A Caper Plant 6 Months From Germination
Olives are grown in Kula but the Kihei winter climate is too warm to trigger olive trees to produce fruit. However, the hot, dry climate in Kihei is ideal for growing capers.
Michelle, the author of From Seed to Table, has written a detailed blog page about her experiences growing capers in the coastal region of central California.
There's a wealth of information on Michelle's page, including various ways to cure and preserve the capers. If you're interested in growing capers, I highly recommend checking out this link as my post will provide only an overview and information specific to growing capers in the Kihei climate.
A Mature Caperberry
The caperberry is common to Spain - it's used in appetizers, antipastos and even in martinis. The Whole Foods olive bar is the only place I've seen caperberries on Maui.
Capers can be grown from seeds or cuttings. I grew the caper plants in the photos above from seeds obtained from Gourmet Seed and Seeds From Italy. There were instructions with the seeds for germinating them in the refrigerator. I wasn't successful with this method as it takes some serious diligence.
Caper Seedlings in April 2010
In November of 2009, I planted caper seeds for the first time. In April, the caper seedings began to grow - the largest of the seedlings was the width of a quarter.
Caper seeds have a low germination.and the seedlings grow very slowly at first. Out of 16 seeds planted in November 2009 only 3 germinated the following April. I had better results from the November 2010 planting as in April 6 seeds germinated. Then I planted seeds in January of 2012 and 2 germinated in April and 2 in May.
A Transplanted Caper Seedling in June 2010