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Ixora odorata - exclusive flower with fine perfume

Ixora odorata flowers

Q: I see you have a very special plant - Ixora odorata with fragrant flowers, I've heard that the fragrance is heavenly. Is it easy to grow? Can I plant it as a hedge, like a regular ixora bush?

A: Indeed, Ixora odorata is quite special. It's a must-have for any tropical plant enthusiast, often likened to esteemed fragrance collectibles like Ylang Ylang or the Joy Perfume Tree. While it shares the genus with the common Southern landscape plant, Ixora, cultivating Ixora odorata requires some special attention. We wouldn't recommend using this rare exotic as a hedge; it's best suited as a centerpiece or specimen in your garden. The effort is certainly rewarded, as the sweet fragrance of its flowers is truly remarkable, reminiscent of Jasmines. Here are some tips for growing Ixora odorata:

1. Temperature. Ixora odorata is sensitive to cold and can't withstand even light frost. Protect it by growing it in a container that can easily be brought indoors during cold weather.
2. Soil. Like all ixoras, Ixora odorata prefers acidic soil. This is easily achieved since it's typically grown in a pot. High-quality potting soil, such as Sunshine Abundance, tends to have a lower pH (acidic), has low pH (acidic).
3. Light. Unlike most ixoras, Ixora odorata prefers shade to filtered sunlight, unlike most ixoras that are full sun plants.
4. Water. Ixora odorata prefers drier conditions during winter, so reduce watering in the winter months. In summer, regular watering is necessary, as it won't tolerate drying out.
5. Insect control. Ixora odorata can be susceptible to insects during winter. Keep an eye out for mealybugs during winter. Monitor the leaves, especially underneath.
5. Prune after flowering.
6. Fertilizer. Feed Ixora odorata with Sunshine Boosters Megaflor for most profule flowering and healthy waxy leaves.

Ixora odorata blooms in winter, making it a delightful addition to your home during the colder months. What can be better having this perfume factory! It's a true gem that's worth the extra care and attention - it deserves to be pampered!

Ixora odorata flowers

We bring our Ixora odorata indoors during winter. It is happy to sit in a large bathtub with a skylight above it. It flowers all winter long, filling the air with light perfume not only in the bathroom and bedroom, but in the whole house. And of course, cats love it too!


Mark your calendars: March 2, 2024

March 2, 2024 - SATURDAY - Spring Plant Market: March into Spring!

Plant Festival "March into Spring!"
Saturday, March 2, 9 am - 4 pm

Save the date! On March 2, 2024, join us for our vibrant Plant Festival, "March into Spring!"
Dive into a world of lush greenery, blooming delights, and rare fruit trees at our garden event. Discover unbeatable sales, exclusive deals, delightful gift bags, and receive free plants with every purchase.
Don't miss out on this opportunity to embrace the beauty of spring and elevate your garden to new heights!

Highlights of the event:

30% OFF online prices, one day only! (excluding 15 gallon material and rare plants)
Gift bags - for first 25 customers with $50 order
Secret Garden: Super savings area 50-70% off
$5 and $10 plants
Free plant with any purchase as a token of our appreciation

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

Cat with plants in a bag


2/10/2024: Chinese Year of the Dragon

2024 Year of the Dragon

Q: What is the lucky plant for Chinese New Year 2024?

A: 2024 is the year of the Green Wooden Dragon according to the Chinese calendar. It will be celebrated this year on Saturday, February 10.
Dragon symbol is considered the most powerful in Chinese astrology, representing energy, strength, and power.

The lucky plant of the year 2024, the Dragon fruit, steals the show with its striking red skin and juicy white flesh. Plates overflow with succulent slices of dragon fruit, its fiery red skin contrasting beautifully with the snowy white flesh speckled with tiny black seeds, symbolizing prosperity and abundance.

2024 the year of the Green Wooden Dragon with Dragon Fruit

Dragon fruit comes in many varieties that differ in flavor, sweetness, and texture.


2024: Groundhog Predicted an Early Spring!

2024 Groundhog early Spring

Q: Did Punxsutawney Phil see his shadow this year?

A: Every Feb. 2, the Groundhog Punxsutawney Phil comes out of hibernation in Pennsylvania to let his shadow "do the talking." If his shadow appears, Americans are in for six more weeks of winter. If it doesn't, spring will come early. Last year, the groundhog predicted a longer winter.
This year, Phil did not see his shadow, predicting an early spring!

So, what are we waiting for?
Time to do some plant shopping!

2024 Early Spring is official - Cat

Capsicum annuum x chinense - Biquinho Pepper

Photo above: Capsicum annuum x chinense - Biquinho Pepper. The small, bright orange to red fruits are known for their intense habanero flavor, although they typically have little or no heat. In recent years, the Biquinho Pepper has become popular in South America, and is often pickled and served as a snack with caviar. It is also a great addition to salsas, guacamoles, and Bloody Marys.


