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Christmas Special - Lolita Cherry


This amazing cherry is by far our favorite. Lolita is an exclusive variety of Black fruited Surinam Cherry that starts as red and turns black as it ripens. The fruit has exceptional flavor and has no aftertaste, unlike regular Surinam cherries. It is large, 1-1.5" size, super sweet when fully ripe. The tree is a dwarf statue, 5-6 ft or smaller if pruned. It is upright and freely branching. Plants start flowering and fruiting in 1 gal container. The plants we have in stock are ready to fruit in 2019.
These cherries are cold hardy and can take short periods of frost. Once established, the plant can withstand upper 20's without damage.

Lolita is very hard-to-find, and we have limited quantities, hurry up!

To expedite your order for Christmas, request rush shipping in order notes, contact us or call Anna Banana direct @ 239-771-8081.

Happy Holidays!


Plants which are family members


By Mark Hooten, the Garden Whiz
...Perhaps approaching the New Years Season makes me appreciate the plant people I've known. It also made me take stock of the great plants I've had for the longest time. Doing so, I've come to realize that I care for over a handful of potted plants which I have owned for a number of decades. This Euphorbia decaryi is one of them... Read the story...
...I wonder about other folks' special plants which they have kept for so long they seem like family members. So I ask any of our online friends to send us images and the brief history of some special plant which they have cared for and loved for a LONG TIME! You know, heirloom type plants. We would love to share stories and pictures of these special plants with others!..

Check out our Euphorbias...


Six ideas for the best Christmas gift plants


It's this time of the year again when a million dollar question arises: "What do I get them for Christmas?" It's an easy task to buy a gift for a gardener - because we always have a long wish-list! But what to get for everybody else? The answer a simple - buy a live plant... that can bring: Surprise, Love, Joy, Meaning, Convenience, and an Action into their lives! Below are a few wise suggestions.

1. Surprise for Tradition. Everybody knows Ponsettia. Everybody buys it. Every house has it... Red, yellow, white, and even purple... unusual? No, simply dyed with a paint. Ahh. Go RARE! Ponsettia is Euphorbia, get a rare Euphorbia. It has indestructible nature, almosts zero maintenance, and FREE shipping!
Euphorbia leucocephala - Snows of Kilimanjaro
Euphorbia geroldii - Thornless Crown of Thorns
Euphorbia Exotic Thai Candyland, variegated leaves
Euphorbia Pink Cadillac

2. Love. Gardenia Aimee Yoshioka First Love. With a dramatic history behind this cultivar, it is a perfect expression of Love that one can bring to another for Christmas...

3. Joy of Miracle. Miracle fruit. It speaks for itself and is one of the greatest container plants.

4. Meaning. Symbol of Long Life! Adansonia digitata - Baobab, also called the Tree of Longivity, can live for 5000 years. Pass this remarkable plant in your family from generation to generation! Regarded as the largest succulent plant in the world, the Baobab tree is steeped in a wealth of mystique, legend and superstition wherever it occurs in Africa, being a tree that can provide food, water, shelter and relief from sickness. FREE shipping and easy to maintain bonsai.

5. Convenience. A gift card will give your loved ones a chance to browse amazing wonderland of Tropical Plant World, pick something they like and have it shipped to them weather permitting. The gift card (certificate) has no expiration date!

6. Action. Coffea arabica - Coffee. Want to give your kids a project to drag them away from their smartphones? Have them grow a Real Coffee tree. It is a rewarding plant that is happy indoors and gives you a feeling of Creator - for your care, it will bloom for you with fragrant flowers and fruit for you with real coffee beans!

Check out the full list of plants that are great gifts!

If you need further advice on great looking gift plants for Christmas, contact us!
Or call Anna Banana direct @ 239-771-8081.

Happy Shopping!



Q: I am in Texas, it is getting cold, but I bought these seeds the last two packs, as I didn't want to miss them, was looking for a long time and found you had them. Should I wait until spring to plant them?

