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Show #2/1502
Maui Tropical Plantation


History of Maui
MAUI IS CERTAINLY A TROPICAL PARADISE BUT AS WELL HAS A LOT OF HISTORY. To provide some of the history Terryl Vencl, the Executive Director of the Maui Visitors Bureau, joins GardenSMART at the Bailey House, a wonderful, historic Maui building built in 1831.

Click here for more info

Palm Tree
THE PLANT THAT SAYS HAWAII MORE THAN ANY OTHER IS THE PALM TREE. The palm we examine is shorter than what one might expect. It's a Cocos nucifera nana Dwarf Coconut Palm. The coconut trees that one sees around the island at the hotels, on the beaches, are quite tall, 30 or 40 feet tall.

Click here for more info

Bromeliads
HERE THEY'VE SHOWCASED BRIGHT BROMELIADS Bromelias. Bromelias come in different sizes, colors and textures. A favorite is the large Bromelia Aechmea Bromeliad. They bloom once a year and have a beautiful yellow spike. Before they're finished blooming they'll send up their young pups, or Keiki which in Hawaiian means child. So, before the mother dies down, she's going to be replaced by other plants, there won't be an empty space. They're easy to grow, low water requirements, they just need their cups to be filled with water. Easy maintenance, they're basically just stuck in the rocks and they grow, because they have a very small root system.

Click here for more info

Native Plants
Wikstroemia uva-ursi 'Akia' is special because it's found nowhere else in the world. There are about 14 species. Hawaiians use it medicinally, to treat asthma or as a laxative. NATIVES ARE GREAT FOR MANY REASONS. The 1st is because they're drought resistant, which means low watering requirements. Plus, they don't require a lot of fertilization. Thus we don't want to forget about the natives in our area. They're often the hidden diamonds in our area. And they provide a regional look as well. For a list of native plant societies click on the link below.
Native Plant Societies

Click here for more info

Pineapples are Bromeliads
Many folks don't realize that a Ananas comosus Maui Gold Pineapple; EDIBLE PINEAPPLE IS A TYPE OF BROMELIAD. It's the only edible Bromeliad. Elaine walks Richard through their growing process. The smaller plants are 6 months old, they flower in about 1 year and get fruit at 2 years. The small plant with a fruit about the size of a baseball is about 1 year old. On Maui they have the Ananas comosus 'Maui Gold Pineapple' which is a hybrid. It is very sweet, low in acid, an absolutely great tasting fruit.

Click here for more info

Bananas
OUR GARDENERS NEXT VISIT THE BANANAS. These bananas are dwarf Musa acuminata apple Banana Tree. Interestingly one banana tree produces one bunch of bananas. While the tree is producing or flowering, then producing the bunch it is also sending up young plants to replace it. So, as the tree grows, the bunch grows and the young plants around it start growing as well. After about 12 to 16 months of growing time, the tree, if a very tall tree, is cut in the back to make a hinge. The bunch is lowered to the ground and removed from the tree. One bunch will generally weigh 25 to 30 pounds.

Click here for more info

Coffee Trees
A LOT OF FOLKS HAVE TASTED COFFEE but how many have viewed a coffee tree up close? Coffea arabica, C. robusta 'Coffee Plant is its name. It requires a tropical climate, well-drained soil, maybe a little coolness at night, needs watering to keep it alive, it's not a drought resistant plant. The soil is what makes coffee grown in this part of the world special. The soil wherever coffee is grown impacts the coffee flavor. Kona coffee from the big island will have a different flavor than Maui coffee. The bean when peeled is very sweet. As the coffee bean ripens it will turn red on the tree. The harvesting season starts in September and lasts until December. The beans, at this Plantation, will be hand picked, then put in a pulper that takes off the skin, they're then fermented in water overnight which takes the sugars away, making them less slimy, they're then dried in the sun for several days.

Some of the plants we've discussed in this show may not be appropriate in your part of the country. If you would like some ideas on new plants check out the plant of the week link below or click on the Plant of the Week icon our web site.

Click here for more info

 

LINKS:

Wailea Beach Marriott Resort & Spa

Maui Visitors Bureau

Maui Tropical Plantation

Garden Smart Plant List

Hydrangea Limelight

Bloopers #1

Bloopers #2


Complete transcript of the show.

