Tropical Gardening: Chocolate, plants make great gifts for Mother’s Day

Photo courtesy of Voltaire Moise Giving chocolate candy to your favorite sweetheart is great but if you want alternatives, give a chocolate tree. Theobroma cacao grows easily from seed of cacao tree pods like these. In Hawaii where conditions are warm and moist under 2,000 feet elevation, chocolate lovers can soon produce their own treats. Avoid windy areas since the leaves are easily damaged.

Sunday is Mother’s Day and if you forgot any of those favorite women in your life, you are in real trouble! Trying to wrack your brains for just the right last-minute gift can be frustrating. Chocolates are often a favorite gift, but why not go one step further and treat your loved ones to the Big Island Chocolate Festival on May 14 at the Waikoloa Beach Marriot Resort and Spa. The event is an all-VIP affair with a four-course dinner service. There will be unlimited wine and beer plus a newly launched specialty chocolate spritzer by Ola Brew, according to the organizers. There will also be live music and dancing. Other chocolate surprises will be served as well. For tickets visit