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Index > Garden Blog

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How to grow Bottle brush trees

Callistemon - Bottle Brush Tree

Q: Please recommend me a cold hardy flowering tree that doesn't need much care.

A: Growing bottle brush trees (Callistemon spp.) can be a rewarding experience, as they are known for their striking, brush-like flowers and ability to attract pollinators. Here are some detailed tips to help you successfully grow and maintain these trees.

Hardiness

Bottle brush trees are best suited for USDA hardiness zones 8-11. They thrive in warm climates and can tolerate some light frost, but severe cold can damage or kill the plant.

Planting Location

Sunlight: Bottle brush trees require full sun to thrive. Ensure they get at least 6-8 hours of direct sunlight per day.
Soil: They prefer well-draining soil. While they are relatively tolerant of poor soil conditions, a sandy or loamy
Space: Consider the mature size of the tree when planting. Some species can grow quite large, so provide enough space for them to spread without being crowded by other plants or structures.

Attracting Pollinators

Bottle brush trees are popular with pollinators. Their bright, nectar-rich flowers attract bees, butterflies, and birds, particularly hummingbirds. This makes them an excellent choice for a garden designed to support local wildlife.

Blooming and Fertilization

Bottle brush trees typically bloom in late spring to early summer. However, in mild climates, they may have sporadic blooms throughout the year.
Fertilization: While bottle brush trees do not require heavy fertilization, applying a balanced, slow-release fertilizer in spring can promote healthier growth and more abundant blooms. Be cautious not to over-fertilize, as this can lead to excessive foliage growth at the expense of flowers. During the year, use |find_name=Sunshine Boosters Megaflor(Sunshine Megaflor)| - it is safe to use with every watering, year around.

Watering

During the establishment period, keep the soil moist. Once established, they are quite drought-tolerant but will benefit from regular watering during dry spells.

Pruning

Prune after flowering to maintain shape and remove any dead or diseased branches. This also encourages bushier growth.

By following these guidelines, you can enjoy the beauty and benefits of bottle brush trees in your garden. Their vibrant flowers and attraction to pollinators make them a delightful addition to many landscapes.

Callistemon - Bottle Brush Tree

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Mark your calendars: June 15, 2024

June 15, 2024 - SATURDAY - Summer Plant Market

Summer Plant Market
Saturday, June 15, 9 am - 4 pm

Save the date! Join us on June 15, 2024, for our Sizzling Summer Plant Market!

Beat the heat and create your own oasis with our stunning selection of shade-giving trees, vibrant flowers, and unique fruit trees. Enjoy unbeatable prices, exclusive offers, and special gift bags filled with gardening goodies. Plus, receive a free plant with every purchase!

Don’t miss out on this opportunity to transform your garden and stay cool this summer. We can’t wait to see you there!

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
Raffle
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

Cat with gift bags

Summer Plant Market

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The Magic of 3 top tropical trees
from the legends of Caribbean

Yellow Poinciana, Jacaranda, and Royal Poinciana:
Three happy colors of the Tropics

paintings of 3 top tropical trees - Royal Poinciana, Yellow Poinciana, and 
Jacaranda

While traveling through the vibrant and diverse Caribbean, we acquired three exquisite local paintings. Two of these are masterfully rendered on jacaranda wood plates, and the third is beautifully crafted on a calabash. These stunning pieces of art celebrate the three most spectacular and revered flowering trees of the Tropics: Yellow Poinciana, Jacaranda, and Royal Poinciana.

These trees are not only visually stunning but also deeply embedded in Caribbean culture, legends, and folk remedies.

The Yellow Poinciana, with its bright golden blossoms, is often associated with joy and sunlight, symbolizing the warmth of the Caribbean spirit.
The Jacaranda, known for its striking lavender-blue flowers, is a symbol of wisdom and rebirth, often blooming in a breathtaking display that signals the change of seasons.
The Royal Poinciana, with its fiery red and orange flowers, is a symbol of passion and energy, often referred to as the "Flamboyant" tree due to its bold and dramatic appearance.

These trees hold a special place in the hearts of the Caribbean people. They are featured in numerous local stories and songs, and their flowers and leaves are used in traditional remedies and rituals. Owning these paintings feels like possessing a piece of the Caribbean's soul and its natural beauty.

