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Go Bananas!
10 good reasons to plant bananas in your garden

Cat with bananas in refrigerator

Adding banana plants to your subtropical garden or plant collection can enhance the aesthetics of your outdoor and indoor space, provide fresh and nutritious fruits, and offer a fun gardening experience with relatively low maintenance requirements. It's a delightful way to connect with nature and enjoy the benefits of homegrown produce.

1. Tropical Ambiance: Banana plants bring a touch of the tropics to your subtropical garden. Their large, lush leaves create a lush and exotic atmosphere that can transform your garden into a tropical paradise.

2. Homegrown Flavor: Growing your own banana trees allows you to enjoy the freshest, most flavorful bananas right from your garden. Homegrown bananas often have a superior taste compared to store-bought varieties.

3. Nutritional Benefits: Bananas are packed with essential vitamins, minerals, and dietary fiber. By cultivating your own banana trees, you gain access to a nutritious and healthy snack option right in your backyard.

4. Quick Results: Banana plants are known for their fast growth. In subtropical climates, they can produce fruit in as little as one to two years. This means you don't have to wait long to savor the fruits of your labor!

5. Low Maintenance: Banana trees are relatively low-maintenance once established. They require regular watering, but their hardy nature makes them a relatively easy addition to your garden. They are not messy in a landscape.

6. Versatility: Bananas offer versatility in your garden. You can choose from dessert bananas for snacking, cooking bananas like plantains for culinary experiments, or even ornamental banana varieties to enhance your garden's aesthetics. There are so many varieties to enjoy! You can't find this big selection in a grocery store.

7. Sustainable Living: Growing your own bananas reduces your reliance on store-bought produce, contributing to a more sustainable lifestyle. It also minimizes the carbon footprint associated with transporting fruits to market.

8. Educational Value: Cultivating banana plants can be an educational experience for both adults and children. It offers insights into tropical horticulture and can foster an appreciation for gardening and botany.

9. Landscaping Appeal: Beyond their fruit-bearing potential, banana plants add visual interest to your garden. Their unique form and striking leaves make them an excellent choice for landscaping and providing shade in your outdoor space.

10. Resilience: While bananas thrive in tropical conditions, many banana varieties are hardy enough to withstand cooler climates, making them a durable addition to your garden.

bananas and banana trees


Paws of the week: Clifford, the Watch Dog

Clifford dog with tropical fruit

Introducing Clifford, the freshest face on the Top Tropicals team at the Garden Center and an honorary partner of the PeopleCats (or should we say, PeoplePaws). This dynamo has been appointed as the chief of our Security Crew, much to everyone's surprise and delight.
Now, the story goes like this: Clifford strolled in from who-knows-where and, with the charm only a puppy can muster, looked up at Chiane with those soulful eyes as if to say, "Hey, can I crash here?" Well, what else could she do? She gave him a warm bath, and lo and behold, beneath all that stray dust, Clifford turned out to be white!
Clifford is a little ball of sunshine. He's got a heart of gold and a zest for life that's absolutely contagious. When it comes to shipping activities, he's the first one to volunteer. And the best part? Clifford is the epitome of punctuality. You can set your watch by him. He shows up for work every day with his tail wagging and ready to conquer the world.
Clifford is not just our head of Security Crew; he's our daily dose of happiness and a reminder that sometimes, the best things in life simply wander in when you least expect them!

Fruit image by jemastock on Freepik


Cat Horoscope
Virgo Zodiac Cats 08/22-09/23

By Alex Butova, the Witch of Herbs and Cats

Virgo Zodiac cat

How to know the astrological sign of your cat?
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...
More >>

Purrrrfect office companions!

Are you someone who occasionally finds themselves in a state of disarray, struggling to maintain a tidy living space and manage your time effectively? Do you often find yourself behind schedule, struggling to fulfill your plans punctually? If this sounds familiar, let the Virgo Cat lend a helping paw to restore order and rhythm to your life... The Virgo Cats are more than just a pet; it's a dedicated companion that excels at instilling structure and cleanliness...
Eventually, you will realise that they want to accompany you to the office to be your office mate. This is why Virgo cats spread themselves over your laptop or sit deliberately in front of the screen - it is not because they need your attention, but because they (and you!) need to get to work...

