Plumeria Passion

Over 25 years of growing and sharing

Our story starts when Stacy’s parents bought the house across the street from her childhood home. An SDSU botany professor had lived there and had some large, beautiful plumeria plants on the property. The family loved the pretty, fragrant flowers, but no one knew what they were.

On a beautiful Saturday morning, our son Steven was helping grandpa work in the yard. Grandpa accidentally broke off a piece of one of those plants. He told Steven, “Here, take this and put it in the ground in your yard and make your mama happy.” That was our first plant (a Celadine) that started it all for us in 1997. 

One day Stacy slipped a flower above her ear before going to church. At church, a gentleman approached her and said, “That’s a beautiful plumeria.” She replied, “What’d you call it???” This discovery was courtesy of the amazing Ted Higgins, one of the founders of the Southern California Plumeria Society in San Diego. That began our longtime involvement in the local club. 

But Mike did not share Stacy’s excitement for plumeria at first. That process started when they went to Hawaii for their 20th anniversary in 2001. He got bored on the plane and grabbed a book Stacy brought – Jim Little’s Growing Plumerias in Hawaii.

After that, Stacy needed help maintaining the plumerias and Mike offered. He’s been taking care of them ever since. Mike says, “I feed them and Stacy is their friend.”

Stacy has taught innumerable classes on making plumeria leis and arrangements over the years, inspiring so many to creatively utilize plumeria blooms to share their beauty.

He has taught plumeria workshops in Southern California (San Diego Horticultural Society, San Diego Botanic Garden, Master Gardeners, plus many garden clubs and nurseries), all US plumeria societies, and was the emcee, moderator, and speaker at the International Plumeria Conference in Naples, Florida (2016). He has authored many articles and has been interviewed many times, including in the Los Angeles Times.

Mike & Stacy were featured in the Emmy award-winning “Intoxicating Plumeria” episode of the PBS program “A Growing Passion” with noted horticultural expert Nan Sterman.

The Atkinsons on A Growing Passion

Mike & Stacy Atkinson plumeria