nbattad(HI)August 16, 2004

Does anyone have puakenikeni in their yard? If so, what is the average height of puakenikeni. We mistakenly (not really) bought 4 little puakenikeni's thinking they were a small fern-like groundcover which we planted in a small window-front area of the house. To our surprise, the plants turned out to be puakenikeni (lowes didn't have labels on the plants and my wife just thought they looked good for color.)

Anyway, now knowing what they are, we are thinking of the "right" place to put them.


How much space do they need (wide)?

How tall can they get?

Can you keep on trimming them back to a height of about 6 feet?

Anyone know about their roots possibly being close to a rock wall?

Thanks in advance....

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Puakenikeni translates as "ten cent flower". The blooms were used for leis and sold for ten cents. Not any more.

They are large bushes or small trees and can be kept pruned to smaller sizes. They can easliy be kept to six feet and three or four foot wide. They like sun, moisture and rich organic soil.

Mine is blooming now and has a strong sweet smell. I didn't notice the bloom until I walked by and could smell it. The flowers are light yellow and turn to a orange, gold color.

You will enjoy your mistake if you have a place for it. Plant 4 in a row or one under a window near the house or patio. It is a neat evergreen.

Good luck

    Bookmark   August 18, 2004 at 2:41AM
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Hey thanks for the info. just a couple more questions if possible.

When you say "plant 4 in a row", how far apart would you plant them?
Also, how are the puakenikeni's roots when planted close to a rock wall.


    Bookmark   August 18, 2004 at 2:39PM
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Since you said you had four plants, they would make a good grouping. I would plant them about 4 foot apart. At least 3 ft.

I don't see how a wall would effect the roots. They would seek their own path of least resistance. I would plant them at least 2 ft from the wall to give the plant room to grow.

I hope this helps.

Good luck.

    Bookmark   August 18, 2004 at 3:19PM
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Thanks.. will do... will let you know how it goes...

    Bookmark   August 18, 2004 at 5:37PM
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I've heard that as a general rule of thumb, trees' roots tend to spread out to the same diameter as the canopy. I don't know how this applies if you keep the canopy trimmed though. I don't know if the roots keep growing to the size the canopy would be if left un-checked, or if they will only grow as big as needed to maintain the canopy.

    Bookmark   February 9, 2005 at 7:40AM
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I am interested in starting puakenikeni. How do I go about getting a plant started..is it possible to root it from a mother tree. If so does anyone have a starter shoot?

    Bookmark   July 11, 2006 at 11:01PM
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I'm from the Valley Island of Maui, and have seen a Puakenikeni tree about 40 feet tall, with a spread of 30 feet in Ioa Valley, planted in a large front yard. I have 3 Puakenikeni in my backyard and since my soil is hard clay, my trees are 10 feet high, smell out of this world (when in bloom) and planted 4 years ago. If you like how gardenia's smell, this tree, sometimes grown as a large shrub does deliver. They are worth every penny. Slower growing than many trees, they are mostly air layered, and sometimes brought into the larger home improvement gardening centers, if you can't find them in local nursery's. Not a good idea to plant them close to a wall. I'm wondering if the plants you brought home from Lowes were really Puakenikeni. They are solid green, and the flower is white to yellowish, and usually it takes a long while to see flowers appear. Don't think it has color? Anyway whatever happened to them??????????

    Bookmark   August 21, 2006 at 2:55AM
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I have a Puakenikeni tree that was given to me as a potted plant about 2 years ago. I transplanted to the ground (dirt), and for the first year, it was doing fine - blooming, growing, very green. However, for the past year, it has not bloomed at all. I have tried different fertilizers and potting soils. The tree is doing very well, aside from producing NO flowers. Anyone have any suggestions?

Thanks in advance.

    Bookmark   December 31, 2007 at 5:28PM
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I am wondering if epson salt can be as valuable to Puakenikeni as it is to plumeria and pikake. If so what is the recommended application? Thanks.

    Bookmark   April 2, 2011 at 12:54PM
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My puakinikini has a LOT of bulbs. Very few flowers. I was told to remove the bulbs and flowers will generate from that. Not sure if it was good advise or not. Any suggestions?

    Bookmark   July 8, 2011 at 1:34AM
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Been having problems with my Puakenikeni. It was growing well indoors (very well) and then i moved it to a bigger pot and put it on the balcony. It suffered greatly and lost a lot of leaves before stabilizing, much smaller. During that time, It seemed to get big spots of the sort I photographed here. Now it has another. Any ideas what this is? Should I cut off the leaf?

    Bookmark   June 20, 2012 at 10:45AM
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Does anyone know how to preserve puakenikeni flowers, need to make a lei, but not enough fresh flowers bloom at a time !

    Bookmark   May 14, 2013 at 3:03PM
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Puakinikini is not a plant that should be planted close to your house. These plants can turn into trees. 15-20' trees. We just past 2 huge trees on I would transplant immediately. A corner of the yard or and area where they can grow 8" in diameter.
The smell of these flowers are heavenly though, they usually bloom at night and turn yellow after that morning.
Check out these two trees on Keaahala St in kaneohe, over 18' tall.

    Bookmark   July 14, 2013 at 11:18PM
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Nikki, you should have never planted this plant near you home. Relocate that buggah to a more open space in your yard. Aloha

    Bookmark   July 15, 2013 at 5:23AM
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Dear Tropical Gardeners,

live in Puerto Rico and I have quite a garden of rare and scented tropicals; however, I find that the folks who live on the "mainland" not have too many truly rare plants. In Puerto Rico, we are part of the "standard" mail system, and the rates are the same for priority mail, so I trade a lot.

I also have a website that you might find interesting: Facebook: tropical garden of Puerto Rico.

I also spend a lot of time way out in the rainforest gathering rare orphans (fallen after storm), pups, seeds, and rootings. Just found a rare plumeria the "experts" are having trouble identifying :)

Yes- I got clippings :)

Would you like a list?

Thanks so much!

Frank :)

1 Like    Bookmark   August 5, 2013 at 12:08PM
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