Hawaiian Ti Plants
The Hawaiian Ti has many uses: green Ti leaves for hula skirts, a red Ti plant outside your front door for good luck, large leaves as Hawaiian aluminum foil to cook laulau and conserve food, colored leaves for floral decorations and celebrations, Ti to thatch the roofs of the traditional hale.
How to Grow a Ti Plant
The good news is Ti is super easy and very gratifying to grow! Take a look at the Ti plants around you in your Hawaiian garden. Do you have green, red, or corrugated? Are some sprouting up too high with fewer leaves and more trunk? The Ti plant is a great hedge but just needs a bit of cultivating.
Trimming Ti Plants
If a plant is shooting up too high, chop it off 5- 1o inches below the leaves and it will branch out and grow back as a double. See above photo — I cut this Ti down about a month ago and it is already sprouted in my Puamana garden. (Those are bananas behind, Ti in the foreground)
Rooting Ti Plants from Cuttings
First, you want to get some cuttings. Prune the Ti plants in the front of your hedge, on the sunny side, down shorter so the back ti leaves can reach the sun. For cuttings, it’s best to use Ti branches that are not too thin. Notice the roots popping out on the ti branch above after one week.
Caring for Hawaiian Ti Plants
Pull off extra leaves, put Ti in a bucket (or a vase because they are so pretty) for a month and roots will sprout and be ready to re-plant. Change the water once a week for mosquitoes and rot, but try not to move the plants around too much in the bucket as the sprouted roots are fragile.
Growing Ti Plants is Easy
I have a gardening book with long explanations of rooting compound, planting Ti in boxes, grafting Ti, using black sand, etc. I’m telling you just chop the Ti leaf branch, put it in an inch of water for a couple of weeks, then plant in some dirt you have prepped with your compost and eggshells; somewhere sunny with lots of water… It’s that easy!