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What is the largest succulent flower in the world?
Starfish Flower - Stapelia gigantea

Starfish Flower - Stapelia gigantea

This is one of the most bizarre looking succulents you've even seen! Starfish Flower from Tanzania is one of the largest flowers in the plant world!
It does look like a startfish, and is absolutely beautiful! Being a succulent, the plant is very undemanding and easy to grow, doesn't need much care or water. It also doesn't mind regular irrigation, we have it in Summer Florida rains with no problem. The focal point of this plant is the fleshy, 5-pointed, star-shaped flowers (to 10-16" across), each being pale ochre-yellow with thin transverse maroon lines. It is a great container plant and very fast growing, can fill a large hanging basket within just one season. Flowers on and off during the warm season with the most profuse flowering at the end of Summer (flower buds are triggered by shortened daylight hours in fall). It is a spine-free succulent member of the milkweed (not cactus!).

Starfish Flower - Stapelia gigantea, large flower

Stapelia gigantea inside of flower


What tree will fruit indoors?

Fruit trees for indoor containers

Q: I love your tropical fruit selection and I wish I lived in a warmer climate. Is there any fruit tree that can be happy indoors during winter and have fruit? I am not expecting a big crop but it would be fun to have a small piece of tropics at home. I don't have much gardening experience, can you suggest something easy for a start?

A: Several tropical fruit trees can be grown indoors, in pots, providing bright light that is necessary for flowering and setting fruit. Among them are many varieties of Bananas, Guavas, Annonas and tropical Cherries - these can be easily maintained in containers. Even dwarf varieties of Avocado and Mango are good candidates for indoor culture. You can bring containers indoors for winter and take outside into full sun during warm months so your plants can store lots of energy in Summer.
The easiest fruit tree for indoor culture that doesn't require bright light and can be grown indoors year around is a Coffee tree. Start with it, it is on sale today! Once you gain some experience, you can upgrade to a Chocolate tree!
Remember, all container grown plants need balanced nutrition program. It can be easily provided with Sunshine Boosters your around. For fruit trees, just add some Sunshine C-Cibus Crop Booster to your cart.

Coffee video


Grow your own food:
How hardy is a Loquat tree?

Loquat trees and fruit

Q: I am looking for a fruit tree for my backyard that is low maintenance, fast fruiting, and can take some cold (I live in Orlando FL and we do get occasional frost in winter). I like the taste of Loquat fruit, it reminds me of apricots. How cold hardy is this tree?

A: Loquat tree is a very good choice for Florida gardens. It can take both cold and heat and produces lots of tasty fruit right away. Last winter when we had a record freeze in our area with a couple of nights around 25F, the only trees that didn't get any damage at all were Loquats and Macadamias, and those were still young, newly planted 4 ft trees.
To learn more about Loquat trees, check out this video and article: Golden Loquat - the symbol of Prosperity.

Loquat video


Grow your own food:
Avocado Q & A

from Ed Jones, the Avocado Guy

two avocado fruit

Q: Do I need to have more than one avocado tree in order to produce fruit?

A: While a single avocado tree will normally produce enough fruit for most people, it never hurts to have more than one tree and even more than one variety to increase the chances for good pollination. Be sure to look at our catalog for the many different varieties available from our store.

Avocado tree


New Video:
Dwarf Guava Hawaiian Rainbow

Psidium guajava "Nana"

Dwarf rainbow guava video

Put a little Aloha in your garden... A guava that will bring a taste of the Islands!
This is a very small version of the favorite aromatic Guava - Nana. It grows only up to 5-6 ft tall with a short trunk and a branching, bushy habit. It is perfect for those who have limited space. It can be grown in a pot and fruits heavily. Provided with warm conditions, the tree can bear fruit almost year around. The fruit is round, about 2", pretty good size for a dwarf tree. The flesh is sweet, aromatic, and varies from white to yellow to pink.

Dwarf Guava Hawaiian Rainbow

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Planting in August

Top Tropicals Garden Calendar

Philly's garden calendar

August is the hottest month in most places, and tropical/subtropical areas are not the exception. In Florida we have some hot August days in upper 90's. Is it still OK to plant during hot weather? Yes, and here are some guidelines for you:

1. Hot metabolism.
Many tropical plants grow faster at high temperatures. Select heat-resistant species for August planting (below are just a few suggestions).

2. Water adequately.
Water thoroughly your newly planted tree. Water daily (lightly) with a hose for at least a week, don't rely on sprinklers. Then reduce watering to every other day and gradually switch to sprinkler system if you have it. Do not overwater: non-established plants don't like combination of heat+wet.

3. Mulch well.
Keep mulch 1" away from the trunk to avoid rot.

4. Shading.
Protect the young tree from hot sun with a shade cloth or a sheet if leaves get wilted, for 1-3 days, then remove it, let the plant adjust to bright light.

