web stats

New Plants and Huge Leaves

New and interesting plants are arriving daily at Exotica Tropicals-  the latest is a rare yellow-blooming Costus Ginger: Costus ‘Belize Yellow’

This ginger is a good grower in Florida- with canary yellow blooms that push out orange flowers. The leaves also have a pinkish-copper color to their undersides.  A rare species, you don’t see this one around! We have a limited quantity available at the nursery now.

We’ve also got tons of HUGE LEAVED plants in the nursery- gigant specimens of Alocasia calidora, Alocasia portora, the new hybrid Alocasia ‘Regal Shields’ as well as the Parasol Leaf Tree Macaranga grandifolia.

Stop in today and pick up one of these massive tropical beauties for your garden!



Costus ‘Belize Yellow’



Alocasia portora



Alocasia ‘Regal Shields’



MEMORIAL DAY SALE! Rainbow Eucalyptus & Everything Else on SALE Fri & Sat

Exotica Tropicals will be having a Memorial Day Weekend SALE This Friday and Saturday 5/22 – 5/23

PRINT OUT THE COUPON BELOW and get 15% OFF EVERYTHING in the nursery- including Rainbow Eucalpyptus!

(Coupon must be presented for the discount)

Exotica Tropicals will be open from 9:30 – 1:30 pm Friday and Saturday.

The nursery is loaded up with cool plants- so stop by this weekend and SAVE!



Heliconia rostrata haircut!

Heliconia rostrata (Hanging Lobster Claw)  is an easy plant to grow in Florida and humid/warm areas.  The bloom is very impressive and generally speaking, it requires little maintenance.

However, it is best sited in areas protected from strong winds.  Otherwise, the leaves can get tattered over the windy winter months in Florida.  This doesn’t stop the plant from blooming- it will grow right along with tattered leaves no problem- it just requires a “haircut” to deal with the aesthetics!

I have plenty of Heliconia rostrata throughout my garden in wind protected areas. I pretty much do nothing for maintenance on these, as the leaves look fine year round.  The only trimming I do is removing old stalks after they have finishing blooming.

I do, however, like to have some out in the front yard so I can show off the blooms.  This location gets quite a bit of wind over the winter (January-March seem to be the months that get intense winds)  and it can tatter up the leaves.

I used to worry about this, but over the years I have developed a cleanup strategy that works quite well and doesn’t require alot of work.

Basically, over the winter I do *nothing* with the plant- I just let it sit there and get blown around in the wind. Granted, there are a few palms, my house and some Hibiscus around it, but it gets plenty of wind exposure.

Around early February, I apply some fertilizer-  liquid (Miracle Gro usually)  and some granular  (Osmocote) to give it an early push for new leaves.  February and March still have stiff winds, so I don’t bother to do any trimming yet- I let the older leaves take the wind and form a bit of a buffer.

By late March/ early April  the plant is pushing out nice new growth and the winds have calmed down.  Usually there are plenty of blooms beginning to peek out.  This is my que to go out and trim.  I use ordinary household scissors (I wear gloves to avoid blisters)  and cut off any old, tattered leaves, starting from the BOTTOM UP on the stalk.

Whenever possible, I try to leave the newest three leaves intact, and always leave the newest, center leaf intact. (at the top, in the middle)

This protects the growing bud and allows the stalk to continue to grow new, perfect leaves, and of course.. BLOOM.

This also opens the clump up a bit in preparation for the tremendous amount of new growth that is about to occur in Spring & Summer.  Opening up the clump also allows the blooms to be easily seen and shown off.

If only half of a leaf is tattered, I will cut it in half.  I never cut the newest leaf completely off, as this can trigger the stalk to abort, and they are about to bloom.  I will leave the newest leaf alone.. if it is bent or tattered, I will leave it and wait for the next one to come out before trimming it.

The whole operation takes me about 30 minutes or so.

On a heavily wind-exposed clump- this is what it looks like after I do my annual trim:

2015-04-23 14.36.50

2015-04-23 14.36.58


As you can see, most of the older leaves have been removed, and only the newer leaves at the top are left, along with the blooms. This clump will become full of lush leaves again rather quickly, as the new Spring shoots will be pumping out new growth and the older stalks will be pushing out those blooms.  In no time, the clump looks just about perfect- and since dry winter winds are gone, I won’t be trimming again til next year :)

(I will post an updated photo of this clump soon)

Tropical Flowers for Mother’s 2015!

Exotica Tropicals will have a shipment  of fresh cut tropical flower bouquest for Mother’s Day 2015. Both wrapped bouquets and floral arrangements in a decorative ceramic container are available. For more photos and all the details, including online ordering- click below: TROPICAL FLOWERS FOR MOTHER’S DAY  

Reopening Wed May 6th

We will reopen on Wednesday May 6th and resume our regular Wed-Sat 9:30am to 1:30 pm hours. We will also resume shipping Rainbow Eucalyptus Trees (Eucalyptus deglupta) as well as various other rare Philodendron, Gingers and Heliconia at that time. Don’t forget we will have fresh Tropical Flowers available for Mother’s Day 2015! Flowers will…

Back to Regular Nursery Hours! Open Wed-Sat 9:30am to 1:30pm

Our plant show season has wrapped up and Exotica Tropicals will be open Wednesday through Saturday 9:30 am to 1:30 pm. We are stocked up with all kinds of cool and crazy plants, trees, aroids and tropicals- and we keep bringing in more every week. Stop by and see what’s new, and keep your eyes…

Vending in Winter Garden Sat & Sun 4/11-4/12

  This weekend we will be selling plants at the Spring Fever Garden Show in Winter Garden, FL  Saturday and Sunday. It is a large event, our location will be on the northeast end in Zone 10.. come on out, its always a fun time for the whole family We will have Rainbow Eucalyptus, Ylang…

Nursery Re-Opens Wed April 1st

Exotica Tropicals will be closed the week of March 23rd for Brevard County Spring Break. We will reopen on Wednesday April 1st. We will be open Wednesday, Thursday &  Saturday 9:30 AM to 1:30 PM CLOSED ON FRIDAY 4/3/15 Next week we are open Wed 4/8 to Friday 4/10  (vending in Winter Garden over the…

Vendor in Ft. Lauderdale

Exotica Tropicals Nursery will be open: Wednesday 3/11 and Thursday  3/12  9:30 am to 1:30 pm Nursery will be Closed Friday and Saturday March 13 & 14 – We will be a vendor at  The Pride Center Tropical Plant Fair in Wilton Manors, FL (photo: Heliconia dielsiana -in Ecuador)  

Vending at the FIT Botanical Fest Saturday, March 7th

Exotica Tropicals will  be selling plants at the Florida Institute of Technology Botanical Fest this weekend, Sat March 7th. We will have plenty of new and unusual tropicals and aroids at the show- including Leafless Bird Of Paradise, Rainbow Eucaluptus, Sausage Trees, Ylang Ylang Trees, Heliconias, Gingers, Fresh Cut Tropical Flower Bouquets and more. We…