Maile Plant : Complete Guide And Care Tips

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The Maile Plant: A Complete Guide and Care Tips

Have you ever heard of the maile plant? It’s a beautiful and fragrant plant that is native to Hawaii.

This plant is not only aesthetically pleasing but has cultural significance as well.

The maile lei, made from the leaves of this plant, is traditionally used in Hawaiian ceremonies and celebrations.

In this article, we will provide you with a complete guide on the maile plant, including care tips.

What is a Maile Plant?

The maile (Alyxia oliviformis) is an evergreen shrub or vine that can grow up to 30 feet tall if left unchecked in its natural habitat.

It belongs to the Apocynaceae family and has glossy dark green leaves that are about 4 inches long and 2 inches wide.

Cultural Significance

The Hawaiians have been using the maile lei for many centuries for various occasions such as weddings, graduations, funerals, etc.

In ancient Hawaii times it was also used to signify peace between warring chiefs; it acted like an olive branch does in Greek culture today.

Growth Habits

This tropical perennial grows best in temperatures ranging from 60-85 degrees Fahrenheit (16-29 degrees Celsius).

They prefer moist soil high in organic matter content with good drainage; they tend not to do well under waterlogged conditions.


Maui Soil Requirements for Growing Maile Plants

  • Sandy loam with humus-rich topsoil spread over volcanic rock substrate provides ideal growing conditions for Maui’s preferred crop varieties such as coffee trees (Coffea arabica L.).
  • Fertigation services are necessary to supplement soil nutrients, as the volcanic rock substrate is nutrient-deficient.

    Nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium supplements are essential for optimal growth and yield.

  • Mulching with organic materials such as grass clippings, leaves, or wood chips can help conserve soil moisture and regulate temperature fluctuations that could harm young plants.

Maile Plant Care Tips


The maile plant requires moderate watering; it should not be allowed to dry out completely between waterings.

Overwatering may lead to root rot which will eventually kill the plant.

It’s advisable to moisten the soil frequently but sparingly by misting them instead of drenching them in water.


A monthly application of balanced fertilizer at half-strength during growing seasons is recommended for optimal growth and flowering.

A time-released fertilizer formulation can also be used following package instructions.



Pruning is vital for a healthy maile plant- removing dead stems, leaves or flowers helps stimulate new growth while improving airflow around the shrub or vine canopy.

Regularly pruning encourages denser foliage production that enhances its aesthetic value while preventing pest infestations due to good air circulation.

Pests & Diseases

The Maile plant is relatively pest-resistant; however, regular checkups must be done as whiteflies or spider mites may occasionally infest it during hot weather conditions.

Proper irrigation practices help prevent root rot that might cause yellowing of leaves due to overwatering.

In Conclusion

The Maile plant has an incredible history in Hawaiian culture not only because it’s highly sought after but also because of its traditional use in various ceremonies such as weddings, graduations, and funerals.

Growing and caring for them is relatively easy once the appropriate conditions are provided.

If you are looking to add a touch of Hawaii to your garden or home, then the Maile plant will undoubtedly do the trick.

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