Tropical Fern & Exotic Plant Show & Sale @ Fairchild Botanical Garden

We had a great time at the plant sale this past weekend and really enjoyed the garden too. Fairchild botanical garden is probably our most favorite botanical garden.

Every year at this show, the vendors bring 11 plants to be on display. The plants are judged and are given awards.
This year, we won several awards including Most unusual plant and sweepstakes winner (received the most awards). Here are a few photos of some of the plants and the winners (owners Sid & Regina Gardino)

(Hoya latifolia)

Most unusual plant, “Erythrina latissima

I should have taken more photos. Here is one of one of our tables in our booth.
(Blood lily, Begonias, Caladium, Amorphophallus Voodoo Lily.

Fairchild now has a butterfly exhibit with 3000 butterflies. I would defintely recommend checking it out.

Fairchild has several different Heliconias on display in the garden. The Lobster claw really caught my eye!

I’d have to say my most favorite part of the garden was seeing the Cannonball tree in bloom. It is unlike anything you have seen! We have started propagating this and should have some available soon. E-mail us to receive a notification of availability.




Now do you see why they call it the “cannonball” tree? Amazing, huh!?

We will be participating in another show in Miami area at Stelmar Gardens, June 14th-16th. It has free admission and a lot of great tropical plants. Please see our website for more information.

And last, but not least, a few plants I recommend you check out that are currently available:
-Allamanda ‘Cherries Jubilee’ 6″ pot $15
-Caladium ‘Thai Beauty’ 6″ pot $15
-Caladium humboltii ‘Variegata’ 6″ pot $12
-Chonemorpha penangensis, Frangipani Vine 6″ pot $25 and 10″ pot $60
-Combretum aubletii, Monkey Brush Vine 10″ pot $40
-Cornukaempferia ‘Jungle Gold’, Peacock Ginger 6″ pot $20
-Elaeocarpus grandiflorus, Fairy Petticoats Tree 10″ pot air layer $50
-Hoya kentiana ‘Variegata’ 4″ pot $15
-Jacaranda cuspidifolia ‘Fairchild’ 10″ pot $50 graft
-Jacaranda cuspidifolia ‘Sapphire’ 10″ pot $70 graft
-Pseudobombax ellipticum, Pink Shaving Brush 6″ pot $35 graft
-Randia formosa, Blackberry Jam Fruit 6″ pot $25
-Solanum macranthus, Giant Star Potato Tree 6″ pot $15
-Spathodea campanulata, African Tulip Tree 6″ pot $12
-Stephanotis floribunda, Madagascar Jasmine 6″ pot $15
-Strelitzia parviflora ‘Juncea’, Leafless Bird of Paradise 4″ deep pot $30
-Strongylodon macrobotrys, Jade Vine 10″ pot $70

You can find these all in our featured section at


Growing Tropical Plants Indoors

If you have ever asked “Can I grow tropical plants indoors?”

The answer is YES.  You pretty much can grow any tropical plant indoors as long as you put some effort into it. The only limitation would be the size of the plants. Some palm trees can grow to 100’ and they can’t be trimmed.

The key to success is to try to reproduce the natural environment where the plants originate from. Not all the plants are the same, some can adapt to a wide range of conditions and others are not very flexible if the conditions are not right.

The term “indoor plants” is often used to describe certain plants that perform reasonably well indoors without the need of altering the indoor environment. Unfortunately, not many plants belong to that category and some adjustment to the environment may be in order for successful growing.

The basic elements for growing plants indoors are: light, air humidity, air circulation and temperature.

Light: Most of the light problems come from insufficient light and light coming from one direction only. Plants under insufficient light will stretch, become weak and will not bloom. They also have a tendency of growing in one direction only (towards the light).  Keep in mind that some plants prefer the shade and others need full sun in order to thrive (at least 4 – 5 hours of direct sun). Obviously shade plants will perform better indoors than plants requiring full sun. In any event, rooms with large windows and natural light are always preferable than rooms without windows. Many indoor gardener enthusiasts use artificial lights in order to supplement the natural light when necessary.