Valentine Sweetheart Hoya:
a must gift for your Valentine

Hoya kerrii - Sweetheart, Valentine Hoya

Q: What plant can you recommend for a Valentines Day present?

A: There is a perfect plant specifically for Valentine's Day! When it comes to finding the ideal plant for an occasion, it doesn't get better than this one. The Sweetheart Hoya, also known as Valentine Hoya or Hoya kerrii, is not only easy to grow but also easy-ship, making it the most user-friendly of all houseplants. Its popularity has soared in recent years, thanks to its unique and quirky "heart" shaped leaves that appeal to everyone and bring smiles to faces. In addition to these charming leaves, the Sweetheart Hoya produces fragrant, beautiful flowers resembling tiny red stars. These flowers are not only stunning but also waxy, durable, and long-lasting.

Caring for the Sweetheart Hoya is a breeze, requiring only minimal attention. It can likely thrive with just one good watering a month - that's how hardy it is. While this plant prefers a reasonably well-lit room for optimal growth, it can still fare well in shadier spots, making it a versatile addition to any home or office. Don't wait till the last moment, get your Valentine's present now - the best one ever!

We have large developed plants, ready to bloom!
Buy one (for her/him) - get one free, for yourself!

Hoya kerrii - Sweetheart, Valentine Hoya

Don't forget some plant food for it!

SUNSHINE Bombino - Young Plant Vigor Booster

SUNSHINE Bombino - Young Plant Vigor Booster


Cat of the Month:
Winter Adventure of Lisa the Cat

Norwegian Forest Cat - Skogkatt Lisa on the table

After publishing the story about Skogkatts - Norwegian Forest Cats, we received inquiries about Lisa, if she is available for adoption? Luckily, Lisa now has her wonderful sweet home in Sweden, so unfortunately for those who fell in love with her, she is not adoptable. But Lisa's life story wasn't all that sweet and simple! Rather thrilling and adventurous. So we decided to share her story with you...

By Alex Butova, the Witch of Herbs and Cats

"...Lisa, who illustrated our story about Skogkatt Cat Breed, lives with my daughter Vanda, along with her family: husband Vitaly and two children - Max and Maria. They live in Sweden. Lisa is 13 years old now. About 10 years ago, Lisa had a heartbreaking adventure almost ended with a tragedy... But luckily, she made it through. However, since then, she can't jump high and sometimes walks funny, sways and limps... And here's what happened..."

Norwegian Forest Cat - Skogkatt Lisa with girl Maria


Sunshine Boosters PRO - for Professionals

Vegetables and greens

Q: Winter marks the vegetable season in Florida, and my half-acre vegetable garden in Highlands County thrives during this time. I cultivate a variety of produce, including tomatoes, cucumbers, onions, beets, various lettuces, radishes, and beans. Despite the sandy and poor soils, I manage a bountiful harvest that not only sustains my extended family but also provides for friends throughout the winter. To combat our sandy soil challenges, I heavily rely on fertilizers.

Recently, I came across your Sunshine Boosters products, and the results on my tomatoes were astonishing. They grew twice as fast compared to those on a "manure" bed. What I appreciate most about your product is its natural composition, allowing me to use it on edibles. The convenience of easily integrating liquid fertilizer into our irrigation system is a game-changer.

I'm curious if you offer budget-friendly deals on your boosters for larger gardens?

SUNSHINE PRO - Complete Nutrition Booster Kit Pro, fertilizer


A: Absolutely! We have just the solution you're looking for - our Professional Series of Sunshine Boosters is tailored for avid growers like you. Having catered to the needs of various crops, including tomato and hemp farms, our natural, amino acid-based professional formulas are the most economical choice for any scale of production.

Our professional series covers everything, from small backyard gardens to extensive greenhouses. The feeding process involves just three solutions mixed with water in your fertilizer tank: NPK (Advantage or BloomBoom, depending on the growth stage), Ca-Support (Calcium supplement), and Microelements (Constanta-Pro). This comprehensive nutrient package meets all your garden's needs. (See advanced info about Sunshine PRO products.)

Explore our professional solutions at the Top Tropicals Online Store. For larger quantities, you can directly order from the SunshineBooster.com professional selection or just contact us for a customized quote.

If you haven't implemented an injector system yet, consider the Robuster - an easy-to-install, care-free automatic system that takes care of all the work for you.

Cat with cherry tomatoes

Cherry tomatoes


Florida Starter Garden in Winter

Odontonema Firespike

Photo above: Bauhinia blakeana - Hong Kong Orchid Tree

Q: We just moved to Florida and our yard is currently just plain grass. I want to add some beautiful tropical plants, but I'm not sure where to start. Can you suggest easy-to-care-for plants that look nice in winter, preferably with flowers? Considering it's Winter time and some trees look dormant... But I can't wait to start my tropical garden!

