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How to move plants from indoors to outdoors

Cat with indoor plant hiding behind curtain

Q: When moving my tropical plant collection outside in the garden, what do I need to know to get them adjusted to this change?

A: As a tropical plant gardener, it's important to assess the temperatures outside before moving your plants outdoors. Most tropical plants thrive in sustained temperatures above 60F.
Moving your plants outside during the summer creates optimal growing conditions for sun-loving plants, providing them with more light and warmth than they can ever get inside. This active time of growth, along with the outdoor conditions of humidity, heat, sunlight, and natural day length, gives the plant a chance to experience growth in an outdoor environment, making for a much stronger plant.
However, be aware of sun burn. Direct sunlight can burn patches of white or brown on the surface of the tender leaves, so it's best to move your plants outside by hardening them off first. Gradually increase the amount of direct sunlight they receive over several days before moving them into full sun.
It's also a good time to prune your plants and repot them if needed, providing better aeration to the root system. But avoid root pruning as it can make your plant susceptible to disease and shock.
Overall, moving your tropical plants outside encourages their natural bloom cycle and provides extra vigor for the upcoming indoor season. However, be aware that you may have to deal with insects when you bring your plants back inside in the fall, so use preventive sprays like Sunshine NoBug before bringing them back inside. Leaf drop is also common when plants come back inside, so make sure to provide a well-lit location.
When moving plants outside, it's important to provide them with proper nutrients through fertilization. Outdoor conditions can deplete the soil of essential nutrients, so giving your plants a boost of fertilizer before moving them outside can help them acclimate to their new environment. Apply Sunshine Boosters with every watering, include micro-elements and bio stimulants to boost their immune system.

Sunshine Robusta Booster with lush foliage indoor plant


Organic or inorganic fertilizers, which is best?

A very smart article by Fedor, Mike, and Ed

Colorful garden

Q: Which one is better - organic or inorganic fertilizer?

A: When it comes to fertilizer, gardeners always wonder if one better than the other. Does a total organic fertilizer make sense for you? Is it easier to just use a cheap granular fertilizer a few times per year? You may be surprised to learn that there is one fertilizer that has advantages over both!

While organic fertilizers may be all the rage, there is the difference between Sunshine Boosters fertilizers, organic and inorganic fertilizers. Sunshine Boosters fertilizers have been especially developed to provide optimal conditions for cultivating crops in pots and greenhouses. These specialized nutrient blends are essential in order to maintain an appropriate environment for successful crop production, as they compensate for the lack of natural beneficial bacteria and nitrifying organisms which are specific to open soil cultivation.
Learn about why Sunshine Boosters is the best choice...

Hungarian hot wax pepper

In the photos: Hungarian hot wax pepper (above) and a Baby Cucumber (below), both grown in Ed's organic garden with Sunshine Boosters

Baby Cucumber in organic garden


Benefits of growing your own tropical fruit

"The fruit of the mango tree is no longer forbidden. Indeed, it has been recommended to me by the physicians as an antidote to the plague."
- Louis IX, King of France -

Fluffy cat with a tray of tropical fruit

Q: Why do you want to grow your own tropical fruit tree?

A: Growing your own tropical fruit tree can have many benefits. Here are a few reasons why someone might choose to grow their own tropical fruit tree:

1. Fresh, flavorful fruit: When you grow your own tropical fruit tree, you have access to fresh, flavorful fruit that you may not be able to find at your local grocery store. Tropical fruit, like avocado, mangoes, papayas, and passionfruit, jackfruit, Dragon Fruit, Annona have a short shelf life, and the fruit you find at the store may have been harvested weeks ago. When you grow your own fruit tree, you can pick the fruit when it's fully ripe and enjoy it at its peak flavor. Besides, some rare fruit like Akee or Sapodilla simply never offered from the store.

2. Environmental benefits: Growing your own fruit trees can have environmental benefits. Trees absorb carbon dioxide from the air and release oxygen, which can help reduce your carbon footprint. Additionally, growing your own fruit trees reduces the need to transport fruit long distances, which can help reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

3. Cost savings: Depending on where you live and the availability of tropical fruit, growing your own fruit tree can be a cost-effective way to enjoy your favorite tropical fruits.