Now, we are fortunate to have not only the paintings but also the actual trees. Watching them grow and bloom in our garden brings a piece of the Caribbean to our home, a constant reminder of our travels and the vibrant culture we experienced. These trees and their representations in art are a testament to the region's rich heritage and its enduring connection to nature.

Get them now while we have them. No need to go too far into Caribbean!

Peltophorum africanum - Golden Flamboyant, Yellow Poinciana

Peltophorum africanum - Golden Flamboyant, Yellow Poinciana. An excellent garden shade tree, beautiful in flower. This variety starts flowering at young age, in 3 gal pot.

Jacaranda mimosifolia (acutifolia)

Jacaranda mimosifolia - Hypnotizing bluish-purple, trumpet-like flowers create the magical image of the tree. Incredible, long-lasting purple blooms. When the trumpet-shaped blooms finally fall, they form a lilac carpet beneath the awe-inspiring Jacaranda for luxuriant curb appeal...

Royal poinciana, Flamboyant tree, Delonix regia

Royal poinciana, Flamboyant tree, Delonix regia - "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)

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Vote now: Tropical Plant contest ending soon

Enter a photo to win Joy Perfume tree
and vote to select the winner!

tropical flowering plants contest

We already have many beautiful pictures submitted, check them out!
Hurry up to enter your favorite plant photo to win a beautiful Joy Perfume tree - Champaka!

WE NEED YOUR HELP:

Vote for participants and ask your friends to join the voting - we will need a winner soon!

Deadline - June 1, 2024 at 3 pm

Win Joy Perfume Tree

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When Bigger means Better

Large Avocado trees in containers

Everybody loves shopping online nowadays, and plants are no exception. Buying plants by mail order is not uncommon anymore; it only takes one click, and luckily, there are many sources - from big shopping malls like Amazon to small backyard nurseries that sell their seedlings on eBay or Facebook - all delivered to your door. But plants are alive... So when doing your online plant shopping, you must ensure that you fully enjoy your experience and are happy with a healthy plant that a) doesn't die; b) recovers quickly; and c) starts growing fast, so you can see flowers and fruit as soon as possible.

The rule of thumb for shipping plants: bigger plants undergo shipping better, experience less stress, less leaf drop, and recover quicker than plants with smaller root systems. So when it comes to buying plants online, the bigger, the better. Unfortunately, many mail-order plant sources may sell you a tiny twig that has very few chances of surviving. Shipping is very expensive today, so shipping a bigger size plant may cost more than the plant itself.

Below is a piece of advice on how to make the best plant selection for your garden...

Loquat trees in containers

Photo above: Loquat trees in 3 gal containers.

5 important rules on how to buy trees online

1. Find a source with bigger plants. Check reviews, ask friends for recommendations, inquire from the company about the size of their plants and how they pack their plants for shipping.
TopTropicals offers well-established, strong plants with developed root system, in container sizes 1, 3, 7, 15 gallon, directly from a tropical Florida growing farm. Our unique plant-packing techniques are state of the art!

2. Price not always reflects the size and quality of the plant
TopTropicals offers many deals, discounts and sales, while still providing the biggest and strongest plants grown in real tropical conditions.

3. Most fruit trees must be grafted to produce good fruit. Make sure you are not purchasing a seedling when it comes to Mango, Avocado, Peaches and some other trees with named varieties that don't come true to seed.
TopTropicals offers only grafted - Mango, Avocado and a large number of other tropical cultivars.

4. Pick up when possible from the nursery your ordered from, or get a delivery, instead of shipping the plants. A drive to the nursery will save you more time and money in the future, plus you can hand-pick the biggest and healthiest specimens.
TopTropicals is open 7 days a week for your convenience. Visit our Ft Myers Garden Center or Sebring Farm to select the biggest plants.

5. Take advantage of X-Large size plant material if you live outside the tropical zone and are trying to zone-push your tropical garden. Bigger plants will establish faster and have more chances to survive cold winters. Again, it will save you money in a long run (although bigger plants may be more expensive, but their survival rate is much higher when it comes to cold nights).
TopTropicals offers X-Large flowering and fruiting trees (7-15-25 gallons), and most of the varieties you see in our online store can be custom-ordered in big sizes. Delivery and installation available.