Trachelospermum jasminoides - Confederate Jasmine

Photo above: Trachelospermum jasminoides - Confederate Jasmine, the toughest jasmine that can take extreme heat and drought.


Grow your own food:
Tropical Asparagus (Katuk)

By Alex Butova, the Witch of Herbs and Cats

Sauropus androgynous - Tropical Asparagus, Katuk

...One of the most popular leaf vegetables in South Asia and Southeast Asia, the Tropical Asparagus (Katuk) - Sauropus androgynus, is notable for its high yields and palatability. Cooked Tropical Asparagus is great with crab meat, minced pork, dried shrimp, or in a soup...
Katuk is one of the most popular leaf vegetables in Southeast Asia. It is among only a few flora containing vitamin K. Leaves and stemmed can be cooked as vegetable; the plant has many medicinal properties.
Katuk is fast growing and keeps growing as you trim it for your kitchen needs. Multiple upright stems can reach 6-7 ft high. It has great ornamental value, has pretty red flowers and ornamental fruit showing shiny black seeds when they crack open. Varieties with green leaves and variegated leaves have slightly different flavor but are equally good for your healthy, fiber-rich diet... CONTINUE READING >>

Sauropus androgynous - Tropical Asparagus, Katuk


What is your Zodiac Lucky plant?
Leo Plant Horoscope 07/23-08/22

By Alex Butova, the Witch of Herbs and Cats

Leo Plant Horoscope

Leo is the fifth sign of the zodiac, which the sun enters at the summer solstice in the Northern Hemisphere approximately July 23. Those who are born from July 22-23 (depending upon the year) to August 22 are born under Leo. Leo is a royal sign, there are many stars in its sign - four in the heart only, and the Ruler of its House is not a planet, but a star named the Sun! Leo is one of the largest constellations in the sky...
Find out what are your lucky Zodiac plants!...

Plant Horoscope


Ground Orchids for every Home
10% OFF 3 days only!

ground orchids

Ground orchids are the easiest and the most rewarding flowers for a tropical garden. They grow in regular garden soil or potting mix, take both sun and shade and bloom nearly year around. And look at these colors! Watch the video:

Ground orchids:
all-summer colors for shady gardens

ground orchid video

10% OFF your entire order!

Top Tropicals has the largest selection of beautiful ground orchids of all kinds of colors, at low prices. Check them out today, while supply lasts! They sell fast!
To make it affordable for everyone, we are offering additional 10% discount coupon so you can collect them all! Hurry up, this offer expires in 3 days! For 10% off any order over $150, use this code:


Exp. 2022-07-28. Min order $150.

Cats and ground orchids

Ground orchids - new arrivals!

See all new arrivals

Spathoglottis Rainbow - Sorbet Ground Orchid
6609 Spathoglottis Rainbow - Sorbet Ground Orchid
Grown! in
4-6" pot, blooming size


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Spathoglottis Snow Angel - Coconut Cloud Ground Orchid
5410 Spathoglottis Snow Angel - Coconut Cloud Ground Orchid
Grown in
4-6" pot, blooming size


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Spathoglottis Tropical Pineapple - Sorbet Ground Orchid
6844 Spathoglottis Tropical Pineapple - Sorbet Ground Orchid
Grown in
4-6" pot, blooming size


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Callisia fragrans, Golden Tendril:
Holistic Medicinal Plant

Callisia fragrans

by Alex Butova, the Witch of Herbs and Cats

...This beautiful, low-maintenance plant has been living in our homes for over two hundred years. The name of Callisia speaks for itself - Callisia from the Greek is kallos meaning beauty and fragans means fragrant. It is not only an easy ornamental plant for both garden and indoor collection, it has wide medicinal use in Europe. Its active biological substances that can fight infections, stimulate metabolism, strengthen immunity and circulatory system...
...Moreover, the leaves and flowers of Callisia fragrans are edible, the plant has been used as a food source in tropical countries. The rhizomes are also edible and can be boiled or roasted... Every garden or indoor plant collection should have this easy and useful plant!..

Callisia fragrans

Lots of new arrivals!

See all new arrivals

Hog Plum tree, Red Hog Plum, Spondias 
1193 Hog Plum tree, Red Hog Plum, Spondias purpurea
Grown in
10"/3 gal pot

Sale $42.95

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Megaskepasma erythrochlamys - Brazilian 
1377 Megaskepasma erythrochlamys - Brazilian plume
Grown in
6-10"/1-3 gal pot


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Rollinia deliciosa - 
2753 Rollinia deliciosa - Biriba
Grown in
10"/3 gal pot


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Vitis rotundifolia - Muscadine Grape Isons Black
3552 Vitis rotundifolia - Muscadine Grape Isons Black
Grown in
10"/3 gal pot, large plant


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