Jacques - September, Virgo Zodiac cat

In the photo: introducing a new member of Top Tropicals PeopleCats family - Jacques, September cat by point of entry. He is only 5 months old and still learning how to be an office cat... but he already has very daring plans!

Virgo Zodiac Plants


How to properly cook Akee - quick recipe

Link to YouTube Video

Akee is a close relative of Lychee, Longan, and Rambutan. You can find delicious akee meals only in Jamaican restaurants! But no need to search for it - grow your own tree, it can't be easier. It will start fruiting for you the next season, you don't have to wait long. Sometimes it fruits twice a year! However, the fruit is used as a vegetable, and is not eaten raw. It must be picked after the fruit has opened naturally. After the fruit has "yawned", the arils are parboiled and lightly fried in butter. Then they are really delicious! Watch the QUICK RECIPE provided by our PeopleCats!

The Akee tree - scientific name Blighia sapida - is easy in cultivation, fast growing and can be maintained compact. It is not bugsy or picky about soil/water conditions, and is relatively cold tolerant for being a tropical tree. Now it's the perfect time to plant it!

Ackee, Akee fruit - Blighia sapida, and a cat

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Stay updated with TopTropicals Videos by subscribing to our channel at YouTube.com/TopTropicals and get our latest video news of what is fruiting and blooming!

Ackee, Akee 


Time to plant some Winter Bloomers!

Orange Cat at the edge

Winter is upon us, but for tropical gardeners, it's the perfect time to enjoy. As the days grow shorter and the heat of summer subsides, Fall planting brings its own advantages. It's not so hot now, making it the ideal moment to dive into the enchanting realm of winter flowering plants. Don't miss out on the opportunity to add some tropical gems to your plant collection and keep the spirit of summer alive all winter long.

Plant them now to enjoy winter flowers!

Orange Cat at the edge

In the photo: in full bloom now - Justicia carnea - Pink Brazilian Plume, Jacobinia. Spectacular pink flowers, butterfly and hummingbird attractor. The plant is relatively cold hardy to light freeze and grows back from roots even if leaves are damaged.


We remember 9/11. We must never forget.

9-11 American Flag and Cat

As September 11th arrives once again, our hearts are heavy with memories of the fateful day that forever changed our nation. We remember the lives lost, the heroes who emerged, and the enduring resilience of our country.
As we pay tribute to the past, we recommit ourselves to building a brighter future. Remember to focus on the beauty that surrounds us every day - the kindness of a stranger, the laughter of loved ones, the warmth of a sunrise. In these simple moments, we will find solace and inspiration.

Flamboyant tree, Royal poinciana, Delonix regia

In the Photo: Flamboyant tree, Royal poinciana, Delonix regia - one of the most popular tropical trees covered with bright red orchid-like flowers from late winter through early summer.
"The Royal Poinciana is one of the most spectacular flowering trees in the USA, and probably among the top 10 on this planet. In full bloom, it is like a regal elephant caparisoned in red and yellow brilliance." (Larry M. Schokman, The Kampong, National Tropical Botanic Garden)


My new Jaboticaba fruit tree from Top Tropicals

Link to YouTube Video

By Scott Riddle

For those new to plant mail orders, common questions arise: Can live plants be shipped successfully? What's the secret to safe packaging and a secure journey?
Scott Riddle, our California customer, is here to spill the beans on his Jaboticaba tree mail order experience! Join him as he unveils the plant, step by step, and reveals the journey it took.
If you are thinking about buying a live plant online and want to know the secrets of safe shipping, proper packaging, and post-transit care, this video is a must-watch! Get all your burning questions answered in this comprehensive, firsthand account.

