Tropical Perennial Vegetable Gardening in Hawaii

Tropical Perennial Vegetable Gardening in Hawaii

John from goes on a field trip to the Tropical edibles nursery on the Big Island of Hawaii. In this episode, John will highlight the fruits and vegetables that are easy to grow in a tropical climate such as Hawaii. You will learn the difference between perennial edible vegetable and regular annual vegetables that must be replanted every so often. During this episode, John will share his favorite tropical edible vegetables you should grow in tropical climates. You will also discover how you can landscape with edibles in your yard to allow you to grow your own food at home. After watching this episode you will have the knowledge you need to know what specifically to plant in Hawaii or other tropical locations to have an edible garden with minimal effort.

Learn more about the Tropical Edibles Nursery at


  1. BigPoiDog on June 5, 2022 at 8:26 pm

    Awesome episode! Takes me back to my youth growing up in Hawaii. Now on the east coast usa, I had to adapt to perennial fruiting plants/trees (apple, persimmon, paw paw, blue berries, and black berries) that grow well in my area. All good, but nothing like the tropical fruits I grew up with.

  2. danwaltz315 on June 5, 2022 at 8:31 pm

    very interesting nursery there.

  3. Lionel Budhram on June 5, 2022 at 8:31 pm

    brown sugar fruit also known as Sapodilla

  4. Shtfman85 on June 5, 2022 at 8:31 pm

    Oh man lmao that first one looks like something when it gets hard and it’s called a delicious monster

  5. Teale Britstra on June 5, 2022 at 8:32 pm

    The red leaf plant at 4:00 is a Cordyline – probably a Cordyline fruiticosa hybrid. Many Cordylines have edible fruit, but I’m not sure about C.fruiticosa specifically, nor how it tastes (if edible).

  6. Aloha from Hawaii on June 5, 2022 at 8:34 pm

    Have you heard about ‘Tongan Hibiscus’ or ‘edible hibiscus’? It’s grown for the leaves, which are delicious and very nutritious. To grow it, you simply cut off a stick and stick it in the ground(at least, here in Hawai’i. BTW, the cranberry hibiscus leaves (sour) that you showed are a very popular vegetable in the Congo.

  7. Elisa Finch on June 5, 2022 at 8:36 pm

    Write name of the plant..thank you..

  8. Nica Caoile on June 5, 2022 at 8:37 pm

    Aloha John! I live on the Big Island and I’ve never stopped at the Edible Nursery and I pass it all the time. I am definitely going to make it a regular resource for local plants. I never knew it was that large and had so many varieties. That’s what I’m looking for! I ‘m just a beginner but my husband has the green thumb. We grow a LOT of stuff but never enough. I’m hooked now and love your videos! Looking for a home in Hawaii? I’m a realtor!

  9. Jean-Jaques Rousseau on June 5, 2022 at 8:39 pm

    Hello, i’m trying to find out how fruit trees (or even an oak tree) from the temperate zone behave if they are taken to tropics. Do they loose their leaves in the winter or what happens to them without the winter. Have expriments been done in this respect? Thanks

  10. Colin Quinn on June 5, 2022 at 8:39 pm

    I was just in Captain Cook in November.  I ran out of time and wanted to visit Tropical Edibles. I am very glad you did. Thanks for the video !

  11. kd5txo on June 5, 2022 at 8:46 pm

    Poi is not made from RAW taro/Kalo root…. the root must first be either baked or boiled then the cooked root may be pounded into a paste (I forget the hawaiian name )…water is later added to make Poi that is consumed. Also Taro/Kalo can be eaten as a vegetable….if you eat it raw, it will make you sick.

  12. Judy Buxton on June 5, 2022 at 8:48 pm

    Would these same tropical plants do well in the tropical climate of Belize?

  13. Joseph DeSalvo on June 5, 2022 at 8:50 pm

    Be careful of eating the produce as ratlung disease is bad news. Caused by snails carrying parasites!

  14. Islander on June 5, 2022 at 8:50 pm

    I live just down the road from that nursery. Good to see you’re in town! Enjoy!

