Ordering & Shipping
- How do you ship your plants?
Unless you otherwise specify, we ship by Fed-Ex home delivery, which generally takes 2-6 days to arrive anywhere in the U.S.A. If you require even faster service, we recommend you choosing express shipment. Actual cost of shipping will be billed to customer.
- Do you ship plants all year?
Yes, we do, depending on availability of plant material and time of year. Of course, if the particular plant you order is dormant and is in the rhizome stage, we can't supply you with a growing plant. And we can't supply you with rhizomes when they are growing plants. And we won't ship plants into areas where temperatures are below freezing because of risk of freezing unless the customer assumes all risk.
- How long will it be before my plants are shipped to me after ordering?
We will try our best to get orders out as fast as we can. Depending on season it may take up to 15 days to process and ship your order. In some cases we are able to process and ship your order within 1-3 business days, depending on available quantities.
- What is the best time of the year to order tropical plants?
There is no best time. It depends on where you live and where you are going to grow them. If you live in U.S.D.A. zone 10 and higher, there won't be any freezes to worry about so you can get plants and plant them at any time of the year. If you have a greenhouse or you intend to grow them inside your home you can also get them at any time of the year - no matter where you live. And if you order rhizomes in winter or spring when they are dormant, they can be safely stored for future planting.
- Will my plant survive if it arrives with brown (or yellow) or damaged leaves?
Your plants will almost certainly arrive with brown, yellow, or damaged (bent or broken) leaves. Uprooting your selected tropical plants from their optimum growing environment, cleaning them, spraying them for potential pest, dipping rhizome, or roots in fungicide, then packing them inside a dark box, surrounding them by shredded paper and/or banding box, then shipping via truck and/or airplane to you with greatly varying temperatures and humidities (none of which are optimum), then waiting for you to unpack and plant it and place it back into its optimum environment. Is it any wonder that some leaves and stems are damaged, brown or yellow? The wonder is that a tropical plant, or any plant for that matter, could survive such treatment. However, our plants have been shipped all over the world with very good survival success. If planted promptly upon receipt in the correct type of potting soil and placed in the correct light conditions and not over-watered or over-fertilized they will revive quickly and put out new growth to replace yellowed or damaged leaves. The single factor that kills most plants is over watering. Plant roots need oxygen; they cannot get oxygen with roots standing in water unless they are water plants. The second most common cause of killing a plant is too much fertilizer. If a plant does not have a good leaf system and a good root system it cannot take a lot of water or full strength fertilizer. Start out slowly until you see the plant responding favorably by putting out new green leaves and developing a good root system. Too much care can be the death knell for an otherwise healthy plant.
- What kind of plant is a banana?
The banana plant is the largest of all herbaceous plants. It is really not a tree, but a perennial herb in the genus Musa. It has a tem, rather than a trunk, which is a cylinder of leaf-petiole sheaths. They grow from rhizomes instead of seeds.
- What is the best tasting banana?
A difficult question to answer; Just as beauty is in the eyes of the beholder, taste is in the mouth of the beholder. According to our taste buds, the Mysore, Raja Puri and Ice Cream bananas are the best. But every dessert banana is someone's favorite.
- What is the best cooking banana?
Another difficult question; for "tostones" (fried plantains), the Giant Plantain gets high ratings. For sweet plantains (Maduros), the Giant Plantain and Saba are rated tops.
- If I could get only one kind of banana, which one would you recommend?
Based on customer orders, the Raja Puri is our most popular eating banana and the Musa basjoo is our most popular ornamental. Our most popular dwarf is the Super Dwarf Cavendish. Our most popular cooking banana (plantain) is the Giant Plantain.
- Why won't my banana plant flower and fruit?
When I get this question, the first thing I ask is how long have you had it? Bananas need 9-15 months of non-freezing temperatures to flower and another 2-3 months to fruit. So if you are growing it outside in the ground you should be in zone 10 or higher or if in zone 9 you need a mild winter. The second thing I ask is do you have it in full sun? Bananas need full sun. The third question is you fertilizing it well? Bananas are heavy feeders and they need a fertilizer high in potassium (K) such as our Stokes Tropical's Banana Blend (6-2-12). Bananas are also heavy drinkers. So with 9-15 months of non-freezing weather, plenty of sun, plenty of high K fertilizer, and plenty of water you'll get flowers and fruit soon-to-follow.
- What is a rooting Plumeria cutting?
It is a cutting that we have specially prepared for you. It takes us 4-18 weeks, depending on the time of the year and variety, to fully root a cutting. We then simply remove the rooting cutting from its growing medium; gently pack to prevent roots from breaking off and drying, and ship to you. You should then replant at same level (see band on stem), in a well-drained soil mix either directly into the ground or into a container. Water lightly and fertilize with a half strength fertilizer at sign of first new growth. Don't keep too wet and follow cultural directions that come with plant.
