Thursday, September 4, 2008


Our bedroom has turned into The Little Shop of Horrors! This is the story of Audrey....

Three years ago we wanted to bring a little bit of Hawaii home with us. What better way than to grow a plumeria, the one that they use for all of those beautiful leis that greet tourists and the Hawaiian ladies wear behind their ears. (I never could get it straight, left side=available, right side=taken, or the other way around?) Anyway, we started out with a six inch stick of plumeria and lovingly placed it in a pot of soil. There were no leaves and no roots, nothing to indicate that it would grow at all. We were skeptical.

Audrey found a place in the living room window and three weeks later it started to grow, quickly. Big shiny new leaves appeared and it soon was about 18 inches tall. As long as I kept it watered it was happy. Then in the fall the leaves began to drop and it turned into a longer stick with just one or two leaves at the top. Realizing that this plant must be deciduous I just left it there and continued watering. Spring came and it started to grow again, this time, FAST! Not only that, but an amazing thing happened, Audrey bloomed! (I think it had something to do with the bees in the grill... another post...) For three months that plant produced one amazing white blossom after another, filling the room with luscious scents and fond memories of Kauai. Once again, the leaves all dropped and because of the large size I had to move it to a corner in the bedroom. This year it didn't bloom but it doubled in size and limbs. Audrey is now an amazing 5 feet wide and 5 feet tall. With winter approaching the leaves are yellowing and will soon start littering my carpet.

Like Seymour in the Little Shop of Horrors, I have grown attached to Audrey and don't know what to do about it. The options are 1)to discard it with the rest of the fall prunings, 2)let it grow one more year and hope that it doesn't completely take over the bedroom, 3) cut it to pieces, thereby creating Audreys III, IV etc. or 4) board that plane and go get a new six inch cutting.

Any suggestions from my kama'aina friends for this confused haole about what to do with this tree? Talk story. Mahalo.


Note: If you are unfamiliar with the musical Little Shop of Horrors click on the link in the first line to see a clip.


Bizarre Quilter said...

OOh, how interesting.
Make a cutting and start another small one. Can you give the big one away? Or will it grow outside, but not so vigorously because it will be cooler in Winter? If you make a cutting, you could try that...
Loz in Oz

P.S. We can't bring any cuttings etc into Australia. How lovely to "smell" your holiday again and again!

athena said...

I agree. Make cuttings. You could give them as festivus gifts! People will have no idea what they are in for!

Numismatist Facts said...

Athena, that is a fantastic idea! But shhhh... don't tell anyone! The more I think about it the more I love it!

Numismatist Facts said...

bizarre quilter, no it won't grow outside. Plumeria trees are used to Hawaiian weather of 75 degrees and high humidity. Our dry 100 degree summers are too hot and subfreezing winters are wayyy to cold. I'm going to research propagation methods soon.

Hawaii, Arizona and California are also very strict about bringing certain things into their states but Utah allows anything. Canada also has rules about live plants and fruits.

Casidub said...

Feed me.

Bizarre Quilter said...

Propogation methods? Just dip the end in rooting hormone and pop it into the dirt. Or, place a piece in a glass of water until it grows roots. But, you've probably already tried those methods with success.

On another note, I am not in a UFO challenge. Just challenging myself! I am really happy with the 18 finishes for this year so far.
Only 5 of them are actually UFOs, the others I started this year. It seems I have a much better record for finishing things these days!!