4. Gardening and outdoor hobby: Growing a fruit tree can be a fulfilling and rewarding outdoor hobby. It can also be a great way to teach children about where their food comes from and the importance of taking care of the environment.

Overall, growing your own tropical fruit tree can be a great way to enjoy fresh, flavorful fruit, reduce your carbon footprint, save money, and enjoy a fulfilling outdoor hobby.

Taking a picture of a mango tree loaded with fruit

In the photo: Mango tree in Top Tropicals garden.


Top 5 butterfly attractors

"Just when the caterpillar thought the world was over, it became a butterfly"
Chuang Tzu (Taoist philosopher)

Newborn Butterfly

In the photo: yesterday we watched a butterfly born on one of our Champaka trees!

Q: What are the best butterfly attracting plants for a Southern garden?

A: If you love butterflies and if you enjoy having nature around your home, then plant a butterfly garden. Florida is a perfect place to create a year round and fully functioning butterfly garden. Caterpillars, which transform into butterflies, require special kinds of plants to feed upon and these plants grow extremely well in the South Florida and other subtropical areas. Below are the top five winners that butterflies appreciate the most. Besides, remember That all yellow flowers are attractive to them, for example Cassias. Butterflies like the Sun and everything that looks like the Sun!

  1. Calotropis gigantea - Giant milkweed, Arka
  2. Odontonema cuspidatum - Firespike
  3. Plumbago auriculata Imperial Blue
  4. Rondeletia leucophylla - Panama Rose
  5. Asclepias curassavica - Red Milkweed, Butterfly Weed

    Read more about Butterfly garden:

The Milkweed and the Monarch, how to raise your own
Musings of a butterfly gardener about the milkweed bug
Plants that attract butterflies and hummingbirds

Odontonema cuspidatum - Firespike

In the photo: Odontonema cuspidatum - Firespike


Last minute Valentines shopping: Gift Card

Make your loved one's day with the gift of choice! Not everyone enjoys surprises, but with a Happy Gardening Gift Card, your special someone can choose the plant of their dreams. Simply email them this certificate, which never expires. Give the gift of a green thumb today!

Top Tropicals Gift Certificate


Mango: Fruit of Love and Friendship

Black lab dog with mango fruit

In the photo: Mango Princess reincarnated. Mango is a Lab dog that got pregnant and lost her home... But she found her new life at Top Tropicals PeopleCats community. And she brought us a basket of happy puppies!

According to Hindu folklore, there was once a Sun Princess who was cruelly burned to death by a wicked sorceress... However, from the ashes of the princess, a mango tree sprung up, and the Emperor was immediately enchanted by the beauty of its blooms. The fruit that followed was equally as captivating and when the ripe mangoes fell from the tree, the Sun Princess was reincarnated.

Starting that moment on, the mango became a symbol of love and affection in India, and offering someone a basket of mangoes was seen as a gesture of friendship.

Today, mangoes are widely regarded as the most consumed fruit in the world, with approximately half of all tropical fruits produced globally being mangoes.

Cats and dogs and puppies and mango fruit


Gift Plants

Jasmine Sambac Maid of Orleans

In the photo: fragrant Jasmine Sambac Maid of Orleans

How to make the best gift plant?

1. Consider her/his interests and environment: Think about the recipient's favorite colors, preferred growing conditions (e.g. sunlight, temperature), and any specific plants they already have and like.

2. Choose an easy plant, especially when giving it to inexperienced gardener. Desert roses, Plumerias, Indoor plants are great for both beginners and experts.

3. Something to enjoy right away: Select an established plant with developed roots and foliage. Grafted fruit trees will produce soon, and aroma of a spice tree can be appreciated without waiting for it to grow bigger. House plants such as Philodendrons with ornamental foliage will brighten the room.

4. Presentation matters: Wrap the plant in decorative paper or a gift bag, and consider adding a bow or tag for a personal touch.

