Pikake is a tropical perennial vine, native to India. Known officially as Jasminum sambac, it was a favorite flower of Hawai'i's Princess Kaiulani who dubbed it Pikake. The plant blooms in summer with heavily fragrant small, white flowers. In Hawai'i, the pikake is prized not only in the landscape but also for the production of flower leis. Outside of tropical regions, Pikake is grown most successfully indoors, in pots. The plant is hardy in USDA zone 11, and may be able to tolerate zones 9 and 10, with regular care.
Pour the potting mix into the pot and water well. Stir it around as you water to make sure that it is evenly wet. Allow the excess water to drain from the bottom of the pot.
Place the plant in the pot and backfill with the planting medium. The pikake should sit about 1 inch from the rim of the pot. Tamp firmly around the base of the plant.
Grow the pikake in full sunlight and daytime temperatures between 80 and 90 degrees F. Temperatures in the evening should be 70 degrees.
Water the pikake only if the soil is a little dry to the touch. An inch or two of water a week is sufficient and you should cut back on that in the winter. Use a misting bottle to provide humidity for the plant by spraying the leaves daily.
Fertilize with a balanced fertilizer (10-10-10) in the winter, when you prune the pikake. Reapply again in April and August.
Prune older pikake plants back to two feet in the winter, according to horticulturists at the University of Hawai'i. Pikake only produces flowers on new growth so even a light pruning will promote blossoms for the next season.
Things You Will Need
- Soilless potting mix
- Planting pot, 3 gallon
- Fertilizer, 10-10-10
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