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PeopleCats of TopTropicals. Cat of the day: Ricki - a cat or a bird?

After 4 years knowing Ricki (raised from a tiny kitten), we came to a conclusion he was a Bird in his previous life.
Ricki likes sitting next to you (preferably on a dining table) and have a conversation, with his head slightly tilted. And although nobody ever heard a sound of Ricki's voice (he is a silent cat), he is very good company - because he knows how to listen! How many people have a talent like this? If any - only PeopleCats.
Ricki will sit next to your plate and never take a piece. He just wants a conversation. And you will enjoy his Sounds of Silence as the best gift.

Stay safe and healthy with your PeoplePets!

TopTropicals PeopleCat Club

Thank you everybody for supporting us in helping PeopleCat Community!
Make your kind donation today and receive a surprise gift from us. Every little bit helps! Thank you and God bless you and your pets!


Which fertilizer is right?

Q: I need some advice on which fertilizer(s) would be perfect for my C​annonball tree and its cousin Heaven's Lotus (Gustavia augusta). ​I also have fruit trees... soursops, mango, etc. and a collection of flowers including pua keni keni, plumeria, bougainvillea, etc. I am wondering if you can recommend a custom fertilizing regimen for my garden (especially the cannonball and the gustavia since they are young).

A: It is a perfect time now to fertilize your plants as they start active growth. We have suggestions on fertilizing programs for your trees. You will find here our recommendations for:

1. Young trees
2. Flowering trees
3. Fragrant plants
4. In-ground grown fruit trees... CONTINUE READING >>


PeopleCats of TopTropicals. Cats of the day: Biggy's Cat Hospital

Biggy checking on patient Abu when he couldn't walk

During these challenging times for the whole planet, we receive kind letters from our customers checking on how our PeopleCats are doing, especially those that previously were ill. And since we promised to follow up on everyone, including heart-breaking story of Raja and Abu, today's report is about everybody's progress!

As we mentioned in our previous newsletter, several cats in TopTropicals Cat Sanctuary had a coronavirus (we call it COVID-Cat-20), or simply a cat respiratory infection. Chiefy, Snitch, Marco and Biggy had it really bad, but some other PeopleCats surprisingly didn't get it! Just like with humans. Lucky King didn't have a single sneeze!
Finally, everybody has recovered by now, but it has been a very stressful couple of weeks for us, considering limited vet availability at this stay-home time. On top of that, Lil S had an abscess and was also contained in a home hospital, away from flu-quarantined PeopleCats. Our homes become real cat hospitals!
We are thankful to our customers support, especially Silvia who made several donations for our PeopleCats, and also recommended antiseptic pads - those worked great for Lil S!
Abu and Raja's adventures were not over... After 2 weeks of seeing a vet treating their infections and injuries, they got worse... Then after a couple of weeks in another hospital (and a couple thousand more in bills) we were suggested to put them down as hopeless since they would never walk again... But Kristi did not want to believe it, she did not give up! The kittens heard her. They won. Today, they are all better, walking, jumping and playing!

Thank you Kristi!
Never give up hope!

Stay safe and healthy with your PeoplePets!

TopTropicals PeopleCat Club

Thank you everybody for supporting us in helping PeopleCat Community!
Make your kind donation today and receive a surprise gift from us. Every little bit helps! Thank you and God bless you and your pets!


How to feed a Mango tree...
and to grow a Dwarf Mango

How to fertilize a Mango tree

Q: My mango trees that I bought and planted last august now have fruit. I bought 2 types of fertilizer from you and never used it. Should I use your fertilizer now?

A: It is a perfect time now to fertilize your plants as they start active growth. For mango trees, we recommend liquid fertilizer Sunshine Booster - Mango Tango. It is formulated for Mango trees, especially for container grown. It improves quantity and quality of flowers and ability to set fruit, reduces bud-flower-fruit drop. Can be used as often as with every watering. For best results, use in combination with Sunshine Honey and Sunshine Superfood plant supplements. Its scientifically-balanced stable formula is organic Amino-acid based and has NO EDTA chelators to eliminate nutrients lockup; it does not affect crop taste.
Additionally, you may use slow-release granulated fertilizer Mango-Food once a month during hot season only. Dosage: 1 teaspoon per each gal of soil. Water-soluble fertilizers can be also used, however, those are usually EDTA-chelated which is not as efficient as Amono-acid based Sunshine Boosters and may create nutrients build up, especially if overdosed in containers.
For in-ground mango trees, you may use all the above, and slow-release granulated fertilizer can be applied in larger quantities: spread a handful around the drip line.

Remember that only liquid Sunshine Boosters can be applied year around. With other fertilizers, you need to be careful not to overdose, and apply only during hot weather (when night temperatures are steadily above 65F).

How to grow a Dwarf Mango tree

Q: I received the Ice cream mango tree in great condition (thank you for the ingenious packing job) on Wednesday and have planted it in a pot slightly bigger than the root ball. I plan to grow the tree on my front porch, so how big a container should I ultimately use when the tree outgrows this pot? How big a container does it need to fruit? I hope to keep it around 6-7 feet high, if possible. I live in Hawaii.

