Native Hawaiian Plant Month is a time to recognize the unique plant species that call Hawaiʻi home. Not only are native plants an integral part of our natural ecosystems, but they also hold rich cultural and spiritual significance to Hawaiʻi and its people. Join us all month long as we celebrate the magic of native Hawaiian plants and share ways you can incorporate them into your everyday life. Here are four simple ways to celebrate native plants this month:
1. Plant native species
Did you know that there are dozens of native species that you can plant right in your backyard? Native Hawaiian plants are well-suited to the Hawaiian climate which makes them making them easier to care for. Are you interested in planting a native garden but don’t know what to choose or where to start? Look no further: BIISC is coordinating a series of FREE planting classes across the island this month. Participants will learn the basics of native planting, including soil preparation, seed selection, planting techniques, and proper watering and fertilization. You’ll also get hands-on experience planting your own native species, and you’ll leave with a free native tree to take home!
Pre-registration is required for all classes.
- Thursday, April 13th at 10 AM – registration required
- K’s Greenhouse (92-8376 Catamaran Lane, Ocean View, HI, 96737)
- Monday, April 24th at 10 AM – registration required
- Hawaiʻi State Tree Nursery (66-1220 Lālāmilo Farm Rd, Unit A Kamuela HI 96743)
- Friday, April 28th at 1 PM – registration required
- Aikane Nursery (55-3472 Akoni Pule Hwy, Hāwī, HI 96719)
- Sunday, April 30th at 1 PM – registration required
- Mālā Lāʻau Hawaiʻi (Pāhoa, HI 96778)
Can’t make it in person? No worries! Join us online on Tuesday, April 11th at 6 PM to hear from our Plant Pono experts about using native plants in home landscaping. Join us on Zoom or Facebook Live, or catch the recording later on our YouTube channel.
2. Visit a native forest
Native forests are home to some of the most unique and beautiful plants in the world. By visiting a native forest, you can witness the beauty of these plants firsthand and learn more about their role in the ecosystem. The Kaulana Manu Nature Trail off of Saddle Road is a great, family-friendly location to explore the natural beauty of a kīpuka. This is a popular spot for bird watchers to see several types of native forest birds, including some endangered ones like the ‘akiapōlā’au, ‘akepa, and ‘alawī. You can help protect our native forests from invasive species, like Rapid ʻŌhiʻa Death, by cleaning your boots and gear before and after hiking,
Check out this video from when the trail was first opened:
3. Create artwork inspired by native plants
Native Hawaiian plants have been a source of inspiration for artists and creatives for centuries. You can celebrate these plants by creating your own artwork inspired by them. Whether you’re a painter, photographer, or writer, there are endless ways to express your appreciation for these beautiful plants. Join creators @laulimahawaii, @kaulumaika, and @kakoucollective as they share educational videos, drawing tutorials, and other inspirational content on social media. You might learn something new!
4. Gift a native plant to a loved one
A native plant makes a thoughtful and meaningful gift that will last for years to come. You can choose a plant that has special significance or meaning to your loved one or select a plant that is well-suited to their environment. Gifting a native plant is a simple way to share your love for the environment with those around you. There’s a selection of native species available in the nursery trade, so consider supporting Plant Pono-endorsed businesses – nurseries on our island that have voluntarily committed to not selling invasive plants, and to managing their nurseries with best practices to prevent the spread of invasive pests.