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Hawaii Guide to Growing Trees

Hawaii is a tropical place with many beautiful trees, even if it’s not the best environment for growing them. If you want to give your yard an authentic Hawaiian feel, these tips will help!

Palm trees in hawaii

The Best Flowering Trees to Grow in Hawaii

Plumeria

The plumerias (known as frangipani, lei flower) are native to tropical areas like Hawaii. These tough plants can handle high heat and drought tolerance, making them ideal for any location including apartment patios or suburban yards. The plumerias are in full bloom from April until November with their clusters of large five-petal blossoms. The contrast between the vibrant, yellow, pink, and white blooms and the lush dark green leaves is what this tree offers to your landscape.

Plumeria trees come in a variety of colors, from white to pink to purple. You can put them at the edge of your driveway for a border or in a container on your patio. Plus you’ll get their gardenia-like fragrance anywhere.

Planting & Care

Plumeria trees, like many other tropical plants, require plenty of suns. Plumeria should be planted in soil that is well-drained but not too sandy and at a depth so that the root ball is below ground level. When pot-planting your plumeria tree, use organic potting soil mixed with an equal amount of sand and make sure the holes for drainage are visible.

Hawaii’s plumeria has beautiful blossoms but requires consistent watering. Deep-water the plant once a week and water until it runs out of drainage holes every time to stay healthy and happy! You can cultivate these plants with a slow-release fertilizer. Apply the fertilizer before new growth emerges, then water the soil for it to seep into the roots. Minimal pruning is required because any broken branches may be pruned back in spring before new growth begins.

Bloom Bash Hollywood Hibiscus

The Hollywood Hibiscus is named for the size and color of its flowers, which have a beautiful shape that resembles ancient Hawaiian clothing. The Bloom Bash plant offers a colorful bouquet in one single-flowering plant with varieties of hues, including daisy pink, bold red, yellow butterfly wings, and even multi-colored blooms. This Hollywood Hibiscus’ outstanding bloom count is paired with long-lasting flowers – making them the perfect addition to any landscape.

This specially designed Hibiscus possesses a variety of colors most other plants do not; instead, it was created to be more bold and beautiful. These blooms add color to any container garden or flower bed. The Bloom Bash Hollywood Hibiscus is tolerant to warm weather and requires minimal care. 

Planting & Care

Throw the Hibiscus plant in some well-drained soil that gets about 8 hours of sun a day. The Hibiscus can be planted wherever there’s enough shade for it to survive, but if you’re settling on a cold climate, say one where winters never end, be sure to put it inside before the first frost hits. 

Hibiscus plants should be watered once or twice a week. If you’re not sure when to water, check the soil about 2-3 inches down for dryness. Apply well-balanced fertilizer in the spring to encourage blooming, following label instructions.

The Best Shade Trees in Hawaii

Windmill Palm Tree

Hawaii is renowned for being one of the top spots to grow trees, and with Windmill Palm you’ll get a tree that’s cold-tolerant, low-maintenance, naturally pest-resistant, and thrives in full sun. Windmill Palm can grow in humid and colder areas because it is one of the hardiest available today. This amazing tree grows 6 to 10 feet in width with fresh green fronds that are arranged symmetrically. 

Planting & Care

Plant your Windmill Palm Trees in a spot that offers them at least four to six hours of sunlight per day, and protects them from cold winds. Make sure the soil drains well. When you’re ready to plant, dig an extra-wide hole and remove any dirt that has compacted around the roots. Gently place the tree in the hole, maintain an upright position while carefully spreading out roots. Begin filling in the hole with soil covering up all of the roots. Lightly tamp down on top of it, watering to help this process and cover any air holes that may have formed. Add more soil as needed repeating this process for stability and thoroughly water.

Windmill palm trees require frequent watering during the first 12 months of their life. Experts recommend that they be watered daily until they are 3-months old and then watered every other day for the next year. After 12 months, it is important to monitor the needs of these palms based on a variety of factors including water, sunlight, temperature change such as rainfall, and humidity in the soil. These trees require soil rich in nutrients, so if you can’t find the right type of soil at your home and garden center you may need to apply a palm-specific fertilizer. It is also necessary to remove any damaged fronds with a sharp pair of sterilized pruners.

Rainbow Eucalyptus Tree

The Rainbow Eucalyptus Tree is one of the most beautiful trees in the world with unique coloring. As it grows, Eucalyptus trees have a multicolor bark that changes as the tree grows. The outer bark peels to reveal an inner cream center and gradually shifts to blue, orange, pink, and then red shades.

You have two main options for rainbow eucalyptus trees. First, you can trim the tree to keep it as a decorative patio plant that is easy to maintain and doesn’t grow very tall. Second, you could leave the tree untrimmed and will be able to use it as a houseplant on sunny windowsills year-round – inside or outside of your home. Rainbow Eucalyptus trees are naturally pest and disease-resistant, which means they’re fairly simple to grow. They also have a fast growth rate, meaning that you could enjoy their beauty in just one year after planting them. 

Planting & Care

Plant your tree in a sunny, well-draining location that affords it plenty of space to grow. Consider planting near water for more humidity and access to water. The rainbow tree is also salt tolerant as long as drainage is good. The preparation consists of watering the tree well and digging a hole twice as wide and deep. Place the tree in the hole and tamp down on the soil to fill any air pockets. Make sure it is straight and water as you go, adding mulch around the base of the tree.

In the early stages of growth, trees need regular water to thrive. You can plant near a body of water to guarantee this. Hawaiian trees don’t require fertilizing, but if yours is struggling you should dilute liquid fertilizer with half-strength or switch your brand. Pruning should be done over the summer and avoided during humidity spikes.