  15. Kyle Lester on June 5, 2022 at 8:52 pm

    I wonder who could name all of those plants without looking at the tag? I bet John knew most without looking. Dragon fruit or Jack fruit would be cool to grow there also.

  16. Garden to on June 5, 2022 at 8:53 pm

    3:51 Ti Leaf (Cordyline fruticosa) is edible in certain ways, used more for medicinal and spiritual purposes. Young leaves as a potherb and cooked roots for food and brewing.  Mamaki – the small white blossoms are edible and yummy, as said, the plant is also used for tea and we use it in Hawaiian medicine as well- it is native.

  17. James Bustard on June 5, 2022 at 8:53 pm

    It’s marjoram not "marajom", cardamom not "cardamon", turmeric not "tumeric"

  18. Rufo Rufo on June 5, 2022 at 8:53 pm

    Hey John,
    i really dig your stuff man, been following your vids for about 5 years now. your such an awesome dude
    i know this vid is a few years old now but id like to ask you a favor.
    my best friend lives in kailua kona and we have been talking about doing the very same thing like the peeps in this vid. we will start on a smaller scale first though. what id like to know is would it be cool to contact you from time to time to pick your brain? you have so much to teach and, even though i consider myself to be somewhat knowledgeable about farming, chickens and such. i still have soooo much to learn
    thanks brother

    PS. i totally get your near death encounter with meningitis. i too had a bout with it at 16. in my case it was leptospirosis contracted from a pet mouse. (go figure that one..) , and i was lucky to survive because the initial symptoms are very similar to a common flu. easily overlooked until its too late.
    so hang tough bro.

  19. Jay Gruen on June 5, 2022 at 8:56 pm

    Please shoot me your info…I will be on the Big Island March 17th 2015….I am a homesteader and grower.

  20. xdialga361445x on June 5, 2022 at 8:57 pm

    i have seen longans at asian supermarket they have a woody seen i never ate the fruit i have seen rambutan do veitnamese perrenial veggies and fruit

  21. JC Stanton on June 5, 2022 at 8:58 pm

    kale and many other brassica type greens can be grown as perennial on hawaii or at least will last a couple years

  22. just trying to grow some food on June 5, 2022 at 8:59 pm

    i ate for the first time out of my garden it was great 

  23. george medeiros on June 5, 2022 at 8:59 pm

    Why caint you put the veggies, perennials, etc!!!, NAMES down looser you are tooo much talk and no results like naming the dam plants, trees etc, you suck john now that I seen more of you same shit you never tell us the fucking names

  24. keyair123 on June 5, 2022 at 8:59 pm

    John. What is the best island for gardening in Hawaii?

  25. Gloria Walker on June 5, 2022 at 8:59 pm

    My miracle fruit is having a very hard time. It lost most of its leaves and was not thriving in the soil. So I bought a greenhouse, repot it in different soil, and now I will watch the moister level better. I have another one on order just in case. So Cal.

  26. Gloria Walker on June 5, 2022 at 8:59 pm

    I just stuck the sugar cane in the soil straight up. No wonder only one of the three canes survived.
     I wonder if the jungle peanuts would work the same as the perennial peanut as ground cover?

  27. Daniela Garcia on June 5, 2022 at 9:01 pm

    I’ve just recently purchased a small tropical land in the Phlippines (Samal Island), and your videos have been my inspiration in growing my own veganic garden. Thank you for sharing your knowledge and advices I appreciate your videos very much 🙂 I would love to hear more of your tips on growing a thriving fruit and vegetable garden!

  28. Island Me on June 5, 2022 at 9:02 pm

    I’m on Oahu and love this video!  Gonna go this weekend and get some more of these to add to the garden.  You’re right that if the ship doesn’t come in for whatever reason, the island will run out of food very quickly.  Everyone should be growing some of their own food here.  Thank you, John!

  29. Sam Miguel on June 5, 2022 at 9:02 pm

    Seriously?  If the boat doesn’t come in?  We may be an island but there are grocery stores here…There is rarely a shortage of food in the stores.  However, gardening is a great idea for getting your edibles.  Piggy backing on your comment, we do suggest we keep our plants local.