2/1502.
MAUI IS CERTAINLY A TROPICAL PARADISE BUT AS WELL HAS A LOT OF HISTORY. To provide some of the history Terryl Vencl, the Executive Director of the Maui Visitors Bureau, joins GardenSMART at the Bailey House, a wonderful, historic Maui building built in 1831. Terryl feels she has the best job in the world. She markets the 3 islands of Maui County - Maui, Molokai and Lani. These islands are located in the middle of the ocean, 2,500 miles from any other land mass. The first people are believed to have come to these islands in 300 AD. The Hawaiians came and they brought what we know today as canoe crops. Things like Taro, sweet potato, breadfruit, many foods that are still grown here. In 1778 Captain Cook came along and found a wonderful, thriving, sustainable community. Next came the plantation period when they started to grow sugar and pineapple. This was during the 1800's to 1930's. After this period came the period known as tourism. The 1st resort, the Hotel Hana Maui, opened in 1946 and that Hotel is still there and a beautiful site for visitors. Hawaii moved into statehood in 1959 and then in 1961 the Island experienced the 1st master plan resort known today as Ka'ana Poli Resort. It too is still here today and very popular. In 1974 they opened the 1st 9 holes of golf in what is now known as the Wailea Resort Area. Today there are something like 18 golf courses on the Island, many PGA certified.

Terryl believes that Maui is special because it has a small town charm with 21st century amenities and staggering view plains across their Islands. She often speaks with travel agents and writers and they inevitably ask about Maui. Terryl says something happens when people get off the plane here. Unless one comes, they don't get it. But once they come they do understand it. It's relaxation, which allows one to absorb the beauty and nature, the culture and the history. People then go back to their hometowns where maybe they've been stressed, especially in these days, and they're able to go back into their routine and feel like they've been rejuvenated.

Going back to the beauty, history and culture and the crops brought in during the early times - Terryl understands GardenSMART is visiting the Maui Tropical Plantation. There one sees and views many of the early crops. When she 1st came to Maui she went to the Maui Tropical Plantation and totally fell in love with this Island from that one view.

And Maui is a beautiful spot. Thanks for the history lesson and introduction to Maui, Terryl.

Richard next meets Elaine at the Maui Tropical Plantation. Elaine presents Dr. Rick with the traditional flower lei and the greeting aloha. The lei is beautiful, Richard thanks her for both.

Elaine tells us about the Maui Tropical Plantation. It's a showcase of tropical agriculture. It introduces their guests to the flowers grown in Hawaii, as well as the fruits and nuts. Everything from orchids to ginger are growing here; as well it showcases pineapple, Macadamia nuts, 60 acres of landscape and a farm, all are incorporated to show visitors the agriculture side of Maui.

Elaine arrived here, of course, by airplane. 1975 was her 1st trip here as a tourist, she fell in love with the place and her goal was then to move here permanently. After college she wanted to do landscape full time, all year round, and this was the place to do that. She returned in 1982 during a time many of her friends would have been snowplowing. She met her husband here, at the Plantation, so her roots are tight here. She started working here in 1990, thus has been working here a long time.
Top

THE PLANT THAT SAYS HAWAII MORE THAN ANY OTHER IS THE PALM TREE. The palm we examine is shorter than what one might expect. It's a Cocos nucifera nana Dwarf Coconut Palm. The coconut trees that one sees around the island at the hotels, on the beaches, are quite tall, 30 or 40 feet tall. But they don't have fruit on them for safety and liability reasons. If one of the coconuts were to hit someone on the head it could be a real problem, most likely the end of ones problems. Here they've planted these coconuts at the entrance to the plantation, it's kind of a specimen plant so that people can get up close to the fruits of the tree, they can really see what a coconut tree really is. Richard has his picture made appearing to be way up in the tree when he actually has both feet on the ground. A tourist at heart.

