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Black Spots on Plumeria Leaves – The Reasons

Black Spots on Plumeria Leaves –  The Reasons

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Plumeria plants, also referred to as Lei flowers and Frangipani, are tiny trees found in tropical territories. The blooms of these lovely plants have been used to make classical Hawaiian leis.

Scarlet, red, white, and yellow are common flower colors, as are pastel colors. 

The flowers are extremely aromatic, with hints of citrus, gardenia, and jasmine. The clusters of flowers on the plant greatly vary and usually range from 50 to 200 per flower.

To enjoy this stunning flowering plant, you should remember to take excellent care of it. 

Here we will discuss the few reasons that cause problems for this plant, like black spots on its leaves.


Black Spots on Plumeria Leaves

Black spots on Plumeria leaves are caused by fungal diseases such as blacktip fungus, sooty mold, and frangipani rust. Another very likely reason for black spots on Plumeria is pest infestation. Climate change associated with low humidity and scorching heat can also contribute to this issue.


Reasons For Black Spots on The Leaves


Black Tip Fungus

The delicious honeydew emitted by aphids and other insects attracts ants. They gather it and collect it in the holes they’ve made on the edge of your Plumeria. 

Due to the extreme humidity accumulation within the hole, it will ultimately become a fungi breeding site.

Black tip fungus, from the name itself, causes black molds to form on the Plumeria’s tips. And, if you don’t treat it, the disease will spread rapidly, ultimately contaminating the stem of the plant. 

And, by then, you’ll be having a hard time containing it when the disease spreads like wildfire.

Though blacktip rarely harms your plant, it will reduce your plant’s strength if it occurs on a regular basis. 

As a result, you will be dissatisfied with your Plumeria’s failure to bloom. 

Sooty Mold

Though sooty mold is common among garden shrubs, Plumeria isn’t part of the resistant varieties. 

Sooty mold is typically triggered by fungi that grow from honeydews emitted on your Plumeria by pests that love sucking on sap such as mealybugs and aphids.

Sooty mold may not explicitly harm your plant, however, the dense layer it creates blocks sunlight, which plants require for photosynthesis. 

As a result, your Plumeria foliage will gradually develop dark spots, and your plant’s development will suffer.

There will almost certainly be noticeable signs, including a black covering on your plant’s leaves and branches. 

You’ll notice brownish to blackish spots on the plant’s leaves once you remove the powdery covering. 


Frangipani Rust

This Plumeria disease is caused by a fungus called Coleosporium Plumeria. It frequently moves by air and settles on your plant’s leaves.

Countless numbers of noticeable yellow-orange spores beneath the leaves are the first signs of Frangipani rust. 

The spores can be easily cleaned by wiggling or rubbing the Plumeria leaves. As the disease spreads, you will notice yellow spots on the upper part of the leaves opposite the patches at the bottom. 

Your Plumeria leaves will also begin to dry, twist, and rot, implying that it is in desperate need of your support.


Pest Infestation

Because your Plumeria generates sweet, nutritious sap, it’s no surprise that sap-sucking pests are drawn to it. 

Some of the pests that attack your plant, causing black spots, are mentioned below.



Thrips are tiny pests that suck the sap from your Plumeria using their assymetrical mouthparts. They appear brown in color and have a slender shape.

Once they attack your plant, they will decrease its growth.

Along with poor growth, the leaves of Plumeria lose their color, and black spots start to appear on the leaves. If not treated, they will kill the plant.



These are dangerous pests that attack your Plumeria every now and then. They have a light green color and wings that are transparent orange in color.

Leafhopper will cause your Plumeria’s leaves to discolor, and the tips begin to turn black in color. 

In extreme cases, it causes the development of black spots on the leaves of Plumeria.



Mealybugs are wax-coated tiny insects residing on your plant’s leaves. They appear as a cottony substance that is clearly visible on the leaves of Plumeria.

When your Plumeria is attacked by mealybugs, you will notice slight leaf discoloration. Later on, the tips of the leaves darken, and small black spots appear on the leaves. 


Extreme Light

Your Plumeria, as a tropical plant, enjoys the sunlight. However, excessive exposure may induce blistering on your plant’s leaves. 



Plumeria root rot is caused by overwatering. Plant roots would become spongy, making them incapable of transporting water and nutrients required for the plant’s physical needs. 

As a result, there will be a lack of Chlorophyll, a main component in photosynthesis . 

Because your plant is unable to photosynthesize, the leaves will gradually turn yellow, and black spots will show up.


Preventing Black Spots: What to Do


Black Tip Fungus

  • It loves humidity hence place it in a slightly warmer location.
  • Spray the plant with fungicides every other day until it recovers.
  • If spots continue, trim the affected leaves.


Sooty Mold

  • Rub the affected leaves with a cotton swab dipped in alcohol.
  • You can also sprinkle some cinnamon to shove away the ants.


Frangipani Rust

  • Isolate the plant affected by Frangipani rust.
  • If it keeps prevailing, throw the plant away and disinfect your space and tools.


Pest Infestation

  • Isolate your plants affected by pests until they recover.
  • Clean the leaves using cotton dipped in alcohol.
  • Insecticidal soaps will also come in handy in these situations. 


Adequate Light

  • Put it in an area with shade but receives a good amount of sunlight.
  • Increase the amount of water to help it deal with water shortage and recover.


Proper Watering

  • Avoid watering during winter as the plant is less active in the growth department.
  • Use pots that have drainage holes to let the excess water drain.
  • Water your new Plumeria once every fortnight.


Frequently Asked Questions about Black Spots on Plumeria Leaves


What to do if pests are causing black spots on the Plumeria leaves?

If you think pests are the reason for black spots on the leaves, firstly, identify which pest it is. The best solution for this is to use alcohol and rubbing the leaves with it as it works in treating every kind of pest.


Does overwatering cause black spots?

The roots of the plant become suffocated when overwatered, and it is unable to transpire water to the rest of the parts. This ultimately leads to poor growth and black spots on leaves.