Home Gardening Create a Thriving Hawaiian Oceanfront Garden: A Step-by-Step Guide

Create a Thriving Hawaiian Oceanfront Garden: A Step-by-Step Guide

by Donna
3 minutes read

Creating a Thriving Hawaiian Oceanfront Garden

Creating a beautiful and vibrant garden by the ocean in Hawaii can be a rewarding experience. However, it’s important to keep in mind the unique challenges of this environment, such as strong winds, sandy soil, and salt spray. By following these tips and choosing the right plants, you can create a thriving Hawaiian oceanfront garden that will bring you years of enjoyment.

Selecting Native Hawaiian Plants

The key to success in oceanfront gardening in Hawaii is to use native Hawaiian plants. These plants are naturally adapted to the harsh conditions, including drought, salt, and wind. Some of the most popular and easy-to-grow native Hawaiian plants for beach gardens include:

  • ??hi?a lehua (Metrosideros polymorpha): A small tree with showy red flowers that can tolerate a wide range of conditions.
  • Manele (Sapindus Saponaria): A small tree with glossy green leaves and fruit that was once used to make soap.
  • Naio (Myoporum sandwicense): A small tree or shrub with beautiful glossy green leaves and white/pink flowers.
  • ‘A’ali’ (Dodonaea viscosa): A shrub with glossy green leaves and colorful seed capsules that are often used in leis and flower arrangements.
  • Pohinahina (Vitex rotundifolia): A low-growing shrub with silvery leaves and lavender flowers.
  • Naupaka kahakai (Scaevola sericea): A groundcover with large, paddle-shaped leaves and fragrant white flowers.

Creating a Windbreak

Strong winds can be a problem for oceanfront gardens, but there are ways to mitigate their effects. One way is to plant a windbreak, which is a row of trees or shrubs that will help to redirect the wind over the garden. Some good choices for windbreaks include:

  • Ironwood (Casuarina equisetifolia): A fast-growing tree with needle-like leaves that can withstand strong winds.
  • Beach vitex (Vitex rotundifolia): A low-growing shrub with silvery leaves that can also tolerate salt spray.
  • Naupaka kahakai (Scaevola sericea): A groundcover with large, paddle-shaped leaves that can help to create a dense windbreak.

Other Tips for Oceanfront Gardening in Hawaii

In addition to selecting the right plants and creating a windbreak, there are a few other things you can do to ensure the success of your Hawaiian oceanfront garden:

  • Use sandy soil: Oceanfront soil is typically sandy and well-drained, which is ideal for most native Hawaiian plants.
  • Water regularly: Even drought-tolerant plants need regular watering, especially during the dry season.
  • Fertilize sparingly: Native Hawaiian plants don’t need a lot of fertilizer, so fertilize them only lightly and infrequently.
  • Mulch around plants: Mulch helps to retain moisture, suppress weeds, and regulate soil temperature.

Additional Resources

For more information on oceanfront gardening in Hawaii, you can contact the extension office at the University of Hawaii at Manoa or the Maui Nui Botanical Gardens. These organizations can provide you with additional tips and advice on how to create a beautiful and thriving Hawaiian oceanfront garden.

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