Thursday, May 24, 2007


Plumeria mosaic
Originally uploaded by knitswithasilentk.
On the way back from our last trip to Hawaii 3 years ago, I saw cuttings of plumeria for sale at the airport gift shop. I thought about buying one (they were around $5 or less) but I was worried about the agricultural inspection (even though the package said it was okay) and whether or not it would actually work, what with my um...special gardening skillz.

[My typical approach to gardening is to plant the plant (or whatever) and then try for a while to make sure it is watered, and then leave it on its own to see what it does. Very Darwinian. If it's seeds, they get scattered in the wind. I'm a natural gardener.]

After this trip, I definitely wanted to try growing some - the web provided little factoids like, as long as they don't freeze, they should be okay, and if you keep them in a container, they won't become 20 ft. trees. So off I went to the online plumeria people.

I decided I wanted a "traditional" color one - white with a yellow center - and a slightly pinkish one - still traditional but with a blush at the tips or center or something. I settled on Celadine (the traditional) and Carmen. I ordered from Maui Plumeria Gardens. What great service! They were shipped out right away, the cuttings were huge - at least 18" long (they came in a poster tube mailer), and she included a bonus "mystery" cutting, instructions, and a packet of 10 seeds.

I went to the hardware store and got the recommended soil, fertilizer, etc., pots, and went to town. I even got little peat pots for the seeds! I feel very mature to be following the directions. I really really hope they turn out well. If not, it's back to the natural method.


Beth S. said...

Very exciting project! :-) I had some plumeria hand cream once and it was divine. Really sweet and fragrant.

Good luck! You're in a warm climate, at least, so I'd say the plants have a fighting chance...

Annie said...

Wonderful idea, and good luck with trying to raise it in CA. I went to Maui seven years ago and will never forget the plumeria lei I was greeted with at our hotel. Keep us posted on the progress, and thanks for checking out my blog.

Brenda said...

Good luck with the Plumeria! It sounds like a lot of fun. How nice to have a mystery cutting and seeds!