Maui Planting Guidelines

  • Select the largest and healthiest specimens; however, be sure to note that they are not pot-bound since smaller, younger plants may result in a low rate of plant survival.
  • When selecting native species, consider the site they are to be planted in, and the space that you have to plant.
    • For example: Mountain species such as koa and maile will not grow well in hot coastal areas exposed to strong ocean breezes. Lowland and coastal species such as wiliwili and kou require abundant sunshine and porous soil.
  • Consider the size of the species at maturity since some trees can grow very large.
  • Over-planting tends to be a big problem in the landscape due to the underestimation of a specie's height, width, or spread. A large, dense canopied tree such as the kukui is a good shade tree for a lawn; however, its canopy size and density of shade will limit what can be planted in the surrounding area. Shade cast by a koa and ohia lehua is relatively light and will not inhibit growth beneath it.
  • Keep seasons in mind when you are selecting your plants. Not all plants look good year round. Some plants such as ilima will look scraggly after they have flowered and formed seeds.
  • Avoid planting large areas with only one native plant. Mixing plants that naturally grow together will ensure an attractive garden year round.
  • Studying plants' habitats helps to show how they grow in the wild.
    • When planting an area with a mixed ecosystem, keep in mind the size and ecological requirements of each plant. Start with the hardiest and most easily grown species, and allow space for fragile ones in subsequent plantings.
Acquiring Natives
Plants in their wild habitat must be protected and maintained. It is best and easiest to get your plants from nurseries or friend's gardens.

Obtain proper permits from landowners and make sure you follow a few common sense rules:
  • Collect sparingly from each plant or area
  • Some plants are on the state or federal endangered species list. Make sure you get permits.