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Arts & Culture

A GROWING PASSION: Intoxicating Plumeria

Host Nan Sterman examines plumeria obtusa at Southern California Plumeria Society's annual luau and plant sale in San Diego's Balboa Park.
Courtesy of AGP Productions, LLC
Host Nan Sterman examines plumeria obtusa at Southern California Plumeria Society's annual luau and plant sale in San Diego's Balboa Park.

Thursday, Aug.19, 2021 at 8:30 p.m. on KPBS TV + Monday, Aug. 23 at 8:30 p.m. on KPBS 2 / On Demand

Learn about plumeria, a big, tropical looking plant that captivated Southern Californians

In the 1950s and 1960s, the Aloha Spirit captivated Southern Californians at a time when the Beach Boys were singing about surfing, home gardeners were planting plumeria in their gardens.

These big, tropical looking plants produce fragrant and sometimes colorful flowers that were a staple of Hawaiian leis, despite their arid origin.

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Over the years, the popularity of plumeria has waxed and waned, making a big comeback in the last five or ten years.

Host Nan Sterman shows plumeria in a garden landscape.
Courtesy of AGP Productions, LLC
Host Nan Sterman shows plumeria in a garden landscape.

September marks the Southern California Plumeria Society's annual luau and plant sale in San Diego's Balboa Park.

On this episode, we visit the show as we explore the history and attraction of these easy to grow crowd-pleasers.

Host Nan Sterman discusses how plumeria grow with expert Mike Atkinson.
Courtesy of AGP Productions, LLC
Host Nan Sterman discusses how plumeria grow with expert Mike Atkinson.
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We meet some of the old time growers who were part of the original wave of plumeria popularity, along with the new generation of aficionados.

We learn how easy it is to grow these plants in our region, and see the vast array of colors, shapes and sizes. We even learn how to even make a lei or two.

Host Nan Sterman learns how to make a lei with plumeria.
Courtesy of AGP Productions, LLC
Host Nan Sterman learns how to make a lei with plumeria.

WATCH ON YOUR SCHEDULE:

Episodes of A GROWING PASSION are on demand.

With the PBS Video App, you can stream your favorite and local station shows. Download it for free on your favorite device. The app allows you to catch up on recent episodes and discover award-winning shows.

JOIN THE CONVERSATION:

A GROWING PASSION is on Facebook, and you can follow @GrowingPassion on Twitter. Share photos and follow the series on Instagram.

Southern California Plumeria Society is on Facebook.

Colorful plumeria
Courtesy of AGP Productions, LLC
Colorful plumeria

ABOUT THE SERIES:

More and more San Diegans strive to make socially, environmentally and economically-responsible choices.

From earth-friendly and water-wise gardens to organic foods and habitat restoration, we demand options that protect our health, feed our communities and protect our natural resources.

A GROWING PASSION is an Emmy-winning lifestyle program that explores San Diego County's agriculture and horticulture activities as an expression of this growing earth-friendly movement.

From backyard food production to major horticultural growers, from low-water landscapes to sustainable practices around the home and in the garden, we tell stories about the natural and manmade landscapes that shape the social, cultural, environmental and economic interests of our community.

We celebrate how San Diego grows.