5. Add a personal touch: Consider pairing the plant with a personalized message or a small item such as a watering can, plant food, or a pretty planter. Your thoughtfulness will make the gift even more special.

Some gift plant ideas: Jasmines - Desert Roses - Gingers - Mango - Avocado - Spice plants - Indoor plants - easy maintenance plants - Plants of Love: Aphrodisiacs.

Annona Tree Sugar Apple with fruit on it

In the photo: Annonas are one of the most popular tropical fruit trees, fast fruiting, suitable for small gardens and container culture


Cat Zodiac
Aquarius Cats 1/20-2/18

Aquarius zodiac cat laying on a bed with pillows

By Alex Butova, the Witch of Herbs and Cats

The astrological sign of a cat can be determined by either their date of birth or adoption, as adoption is often considered a second birth for cats. With this information, one can discover the astrological traits that describe the cat, such as their independence, diva-like tendencies, sense of humor, intelligence, and more. Additionally, it's also important to consider the astrological relationship between cats and plants...

The Aquarius cat is a very popular purrson. These cats have a unique ability to form a network of friends and allies, not just among other cats, but also with dogs, koi-koi fish in the ponds, goldfish in aquariums, parrots, and other pets and creatures in the neighborhood. The humans in their lives are also fully integrated into this pack, and the Aquarius cat takes great pride in being a central figure and leader within this community. They view themselves as the "Sheriff of the regional district," commanding respect and authority among their fellow creatures, humans including...
...Tired of the hustle and bustle of society, Aquarius cats often seek out secluded places surrounded by tall grass and fragrant plants, which can even be a simple pot with your favorite plant...

Aquarius zodiac cat laying on a bed with pillows


How to make your Olive tree grow faster

Ed's Olive trees in the garden

In past blog posts, Ed Jones shared his insights on cultivating olives in Central Florida using Sunshine Boosters. Despite olives having a reputation for slow growth and being uncommon in Florida gardens, Ed has successfully grown not only productive but also aesthetically pleasing trees in just two years. As seen in this winter photo, the trees are thriving!
Encouraged by Ed's success, we have decided to plant
olive trees as well. They are low maintenance and tolerant to cold temperatures. Simply heed Ed's advice, and you too can have a beautiful tree that produces your own olives in the future.

Olive branch with fruit


10 secrets of growing a perfect Mango tree

Grow Your Own Food

Mango fruit with fertilizer Mango Tango Sunshine Boosters

How to grow a healthy and productive mango tree?

1. Right variety. Select a vigorous grower for in-ground planting, or a condo mango cultivar for growing in container. More info on varieties.
2. Soil must be well-drained. If planted in the ground, plant on a little elevation (see How to plant a tree)
3. Full sun is a must. The more sun, the more flower and fruit.
4. Water. Keep mango tree on a dry side, water young trees regularly but let top of the soil dry before next watering. Mango trees don't like wet feet.
5. Air circulation is important for mango tree to eliminate diseases. Allow enough space from other trees and buildings.
6. Fungicide. Mango leaves are very susceptible do fungal issues, especially in humid climates lik—É Florida. Spray fungicide (Copper or similar) according to the label, once a month.
7. Fertilize year around with every watering with liquid fertilizer Sunshine Boosters Mango Tango. Apply Micro-elements once a month and use other good supplements.
8. Shape. Check out Video: Tipping your mango tree - to shape the most vigorous and productive tree.
9. Protect from hard freeze. Mango tree doesn't take freezing temperatures well. In subtropical areas Mango can be protected. Alternatively, it can successfully produce in container, if moved indoors during cold weather.
10. Fruit. Mango tree produces thousands of little flowers, many of them can set fruit. Do not let a small, young tree to keep more than 1-2 fruit, remove extra, to avoid exhaustion. Allow 2-3 years for the tree to establish until it produces a full crop. Apply Sunshine Honey supplement to your tree for sweeter fruit.

Perfectly shaped mango tree

Tipping mango tree video