Paiko Living Contest

Summer is in full swing and we wanted to kick it off with our Paiko Living IG Contest! Show us what you do with your Paiko finds at home, and be entered to win a $50 gift card and a feature on our IG and blog.


  • Your Instagram post must feature products from Paiko as you use them in your home. If your photo features a live plant, it must be in a vessel from Paiko
  • We'll select one winner per month through September
  • Winner receives a $50 gift card, a repost on our instagram, and a feature on the Paiko Living Blog at the end of the summer
  • Posts must tag @paikohawaii and mention us in the caption with hashtag #paikoliving

Have fun and we're excited to see your beautiful homes!

Sealing and Arranging Banana Flowers

In our last post, we introduced you to ornamental bananas. So you've spotted those gorgeous pink flowers, gone oogly eyed over those tiny little fruit and now you want to know what's next. We know how intimidating a new bloom can be, so this week we decided to put the keikis to work, harvest a few more stalks and show you how its done.

Banana sap is sticky and seems to permanently attach to anything it touches. So to avoid ruining your favorite vase or pants, we recommend sealing their stems before arranging. 

You'll need:

  • Your banana stalks
  • Water
  • Vase of your choice (remember banana stalks are top heavy so, find something with a sturdy base)
  • Clippers, a sharp knife, or machete
  • A bucket you don't mind getting dirty 






Step One

Fill your bucket about half full. 










Step Two

Hold banana stalk next to vase and trim at desired height.  We recommend working with odd numbers and trimming stems at varying heights to avoid symmetry and create a more natural arrangement.





























Step Three

Place stems in your bucket and soak for one hour.





paiko kenna reed banana flower






Step Four

Your stems are sealed so have fun arranging! Visit the Paiko flower bar for tons of choices to pair with your nanas, like our current favorite, chocolate anthuriums.


To learn more about arranging bananas and to see examples of arrangements, see pages 20-23 of Ohi: How to Gather and Arrange Hawai'i's Flora. 


Photos and Story by Kenna Reed


IN BLOOM: Ornamental Bananas

Summer is here and it seems like everything is blooming! Our kitchens are filled with lychee, mango, mountain apple, and of course, bananas. In Hawai'i we all know our favorite banana is the apple banana, for its sweet, tangy taste and cute size. But the variety that a lot of people don't know about is the ornamental banana, whose fruits (believe it or not) are even smaller and way cuter.

Although this variety is not for eating, it's vibrant flowers and ability to stay alive in a vase for over a week make it the flower that everyone needs to enjoy this summer. 

So keep your eyes peeled and stay tuned for our next blog on how to properly cut, seal and arrange these beauties! OR if you're not feeling patient, check out our book, 'OHI: How to Gather and Arrange Hawaii's Flora and check out the section exclusively on bananas.

Photos and Story by Kenna Reed 



Paiko Ohana: Jessica Onetti & Sax

We are so thankful for our amazing staff. Our crew is made up of talented, smart, funny, people with hearts of gold, and half the reason we look forward to coming to work is just to see them. So meet Jess, our workshop director and shop gal, she's talented with the plants, the babies, and the needle and thread.

So, tell us about you.

Hi! I'm Jessica. I grew up in Seattle and came to live with my cousins in Kailua for my last year of high school. I went back to Seattle for some school, then ended up in Italy for 3 years where my mom is from. I moved back to Oahu over five years ago. I have always made things and been encouraged by friends and family to start selling, but it never really felt like a good fit. Sax is the first time that connection has made sense. My professional background is in teaching including traditional classrooms, ESL, urban gardening and much more! I have worked at Paiko for a year and a half and am doing a lot of the workshops- it's a very nice fit. 

What's the story behind Sax?

Sax was born because Courtney of Paiko wanted something similar to a plant sack she found in New Zealand (there are many amazing Sax type creations made in Australia and NZ!).  I put my own spin on it by sourcing cast away fabrics that would otherwise end up in the landfill, and I also hunt for beautiful vintage aloha wear at second hand stores. I create some of my own textiles and want to explore and learn so much more about natural dying!

Where do you source your materials from?

As soon as the word got out that I use up-cycled fabric, everyone and their mama wanted to give me their castaways and old fabric collections. I have gotten some of my best textiles from a friend who sells to the hospitality industry because she is left with a huge amount of small pieces that can't get used in her industry. I hunt at the thrift shops for my aloha patterns and other makers that use canvas have shared their extras. I also buy canvas new; I'm not 100% reuse. 

What's it like being a mom and having a creative business on the side? Does your daughter Alba ever influence or help you in the creative process?