Jaboticaba tree

Subscribe to our Channel:

Stay updated with TopTropicals Videos by subscribing to our channel at YouTube.com/TopTropicals and get our latest video news of what is fruiting and blooming!


Event Mementos (September 2)

Kristi's Birthday Bash and Plant Market at Top Tropicals

Thank you all for making this happen!

We would like to express our heartfelt gratitude to each and every one of you for making our garden event in celebration of our manager Kristi's birthday such a resounding success!

To our wonderful guests, thank you for joining us on that beautiful Saturday and making the day special for Kristi and all of us at Top Tropicals. We hope you enjoyed reconnecting with nature and finding the perfect plants to adorn your gardens. Your presence and the efforts of our amazing Team combined to create a memorable day filled with tropical beauty and inspiration for all.

Top Tropicals nursery

A heartfelt shout-out goes to our exceptional Top Tropicals Team, the true heroes behind the scenes. Our dedicated People and PeopleCats , who generously shared their knowledge and passion, guided you through the nursery, and helped you select the perfect plants. They are the ones who work tirelessly to ensure every plant thrives, nurturing our garden with love and care. Their unwavering dedication was particularly evident in the incredible recovery of our garden after Hurricane Ian last year. Today, you witness its beauty once again, renewed and flourishing, thanks to their hard work and commitment.
These People are: Kristi, Jamie, Onika, Tony, Chiane, Mark H, Mark M, Ed, Beatriz, Aurelio, Mick... (see Our Team).
The PeopleCats are: King, Snitch, Sushi, Loki, Paisley, Josephine... (+10 more at Garden Center and 9 more at B-Farm! See all PeopleCats)

Here are a few pictures from the past event, and please visit Event Mementos page to see all of them!

Kristi's Birthday Bash and Plant Market at Top Tropicals

Kristi's Birthday Bash and Plant Market at Top Tropicals

Kristi's Birthday Bash and Plant Market at Top Tropicals

Kristi's Birthday Bash and Plant Market at Top Tropicals

The Robuster and a cat

Top Tropicals Garden Event


This Saturday, September 2nd: Garden Event

You are invited to Kristi's Birthday Bash and Plant Market at Top Tropicals

Kristi's Birthday Bash and Plant Market "Tropical Harvest"
September 2, 9 am - 4 pm

Join us in a celebration recognizing the central pillar of the great Top Tropicals temple - Kristi! We are excited to invite you to a special event, "Kristi's Birthday Bash and Plant Market", where we will be celebrating our beloved manager, Kristi, and showcasing a wide selection of tropical fruit trees and flowering plants.

This event will be an opportunity for you to explore our beautiful garden and discover a variety of plants for your own green oasis. We have lined up exclusive deals and sales on our exceptional plant collection, making it the perfect time to add some tropical flair to your home. Bring your friends and family, and immerse yourself in a day of gardening joy and community spirit!

Event agenda:

9 am - 4 pm: Plant Market. 30% OFF online prices. Raffle.
Gift bags - for first 25 customers with $50 order
Secret Garden: Super savings area 50% off
$2 and $5 sale racks: for local pick up only!

Event discounts valid at both locations:

Ft Myers Garden Center: 13890 Orange River, Ft Myers, FL
Sebring B-Farm: 9100 McRoy Rd, Sebring, FL

Facebook event page - Download invitation

Kristi's Birthday Bash and Plant Market at Top Tropicals


Event Special:
Yuca Root - Cassava - Tapioca - Manihot...

Yuca Root - Cassava - Tapioca - Manihot, plant

Reminder: now is the time to plant Cassava - Yuca Root!

It takes one year to grow a good root crop. This wonderful tropical root vegetable is grown as a handsome shrub and harvested for its root and leaves that are high in starch. The plant contains low levels of protein in the root and high levels in the green leaves. And Cassava fries are both delicious and healthy! Yum! (see the recipe)

Cassava fries

Yuca Root - Tapioca - Manihot, tubers