A: Florida residents are blessed to have mild winters, and many tropical and subtropical plants enjoy this climate year around. Just be mindful of your location's specific conditions (sun-shade, wet-dry, cold sensitive or hardy). Here are some recommendations for easy-to-grow, evergreen plants that love Florida and look great even in winter. They'll establish well during cooler months, add a splash of color to your garden with their flowers, and even treat you with fruit!

Winter flowers - will bloom now!

Clerodendrum Winter Starburst
Clerodendrum Blue Butterfly
Eranthemum Blue Sage
Odontonema Firespike
Pavonia - Brazilian Candles

Odontonema Firespike

Photo above: Odontonema cuspidatum - Firespike

Fragrant Garden

Banana Magnolia
Jasminum sambac Little Duke Supreme
Vietnamese Gardenia
Nyctanthes - Parijat
Ylang Ylang vine

Gardenia (Kailarsenia) vietnamensis - Vietnamese Gardenia

Photo above: Gardenia vietnamensis - Vietnamese Gardenia

Curious unusual trees

Hong Kong Orchid Tree
Candle Tree

Parmentiera edulis - Candle Tree, Guahalote

Photo above: Parmentiera edulis - Candle Tree, Guahalote

Easy fruit

Noni Tree
Yellow Dragon Fruit Palora
Coffee Tree

Morinda citrifolia - Noni Tree

Photo above: Morinda citrifolia - Noni Tree

Great looking now:
for Shade and Indoor Garden

Calathea zebrina - Zebra Plant
Black Bat Head Lily
White Bat Head Lily
Vanilla Orchid
Reed Ground Orchid
Calathea Fuzzy Pheasant
Colocasia Mojito

Tacca nivea - White Bat Head Lily

Photo above: Tacca nivea - White Bat Head Lily


Sunshine Boosters
Winter use... and discount!

Sunshine Boosters different formulas

Do you remember that Sunshine Boosters fertilizers can be applied year-round?

As natural fertilizers, their scientifically created formulas provide perfectly balanced nutrition for your plants throughout the year. Follow the instructions on the labels and apply Sunshine Boosters with every watering. Give your plants extra boost during winter months! The fertilizer amount is balanced, adjusting proportionally to the water amount, which is tailored to the plant's winter needs. Unlike dry fertilizers, Sunshine Boosters can be used all year without fear of burning plants with excessive nutrient lockup.

Take advantage of the winter sale and stock up on this perfect plant food. You'll need plenty by Spring when your plants begin active growth! Use the code below for 20% off all Sunshine Boosters products. Hurry up, the sale will end in a few days!


Min order $20, excluding S/H. Exp. 1-12-24

Sunshine Boosters effect in the garden

In the photo above: This picture was taken on Christmas Eve, December 24, 2023. The little garden by our B-farm office, irrigated automatically with Sunshine Boosters using the Robuster injector, is thriving in spite of cool nights. Look at this crazy banana, it is taller than the building, we honestly have never seen a banana of that size! The solution we are using there is Sunshine Robusta; now available for pick up in 2.5 gal jugs!


Ten New Year Resolutions:
Diversity in Tropical Garden

Cat diversity in the garden

1. Diversity. Grow different plants. Add more types of tropical plants to your garden for a colorful and diverse look.

2. Save Water. Use water wisely by installing drip systems, collecting rainwater, and using mulch to keep the soil moist.

3. Improve Soil. Make your soil healthier by adding compost or manure regularly. Healthy soil promotes robust plant growth and enhances overall garden resilience.

4. Deal with Pests Smartly. Keep pests in check with a plan - use natural solutions and check your plants often. Preventing program is easier than dealing with infestations.

5. Right Fertilizing. Feed your plants with Eco-frintdly fertilizer such as Sunshine Boosters (safe to use year around). If you use slow-release fertilizers - apply in right amounts, from March to November.

6. Trim Regularly. Keep your garden tidy and healthy by pruning and removing dead or sick parts of the plants.

7. Companion Planting. Explore which plants work well together to enhance nutrient uptake, fight pests and provide shade for those species that need it.

8. Right Climate and Zone Pushing. Pick plants that love your climate, considering sunlight, temperature, and humidity. For more sensitive tropical plants, work on a plan for cold protection: grow them in pots or set up temporary covers.

9. Teach Others. Share your gardening knowledge with the community. Propagate your plants from seeds, cuttings, divisions - and share them with friends and neighbors. Remember: live plant is the best gift, and love is sharing!

10. Make a Relaxation Spot. Create a cozy corner in your garden with comfy seating or hammock, shade, and maybe a water feature for a peaceful retreat.

Cat in hammock