What will Wild West winds bring? More flowers and fruit?

By Heidi Leianuenue Bornhorst

We had such a weird windstorm with those super strong and gusty west winds! So different then normal.

Up in our valley we lost power twice to the wind and HECO did not restore power until 9:30 p.m. on Wednesday 3/8/2023.

Mangoes and avocados were full of blossoms, Honohono orchids were in bud and some in bloom.

My Portuguese Madeira roses, and native Hawaiian gardenia Na`u have been blooming well, loving the cool and rainy winter were are finally having.

As I clean up the storm debris, (Mahalo for nature’s Arboriculture) including blown down dead twigs and branches, and lots of leaves, some I notice are from my mauka neighbors.

One of the tenets of true Horticulture is to OBSERVE nature and plants, to track the moon, winds, rain and other weather phenomena as see how the plants respond.

I am still reflecting on how the plants would respond.

What do you see? How are your plants after the winds?

Did you have any big tree failures? Or just small or dead branches?

The leaves are whipped on my gingers, Surinam cherries, mulberries, and ohia shed a few flowering branches. A young popolo plant got totally blasted on one side, it was just coming into fruit.

So, we shall see!

Honohono orchids had been in full glorious fragrant bloom as they budded and bloomed early this year. Originally I thought the orchids stood the wind storm but after a few days those in the main wind tunnel area of my garden wilted and withered prematurely.

Went to a neighborhood watch potluck pa`ina and a nice lady, Lokelani, that I always say hi to on my walks was there, with a gorgeous papale lauhala. She admired my honohono and said she caught a whiff of fragrance, from way across the yard, and she looked for the source of this favorite old time Hawaii fragrance, and from where? My hair!

Since she admired the orchids, I had to give them to her, along with maire ferns!

Now a couple weeks after the winds, I’m observing some of my favorite flowers and fruit trees in my garden and neighborhood:

• ‘Ohi’a lehua  Blooming profusely, some dead wood branches and twigs broke in the winds

• Native White Hibiscus wind whipped leaves, a few blooms at the very top of the tree

• Tahitian mountain apples were blooming before, still many flowers and now small fruit.

• Gardenias surprise early blooms two on one stem, but no other apparent buds yet. (they usually bloom for me in May).

• Na`u, native Hawaiian Gardenia lots of flowers and buds (also triggered by abundant soft rains before the winds)

• Madeira roses Blooming profusely.

• Mangoes my Friend Dawn Shim from Makakilo brought me a gift of Haden mangoes, super early for this to fruit.

• Mulberries wind whipped leaves, lots of young fruit

• Pua Keni keni usually Bloom less in winter, BUT after the storm mine are full of Buds, flowers and lots of developing green “ball” fruit.  I made some lei for a fundraiser, and plucked and cut off all the young fruit, to encourage more blooms from the tree 

What are YOU observing, in your garden in your unique microclimate? I would love to hear back from my Gardening Readers …..

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