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TopTropicals plants: Better, Bigger, Bloomer!

TopTropicals plants
Plant size - general info and Plant Size Page (in details)
How To Tell a Good Company from a Bad One (or: Things To Look For Before Taking the Plunge)

All our plants are guaranteed to be healthy at the shipping

Flowering plant in pot

There is a great number of mail-order companies selling tropicals plants. Some of them have made a name and a good reputation, offering an extended choice of exotic varieties.

Some plants that we have in our collection we originallly bought from different online stores. Most of the time we were satisfied with what we got, other times...

Sometimes plants grown in greenhouses are harder to keep healthy: they are grown in controlled temperature/humidity, which makes them too delicate and weak. How many times you have bought a perfect looking mini-rose in local WalMart as a present? In a couple weeks it looks leggy, losing leaves or simply dying. Have you ever wondered why? Because, in greenhouses these plants were grown under precise controlled conditions, light, humidity. They were sprayed by liquid fertilizers, growing-hormones (they're similar to anabolics people use to grow their biceps. Becips are great, but what about side effects?). As a result, these plants are weak. They have weak undeveloped root system. They don't need developed root system living in a greenhouse. Your home is completely different. Humidity is low, light is low or high, you water them once a day instead well-regulated misting..... If a plant could talk it would cry like a baby.

We live in Florida and we are able to provide our plants with lots of sunlight and high temperatures year round. We grow our plants in natural conditions where they can get tropical sun and soft rain water 12 months a year. That's why they look and stay healthy, they adjust easier to different conditions and maintain disease/bugs resistance. It's like their immune system is hardy enough to survive any stress.

Plant size

We provide our customers with large and mature plants, that usually are much bigger than those that you might get at some leading mail-order companies for the same price (or even more expensive). To read more about plants size, please visit Plant Size Page.

2 plants in 1 pot

Sometimes you can see 2 plants, ORIGINALLY planted in the same pot: 2 stems, but they are growing in the same pot and 2 rootballs are tight together, although they could be separated easily.

If you decide to separate them - just take a sharp knife and cut the rootball in 2 halves between the 2 stems. It's OK with the plant with a proper care, it will recover and sprout new root growth on the cut side in a week or so.

How To Tell a Good Company from a Bad One
(or: Things To Look For Before Taking the Plunge)

Here is the excerpt from "The Plants By Mail FAQ" by Peter Leppik we took from rec.gardens Usenet news group

"...If you are like me, you probably have a dozen or two catalogs from various places, some fancy, others plain, and you're wondering who to order from and how to tell the difference between a place that really cares, and a place that is just trying to unload some poor, pathetic bits of green stuff on The Gullible Majority. In this section, I will outline what I think a good mail order company should do, and what you should consider before buying a plant sight-unseen. Keep in mind that this is aimed at the relative neophyte, who needs a little more service than the extremely experienced gardener....there are plenty of companies which provide good plants, but don't offer the level of service than many gardeners need..."

What a Good Mail-Order Company Will Do
What Top Tropicals does
"...Every perennial in the catalog should have a clearly indicated hardiness range. That is, for every perennial (anything you expect to last more than one year) should have indicated which USDA hardiness zones it will survive in. Simple adjectives like "hardy," or "tender," are NOT sufficient. Perhaps I am biased, being a Minnesota native currently living in Illinois, but I have seen too many catalogs which do not include this crucial information. Without knowing this, it is too easy to buy plants that won't survive in your climate. This also
includes those of you who live in places like Southern California, where it never gets cold, since some plants require a period of cold temperatures every year in order to survive/bloom/etc..."
Well, we don't do that. Simple reason. We deal with only tropical plants. They are not cold hardy. Some of them can stand 32F for day or two, but you have to live in zone 10, at least, in order to be able to grow them outside. If you live in zone 9, you can grow them providing winter protection. Anywhere else, you have to bring plants inside during cold season.
"...Every plant should have its botanical (scientific) name listed. Of course, this doesn't count for things like roses or tomatoes, which everybody knows what that are. This may sound picky, but think about it: if you ever want to get information on this plant from some other source, and they use their own name, you might have a devil of a time figuring out how to get information. A plant's botanical name is unique. I have seen places that will take a standard variety of some plant, come up with a flashy (trademarked) name, and sell it as something special. Needless to say, this is dishonest..."
Every plant from our cxatalog is provided with a latin name. We use scientific name as primary index. Sometimes, it takes days or weeks to find proper scientific name for a plant we got from a nursery where it was listed as "purple flower bush".
"...Information on the habitat requirements should be easy to find. By this, I mean answers to questions like, how much sun does it need, how much water, and so forth. Nearly every catalog has this, but if you see one that doesn't, stay away..." Check extensive list of pictograms we use to describe plant requirements.
"...A good company will be able to answer questions about their products. Really, this is basic. If you call them, and ask about something, they should be able to answer your question. If they can only take orders, this is a Bad Sign. (By the way, in many places, you can call your local County Extension office to get information about plants, too.)..." If you send us an e-mail, we'll answer all your questions. We apologize, we can't physically answer all phone calls, but we answer all e-mails

"...Finally, something that you should probably ignore:

Every mail order catalog that I've seen offers some sort of guarantee. This should NOT be a factor in deciding where to buy from. After all, what good does it do if they replace a plant that died because you can't grow oranges in Alaska? The replacement will just die, too, and you'll spend twice as much time on a plant that was Never Meant To Be. Some people have even noted an inverse relation between the quality of the guarantee and the quality of the plants: the louder the company proclaims its "FOOLPROOF 100% MONEY-BACK GUARANTEE," the worse the plants are when they arrive..."

We guarantee that you receive healthy plants or we replace them. We can't guarantee that the plant will grow well. We don't know where you live, how much sun the plant gets every day, your soil and so on. See here for more details

"...What To Consider Before Taking the Plunge

Okay, so you've got your heart set on the beautiful Creeping Green Stuff. Before plunking your money and time on it (usually more time than money), you should stop and ask yourself a few questions:

Will it grow in my area? If they don't make it CLEAR (i.e. by telling you the hardiness zone), then avoid that plant, or buy it from somebody who will tell you..."

We answered this question above.
"...Do I have a place to put it? It is very easy to get spring fever when all the catalogs start arriving midwinter, and wind up buying enough plants to cover every square inch of your yard two or three times over. Make sure you have a specific place for each and every plant you order, and make sure you will have the time to plant it when it arrives. Keep in mind that you will probably have to plant them soon after they arrive, and you might not be able to control the exact day they arrive. Thus, ordering 150 bushes for a new hedge from one place, all of which will arrive via UPS on the same day and need to be planted immediately, is probably not a good idea. Believe me. I've done it..."

Yes, we know spring-summer-fall-winter garden fever simptoms. You see, when you live in South Florida you have fever all year around. And many times, when we buy a beatiful small shrimp plant, we don't think about huge bush in one year. If you live up north, you have no other choice but to keep plants in pots, where they don't grow large and are easily manageable.

We advise you to consider local weather when you expect plants to arrive. We hate to see our plants get killed during transit by the unexpected frost in April

"...Will it really look the way I want it to? Keep in mind that the pictures in the catalogs are designed to sell plants, and the plants in your garden will generally not look quite as nice. I have seen a lot of comments from people in rec.gardens about the rose Blue Girl as a particular offender in this respect. Also keep in mind that illustrations (and photographs) can be very deceptive..." All our pictures we made in our garden or in nearby botanical gardens, etc. We think that if you take good care of your plants they will look as nice or better than on our pictures.