The five service pups I've raised...

Monday, August 10, 2009

Plumerias Please Me!

For those that know me, and my efforts to grow plumeria trees (from Hawaii) these folks will chuckle at today’s post.
For finally and I say FINALLY, I have blossoms! Plumerias are those wonderfully fragrant flowers that grow in Hawaii and from which leis are typically made. The trees can have pink, yellow, light red or white flowers.

Well every time I visit Kona, I bring back a stick or two or three! When Dad visits his 2nd home, all I ask him to bring me back is Kona coffee and plumeria sticks. (he rolls his eyes every time- he does, I can hear it in his voice, I can) and says “what happened to the ones I brought you last time”?

Shoot, I recall years ago as a kid the first time I saw the fair vendors hawking the plumeria sticks at the Ohio State Fair. One whiff and I was sold; buying my first stalk at age 12 or so. They told me to root it in water to get it started and then transfer it to soil. Well, it sprouted two leaves and then promptly died.

The dozens of stalks I’ve tried to grow since moving to California have often not fared much better, though usually here in sunny, arid San Diego I get them to sprout 6 to 8 leaves and last a summer or two before they croak.

Well a few years ago I got the grand idea to smuggle some lava pebbles (yes I know the tail of bad luck for taking lava off the island) and black lava sand home from Kona to mix in the pots with my soil here and wa-la, that seemed to be the trick. Oh and I also bought some food to add to their water during growing season.

So often people would brag to me and say, “ahh, all I ever did was stick them in the dirt and they took off!” My friend Celeste showed me a tree in her old yard at her first Coronado home and that tree is now full of blossoms and probably 12 feet or taller. Oooh to have a beauty like that, in my yard...

Well imagine my delight when a few weeks ago the small buds I noticed peeking up continued to venture forth and have recently become full blown blooms?! Woo hoo I'm a plumeria parent, finally. It's kind of a crack up too, as this stalk has ONE single leaf but a dozen flowers on the way. Isn't Mother Nature a kick?

I am thrilled! if I can only get the other stalks to follow suit.

1 comment:

California Girl said...

All the years I lived in S.D., I heard our (your) weather was the closest approximate to Hawaii. AFter reading the plumeria story, you say it took the black lava to make the flowers bloom? That is fascinating. I've never seen sticks sold but if I ever do, I'll have to remember that.

btw, are you on Coronado now?