Being a mom adds a layer of complexity as well as major motivation. My kid often makes it much harder to get work done but she has also been sitting on my lap pressing the sewing machine pedal since before she was two! Those moments when she sees herself creating are the best, and she wants to be my helper. Many people in Hawaii wear multiple hats when it comes to work and art and we are good at the balancing act. 











Photos and Interview by Kenna Reed

Mother's Day at Paiko

Mother's Day is right around the corner (May 14th to be exact), and we've been stocking up on beautiful plants, flowers, and treasures that make it easy to show Mom your love. 


Hand tied, mostly local, and beautifully wrapped for easy pick up, our Mother's Day bouquet features Waiahole beehive ginger, Hilo anthuriums, fresh eucalyptus, and local oncidium orchids, and select spring flowers from Half Moon Bay CA (vase not included/ king protea are unfortunatley no longer available). We always sell out of these beauties, so pre-ordering is highly recommended. 

$ 90 ea // bouquets are approx 14 "day and come wrapped in Paiko butcher paper and ribbon




From now until Mom's Day, the shop will be stocked with classic orchids, all grown locally, all in bloom, and all ready for Mom. Surprisingly easy to care for, our orchids are an easy way to make Mom smile.


Photos and story by Kenna Reed

In Bloom: Plumeria

Summer is just around the corner and you know what that means? Plumeria. And lots of it. 



Today, we took a drive around Kaimuki and captured a few of the different varieties of plumeria blooming in full force. So get your lei needles out, or just snap off a stem for your favorite small vase. That sweet intoxicating perfume is too amazing to leave outside.


To view the largest collection of plumeria trees on the island visit Koko Crater Botanical Garden. For ideas on using plumeria in your home check out our book 'OHI: How to Gather and Arrange Hawaii's Flora.

Photos and Story by Kenna Reed

A Botanical Brunch with Flux

Two weeks later, and we still can't wrap our heads around how magically Flux celebrated the release of their Plant Issue. The transcendental Botanical Brunch took place in a grove of palm trees located in the back of Palolo Valley, complete with fresh food by Chef James Aptakin, plant portraits, and of course, an 'Ohi inspired foraging and arranging session with Tamara and the Paiko ladies Courtney and Hadley. 

Be sure to pick up a copy of Flux for more island grown, botanical inspiration and an article on our book 'OHI: How to Gather and Arrange Hawaii's Flora

Photos and Video by Aria Studios
Text by Kenna Reed

In Bloom: Hibiscus

Spring break for some of us means two things: The keikis are home and the hibiscus are blooming. Running out of things to do with the tiny humans in your life? Take a walk. Beauty is just a few steps away from the front door. 

In Palolo, the hibiscus are going off. So when we stumbled upon a patch of white and orange double hibiscus, we couldn't resist bringing a few home and playing around. 

Photos and Story by Kenna Reed

Ohi' Workshop at Spalding House

The holidays have passed and the time has come for you to do something for you. Fortunately, here in Hawai'i, flowers are year round and treating yourself is ALWAYS an option. On Saturday March 18, we are hosting an 'Ohi: How to Gather and Arrange Hawaii's Flora Workshop at the Honolulu Museum of Art's Spalding House. Join us as we walk the beautiful grounds of the Tantalus estate, learn about plants, and create beautiful arrangements from the nature around us.

When: Sat 3/18 10a-1130a

Where: Spalding House

Cost: $35 for members and $40 for non members

Info: Learn how to make beautiful arrangements using local greens and flowers with the authors of ‘Ohi, Tamara Rigney and Mariko Reed. Walk the Museum gardens to forage and learn about plants ideal for arranging, then create two hand tied arrangements using clippings from the garden and colorful flowers from local farms.

Sign up here.

Written and Photographed by Kenna Reed

In Bloom: Aloe Vera

In Hawai'i, aloe plants are abundant in drier parts of the island. Sadly, other than the few times a year where we snap off a juicy leaf to soothe our sunburns, it's easy to ignore them. That is until our little prickly plants give us a beautiful surprise and they bloom. 

Depending on which species of aloe you're dealing with, blooms happen sporadically throughout the year and can be yellow or a pinkish orange. Typically, you'll notice the flowers in summer, but if the conditions are just right, your plants will be sure to let you know how happy they are. 

For an easy and beautiful aloe arrangement, trim off a few blooms and pair with bold leaves like spider lily.

For more information on harvesting and arranging local flowers check out our book 'OHI!

Story and photos by Kenna Reed