V&H Nursery is the name, plumerias are the game
With a history of agriculture and floriculture, it’s no surprise that North County is known for its many nurseries.
Encinitas is known as the Flower Capital of the World, with a Mediterranean-like climate bringing hot summers and virtually frost-free winters. Encinitas is home to the Ecke Ranch, the world’s largest poinsettia grower, as well as the famous San Diego Botanical Garden, a 37-acre urban retreat that attracts thousands of visitors from around the world each year.
Among the many nurseries that inhabit Encinitas, V&H Nursery stands out with its unique specialty.
The nursery, located in the eastern part of Encinitas, on Fortuna Ranch Road, specializes in plumerias. Plumerias are small tropical trees with leathery leaves and beautiful waxy flowers.
They are native to the tropics of Central and South America, although they are most popular in the Pacific Islands, where they are used to make necklaces.
And while they’re mostly associated with Hawaii, they’re surprisingly easy to grow in San Diego, especially along the coast, though they do require a lot of sun.
Still, growing plumerias from seed takes some commitment, says Gerard Vasquez, owner of V&H Nursery, 66.
“It’s much more convenient to buy plumerias than seeds, because they take 12 years to fully mature,” he says. “The pod takes two years to propagate and seven to eight years to flower. So you put a lot of energy into the plants.
If that seems like too much time – and too much work – V&H has you covered.
The nursery specializes in larger, mature plumerias in 36-inch or 24-gallon boxes (priced at $ 500 to $ 600) or 15-gallon boxes (which sell for $ 250). The larger ones, says Vasquez, “are generally 8 to 9 feet tall and take 12 years to reach full maturity.”
Vasquez says there are over 2,000 varieties of plumeria, with different styles of leaves, scents and of course flowers.
“Scent is a big factor,” he says.
But, he adds, “it’s a limited market. Just because it has a big bloom, you can’t market it. You market the flowering, the scent, the color, the structure of the leaves, the way the tree grows…. “
Also, you need to consider the season and how close you are to the coast where you live. “Summer or spring would be the best seasons to grow them,” says Vasquez. He notes that plumerias can also be grown inland, up to Riverside.
V&H also offers a variety of other plants, but the main focus is plumeria.
He has been growing plumerias since 1989 and says his decision to specialize in larger ones was based on availability throughout the nursery industry.
Stop by the V&H Nursery today at 3525 Fortuna Ranch Road. The nursery is open Monday through Saturday, but Vasquez suggests calling 619-997-5349 first.