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Growing mamaki will
Landscape use and care: Mamaki does well as an understory shrub or in semishaded areas. It also does fine in full sun with moderate watering. As with most plants, mamaki does better in well-drained soil. Few pests bother it, but spider mites might colonize under the leaves. Wiping them off with soapy water should take care of it (see below).
Cultural Uses: Mamaki was used to make kapa (clothing) when the softer, more preferred wauke (paper mulberry) wasn't available. Mamaki is commonly used to make a mild but invigorating and healthy tea.
More information: If caterpillars are present, be careful about spraying the plant. Those caterpillars could be the larvae of the native Kamehameha butterfly, which uses mamaki as a host plant. You also don't want to spray with pesticides if you plan on using the plant for tea. As for the butterfly, the adult looks similar to a non-native monarch butterfly, but with more bold designs and a fuzzier body. The Kamehameha butterfly is becoming increasingly rare because not as much mamaki is available for it to thrive on. On the other hand, more monarch butterflies are seen, as more people have been planting their favorite host plant -- the crown flower -- which is not native to Hawaii. By planting mamaki in your garden, not only will you be helping to increase the number plants, but also the number of Kamehameha butterflies.