A: Ice Cream mango is a perfect variety for container culture, and it should be happy in Hawaii. You did everything right. Keep it in this small pot for now and wait until it starts vigorous growth in Summer. Once it starts growing (and you will notice roots growing too, sometimes they try to grow through the holes in the bottom of the pot), then it's time to step up into a bigger container (7-10 gal). Eventually you may use container size as large as 15 gal. Ice cream mango is slow growing and compact, and you will be able to maintain it under 7 ft with very minimal pruning if any.


PeopleCats saving us from COVID-19!

Cat owners have higher immunity for COVID-19?

In our previous newsletter, we were talking about cats fighting the coronavirus and how to help them to recover.
The research made by Sabina Olex-Condor, a Polish doctor who works in a clinic in Madrid, showed that due to cross-immunity (cats are a known reservoir of coronaviruses) cat owners have milder sympthoms of COVID-19! Perhaps this is due to the fact that in a cross-reaction antibodies are produced to the virus, and owners of cats are more protected from COVID19... Read more)
Now that quarantine has been introduced almost universally because of coronavirus, dog owners are also in a better position - they can officially go outside for a short while. But the benefit of dogs (and other pets) is not only that. Scientists from the Italian city of Catanzaro found in the course of the study, that those who have a four-legged pet, have very mild symptoms of the COVID-19. A similar effect was observed in those in contact with cattle... To find an explanation for this phenomenon, the researchers compared viruses. It turned out that the disease of bulls, cows and other cattle is similar to Chinese coronavirus by 38.4%, and the virus of dogs by 36.9%. This means that owners of animals already have some kind of immunity. So the owners of cats and dogs, as a rule, tolerate coronavirus easier or completely asymptomatic. Read more...

Stay safe and healthy with your PetPeople!

TopTropicals PeopleCat Club

Thank you everybody for supporting us in helping PeopleCat Community!
Make your kind donation today and receive a surprise gift from us. Every little bit helps! Thank you and God bless you and your pets!


Quirky Brazilian Starfish Pepper

by Onika Amell, tropical plant expert

There is something very rewarding in growing your own peppers. Brazilian Starfish pepper - Capsicum baccatum is a little bomb of flavor! This is not a plant you will find just anywhere in the United States.
This is a very uniquely shaped pepper which makes it an excellent ornamental plant. But unlike many other peppers with pretty faces and lacking in flavor, the Brazilian Starfish pepper is delicious too. It is hailed for the complex floral and fruity undertones and a medium level of heat for most folks. These fruity and juicy, crunchy peppers are perfect for pickling or just eating raw in salads or salsas. They are irresistible in a glass pickling jar because of their unique shape. Bold and crisp, this pepper is much sought after by foodies and gardeners alike.



PeopleCats amid COVID-Cat-20

"It's not the size of the cat in the fight, it's the size of the fight in the cat"
- Mark Twain -

While the whole world is suffering the virus attack, cats are no exception. They do not get COVID-19, but they have their own coronavirus - a respiratory condition that may become very dangerous for them. And although cat coronavirus does not affect humans, we can transfer it to other cats through our hands/petting, shared bowls and bedding, etc.
At TopTropicals, we had several cats sick with the flu and it took us a long time and long hospital bills to bring them back to health! Below we are sharing with you a few tips from our own experience that may help you fight and treat cat coronavirus, that we call "Covid-Cat-20".

Chief is breathing through his mouth: "Stuffed nose sucks!"

How to treat Cat Coronavirus

When cats get a flu/virus/cold, they suffer congestion, sneeze and cough. Just like us humans. But for cats, stuffed nose is much worse trouble, because they can't smell food = they won't eat it! In tough cases, they won't even drink any water. Due to specifics of cat metabolism, if a cat doesn't eat and/or drink for more than a couple of days, it may become life-threatening. It is not the virus that kills a cat, it is dehydration, lack of nutrition, and possible secondary infections.

- Vet. During Covid-19 lockdown, many animal hospitals are closed, but if you are lucky to find a vet, it is wise to give the cat a long-lasting shot of antibiotic. You can't treat a virus with antibiotic, but it will prevent secondary infections (like pneumonia, etc.)
- Water is absolutely essential! Make sure your Cat drinks water. If he (she) doesn't want to drink on his own, you need to give him water with a syringe. As often as you can. Little by little. Or, ask a vet to put a "water pouch" under cat's skin. This will save the cat from dehydration.
- Food is the main key! Your cat must eat a normal size portion per day in order to fight the illness. Because he can't smell, it's possible he won't eat on his own. Offer him a smelly, soft/wet food of room temperature or slightly warmer: usually tuna works well. Get Salmon Oil and put on top of the food: it is smelly, plus a great vitamin supplement.
- Hand-feeding. If congestion is bad, even a smelly tuna may not help. Mix a spoonful of pate with some water and try to hand-feed this "soup" to the cat either using syringe, or a small spoon. Little by little. Remember, his nose is stuffed and he can't swallow and breath at the same time, so it must be tiny bites. (Wrap the entire cat tightly in a large thick towel to save yourself lots of scratching damage, leaving out just the face. Guaranteed, he won't like the procedure and you will be surprised how strong he is for a sick cat.)
- Supplements. For an extra nutrition support, you may use Critical nutrition food and other protein supplements. Consult your vet and you may want to try the following aids: High Calorie Liquid or Gel (easier to administer), HomeoPet Nose Relief (for de-congestion), Lysine Soft Chews, and Mirataz ointment (to promote appetite).
- Rest. Keep the cat indoors, in a warm place, away from drafts. Cover with a towel to make comfy. Keep lights dimmed. Change bedding, towels, blankets at least daily to keep clean, get rid of germs and drooling accidents.
- Quarantine from other cats, the cat coronavirus is super catchy! Find that spare room. Bleach, soap, alcohol and Hand Sanitizer - are your friends now to maintain germ- and virus-free environment.
- Mild cases. Some cats have mild symptoms (we've noticed that black cats and tuxedo cats are more susceptible regardless of age). In this case, do not panic - just give them time to recover. Lots of rest, privacy, and be sure to monitor water/food intake!
- Tough cases. Most cats look lethargic when sick. At some point, if within 3-4 days you don't see improvement and the coughing continues, you need x-ray to rule out pneumonia.

