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Sunshine Boosters: Healthy Plant Food

Q&A from Mr Booster

This year we introduced many new items to Sunshine Boosters selection - for all your plant needs in the garden. We receive lots of feedback and questions, so it is time now to share this information with all our customers and open this new section in our Newsletter -

From Mr Booster: Q&A

We promise that we will keep up with your favorite Cat of The Month blog as well!

Dry, liquid, or both?

Q: I have bought different plant boosters, and I am so exited to use them on my plants! I understand that Sunshine Boosters are better than traditional fertilizers, should I give up dry fertilizers all together, or can I continue using them? They are so easy, don't require any mixing...

A: We are all busy and it seems at first like a little bit of work with all the mixing, but it saves your time in a long run! And money too.
When we used dry fertilizers, every now and then a plant got killed, some looked undernourished (or over-fertilized) and unhappy. It was always a challenge to figure out which plant needs more and which needs less, and how often. It made us use more and more chemicals trying to adjust the feeding balance, and we had to worry about why a plant doesn't look happy. Sometimes we lost rare, valuable, collectible plants since we couldn't find a cure for their illnesses.

With Sunshine Boosters, those problems are gone now! See examples.

Compare using Sunshine Boosters with eating healthy, well-balanced food. You can still survive on junk food and won't die from starvation, but eventually eating junk food will take its toll and create health problems. So you will end up trying to fix them with more and more medicine... which in turn will create more side effects.
By using Sunshine Boosters, you provide all necessary elements and vitamins to plants without a risk of side effects or building up unnecessary junk/toxins in their system. No more leftovers!

According to tests, Sunshine Boosters are used up completely through plant metabolism, making them healthy, strong, and disease resistant. Sunshine Boosters are based on organic amino-acids which is the foundation of life on Earth. This helps to eliminate nutrients lock up in soil. See why Sunshine liquid fertilizers are better than dry fertilizers.

To answer your question, we recommend to switch to liquid Sunshine Boosters. It is possible to additionally use dry granulated "smart-release" fertilizers for in-ground plants, no more than once a month and only during hot season (Sunshine Boosters can be used year-round). However, some customers ran independent tests and admit that using Sunshine Boosters alone is more effective than in combination with dry fertilizers. See review from Karma Nursery.

Garden Series, or Combo Total Feed Collection - all nutrients in just one bottle, for different plant types. See booster in this collection, for different types of pants.


Macaranga grandifolia - Elephant Ear Tree

The very quintessence of tropical foliage luxury

by Mark Hooten, the Garden Doc

Why is this wonderful little tree so unknown here in Florida? I can only guess it's because people don't see them, and therefor don't know about them, and that basically no nurseries grow them. Yet it's one of the most utterly spectacular foliage plants conceivable... Provided with an appropriately warm climate such as South Florida or elsewhere, there is no reason they should not be seen more often (for purposes of utter awe).


Macaranga's genuinely grand foliage much more resembles the ears of actual elephants (esp. the Asian species) than do the leaves of the much more commonly known and grown "elephant ears" meaning certain Alocasia and Colocasia.


PeopleCats of the World. Cats of The Day: Theodor and Arthur from the Cat Cafe

We received many replies from Garden Cat Lovers to our previous Blog about Cat Cafe Nurri Kassikohvik. We continue introducing a few other PeopleCats from the Cafe: Theodor (pure black) and Arthur (tuxedo).
Theodor and Arthur are security guys. They sit at the front door and make sure everyone passes their face-control... while they take care of each other's faces...

TopTropicals PeopleCat Club and Zoo

Thank you 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!


The best grafted Loquat varieties
at 15% OFF for 3 days!

Q: I have a nice Loquat tree started from seed. I understand it will not bear fruit unless grafted. Can you graft the tree in your nursery? If this is not possible let me know the cost of Loquat tree and I buy it from your nursery.