Avocado trees in containers

Photo above: Avocado trees in 7 gal containers.

Large Champaka tree in container

Photo above: Magnolia champaca - Joy Perfume Tree in 25 gal container.

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Win Champaka - Joy Perfume Tree!
Tropical flowering plant contest

Post a picture of your flowering plant and win this perfume tree!

Win Dwarf Ylang Ylang

This is your chance to win a rare, expensive plant that everyone wants but not always can afford -

Magnolia champaca - Joy Perfume Tree
$69.95 Value + FREE shipping

yes, delivered to your door absolutely FREE!

How to become a winner? It's as easy as 1-2-3!

1 - Go to our Telegram Chanel
2 - Post a picture of your own favorite flowering tropical plant that you grow in container
3 - Get likes and become a Winner!

The entry that receives more likes (hearts, thumbs up, etc) wins the Contest.

Rules and terms:

1. Must be our Channel subscriber.
2. Only 1 post per participant. The post should contain: 1-3 pictures and a plant name.
3. A plant must be:
a) tropical grown in container: choose from trees, shrubs, vines, or any perennials, including house plants, as long as they have flowers!
b) flowering (fruit trees will have their chance in our future contests)
c) your own plant, not in a nursery or botanical garden
4. Delivery - USA addresses only. To receive the prize, the winner will be requested to provide shipping info.
5. Unclaimed prizes will be canceled after 2 weeks.
6. Deadline - June 1, 2024 at 3 pm, then we will count the votes and pick the Winner!
7. No purchase necessary to enter or win (see full rules PDF)

Good Luck!

Win Dwarf Ylang Ylang

Magnolia champaca - Joy Perfume Tree, Champaka - the most wanted and sacred tree of India and tropical Asia. The flowers exude a divine fragrance. They are used to make the world's most expensive perfume 'Joy' and smell like fruity bubble gum, you can't stop sticking your nose in this flower! Great perfume tree for both in-ground or container culture, this is hands down the best perfume tree for a Southern landscape.

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5 best plant gift ideas for any occasion

These plants are large, developed and beautiful NOW!

Chonemorpha fragrans - Frangipani vine

The Chonemorpha fragrans, also known as the Frangipani vine, is truly a botanical marvel. With its exquisite clusters of perfume-fragrant, large flowers and lush green foliage, this vine captivates with its beauty and charm. Not only does it adorn gardens with its elegant presence, but its intoxicating scent also fills the air, creating a sensory delight for anyone nearby. The leaves, reaching up to 12 inches in size, further enhance its appeal. As a large, woody vine, it requires sturdy support such as a fence or robust structure to thrive, adding to its majestic presence in any garden landscape or indoor setting.


Bunchosia argentea - Peanut Butter Tree

Bunchosia argentea - Peanut Butter Tree - gets its name because its small fruits taste like peanut butter. Isn't that cool? This attractive small tree has clusters of yellow flowers that are followed by an abundance of dark red fruit. The rich, sweet flesh has a texture very similar to peanut butter. Yes, it tastes exactly like peanut butter! Sweet, soft pulp with a peanut flavor. One of the most fascinating exotic fruits, as amazing as Miracle fruit, Peanut Butter Fruit is loved by both kids and adults. The tree is small in size, grows only 10-15 ft, or can be kept as a bush. It starts fruiting within 2-3 years from seed! Keep it in a pot if you have limited space; it can be grown indoors, too. Very rare in cultivation.


Magnolia Michelia figo - Banana Magnolia

Magnolia figo commonly known as the Banana Magnolia, is a botanical wonder. Its creamy yellow, banana-shaped flowers release a sweet, fruity fragrance that fills the air with a delightful aroma (slightly resembling banana), making it a standout among flowering shrubs. The glossy, deep green foliage provides an elegant backdrop to the striking blooms, further enhancing its visual appeal. Growing up to 10 feet tall, this dense and bushy evergreen shrub or a small tree adds a touch of sophistication to any landscape, whether as a focal point in a garden bed or a graceful accent in a container. As a very cold-hardy tropical plant, it thrives in zones as low as zone 8. Great container plant.