Stay well and healthy, PeopleCats!

Biggy sneezed... Ooops, sorry for no mask!

TopTropicals PeopleCat Club

Thank you everybody for supporting us in helping PeopleCat Community!
Make your kind donation today and receive a surprise gift from us. Every little bit helps! Thank you and God bless you and your pets!

Coughing Marco is practicing Social Distancing


Fast-fruiting trees

Grafted trees, including Mango and Avocado, will start flowering and fruiting right away

Q: It would be easier for us buyers, if we could search for plants that produce fruit in 2 years or less... I don't have the patience to wait longer than that for fruit. I'm trying to buy for a fairly good sized garden but want some fast growers and fruit produced in 2 yrs. Can you help me out?

A: Fruiting time depends on many factors (growing conditions, fertilizing, and even specific variety), this is why we can not just put a simple icon "will fruit within 2 years". However, most grafted and air-layered fruit trees, including all Mango, Avocado, Loquat, Sapote, Sapodilla, Longan, Peaches and Nectarines - will fruit right away.
If you see in our store "grafted" or "air-layered" in plant description - these trees will fruit soon. Some of them are already flowering and fruiting!

Some non-grafted trees will fruit within a couple of years or even sooner (those from cuttings, root division or even seedlings) - such as: Annona, Artocarpus (Jackfruit), Eugenia, Guava, Banana, Dragon fruit, Mulberry, Blackberry/Raspberry. Banana, Mulberry, Dragon fruit, Blackberry-Raspberry - usually fruit within a year. You may refer to our store directory page for fruit specials.

Also, all spice trees like Bay Leaf, Bay Rum, Allspice and many more - will produce spice for you right away, so you don't need to wait at all!

Annonas start fruiting within 3 years from seed and are the most popular fruit trees for both container culture and small gardens.

This Jackfruit started fruiting on the second year after planting in the ground.

Carambola - Start Fruit - will start producing fruit the same year or next year. We have them fruiting in pots, sometimes as small as 1 gal pots!


People of TopTropicals. Chic of the Day: Easter Present from Klaksa

In the photo: Duck versions 2.1 and 1.0

In our last newsletter Cat of the Day was Klaksa with her hunting habits and her love for birds...
While we are still sticking to the statement that "no birds were hurt in the process so far", she brought us an Easter Present! Yes, the Present is very much alive and super hungry. Klaksa did not tell us where she got it and how can we bring it back... So we are stuck with another duck! The previous version - Duck Dobi, has been raised by Kristi from a little chic-duckling, and after 2 years of ruling the Cat Community in our Garden center, Dobi finally left with her boyfriend - without saying thank you or even good-bye!
The Duck Version 2.1 has been eating and pooping happily all day. Luckily we found a person with a duck farm, and hopefully will get this baby a good home soon!

In the photo: Duck Dobi

TopTropicals PeopleCat Club

Thank you everybody for supporting us in helping PeopleCat Community!
Make your kind donation today and receive a surprise gift from us. Thank you and God bless you and your pets!


Exotic Easter Lily Vine

by Onika Amell, tropical plant expert

If you happen to love Easter Lilies, let us introduce you to a very beautiful and hard-to-find vine... The magnificent Easter Lily Vine - Beaumontia grandiflora, is not sold at most nurseries and is not widely grown for this very reason. We certainly feel it should be, as this woody vine is a tremendous climber which rewards the gardener with large clusters of white flowers resembling Easter Lilies, during early spring to late fall. The flowers are sweetly scented and make excellent cut flowers, which last for at least a week! An added bonus is the twining ends, which makes a very unusual and interesting addition to floral arrangements...


Here at the nursery, our Easter Lily vines are almost ready to burst into full bloom. We are waiting impatiently. Order yours, and have a Happy Easter!

Seeds of Easter Lily vine also available at BOGO deal - buy 2 packs for the price of 1 with FREE shipping!

See how to how to create a fragrant privacy fence of virtually unlimited size.