chartreuse orchids 1

Part of the adventure of visiting a nursery here in East Hawaii on the Big Island is actually the journey and finding it in the dense jungle of the Puna Coastline where Alohilani Orchid Nursery is located. Tucked into the forested area of Wa’a Wa’a in a remote part of East Hawaii, the land is a juxtaposition of undulating lava formations created by newly formed lava from the 2018 eruptions and untouched jungles that survived the madness of the lava flows into the area. Orchid farms on the Big Island are fun to visit when they allow for visitors and this one is a real adventure to get to on the island.

Alohilani Orchid Nursery sits in this lush jungle pocketed with small farms, nurseries and locals just wanting to get away from the rat race and into a simple, country lifestyle of growing their own food and perhaps selling some of that bounty. This orchid nursery expands on the bountiful aspect with selling their tropical fruits to local farmers markets and the orchid business producing a variety of export orchids to mainland customers looking for exotic miniature orchids, dendrobiums, Phalaenopsis and the popular oncidium orchids that are big sellers along with the other orchids grown at the nursery.

Alohiani Orchid Nursery 1

Meet and greet with the orchid manager

I signed up for a tour of the facilities with Mike Hollinger who runs the Orchid nursery to show me around the facilities and you can actually sign up for a tour and purchase orchids directly on site.  Tours have to be scheduled so Mike can show you around the property and give you a tour of all the orchid areas along with the farm if you ask nicely.

Even though the operations here at Alohilani Orchid runs mostly on a wholesale basis, you can order orchids on their website or purchase directly on a tour of the facility.

A visit to an Orchid Nursery in East Hawaii

A visit to an Orchid Nursery in East Hawaii

Directions on how to get to the Alohilani Orchid Nursery

You can easily follow Google maps and cell data works well even in this remote area of East Hawaii. There are signs for the nursery at the gate but be aware that the route from the main paved road on Hwy 132 to the feeder road is mostly gravel and dirt so do drive with a higher riding vehicle clearing any of the rough patches of road. It really does feel rural and forested here as if time stood still in spite of the current lava intrusions to the area that devastated and entire Lower Puna district in 2018.

Touring the orchid farm

Touring the orchid farm

Mike Hollinger greets me directly in the parking area adjoining the greenhouses. The greenhouse and orchid manager, Mike is friendly without being too fussy about orchid minutiae. We quickly tour the facility with the major orchid groupings neatly broken down into distinct growing area for the Dendrobiums, Phalaenopsis, Oncidiums, miniatures and the more exotic cattleya and vanda orchids.

These are the standard orchids that sell in bulk with wholesale businesses or retailers on the mainland that order directly with the nursery.

New orchid focus - miniatures

New orchid focus – miniatures

Mike shows me his own new projects that he wants to create a new product offering for the nursery which is primarily miniature orchids that take up less space, are easier to ship and have the same price points or even higher depending on the unique and cool factor of what is being grown on site.

What’s it like working daily at an orchid farm?

What’s it like working daily at an orchid farm?

Well, it’s fun but definitely repetitive and good for workers that just don’t want to think about life and focus on plants and plant care. Daily care of orchids requires a lot of daily activities and chores that becomes routine but there are fun orchid activities like getting shipments ready and finding plants that are being ordered and staged.

What’s the latest in miniature orchids you ask? Pretty much everything Mike can think of he is working on including miniature Vandas, oncidiums and the standard varieties that sell.

Daily care includes watering, pest management, repotting up with cinder bark mix, bare rooting plug trays for planting, moving around newly plants to planting beds, spraying for weeds and order management and shipping.

nursery images

To order online or reserve a tour of the facilities

You can check out their website here for more details and to order directly online. Scheduling a tour is a fantastic way to really get a sense of place and see how the operations really work for a typical orchid operation in East Hawaii.

Check out these other things to do in the area

A visit to the Puna district

Things to do around Pahoa Town

Lava Tree State Park

New black sand beach at Kapoho

pale yellow orchids

Conclusion to visiting an Orchid farm on the Big Island

Hope you enjoyed reading about this visit to an Orchid Nursery in East Hawaii. It’s fantastic to visit local businesses and supporting them directly like this. Thanks again for checking out the post and if you enjoyed it please do share it with the social media buttons below.

Disclosure – This post may contain affiliate links which means if you click through and make a purchase I will make a small commission at no extra cost to you and you help to keep our site operating and updated – thank you!

Mahalo again for visiting This Hawaii Life.

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Noel Morata this Hawaii Life

Meet Noel Morata

Noel Morata is the creator of This Hawaii Life along with a small team of contributors. Living on the Big Island and traveling regularly to the neighbor islands, Noel and team actively search and share the latest information and updates to Hawaii travel, food, adventure and various lifestyle activities on the islands for your planning and vacation. Aloha and enjoy This Hawaii Life.