Air Humidity: Most houses in the US are either running the A/C during the summer or the heater during the winter. Both reduce the indoor humidity to insufficient levels for many plants, specially the heaters. Most of the symptoms of low humidity show up on leaves, beginning with browning of the edges progressing to shriveling and wilting and eventually dropping. The plant is pretty much desiccating. Some plants are adapted to dry environments (cactus and succulents are good examples of it), but for many tropical plants the air inside of houses is just too dry. You can increase the humidity surrounding your plants by grouping them together, misting the leaves a few times during the day and by using a “humidity tray”, which is basically a tray with some pebbles and water where the plants sit on top of the pebbles without touching the water. Humidifiers can also be used. A relative humidity of at least 50% is necessary for most tropical plants.

Air Circulation: This is pretty much a problem in every house because for a good part of the year it is either too hot or too cold outside and the windows and doors are shut. Problems caused by poor air circulation are normally diseases that can kill or damage many plants. A small oscillating fan around the plants should take care of the problem.

Temperature: I don’t find the temperatures inside of homes to be a cause of major problems because most tropical plants are happy with the same temperatures that make people comfortable. Most tropical plants will be happy with temperatures ranging from 60°F to 85°F. Many tropical plants will survive temperatures near freezing for short periods of time, but overall (depending on the species) temperatures below 50°F should be avoided.

Don’t expect to get everything right from the beginning. Indoor gardening is an activity like any other. You learn by trying different things and an occasional failure is part of the process. I know quite a few indoor gardeners with amazing plant collections inside of their houses; growing plants of better quality than the ones produced by many commercial growers.

The Sunshine State

What a beautiful sunny day in south Florida today! It has been really gloomy outside for almost a week up until today! Glad to also have a break from the daily rain.

I can’t believe it is almost October and fall! Next month we start doing a lot of plant shows, almost every weekend until the beginning of December. Please check out our show schedule and come visit our booth! Our next show is in Sarasota at Tropiflora Nursery.

There are a lot of new updates on the website this week!
I have been adding some cool new plants including Begonias, ground orchids, flowering trees and more!
Please also check out our “featured” page.  I update this category frequently with plants that look nice this season, new plants, and plants that haven’t been available in a long time and are now ready!

We have a nice selection on eBay this week; look for our Hoya listings that will be ending this Saturday night. Our username is rareflora, e-mail me if you have trouble finding us ( I will also be adding more hoyas and some pre-bonsai plants this Fri or Sat night so keep an eye out for those auctions!

Next month we will be adding heat packs back for shipping purposes. Heat packs are shipping warmers that help protect your plants from the cold during transit. The ones that we offer are $2 each and they last 72+ hours.  We have been using heat packs for 2-3 years now and so far they seem to be helping a lot. That being said, even if you purchase heat packs, we do not guarantee any plants shipped in cold weather.

Just a reminder, we are still selling our soil-less Hoya mix! At $8 each bag, it can make 5 plants in 6” pots happy or 2 plants in 8” pots. If you think this soil is too porous, just add a little bit or half of a good quality potting soil. Hoyas with really thick leaves will work just fine with the soil-less mix and no extra soil. This is also great for orchids! Did you know that we also sell Bonsai soil? We offer 1gallon bags for $8 and the mix includes lava rock, turface and pine bark. It is just perfect for your tropical trees.

I wanted to share a picture of a first time bloomer:
Hoya lambii. Hopefully will have some starters available next year on eBay!