Cattley Guava tree, Psidium littorale

The Cattley Guava, scientifically known as Psidium littorale, is a delightful small tropical fruit tree that adds both beauty and flavor to any landscape. With its pretty round fruits - miniature guavas - this tree offers a unique culinary experience. The fruits boast a sweet and tangy flavor, making them perfect for jams, jellies, and desserts. You can make lots of guava juice just out of one tree! Cattley Guava is not only a tropical delight but also surprisingly cold-hardy plant. Great container fruit tree.


Gardenia (Kailarsenia) vietnamensis - Vietnamese Gardenia

Kailarsenia vietnamensis - Vietnamese Gardenia, is a stunning botanical treasure. It stands out for its large, fragrant flowers and remarkable ease of cultivation. Unlike most gardenias that can be not easy to grow, this variety demonstrates resilience, tolerating overwatering, poor soils, and showcasing exceptional cold hardiness. The flowers are like beautiful artworks, and they give off a lovely smell that fills the air. Whether grown in containers or planted directly in the ground, this bushy beauty thrives, offering versatility and charm to any garden or indoor setting. Learn more about Vietnamese Gardenia.

Date:

20% BONUS for a Mothers Day Gift Card!

Top Tropicals Gift Card

Don't stress over last-minute gift shopping! Give your mother the gift of choice with a Top Tropicals gift card, allowing her to select the perfect plants for her garden or home.

For this Mother's Day, we're adding an extra special touch: receive a 20% bonus added to every gift card purchase! For instance, purchase a $100 gift card, and we'll issue one with a $120 value!

Let your mom explore our wide selection of tropical plants and create her own green oasis this Mother's Day.

The Gift Card can be used to buy plants, seeds, and garden supplies.
The Gift Card has no expiration date.

Date:

Best picks of the Season

Special SALE deals - from our horticulturist

These plants are large, developed and beautiful NOW!

Hibiscus schizopetalus - Coral Hibiscus

Hibiscus schizopetalus - Coral Hibiscus. Spectacular weeping tree hibiscus, rare and hard to find. Grows rapidly and blooms freely. Flowers look like parachutes and can be recognized by the fringed and lacy petals which are bent backward. It has slender and gracefully curved stems. Can be trained into a showy standard.


Cestrum nocturnum - Night blooming jasmine

Cestrum nocturnum - Night blooming jasmine. Garden favorite - the sweetest fragrance at night is intoxicating. One of the most famous and desirable fragrant plants. Flowers are pale yellow to white, open at night and stay extremely fragrant until sunrise. These flowers are widely used in India and other countries of South Asia for perfumery, medicinal applications and in religious ceremonies. Best location will be near driveway, window or entrance, where the magic fragrance can be appreciated.


Juanulloa aurantiaca - Gold Finger plant, Mexican Spoon Flower

Juanulloa aurantiaca - Gold Finger plant, Mexican Spoon Flower - this one is soooo pretty! Unusual looking vine or shrub with yellow-orange fleshy flowers, everblooming and a VERY fast growing. Rare, collectible plant.


Tabernaemontana Flore Pleno, Crape Jasmine

Tabernaemontana Flore Pleno - Crape Jasmine, Carnation of India, Florida Gardenia - this fast growing bush with waxy leaves and beautiful fragrant flowers is a must in tropical garden. Easy to grow and free flowering, dense bush.


Microsorum musifolium - Alligator (Crocodile) Fern

Microsorum musifolium - Alligator Fern, Crocodile Fern from Australasia. Perfect for shade! An epiphytic fern with cool alligator-skin looking leaves. The strikingly shaped, light green fronds of the fern form a lovely backdrop to its stunning stiff, leathery, dark green alligator-skin foliage. Perfect as a houseplant, or planted under a tree. Grows to 2-3 ft in height and likes a sheltered, semi-shaded location, no direct sunlight.

Date:

NEW VIDEO:
Sunflower Tree for a Happy Garden

Link to YouTube Video

Sunflower Tree, or Tree Marigold, is a fast-growing shrub, an ideal option for quickly concealing unsightly areas with its rapid growth. Not only does it provide effective coverage, but it also boasts cheerful, sunflower-like blooms. Reaching heights and widths of approximately 10 feet, this resilient plant withstands light freezes and rejuvenates vigorously each spring. Sunflower - is for Happy Garden!

Tithonia diversifolia - Sunflower tree

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