light, room, and nutrients, it’s going to show wrinkles on the stems.       

We will discuss the most common causes and remedies for stem wrinkles in this article. So, stay tuned to find out everything.  

Why Is Plumeria Stem Wrinkled: Reasons And Remedy

Why Is Plumeria Stem Wrinkled
Source: shutterstock

Stem wrinkle in Plumeria is a condition in which the stem appears to have creases or wrinkles on its surfaces. And when a plumeria is under stress from stem wrinkling, it can become more susceptible to disease and pests. 

So let’s have a quick look at the reasons and remedies before going into more detail. 

Reasons  Remedy 
Excessive moist soil  Avoid Overwatering
Dehydration   Provide ample water
Insufficient room  Use large pots or containers
Insufficient light  Provide adequate sunlight
Insufficient nutrients  Use a good mix of fertilizers

To better understand the exact issue your Plumeria is facing you’ll need more details so let’s dive in. 

Reason 1: Excessive Moist Soil

The leading reason for the stem getting wrinkled is having excessive wet soil which happens due to overwatering the plant. In overwatered soil, roots are not able to absorb oxygen properly, which leads to stem wrinkling.

Moreover, overwatering can cause the stem to rot and later develop fungus infections as well as turning the stem yellow. 


First, you must avoid overwatering. Then, allow the soil to dry out slightly between waterings. The soil should be amended with sand or perlite if it has already been watered a lot. 

Also, the soil has to be slightly acidic. The ideal pH level of soil should be 6.4 to 6.8.

Nevertheless, you can also incorporate french drainage to get rid of excess water. Don’t forget to check the moisture level of the soil before watering. 

Reason 2: Dehydration 

Dehydration can also lead to wrinkled plumeria stems. In order to conserve water, plumeria stems may wrinkle when there is not enough water. Underwatering also leads to dried-out dahlia tubers.

Wrinkles will appear in the stem as the plant continues to lose water. Furthermore, plumeria stems wilt and wrinkle when they lose turgor pressure due to dehydration.


You should water your plants regularly to ensure proper hydration. Make sure to water daily if you plant plumeria in a small pot. On the other hand, if you plant them in a larger palace or a ground, water them at least once a week.  

Plumeria prefers dry places rather than wet ones. However, to prevent dehydration of the plumeria, water it at least every two weeks until it has 3-6 inches of leaves. 

Remember one thing, in mid-fall, you must reduce watering and in winter it should stop completely. Resume regular watering as new growth appears in spring.

Reason 3: Insufficient Room 

If the pot is too small and the roots of plumeria can’t spread out, the stems may wrinkle. So, if the plant becomes root-bound, it will suffer from stress and nutrient deficiencies that lead to wrinkled stems.

Small pots are more sensitive to temperature changes, particularly in direct sunlight. As the pot temperature rises, the plant can become stressed, wilt, and show signs of wrinkling.


Make sure to plant your plumeria in a bigger pot if you don’t want it to wrinkle due to congestion. A good soil mix that allows for drainage and aeration is always a good idea as well as selecting the right pot size for the plant.

Always choose a big pot for planting a plumeria. A general rule of thumb is to allow a 1-gallon pot size for each foot of the plumeria trunk length. If you plant in the ground, make sure to keep a sufficient amount of space (10 to 20 feet) between plants.   

It will allow the roots of the plumeria to grow freely and won’t feel stressed. Consequently, the chances of wrinkles will be cut off.  

Reason 4: Insufficient Light

Plumeria loves sunlight. It prefers a place where it gets at least 6-8 hours of direct sunlight. So if it doesn’t get adequate sun exposure, the stems can develop wrinkles. 

Photosynthesis cannot produce enough energy for the plant to grow and develop without enough light. 

Moreover, plumeria may grow weak and spindly without enough light, and their stems can become wrinkled if they don’t receive adequate light. The stem of plumeria also can turn yellow due to lack of light. 


If you don’t want to get wrinkled stems, plant your plumeria in a place where it will get at least 6 hours of full sunlight every day. 

Reason 5: Insufficient Nutrients

If the plumeria plant doesn’t get enough nutrients, its stem can get wrinkled. Water absorption through roots is reduced when a plant lacks enough nutrients. Therefore, it results in drought stress and stem wilt.

Then, when the plant lacks nutrients, its leaves turn yellow or brown, which indicates stress, leading to wilting and wrinkled stems. Inadequate nutrient supply is also a major reason for calla lilies turning green.


The Plumeria plant needs a phosphate fertilizer every 2-3 weeks for proper growth. Optimal growth of young plants can be achieved with a fertilizer containing a high nitrogen content. Also, you can use a fertilizer with a high phosphate to bloom properly. 

On the other hand, a balanced fertilizer mix of nitrogen, potassium, and magnesium will provide the plant with the essential macronutrients it needs for healthy growth.

Treatment for Plumeria Stem Wrinkled

Treatment for Plumeria Stem Wrinkled
Source: shutterstock

The solutions discussed above will improve the shriveling state of your plumeria plants. Along with that, Pruning is the only treatment if the stems are beyond improvement. It also increases the overall health of your plants.

You can prune off wrinkly stems whenever you want. Always use a sharp, sanitized tool to make the cuts. Pruning shears are recommended for plumeria plants. They are highly tolerant to pruning and can be cut up to 30 cm of a stem without harm.

Make the cut about 2.5 cm from the base of the stem. Avoid cutting the small knot at the joint of the base which is known as the branch collar. It will help regrow new stems. Always wear protective gloves during pruning.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):

What causes plumeria stem rot?

Overwatering, over-humidification, and bacteria entering damaged stems cause plumeria stems to rot. Also, bacterial infection and fungal spores in the plumeria can cause the stem to rot. You can reduce the chances of rotting by cleaning the plumeria regularly. 

How do you know if plumeria plants have stem rot? 

Young plants, cuttings, and mature plumerias exhibit nearly identical symptoms of stem rot. Then, you may notice leaves shredding. When plumeria has black spots outside the stems, the stems become soft and squishy and become blackened. And the leaves will have black spots. 

What does a diseased plumeria look like?

A diseased plumeria may have yellow flecks on the leaves. Then the leaf may drop hugely and can have wilt or drooping leaves. Moreover, soft, dark, and mushy stems are prominent signs that your plumeria is diseased. Sometimes the growth of a diseased plumeria may be stunted.  


Hopefully, you’ve found out the exact reason for your plumeria stem wrinkled. It’s recommended to receive the remedies as precautionary measures instead of as a treatment. 

Plumeria stem wrinkles might seem tricky to handle. To reduce the chances of stem wrinkled, you must ensure proper care.

Happy Planting!

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