- What is the most fragrant plumeria?
This is hard to say, because nearly all of the hybrid plumerias are fragrant. One of the most fragrant is the Dwarf Deciduous. The Moragnes is also very fragrant. What you really need to do is pick out the fragrance you like the most, such as, coconut, frangipani, lemon, citrus, or other and make your choice accordingly.
- If I could get only one kind of plumeria, which one would you recommend?
This is a pretty easy question to answer. The Dwarf Pink would be our choice because it is a true dwarf never getting any taller than 6 feet, and this is after 8 to 10 years. It is evergreen, that is, doesn't lose its leaves. It flowers all year if not exposed to freezing temperatures. And it can even flower indoors in high light. Plus, because of its slow growth, 6" or so per year, it lends itself to being containerized.
- Why won't my plumeria bloom?
My first question is do you have it growing in full sun? Plumerias need full sun. Then we ask, are you fertilizing it with a high phosphorus (P) fertilizer? To encourage blooming, a fertilizer such as Stokes Tropicals' Plumeria Blend (8-14-10) is ideal. Rooted plumeria cuttings can bloom the first year if they are terminal and contain enough plant auxin. And all plumeria cuttings should flower in the second year with proper sunlight, fertilizer and care.
- What Types of Bamboo are there?
There are two types of bamboo species, running bamboo and clumping bamboo. Running bamboo is a good spreader. This is because they send out runners every year that grow farther away from the original shoots. Clumping bamboo tends to stay closer together.
- How long do bamboo plants live?
The survival of the plant depends on the care they are given and the environment they are grown in. If the conditions are favorable, the plants can be maintained indefinitely and be consistent in production of new shoots yearly. And individual shoot will generally live between 7 and 10 years, but by that time is begins to die off it had produced new shoots that have taken its place.
- How deep should palms be planted?
Palms should be planted with the top of the root ball at the top of the soil. Planting it deeper than it originally grew is not recommended.
- Are Sagos really palms?
No. They are cycads which are palm like plants.
- Will Palm roots damage my foundation or driveway?
In general, palm tree roots are no bigger than your finger and do not swell up like oak or pine tree roots, therefore they will not push up on your concrete, etc...and break it.
- What is your most cold hardy palm?
Our two most cold hardy palms are the windmill palm and the Mediterranean fan palm.
- How can I tell if my tree is dead?
If the center leaf is brown and easily removed, the plant will more than likely die. If the center leaf is still green it has a chance of reviving itself.
- What climate conditions do Heliconias need?
Though there are Heliconias that can be found in cold climates, the species we have available are for temperatures no less than 14°C and high humidity with obligatory watering in zones with scarce rain.
- How should I water my Heliconia?
Heliconias should be watered at least once a week. Make sure the soul is moist, but not soaked. They love water, but like the soil to drain fast.
- How should I fertilize my Heliconia?
Keep in mind that Heliconias are heavy feeders and should be fertilized often. We recommend Stokes Tropicals' Heliconia Blend (9-3-6).
- Can I plant my Heliconia in a container?
Heliconias make great container plants. It helps avoid unsatisfactory soil conditions and drainage. Just make sure the container is large enough for your plant to grow and prosper.
- Where is the best place to grow a bromeliad?
While bromeliads grow best in greenhouses (where the environment can be controlled), they can do well both indoors near a window or outdoors.
- What temperatures are best for growing bromeliads?
Most bromeliads can tolerate temperatures as low as 34°F for short periods of time, but optimum temperatures are 70° - 90°F. At night time, the temperature can be 50° - 60°F. This will help with the coloring and markings of the leaves.
- How should I fertilize my bromeliads?
You should fertilize your bromeliads frequently. We recommend Stokes Tropicals' Bromeliad Blend fertilizer, which is a 10-14-14 blend and is a controlled release formula that only has to be used every 3 months.
- What is your best selling bromeliad?
Our best selling bromeliad is our Ananas cosmosus which is an edible pineapple.
- How often should I water my bromeliads?
The tanks of bromeliads should stay with water in them. Each month, the water should be drained out and replaced with fresh water. If your bromeliad is a non tank bromeliad, the soil should be kept moist, but not wet.
Birds of Paradise
- Why hasn't my Bird of Paradise plant bloomed?
It can take three to five year for a Bird of Paradise plant to bloom. It needs to be kept in the same container or location for that whole period of time. Remember to water often and fertilize with a 14-14-14 blend.
- Are Bird of Paradise plants poisonous?
Yes, Bird of Paradise plants are poisonous. They should be kept away from pets and small children that may eat them.
- When should I plant my Cannas?
The best time to plant Cannas are in the spring after danger of frost has passed and it has warmed up.
- How should I plant my Cannas?
Plant your Cannas 5 inches deep and about 10 inches apart from one another to get the perfect tropical touch!