A: You can grow tropical plants from seed year round and don't have to wait until warm weather outside. It is, in fact, beneficial to start tropicals indoors in a controlled temperature, moisture and humidity. Seeds of some species are very sensitive to excess water and/or require a certain range of temperature for germination... Besides, it's so much fun!
First, read the basics: Happy Hobby: growing tropicals from seeds

Advantages of indoor growing from seed

It is easier to keep under control indoors:

1) Temperature and Light. Although many tropical seeds require higher temperature and bright light for germination (hot sun may help), it may be hard to avoid overheating and drying out when you put trays in full sun. Using heat pads and additional lighting indoors makes germination smooth, even may take a little longer than in hot sun.
2) Soil moisture. If you ever lost your seeds or tiny seedlings to a heavy summer rain, you sure will appreciate your own moisture-controlled environment! Just make sure to use the right soil mix.
3) Air humidity. Indoor air is drier than outside. It may not be best for some tropical plants, but definitely perfect for seed health - they will never get moldy considering you keep your eye on the plantings.
4) Pre-treatment. Some seeds require scarification (sanding down hard shell), others stratification (cold treatment), but all seeds will benefit from SUNSHINE-S soak before planting. It is easier to do in your home lab. Based on our experience, using Sunshine pre-treatment reduces the risk of fungal damage and improves germination from 30 to 65%.
5) After germination culture. Watching seedlings closely in your home environment and giving them all that is needed for healthy, fast growth - miscroelements and first fertilizer - will help to establish young plants just in time before planting them out in Spring-Summer.


Read more: From Kristi - how to grow tropicals from seed.

Check out our seeds selection...


Seven rules of cold protection for tropicals


Q: I was always wondering how you guys manage to grow true tropical trees in Florida? I live in Puerto Rico and we have Breadfruit trees growing here in a wild... but my sister lives not far away from you, in Orlando, which is much colder, and I wonder if I can get her a Breadfruit tree for Christmas?

A: Your sister can grow a Breadfruit tree in Orlando either in a pot (and bring it indoors during cold periods) or in the ground inside a structure (an elclosed conservatory with heating system). See our customer's Greenhouse in Virginia. Cold protection of tropical plants is a lengthy subject and we have many interesting publications about it in our managine Tropical Treasures and on the website. In a nutshell, when growing tropicals outside of tropical climate, you need to follow these 7 rules:

  1. Cut watering to a minimum. Cold+wet kills tropical roots.
  2. Water thirsty plants before a cold night. Jucy leaves have fewer chances to be cold-zapped.
  3. Wind protection is more important than a temperature drop. Plant tropicals close to a house or surrounded by other trees.
  4. Duration of a cold period is more critical than the cold itself. If expecting long cold hours, bring up all available protection resources. Christmas lights or propane heaters - as long as there is a heat source, everything helps!
  5. Remove plastic covers during the daytime so plants don't get "cooked" in the sun. Fabric covers are better than plastic.
  6. Grow ultra-tropicals in containers and bring them inside the garage or even indoors during the cold.
  7. Use SUNSHINE plant boosters and feed your plants well during Summer to improve cold hardiness.

    Related topics:

About Cold Protection
Cold protection - winter action for your plant collection
Improving cold hardiness before winter: fertilizer and micro-elements
Cold hardy tropical fruit trees



Calathea x roseopicta Dottie - Prayer Plant

Rare hybrid of Calathea - Dottie - is a wonderful, colorful small plant that will brighten your shade garden or indoor plant collection. It has vivid pink markings with an entire and wavy margin. The leaf surfaces are colored very dark black-green and its midrib beautifully marked with a distinctive bright pink that also encircles the leaf about 0.5-1" from the margin. These beautiful markings remain vivid pink even as the plant matures. Newly emerged leaves are slightly lighter in color. Leaves underside is purple. Dottie has the characteristic feature of folding up their leaves at dusk to dawn by means of the tiny geniculum, an angular knee-like joint connecting it to the petiole, resembling hands put together in prayer, hence the other common name, Prayer Plant. And, in the morning the leaves will return to normal position, that is, almost perpendicular to the petioles. The plant does occasionally produce purple and white flowers. Perfect small accent plant for shade tropical gardens or as a houseplant.

See all exotic varieties of Calatheas from our store...

Check out this plant...


Mangosteen fever


Mangosteen availability. Yesterday we received 6 Mangosteen trees from Hawaii - on the photo Anna Banana is holding one of these very much wanted trees. We had 378 customers on a waiting list for this amazing fruit tree. After we sent wishlist notifications, the plants were all sold within a couple hours for $349.95 each on "first come, first serve" basis. We even over-sold one... our shopping cart could not catch up with so many requests! We also had 12 smaller size (1 gal pot) plants, and most were also sold right away. As of now, only 3 plants left.

