The magic of tropical flowers is that we Hawaiian gardeners can enjoy them all year round. In winter when it is cooler falling into the 60’s periodically, there tends to be less of some varieties and more of others.
The costas for example seem to love the cool rainy weather and flower prolifically along with the sexy pinks and other red haliconia’s.
The gingers and the torches defiantly slow down. May being their really big month to strut their stuff in my garden.
Christmas in the gardens brings an abundance of red with the red costas and a few red torches leading the way along with the red fuzzy haliconias. There is also an abundance of bright red avapuhi or shampoo ginger. ( They get their name from the delicious sweet smell of the nectar inside the bracts that we locals like to put on our hair and skin for perfume.) I also grow another red costa called lipstick that is dark red and distinctive in the garden and in arrangements. (the top of the flower looks like the top of a tube of lipstick hence the name.) I love to add the pure pink of the sexy pinks and the oranges of the tropic fleur haliconias to round out my arrangements and lend some spice to all the reds!
A little known fact outside of flower growing circles is that the price of all flowers is not the same. While the gingers and the costa’s run around $2.00 to $3.00 a stem. Sexy pinks cost between $9.00 and $10.00 a piece. They are by far the hardest tropical to grow, they like some shade and to grow on a mound or river bank where they can get plenty of water and they demand frequent fertilization in order to flower which they only do a few times a year. The queen of flowers considered the most beautiful by most growers is of course the most difficult! The fact that the sexy pinks hang down also precludes using them in small bouquets. they are usually reserved for large centerpiece flower arrangements in the lobby’s of hotels or for prestigious weddings.
Tropical arrangements as Christmas decorations are fun and exciting to make then distribute to friends for presents. They retain their beauty into the new year and brighten up any room they inhabit. I feel truly blessed to enjoy working with these beautiful living flowers while most of the rest of the US is under a blanket of snow.