Growing Ti Plants in Hawaii is Easy: The Hawaiian Ti Leaf 101

pots full of hawaiian ti plants on maui

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.

grow ti plants step by step

The beautiful red Ti hedge in Alaeloa

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.

how to grow hawaiian ti plants

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)

how to grow ti plants from cuttings

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.

growing hawaiian ti plants from cuttings

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.

rooting ti plants from cuttings

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!

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Tracy S Stice

January 7, 2021

Anna, thanks for this article on ti.

My farm, Maliko Ti has 25,000 green ti plants that I have farmed for the past 8 years, supplying all the Maui hotels and restaurants via Kula Produce.

One more trick on rooting. When I am doing a mass planting, I make cuttings 12 inches long, put in a 5 gallon bucket, add a teaspoon of liquid rooting hormone and soad them for 3 days. If you do this, you don’t need to wait for roots, just put them right in the ground and keep them moist. I get about a 90% take doing this, but I do like to use that larger diameter cuttings ( over 1 inch diameter ) as thin cutting loose viability fast. The tops always root and grow about twice as last as stem cuttings.

Anna Severson

January 7, 2021

> Mahalo Tracy! Good information, I’ll add that on the last paragraph of the blog!


July 23, 2021

Back in the ancient hawaiian ways, the green ti leaf used for good luck. The red ones are used for warfare.

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