Rent Shop Volunteer Join

Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

Help us grow by giving to the Plant Database Fund or by becoming a member

Did you know you can access the Native Plant Information Network with your web-enabled smartphone?


Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Search Smarty Plants
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions

Please forgive us, but Mr. Smarty Plants has been overwhelmed by a flood of mail and must take a break for awhile to catch up. We hope to be accepting new questions again soon. Thank you!

Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.

rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Friday - February 03, 2006

From: Koloa, HI
Region: Hawaii
Topic: Trees
Title: Tahitian gardenias (Gardenia taitensis) salt and wind resistance in Hawaii
Answered by: Nan Hampton


Are Tahitian Gardenias salt tolerant? We live on a rocky coastline in Hawaii and we get a lot of salt spray.


You are in luck, Tahitian gardenias (Gardenia taitensis) ARE salt and wind resistant. The Cooperative Extension Service of the College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources (CTAHR) of the University of Hawaii at Manoa has a paper, "Salt and wind tolerance of landscape plants for Hawaii", that you can download as a PDF file. In this article the authors assign common (and some uncommon) plants used in landscaping in Hawaii to one of two categories:

"Zone 1 plants are highly salt and wind tolerant and can be used in exposed locations, such as areas near the beach receiving direct winds from the ocean. These plants are tolerant of soil salinity and wind-borne salt. During severe storms and hurricanes, even plants listed in Zone 1 may experience moderate to severe salt and wind injury."

"Zone 2 plants are moderately tolerant of soil salinity and usually tolerate light salt spray but should not be used in exposed locations. They may be sensitive to wind or to medium or heavy salt spray. These plants do best when protected by buildings, fences, or plantings of Zone 1 species."

Gardenia taitensis is listed in the "Shrubs—Zone 1" list.

The CTAHR web page is a wonderful resource with lists of publications available on many aspects of gardening in Hawaii.


More Trees Questions

What are the native fruit-bearing plants in North America?
February 16, 2010 - What are the native fruit-bearing plants in North America?
view the full question and answer

Living fence of native plants in Central Texas
December 14, 2008 - I would like to plant a living fence around my property in central Texas. What trees/plants will survive the Texas weather best without taking years to provide visual shield?
view the full question and answer

Fast-growing medium-sized tree for New Jersey
July 06, 2013 - I'm looking for trees to put on a slight slope that will do well in rocky clay soil. I 'm in N.J. zone 6. The spot is full sun and would like a fast grower 50 ft high maximum. I'm replacing white p...
view the full question and answer

Dog eats Celtis laevigata, sugar hackberry
May 21, 2012 - This is an odd question but I am a biologist and have for years notice an odd behavior in my Golden Retriever. When he gets stomach distress or something makes him nervous like an incoming thunderstor...
view the full question and answer

Removing and replacing juniper bushes
June 20, 2008 - Hi! I'm pulling up juniper bushes. (just don't like it) I'm getting down to the roots now on one side and I'm having a hard time getting them up. Any recommendations. They are near my drive...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.