A: From our experience, Loquat trees grown from seed bear fruit much sooner (within 5-6 years) than seedlings of such trees as Mango and Avocado (8-15 years). Also, unlike Mango and Avocado, the fruit quality of a Loquat seedling is usually not too bad. However, in order to have a tree with a superior fruit, it is recommended to plant grafted variety for a guaranteed tasty crop. If your seedling is already a large plant (with a trunk diameter over 5 mm), it may be too late to graft it, because quality graft requires fresh wood.
If you have plenty of room in your yard with enough space for both grafted tree and a seedling, you may still plant the seedling in the ground and give it a chance to produce in a few years. If your garden space is limited, we recommend you to plant a grafted variety and enjoy fruit as soon as the next year.

The most popular grafted Loquat varieties, heavy producers:
Gold Nugget

SALE: 15% OFF now, no min. order!

- $20% OFF discount code PARENTS2020 for orders over $200
- 5% automatically off all orders over $100
= make it a steal!

Offer expires 7-28-20

If you are local, stop by our Garden Center and we will pick the biggest and the best tree for you. Or just order online and get it in just a few days to your doorstep!
See full list of Loquat varieties available at the moment.


PeopleCats of the World. Cat of The Day: Sabake from the Cat Cafe

We continue inviting PeopleCats of the World to our Blog. Today's cat of the day is visiting us from Cat Cafe Nurri from Tallinn, Estonia - Nurri Kassikohvik (Nurri means Purr!). Our columnist Alex Butova has visited enchanting Nurri Cafe especially for this report!
This amazing cat project is supported by donations, cat gift shop, as well as order surcharge - $6.50 per customer. Nurri Cafe is a foster home for cats rescued from different troubles. Some of these cats eventually find their forever homes when adopted by the customers. But some have become Nurri's family members, the cafe is their permanent home, and of course - place of work.
One of such permanent residents is a fluffy beautiful Sabake (BTW "sabaka" in Russian means "dog"... well, it is what it is!)
Sabake's main responsibility is checking out customers at the cash register. She also advertises souvenirs and offers to sign the Guestbook - which is she uses as a napping mat.
Sabake is very proud of her beautiful, long, thick fur. Cafe employees have a daily task of grooming her fur coat which is quite a job!
In May 2020, during the world's shut-down, the MAOW Academy hosted a webinar from this cafe: "For everyone who cares how the life order of "stay home" worked on cats and how they get used to the "old" life order again."

In the photo: Sabake napping on the Guestbook

TopTropicals PeopleCat Club and Zoo

Thank you 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!


Sugar grains on leaves?

by Mark Hooten, the Garden Doc

Q: On my Stemmadenia tree I noticed tiny drops (like white sand grain or sugar crystals) and wonder if this is a disease or some kind of insect and what can I do about it?

A: Sometimes certain vigorously growing (mostly tropical) plants develop suspiciously-looking tiny "growths" mostly on the undersides of their leaves. Without strong magnification, they can be easily mistaken for mealy bugs, scale insects, or any number of parasitic disease vectors.
However, according to plant pathologists, these are actually harmless excretions actually exuded by the plants themselves. A chemical analysis of these tiny granules shows that they are nothing more than polysaccharides. Polysaccharides are basically complex chains of sugar/glucose molecules which are simply a production of all plants undergoing photosynthesis. Polysaccharides are at the beginning of the entire food-chain. These odd tiny sugar-grained nodules are actually only semi-crystalline complex sugars which certain plants have over manufactured and have had no choice but to excrete through their stomata (breathing pores).
I have personally observed Cecropia, Psychotria, Spondias (Hog Plum), and Guavas doing this... there are many others. Nothing to worry about, they are harmless, but if they bother you - wash them off with a hose water.


PeopleCats of the World. Cat of The Day: Sir Nicolas from Sankt Gilgen

We continue inviting PeopleCats of the World to our Blog. Today's story is about very Important Purrrson, director of a Hotel - Sir Nicolas, a Royal Tuxedo Cat.
Sir Nicolas in managing Kendler Hotel located in Sankt Gilgen, Austria. He was interviewed by our columnist and editor Alex Butova - a big time traveler whose first writer's priorities during every trip are - botanical gardens and cats.
Sir Nicolas's lakefront Kendler Hotel located by the beautiful mountain Zwolferhorn. Accoring to what Sir Nicolas told Alex, besides beauties of the Alps, his city is famous with the fact that Mozart's mother was born here. But the most important feature that Sir Nicolas appreciates here is a small butcher's shop which is actually a part of the hotel's property. Sir Nicolas and Alex spent good hour chatting about life, people, and nature. He showed her his business card - a leather collar with his full name, job position (hotel manager), address, and a phone number. He added (off the record) that he also owns (as a silent partner) the Guest House, the Club Restaurant, the Brewery, and - most definitely - the Butcher's shop. He says hi to TopTropicals cats and all the cat-and-plant lovers!