  30. Andy's Fishing Wild Cook on June 5, 2022 at 9:03 pm

    The purple plant between the Papaya are Cordiline, they are edible.

  31. Lamyka L. on June 5, 2022 at 9:05 pm

    Have you thought about coming to Oahu to learn & share about Native edibles?

  32. Lamyka L. on June 5, 2022 at 9:05 pm

    John, the red plant you saw on the way up is Ki, aka, Ti Leaf plant. The root is edible. It must be steamed first though. The red Ti Leaf is sacred to Pele, which is fitting because you are in Hilo.

  33. Choua Lee on June 5, 2022 at 9:07 pm

    I’m so glad I landed on your site, my husband & I are moving to Oahu in a month.  We are big supporters of organic gardening, eating & living a healthy lifestyle.  Since we will be making Hawaii a permanent home, I have a desire to grown my own organic garden. I am a beginner & have started to do more research.  My background is Hmong and I’m 2nd generation.  If you are not familiar with the Hmong people they live in the mountains and grow a lot of their own veggies & rice so I hope to continue that in my family, but learning to grow organically.  I appreciate your passion to share and educate others about organic gardening!  I look forward to watching more of your videos.  God bless!

  34. Anthony Ramirez on June 5, 2022 at 9:08 pm

    where in kona is this place located

  35. Fred Cowell on June 5, 2022 at 9:09 pm

    Mahalo John,
    You’ve done a great job showing some the wonderful edibles we have in Hawaii. My coffee farm is less than a mile from this spot. I’m encouraged to expand family food production once we move back to Captain Cook. One of our biggest issues is weed control. As my father says, "Everything grows in paradise, especially the weeds"
    Aloha and a hui hou 

  36. berni oakes on June 5, 2022 at 9:14 pm

    The reds between papayas are Ti leafs

  37. jeanne delacruz on June 5, 2022 at 9:14 pm

    thanks so much. growing a garden. okinawa purple spinach so easy to grow.

  38. Wan Ohana on June 5, 2022 at 9:15 pm

    Mamaki= Scientific name: Pipturus albidus

  39. Veronica Moore on June 5, 2022 at 9:16 pm

    John please don’t eat the leaves without washing them we have rat lung

  40. de famz on June 5, 2022 at 9:18 pm

    where are the fruits?

  41. Walter Bono on June 5, 2022 at 9:21 pm

    nice video!!!

  42. ekiroto9 on June 5, 2022 at 9:21 pm

    That red leaf it Ti leaf and it is edible. It might not be edible raw but it is used like banana leaf to wrap items for steaming in an open fire. Similar to how banana leaves are used in some cultures. It adds a nice flavor to steamed things.

  43. S Ann on June 5, 2022 at 9:22 pm

    Wow, how do you seem to find all these cool places?!!!

  44. Praxxus55712 on June 5, 2022 at 9:22 pm

    "You’ll never taste food any better than food you grew in your own yard". <—That is beautifully put and absolutely true John. 🙂

  45. Jennsinkona on June 5, 2022 at 9:23 pm

    Man I live in Holualoa which is the mountain area above Kona on the big island and I didn’t know this place existed! I’m gonna check it out on my next day off!! My kids and I are starting a garden and I don’t know if you know but we have wild pigs! Is there anything we can do to keep them away from our melons and pumpkins?

  46. thesensualtea on June 5, 2022 at 9:23 pm

    what kind of camera are you using john?

  47. Indoor Hydroponix & Outdoor Organix on June 5, 2022 at 9:24 pm

    Good work Kohler!

  48. berni oakes on June 5, 2022 at 9:25 pm

    Is there a good book on Hawaiian edibles you have covered?

  49. James Bustard on June 5, 2022 at 9:25 pm

    You mispronounce foliage "foilage", turmeric "tumeric", cellulose "ceulose", marjoram "marajom", cardamom "cardamon".

  50. Carol Wyban on June 5, 2022 at 9:25 pm

    Lilikoi is good but it can be a pest and take over. Taro must be cooked for hours before eating.

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