The Best Fruit Trees in Hawaii

Hass Avocado Tree

Hass Avocados grow in popularity and are also a tasty fruit. But these can be expensive to purchase, which is why many homeowners decide to grow the fruit at home. Those that already own and plant trees or other plants will have the Hass on hand much earlier on its life cycle and with limited trips out of the house for food.

Hass avocados have a unique flavor that is much better than store-bought. You’ll save hundreds of dollars because your tree will produce fruit year after year for 40+ years!  Container-grown trees will reach only a maximum of 7 feet, whereas outside-grown trees can grow up to 20 ft tall. The Hass’s creamy inner flesh tastes amazing in everything from classic salads and guacamole to cooking and adding flavor to avocado toast.

Planting & Care

Plant an avocado tree in a sunny location that does not have any nearby plants. Give the roots some space and make sure it has access to fresh water year-round. Dig a hole twice as deep and wide as the root ball, fill with compost, and plant. Tie securely with string, cover newly planted trees with bark chips or shredded leaves for extra protection against weeds. When you’re planting your avocado tree, water it to provide enough hydration. Keep the soil moist (but not too much) once a week. When growing indoors, mist twice a day or use a humidifier to keep humidity levels high.

You should prune Hass avocado trees during the first few years following planting to maintain their appearance. Pruning should be done during the spring and with a fertilization treatment in the four seasons after it’s planted. Hass Avocado Trees are self-fertile, but they produce fruit better with the help of another plant. Cold Hardy varieties work well for pollinating in North America.

Jaboticaba Tree

The tropical Jaboticaba or Jabuticaba tree is a beautiful addition to any garden. It produces plenty of berry-sized fruit on its bark. Jaboticaba trees are a wonderful example because their white flowers produce dark purple fruit, they can grow to be massive in size, and their bark only adds to the charm. The preteen fruit covers almost the entire tree, giving it a unique look. Once picked, the fruit can be eaten as a fresh snack. Jaboticabas have a sweetness similar to that of muscadine grapes and an acidic zing.

Jaboticaba trees are perfect for outdoor gardens and landscapes. If you live in a colder climate, your Jaboticaba Tree will thrive indoors during the wintertime. Place it in a container and give it some water for easy care, then wait for its delicious fruit and bright colors to appear.

Jaboticaba trees are a more difficult type of plant to grow, but provide fruit for up to 20 years if successfully cultivated. The best aspect is that it will change your garden into something vibrant and richly green with its beautiful leaves year-round!

Planting & Care

The Jaboticaba tree is a full sun tree but can tolerate a little shade. Its soil should be well-drained and prefers a pH of 5.5-6.5. Protect from salt winds when younger, or the tree may not survive past its first year in the ground. Like other tropical trees, Jaboticaba prefers to be planted in a warm-moist environment and should not be watered during the winter.

These are slow-growing trees, so fertilize them in the spring and summer with a well-balanced fertilizer such as 10-10-10 to boost growth. An alternate way would be to add a compost layer on top of roots when in the spring. Pruning should be done only if necessary, typically just removing damaged or crossing branches in late winter or early spring.

These fruit trees produce fruit across the year, but heavy yields are typically found during March-April. Pick the ripe fruit when it’s about the size of a small plum and deep purple in color. The tree is not prone to any serious diseases, but high humidity and rain can cause rust or fungal issues for these surfaces.

When is The Best Time to Plant Trees in Hawaii

The best time to plant trees in Hawaii depends on the type of tree you are planting and what kind of climate zone you live in. The truth is that there isn’t an optimal season for all types of trees! Even so, planting trees in Hawaii in the late winter or early spring is recommended. This is when the soil has warmed up and there are not too many insects that will eat your new tree. In addition, this gives your tree ample time to grow before the summer heat comes so it can be strong enough to withstand it.

Can You Plant All Season Long?

The short answer is yes. You can plant all season long in Hawaii, but it depends on the type of plants that you want to grow and what time you are referring to. If your question is about whether or not a farmer can plant year-round, then the answer would be no because of weather restrictions.

What are The Best Trees to Plant Each Season in Hawaii

Springtime

Springtime is when flowers start to bloom in Hawaii and it’s also when new growth starts on many types of trees. So if you’re looking for something that will give your garden a burst of color this time of year, then try planting an azalea tree or a flowering cherry tree! 

Summertime

This is when the temperature always rises in Hawaii. It’s important to make sure you have trees that will grow well under high heat, as these are often the only ones available during this time of year (trees don’t produce fruit). Fruitless mulberry trees are great because they don’t produce fruit and survive high temperatures without issue. Another option would be a flowering cherry tree, as long as it never goes dormant (they often do) then you’ll have beautiful blooms all year round.

Fall time

Fall is the time when many trees lose their leaves and winter approaches. Fall-blooming plants that don’t fruit in the winter are a good option. These include mulberries, which like warm weather, but also need space to grow into large bushes; ornamental figs, which do well with high heat conditions and have sprawling roots; or even flowering maples for those who want something other than evergreens.

Wintertime

Finding plants that thrive in a cooler climate can be a daunting task. Ficus trees or Bonsais are slower growing and don’t require as much upkeep.

What Trees Have The Least Invasive Roots in Hawaii

Palm trees are not very invasive because they spread through seeds rather than roots; this is why you see them in many yards across the state. Kukui Nut Tree, Ceylon Satinwood Tree, and Norfolk Island Pine are other choices for a tree that will grow in your yard without damaging the environment around it.