These can grow all across the country with just a little care. They will grow outdoors in warmer climates and indoors in cooler climates. Folks come here and many take a coconut home. Make sure you buy one that has been agriculturally inspected. These are purchased in a bag, they're pest free, ready to take home. Plant it in a pot of well-drained soil. A well drained soil is a mix of sand and soil. One should plant the nut in the soil with about 1/2 of the nut exposed, the rest below the soil. When germinating properly the roots will come out the bottom, it will be sprouting. At that point it's ready to be planted in the ground. If the temperature is over 70 degrees leave it outside; after it gets cold bring it in. Once inside reduce watering, but you'll still need full sunlight. If you have a nice sunny window, keep it there. The nut will take care of fertilization for about 1 year, after that go to your plant shop and ask about the proper fertilizer. A light nitrogen is good. It's important to remember that once the plant comes indoors cut down on the amount of water, a plant gets significantly less energy when inside versus out so almost no fertilizer and about 10 times less water than normal outside.
Top

Elaine and Richard next visit another entrance to the Plantation. It is very well done, it draws Richard in. HERE THEY'VE SHOWCASED BRIGHT BROMELIADS Bromelias. Bromeliads come in different sizes, colors and textures. A favorite is the large Bromelia Aechmea Bromeliad. They bloom once a year and have a beautiful yellow spike. Before they're finished blooming they'll send up their young pups, or Keiki which in Hawaiian means child. So, before the mother dies down, she's going to be replaced by other plants, there won't be an empty space. They're easy to grow, low water requirements, they just need their cups to be filled with water. Easy maintenance, they're basically just stuck in the rocks and they grow, because they have a very small root system. The color of these plants goes well with the building and the color of the mulch and they contrast with the other plants in the bed especially the plants with small leaves. That was the design idea and it must be working because Richard noticed.

Natives are a hot trend in gardening today. Elaine has 2 beautiful specimens at the front of this bed. Dianella sandwicensis 'Uki 'uki; Flax Lily. The 'Uki 'uki is a Hawaiian plant, it came here on its own, which means it was either brought by bird or by ocean currents. It has bright purple berries which are used for a dye. The Hawaiians use them to dye a material, called tapa cloth, and they're also used in leis. It has tiny blue flowers and it makes a beautiful, lovely container plant. It's unusual for a native and one of the few that can be grown in a container.
Top

Wikstroemia uva-ursi 'Akia' is special because it's found nowhere else in the world. There are about 14 species. Hawaiians use it medicinally, to treat asthma or as a laxative. NATIVES ARE GREAT FOR MANY REASONS. The 1st is because they're drought resistant, which means low watering requirements. Plus, they don't require a lot of fertilization. Thus we don't want to forget about the natives in our area. They're often the hidden diamonds in our area. And they provide a regional look as well. For a list of native plant societies click on the link below.
Native Plant Societies
Top

Elaine and Richard board the tram to tour the Maui Tropical Plantation. They come upon another Bromeliad but it's kind of special, a little different. Many folks don't realize that a Ananas comosus Maui Gold Pineapple; EDIBLE PINEAPPLE IS A TYPE OF BROMELIAD. It's the only edible Bromeliad. Elaine walks Richard through their growing process. The smaller plants are 6 months old, they flower in about 1 year and get fruit at 2 years. The small plant with a fruit about the size of a baseball is about 1 year old. On Maui they have the Ananas comosus 'Maui Gold Pineapple' which is a hybrid. It is very sweet, low in acid, an absolutely great tasting fruit.

One can grow their own Pineapple. To do so, remove the pineapple from the plant then twist off the top, then remove the bottom layers of the top. Taking off the bottom leaves is important because it prevents rotting. Put the top in a container but first dry it out for 1 or 2 days, again to make sure it doesn't rot, then put it in a well-drained potting mix, in a container. In warmer climates or during the summer time it can go outside in the full sun, towards fall or colder weather bring it indoors but still keep it in full sun. After a few months it will produce roots, with the proper fertilization and the correct amount of time it should ultimately be able to produce fruit. By doing this one is not only bringing home the symbol of Hawaii but growing a bit of Hawaii at home, as well.
Top

OUR GARDENERS NEXT VISIT THE BANANAS. These bananas are dwarf Musa acuminata apple Banana Tree. Interestingly one banana tree produces one bunch of bananas. While the tree is producing or flowering, then producing the bunch it is also sending up young plants to replace it. So, as the tree grows, the bunch grows and the young plants around it start growing as well. After about 12 to 16 months of growing time, the tree, if a very tall tree, is cut in the back to make a hinge. The bunch is lowered to the ground and removed from the tree. One bunch will generally weigh 25 to 30 pounds. Then the tree is removed completely. The tree is left in the banana area so that as it decomposes it becomes mulch, their compost. The banana bunch is cut into hands. Mother Nature provided a guideline where to cut, so they have a special banana knife for that. The hands are removed from the bunch, then separated into smaller hands. They'll then be taken up to the farm where they'll be put in a cooler, where they'll be gassed so that they'll all ripen at the same time. Then they'll be ready for market. Apple bananas aren't as sweet as Bluefield or Chiquita bananas, they have a little different taste. It's the taste one must get accustomed to but they are delicious for eating.