In the photo: Sir Nicolas and Alex

TopTropicals PeopleCat Club and Zoo

Thank you 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!


Delicious Turkish Brown Fig

by Onika Amell, tropical plant expert

...Did you know that figs were among the very first plants grown in the hot and arid Middle East? Fast growing and utterly delicious, they soon made their way all over the Mediterranean, transported aboard ships and on the backs of camels...
If you are a fig lover, you may be tempted to grow your own. Market-bought figs are never as good and tasty as your own, homegrown figs. They just simply do not keep well in supermarkets. Fast growing, undemanding and low maintenance, figs will bear fruit in just two years, often bearing two crops in a year. Another plus is that they are not bothered by too many pests and are self-fertile. Apart from the delicious fruit, any fig tree will add beauty and shade to a garden...


Read more about fig trees:

Tropical Treasure magazine # 13 (3) 2010:
- Hard copy
- PDF Download


Meet PeopleCats of TopTropicals. Cat of the day: Russian Blue - a true Angel

Many customers ask if they can adopt one of our PeopleCats. Sorry, the answers is no, because they are not only members of our family, but also valuable employees who help us around the nursery: to grow and ship plants, work on construction projects, and even take care of property security. However, we can give some advise on what kind of cats make the most purrrfect companions.
If you are searching for a pet with a heart of an Angel, who is gentle and loving, the Russian Blue is the perfect purrson to add to your family. The Russian Blue breed comes in beautiful shades of gray, varying from a light shimmering silver to a darker, slate gray. Their short, dense coat has been the hallmark of the Russian breed for more than a century. It is a naturally occurring breed originated in the port of Arkhangelsk in Russia. They are also sometimes called ArchAngel Blues. It is believed that sailors took Russian Blues from the Archangel Isles to Great Britain and Northern Europe in the 1860s.
Throughout the history of Top Tropicals, we've had many Russian Blues, including famous Wesley, Marco, and King that are loved by everyone.

In the photo: TopTropicals editor Alex with Gosha - manager of the Puppet Kingdom, Museum of Dolls in Preili, Latvia

In the photo: King is checking security of the new window

TopTropicals PeopleCat Club and Zoo

Thank you 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!


Grafted fruit trees for Hawaiian gardens

In the photo: Atemoya, one of the Annonas - fruit lover favorites.

Q: Aloha guys, I purchased a Diospyros digyna - Black Sapote grafted var. Black Beauty from you and am checking to make sure it will fruit by itself and not need both sexes. Also checking to see if the grafted atemoya I bought from you will fruit at sea level (where I'm at) or if I should give it to a friend who is above 1,000 so it will fruit? My grafted Maimi soursop is thriving! Looking at getting a grafted jackfruit from you all next.

A: Black sapote Black Beauty does not need a second plant to produce fruit. Grafted trees should be flowering and setting fruit right away, or sometimes on the second year.
Atemoya does not require high elevation for fruiting. It is a hybrid Annona squamosa x Annona cherimola (A. cherimola species prefers higher elevation) so Atemoya is usually is happy at sea level.
Congratulations with your Soursop! It should be really happy in your location.

As for grafted Jackfruits, this is the list of varieties we usually carry. Since many of them are very rare, they sell out quickly once we get new arrivals. If you are looking for a specific variety, I strongly recommend to add it to your wishlist (click on "Notify me when available") and you will receive email from us as soon as we have it in stock, so you will be the first one to know about it!

Our favorite Jackfruit varieties (and also hot sellers)

Black Gold
Borneo Red
Dang Rasimi

We also suggest to get a Kwai Muk (while we still have it!) - the most delicious fruit, and it should do well in Hawaii.

In the photo: Black Sapote

In the photo: Jackfruit at TopTropicals Garden in Ft Myers, FL