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My adventures in creating my own Hawaiian tropical garden…in icy New England.

To begin: I don’t have a green thumb. I don’t have a track record of creating lush home gardens, thriving tomato plants, or fancy homegrown spices. But I don’t have a black thumb either. My past is not littered with a serial killer’s list of destroyed orchids and dying roses.

An ex-boyfriend of mine once gave me a cactus. That lived. The prickly relationship, not so much.

After this crazy/difficult/isolated year, I wanted to try something new. A friend of mine highly recommended Discount Hawaiian Gifts. Their website says they are “the #1 Retailer of Authentic Hawaiian Tropical Plants.” Who am I to argue? The site is like a color splash fever dream of tropical beauty, and I decided to stretch myself and get a few plants from different categories.

That set me on a learnin’ journey that will hopefully help you too!


DHG (I’m calling them that because it sounds cooler) offers cutting, seeds & roots, and starter plants. They also offer full collections. I decided to “build my own” and chose:

  • 1 Red Ti Starter Plant
  • 1 Kona Coffee Starter Plant
  • 1 White Plumeria Cutting
  • 1 Red Ginger Root
  • 1 Combo Ti Log

Why? Honestly I wanted to explore each kind of product, and the pictures looked really pretty.

As I said: not a green thumb, not a black thumb. Basically thumbless.

Here’s how it all went down:


Ordering off the website was smooth, as it should be. As soon as I placed the order though, I realized that I had nothing in the house nor any idea how to set up my tropical garden. I sent an email to customer service requesting guidance and received this back in two hours:


I’m embarrassed to say that I could have found all of this information on the website under my products, OR on the instructions that come with each flower but…thumbless.

The email was a huge help, though, and I had all I needed to get started.

Here’s what each category felt like:


Despite the long travel distance, they didn’t look like they had a lot of “shock.” I did make sure to track the package and bring it immediately indoors and plant within an hour, so that probably helped.

The starter plants were easy to get into the soil, and the whole experience felt…earthy. Gardeny. I really recommend these for beginners, you can instantly have a green sprout working towards a bloom.

But unexpectedly, this novice had more fun with the more exotic offerings.


Cuttings are just cool. For my White Plumeria, there were a lot more steps and of course I’ll need to wait two to three months to see the results of my work.

This is what will be sprouting outside my East-facing window. I shall open my drapes and brighten the entire neighborhood come spring (pics to come).


I got the Red Ginger roots.

Because they’re roots, it’ll be a while before I see that kind of color. But when I unwrapped and planted, the early smell of ginger was on my fingers and in my place.

I put on some slack-key guitar music and dreamed of beaches.


The Combo Tea Log come in an unexpected package if you know as little as I do. They really are logs, and you need to cut the wax ends off before planting. This product requires a caution for anyone who has a dog.

While I was prepping the logs, my dog took a great interest, even popping her feet up on my kitchen counter. They look like they might be chew toys.

Prep them and plant them quickly!


All in all, this was a truly fun experience with a lot of ease. The things I was worried about- would the plants survive the trip, would the directions be easy, would I have what I needed?- were taken care of by DHG.

I highly recommend checking out the site and starting your own Hawaiian tropical garden adventure. Come back here for pics of my progress, and tell your own story too!