by Zoe Merring
Soursops fruiting in Virginia?! Yes, our tropical plants can grow anywhere!
Amazing news - from a customer in Virginia.
Not only his ultra tropical plants survive - they thrive, producing multiple fruit in only 2 years despite living in a climate with freezing winter temperatures.
We always like to think of our plants as a challenge. We continually push ourselves to collect, grow and propagate the rarest of the rare. Seeds, plants, and cuttings are ordered from all over the world and continue to challenge us with finicky temperature, humidity, and watering demands. Naturally, we also get many customers from cooler zones asking which plants they can grow. The answer is any of them! As long as you can give them the requirements they need.
Soursop trees are ultra-tropical, meaning they like temperatures above 50 degrees. Below that, they lose their leaves and given a big enough temperature drop, they will die. So although we encourage everyone to buy these plants for their amazing health properties, even we were shocked to hear from a customer in Virginia (Tuantropical). Not only has his plant survived - it has thrived, producing multiple fruit in only 2 years despite living in a climate with freezing winter temperatures.
The wonderful soursop is not the only tropical tree fruiting in this backyard paradise. Dragon fruit, longan, atemoyas, wax jambu, guava, mango and even sapodillas are all producing fruit in the structure. Quite an amazing feat! So how does he do it?
Many factors come into play:
Temperature: The temperature is maintained at 60 degrees during the winter. It is heated using a 10KW electric heater. Monthly cost is about $100 to $200 depending on outside temperature. Doors can be opened as it heats up.
Structure: The main purpose was to make the greenhouse as convertible as possible to closely mimic the natural environment. It started as your average, plastic covered greenhouse and evolved from there. The sides are sliding doors from Lowes. The sliding doors are on rollers on the bottom tracks, just like a typical patio door. The peak of the greenhouse is about 12ft tall. The final upgrade was to make the roof removable. During the summer, it can be taken off to allow the plants the most natural environment possible.
Growing Media: Some of the plants are in containers, but many (like the soursop) are planted right in the ground. A compost tea was applied their first year, but after that a slow release fertilizer is the best option. Check out our special blend.
Watering: An automatic, overhead watering system is in place to replicate the natural effect of rain. During the warmer months, they are watered once a day.
SUNSHINE boosters: use SUNSHINE boosters to improve your plants cold hardiness.Guava full of fruit in another
TopTropical's Pickering mango
fruiting in a pot!