Join us for an Ask Me Anything…Plumeria panel with Cody Bean, Alex Franco and Leeann Antoku Montgomery at our February 18, 2024 meeting.
Cody Bean started growing plumerias in 2015, with a very large cutting a family friend gave him. Cody grew up visiting family in Hawaii, so he had always known about them, but in 2016 he bought his first home! And the first thing he planted was that tree! He says, “Wow, was that a mistake! An empty backyard and the internet is not a good combination.” Fast forward 9 years and it has become an obsession. Over last few years he has been doing a lot of grafting, growing seedlings, collecting more unique cultivars, and meeting new people that share the same passion for learning about and growing plumeria that he has.
Through early fascination with gardening in the 80s to working in a nursery in early 90’s, Alex Franco became a certified Horticulturalist in 1998 and founded his business AJ Horticulture.
He started growing plumeria in 2005 and sold them wholesale to nurseries. Through growers he met and trips to Hawaii, he became more interested in plumerias and expanded his own collection, including seedlings. In 2016 he started growing and hybridizing exotic hibiscus as a hobby and expanded that to well over 100 new hybrids in his greenhouses. He has at minimum over 1000 hibiscus and over 2000 plumeria on his property at any given time.
He launched Plumeria Papa as a division of his horticulture business in 2020 as a plumeria care and education company and to accommodate his growing list of plumeria tree trimming clients.
Leeann Antoku Montgomery‘s family is from Lahaina. Leeann grew up spending all summer helping her grandmother pick blooms to make leis for hotel guests. She started growing plumerias in Cerritos, CA around 2000. Through trial and error she has learned to propagate, trim trees and start seedlings. Social media showed Leeann a whole new world of colors and different varieties other than Celadine. And that is how her addiction began.