The banana plant needs a lot of water, yet they don't like sitting in water. They like a well drained soil that is constantly moist. They have planted shorter varieties here because they have strong trade winds here. Larger banana trees will fall down like dominos. They are heavy feeders, they like high potassium. They regularly test the soil here, as should be done at home. There are a lot of varieties of bananas. Believe it of not there are some that will tolerate temperatures as low as minus 15 degrees. One won't get the banana fruit but will get the tropical look of the plant.
Top

Next visited is a member of the Gardenia family. A LOT OF FOLKS HAVE TASTED COFFEE but how many have viewed a coffee tree up close? Coffea arabica, C. robusta 'Coffee Plant is its name. It requires a tropical climate, well-drained soil, maybe a little coolness at night, needs watering to keep it alive, it's not a drought resistant plant. The soil is what makes coffee grown in this part of the world special. The soil wherever coffee is grown impacts the coffee flavor. Kona coffee from the big island will have a different flavor than Maui coffee. The bean when peeled is very sweet. As the coffee bean ripens it will turn red on the tree. The harvesting season starts in September and lasts until December. The beans, at this Plantation, will be hand picked, then put in a pulper that takes off the skin, they're then fermented in water overnight which takes the sugars away, making them less slimy, they're then dried in the sun for several days. At that point they become hard skinned and that is called parchment coffee. It's then taken to a mill, since they don't have a mill on property, the outer layer will be milled away, then they're graded in size. Because when roasting coffee, size really matters. One wants all the same size so they don't burn. Once back from the mill the parchment is off, you have a green bean and it is ready for roasting. What we buy in the store has already been roasted. We then grind it up and make coffee. Now you know what the plant looks like and what the end result is, a nice cup of coffee.

There is another use for coffee plants and that is as a hedge for privacy. So if you have the correct climate for coffee you can also have a hedge. This is another another plant that produces fruit but is also used ornamentally.

Nearby Elaine and Richard notice Macadamia integrifolia Smooth Shell Macadamia nut tree. Many visitors take home Macadamia Nuts, whether chocolate covered or lightly salted. Interestingly Macadamia nuts are harvested from the ground. Pick them off the ground and that is what you get. Then to take them out of their husks, apply about 300 pounds of pressure to crack the raw nut which then allows one to get to the nut inside.

Another interesting plant is Vanilla planifolia Vanilla Bean Orchid Vine. Many don't realize that vanilla comes from this plant and Elaine shows Richard the beans. It is an incredible plant, an orchid, and an wonderful source of vanilla flavoring.

This has been an incredible tour, Elaine has shown us many interesting things. Elaine has some parting words of wisdom: Remember that our garden connects us to the rest of our environment. To be good stewards, be water smart, use less insecticide, let beneficials do the work, instead of using a lot of weed control, maybe use mulch to cut down on weeds. Don't forget about native plants, they're special. Bottom line utilize a sustainable approach. It makes sense for our environment.

Richard thanks Elaine. This has been a fascinating experience.

Elaine thanks Richard and as they say in Hawaii, mahalonui noa.

Some of the plants we've discussed in this show may not be appropriate in your part of the country. If you would like some ideas on new plants check out this link below or click on the Plant of The Week icon on our web site.
Top

LINKS:

Wailea Beach Marriott Resort & Spa

Maui Visitors Bureau

Maui Tropical Plantation

Garden Smart Plant List

Hydrangea Limelight

Bloopers #1

Bloopers #2

 
FEATURED ARTICLE
GardenSMART Featured Article

By Spring Meadow Nursery, photos courtesy of Proven Winners

What's the secret of transitioning from a competent gardener to a confident one? Pruning! Though pruning shrubs strikes fear into the hearts of many, it is actually a simple and rewarding process. All you need to do to master it is to understand a few basic principles behind the why, when, and how of pruning shrubs. Read more...


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