We know many people want this tree, and we apologize that we had only a few. We are searching all our sources around the world for these plants and seeds to supply the Mangosteen for you!

ATTENTION to all Mangosteen seekers! Please re-submit your request for Mangosteen using our Wishlist form. We will find more plants for you, as well as will grow them from seeds. Be on top of our Mail-list news and make sure to re-submit a wish-list request for this plant, since your original request was removed as soon as notification was sent.

You may follow the BUY button below, and if all plants sold out, simply click on a link "Notify me when available". We will notify you as soon as we have the Mangosteen back in stock!



Dillenia philippinensis - Katmon, Philippines Elephant Apple

Philippines Elephant Apple has spectacular blooms and amazing large leaves that are toothed and unusually shaped. This super-tropical looking beauty is a favorite tree among Filipino garden enthusiasts. It is endemic to the Philippines. The tree is buttress-forming, evergreen, and shade tolerant, it is a great container and house plant. The leaves are large, 1-2 ft long, leathery, shining, and coarsely toothed at the margins. Its flowers are white, large, showy, and also very large, up to 1 ft wide, with showy reddish pistils and stamens. The edible fruits are rounded, 2-3" in diameter, with medicinal value. Flowers last only one day, but the plant stays in bloom all summer through fall, with multiple flowers and buds that keep opening every day. The plant is perfect for container and indoor culture, with showy tropical leaves, beautiful flowers, shade tolerance, and compact growth.

Check out this plant...


Vigorous flowering vine for a large trellis


Q: I am looking for a suitable vine for my home. The wall/trellis which I would like to plant the vine(s) is a two-story wall. The area gets lots of light at midday but not direct sunlight. Most of the light comes from the north. Our home is in South Florida (Miami). Would you please suggest a lovely colorful vine(s) that would flower well under these conditions? Maybe one that has fragrance.

A: Below are some of our suggestions for your project. These flowering vines are vigorous, fast growing, tolerant of part-sun conditions and still, will produce flowers for you to enjoy:
Clerodendrum speciosum
Clerodendrum thomsoniae - Bleeding Heart
Jasminum humile - Italian jasmine - fragrant
Jasminum nitidum - Star Jasmine - fragrant
Mansoa alliacea - Garlic Vine
Pyrostegia venusta - Flame Vine
Quisqualis - Rangoon Creeper, Thai Double Flower - fragrant
Thunbergia laurifolia - Blue Sky vine
Urechites lutea - Yellow Mandevilla

Beaumontia murtonii - Nepal Trumpet Flower
- this one has large fragrant flowers and large tropical leaves...
See very interesting story about Beaumontia live fragrant wall.

Check out all vines from our selection and vigorous growers for large areas like fences and big trellises.


How to grow the biggest fruit on Earth...


Q: When I visited Thailand I bought this huge fruit at the market and the taste was amazing and unique! Now I see you have this Jackfruit tree for sale. I am excited to grow it but not sure if it will survive our winters. I live in Huston, TX. Also are there any special conditions required for successful fruiting?

A: Jackfruit indeed is one of the most fascinating tropical fruit. In spite of reputation being ultra tropical, the tree is not as cold sensitive as everyone believes. Mature trees can withstand light frost for a few hours without significant damage. The only thing, after cold snaps it may be not as profuse producer as in frost-free climates. Keeping Jackfruit in a pot is also an option in colder areas. The tree is quite unique not only about fruit but also about growth habit. The fruit is so large and heavy that the tree has a smart feature to produce only at the base of the trunk. This makes it possible to keep Jackfruit tree at very short height - 6-7 ft tall. We have many varieties of Jackfruit, and all of them can be grown in containers considering regular topping/pruning.

5 secrets of Jackfruit successful production:

  1. Frost free temperatures (occasional cold spells are not critical if SUNSHINE-T cold protection booster is used)
  2. Soil rich of organic matter (compost, manure, peat moss)
  3. Moist soil and regular watering
  4. Constant pruning and keeping under 7-10 ft
  5. Regular application of fertilizer, microelements and SUNSHINE-Honey for better quality fruit.

    Read more about Jackfruit tree

See video of the fruit
See video of the tree


Check out Jackfruit trees, currently at 10% OFF!