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Brown Spots On Plumeria Leaves [Causes & Treatment]

Plumeria are tropical plants that are very popular because of their soothing bloom fragrance. Also known as frangipani, the plant is used in landscaping and outdoor aesthetics. Like any other plants, plumeria plants add value to your property and offer a relaxing environment when you want to unwind.

Why Plumeria Leaves Have Brown Spots

Plumeria is prone to a wide range of diseases. It is crucial to inspect them periodically to detect any unusual elements on the leaves, flowers, and stems. Brown spots on plumeria leaves are very common.

When you notice brown spots on your healthy plumeria foliage, it is time to act. These spots, also known as plumeria rust, is caused by the coleosporium plumeriae fungus that only affects the leaves.

Why Brown Sports On Plumeria Leaves?

The brown spots on plumeria leaves are not part of the plant. This is a fungal infection that affects the foliage. Once they appear on a single plant in your garden, they can easily affect the entire plumeria population and possibly spread to your neighboring gardens.

Plumeria rust fungus is airborne and its spores spread through the air, when it rains or when watering. The water left in the leaves makes them moist, creating the right conditions for the fungus to thrive. The spores are so light that they easily stick on the foliage and start multiplying.

Once the fungi grow, you notice some brown spots in the leaves’ upper part. The spores spread fast to the underside of the leaves depending on how moist they are and how long they stay moist after watering.

Infected plumeria leaves end up curling since they are not getting enough sunlight. On the other hand, the fungus drains the water circulating in the leaves leaving the dry and withered. In less than two months the entire plant foliage drop leaving only the stems.

How To Fix Brown Spots On Plumeria Leaves

Since it was discovered in 1902 in West Indies, plumeria rust has continued to spread across continents especially those in the tropics. However, the fungus can be easily treated. Here are some methods you can use to fix the ugly brown spots on your plumeria leaves.

There are two main ways to fix the plumeria rust problem. You can use the safe cultural control method or chemical control. The culture involves cleaning the garden of infected leaves while the chemical option entails the use of fungicides and sanitizers to treat the plumeria leaves.

Clearing Foliage Affected By Plumeria Rust

If you notice the presence of plumeria rust in your plants after the foliage falls, clearing the leaves is a must. What dies first are the plant leaves and when the fungi lack food, they spread to the next plant.

All the affected leaves on the ground and plant should be collected and put in a protective bag and safely disposed of. This is the first step towards stopping the spread in your garden. After disposing of, ensure the tools used are sanitized thoroughly to avoid future rust attacks.

Sanitizing And Fumigating Plumeria Leaves

Sanitizing and use of fungicide on brown spotted plumeria leaves is another method used to fix the fungus spread. Some of these agents might not completely do away with the rust but are effective in controlling its multiplication and eventual spread.

Brown Spots on Plumeria Leaves

Plumeria rust thrives on moist leaves and the use of sanitizer and fungicides makes the fungi habitat unfavorable to survive. It slows down their spread and multiplication this giving the leaves space to breathe. For better results, do not only apply the fungicides to the leaves and stem alone, it should also be applied to the garden soil.

Improving Air Circulation Around Plumeria Flowers

Plumeria rust is airborne and to control its spread, air circulation in your garden is important. Ensure the plant spacing is ideal and the plants are well aerated.

To improve air circulation, clear weeds growing in and around your garden. These create a humid environment for plumeria rust to thrive. To increase air circulation, consider pruning the plants using sanitized shears and other tools to avoid spreading the infection.

Planting Plumeria Rust-Resistant Varieties

There are two varieties of plumeria plants that have proven to be resistant to plumeria rust or plumeria brown spots. Planting any of these varieties is a surefire way to keep the fungus away. Landscaping using a variety of plumeria plants can help in keeping a wide range of diseases and pests away from your flower garden.

Whichever method you use to fix the plumeria rust infections, make sure it does not affect the microorganisms in the soil. The method you choose should not only take care of the plant leaves as well as the roots and nutrient intake.

Brown spots in plumeria leaves become pronounced when it is warm and humid. These conditions enable spores to grow and multiply and spread fast destroying your entire garden. By disrupting their ecosystem, it becomes hard for them to destroy the plant foliage.


Detecting the presence of brown spots on plumeria leaves early helps you take timely measures to stop their spread. The rust is known to destroy vibrant plumeria plant gardens if not contained in its early stages. Regular foliage inspection helps it taking remedial measures on time.

To ensure your plumeria plant garden is not attacked by plumeria rust, avoid watering the plants from the leaf level. Instead water then at the bottom of the stem to avoid creating the right environment where the rust thrives.

Keeping your garden free of weeds is a surefire way to reduce the chances of plumeria rust attacks. The fungus love damp and humid and excessive weeds create the right environment for them. Preventing the fungus infection saves you the headache of battling with the airborne once it invades your garden.