Get Expert Advice from Local Growers Hailing from Waimea to Ocean View

KAILUA-KONA, HAWAII ISLAND— Featuring Big Isle mom and pop nurseries, the Plant People Road Show is 8 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 28 at the Makaeo Pavilion at Old Kona Airport State Recreation Area. Admission is free.

“It’s where you can talk directly to members of our local nursery community,” says event organizer Bob Harris of OrchidPeople. “Ask us questions and get answers specific to your growing location from people who do the growing.”

In addition, attendees can visit informative displays presented by the Hawaii Ant Lab and the Big Island Invasive Species Committee (BIISC). October is “Stop the Ant Month” in Hawaii and a multi-agency effort is encouraging residents to collect and submit ants from their properties to help detect and control the spread of invasive little fire ants (LFA) and other harmful pest ants that may be new to the state.

Kawehi Young of BIISC says the organization will provide updates on current invasive species affecting our island gardens. It will also share into on the Plant Pono Program, which encourages the use of native and non-invasive plants in landscapes.

Participating growers hail from around the island: 

• Chitosi Tsumura of C&T Products in Keaau features many different varieties and colors of long-lasting anthuriums.

• Peter and Kay DeMello of DeMello Air Plants of Kona provide 50 varieties of easy-care air plants.

• Jennifer Snyder and Bob Harris of OrchidPeople in Waimea offer warm-tolerant varieties of cymbidium orchids that flower mauka to makai. Cymbidiums are prized for their large, multiple flowers on tall spikes. 

• Phoenicia and Bob Zeller of Pele’s Island Plants in Oceanview grow select and hard-to-find orchid varieties, assorted cactus and succulents. Find choices for the collector and hobbyist. 

• Kari Hagerman of Pomaika‘i Plant Company of Waimea is bringing bedding plants, lavender, hibiscus, Brindabella roses and Silver Dollar eucalyptus.

• Sean Spellicy and Iris Viacrusis of Royal Palm Enterprises in Kuristown sell palms, exotic fruit trees including ethnic favorites, blooming waterlilies, bamboo and heliconia.

In its ninth year, the Plant People Road Show offers two sales annually, around Valentine’s Day and Halloween. The direct, nursery-customer setting enables growers to meet the public and get feedback while providing expert growing guidance. For info, phone 808-987-3231 and follow Plant People Road Show on Facebook.