Heliconias and Gingers

We have really been just torturing ourselves with the house. So the garden blogging as been left a bit to the wayside. When everything gets really difficult and frustrating, my go to “zen” place is the yard. Whether I am just mowing or weeding a bit, I know what I am doing, and it is satisfying.

a day when we were in the clouds

Since I have been here, it’s been in the back of my mind to get a nice tropical walking path started. Luckily, my neighbor gave me some divisions of her heliconias and ornamental gingers last year when we moved here. In that year’s time, I have added a few plants here and there, but nothing has really been be able to withstand the ever growing grass. I found canna bulbs and planted them with about a 50% success rate. I also started some hibiscus sabdariffa seed and have had about 80% success getting that growing. I see hibiscus ice tea in my future.

first canna bloom
the start of a tropical walking garden

To my surprise, every plant place I have visited on the east side of the island lacks in heliconias and ornamental gingers. I ended up purchasing from Hawaii. I know this seems wrong in many ways, the transportation, first and foremost, and the not supporting a local business (I just haven’t found anyone to purchase from). The two closest leads I got were something like:

-there was a lady that sold in the parking lot of the mall before Maria

-there is a farm on the west coast (3 plus hour drive) that closed

So, I bought from Plant Group Hawaii. The website had good information, nice photos, and I was happy to see that the plants had been photo sterilized before shipping.

I planted all the rhizomes about a month ago now and have been seeing some greening on the stems, a good sign. They range in mature sizes from 6 to 15 feet. I think it should be strikingly beautiful someday. If the ones I got last year from the neighbor are any indication of a time frame, I may see some blooms in about a year’s time. In the meanwhile, I will continue to work on the ever daunting task of the bathroom (our current mess). Let’s hope we can get that done before the first blooms.

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