I’ve never gotten around to talking about it, but I would really like to recommend to all Hoya lovers, the Hoya telegraph. We just love this book filled with interesting stories and gorgeous pictures! It is a little pricey, but you receive one every season and totally worth it. This would be a really nice holiday gift! For more information please visit:


Please stay away Hurricane Isaac

Well if you haven’t seen on the news, there is a now tropical storm Isaac heading towards FL. As of now, it is expected to turn into a category 1 Hurricane when it reaches FL. It may hit the west coast of FL (we are on the east coast) harder than the east coast, but will still be affected. What are we going to do with all of our hoyas???
In 2005, we got hit not by one, but two hurricanes. They were I believe category 2 and 3 hurricanes when we got hit. I believe the first one was Rita and the 2nd one Wilma. We prepared a lot for Rita and from what I remember we didn’t have as much damage as we expected. I remember we didn’t expect the 2nd hurricane Wilma to be so bad or even hit us at first and we weren’t as prepared. This hurricane took a crazy last minute turn and hit us as a category 3. Our nursery was extremely damaged. We haven’t had any hurricane’s since. I really hope this one misses us or is just a tropical storm.


We are still heading to Lake Placid, FL this weekend to participate in their Annual Caladium Arts & Crafts festival. Come check us out! I would suggest coming Fri or Sat because we may be leaving early because of the hurricane even though it is a 3 day event. You can find event information on our website

We added a few new hoyas to our website. We now have Hoya chuniana in 4″ pots $15 and Hoya sp. ‘Cambodia’ 4″ pot $15. We also added our soil-less hoya mix on the website for $8.


Don’t forget our tropicals!
-Angiopteris evecta, King Fern 6″ pot $60 just one available, where my fern collector’s at?
-Gardenia taitensis, Tahitian Gardenia 4″ pot $15 just a few left, rare! don’t have this one available very often, don’t miss out
-ADANSONIA DIGITATA, Baobab Tree 6″ pot $25 still available, only 2 plants, crooked trunks which are good for bonsai, first time available in a year
-CASSIA FISTULA, Golden Shower Tree 6″ pot $15, first time available in a year or more
-HOYA ALDRICHII IML 1418 5″ pot $22, this hoya has been available for a while, hasn’t been selling and not sure why, it is rarely offered for sale, flowers are supposed to be very pretty
-Hoya Ds-70 we have one plants available that is mounted for $18
Don’t forget to check out all the plants in the featured category
Also check us out on, username= rareflora

Now to end with a few lovely hoya pictures, enjoy!   -Paula

Hoya erythrostemma

Hoya fraterna



Hoya panchoi cf.



Hoya sigillatis buds

Summer Hoya Blooms @ Gardino Nursery

I wanted to share pictures of some hoyas that have been blooming this summer. Some are first time bloomers. Enjoy!

Hoya camphorifolia

Hoya davidcummingii

Hoya hypolasia

Hoya naumanii

Hoya pandurata

Hoya flavescens IML 1117


Hoya excavata

Hoya obtusifoliodes

Hoya glabra

Hoya fraterna buds (decided to blast on us😦 )

Hoya buotii

Hoya ciliata

Hoya fitchii (this time blooms turned out more pink)

Aren’t they just gorgeous!
Look for some of these rare ones from us on eBay, rareflora is our username.
Last chance to bid on some nice hoyas today. Auctions start ending at 10pm eastern time tonight.
New ones will be available tonight or tomorrow (Whenever I can get it done, lol).
We also sell more common Hoyas on our website:
Do you like other tropical plants? We have plenty of those for sale on our wbesite as well.
Check out some new and featured items available this week:
Bauhinia tomentosa, St. Thomas Tree 4″ pot $12
Cochlospermum vitifolium ‘Single flower’, Buttercup Tree 6″ pot $15
Gardenia carinata, Golden Gardenia 6″ pot $20
Gardenia taitensis, Tahitian Gardenia 4″ pot $15
Hoya macrophylla ‘Variegata’ 4″ pot $12
Hoya latifolia 5″ pot $15
Hoya kerrii ‘Fuzzy Leaves’ 5″ pot $12
Hoya macgillivrayi 4″ pot $12
Hoya archboldiana x onychoides 4″ pot $12

Have a great weekend everyone!

Ready for the weekend, OFF!

Hello everyone,
Is anyone else as excited as me to have the weekend off? It has been a long week. We will still be available for nursery visits over the weekend, just give us a call!

There will be a lot of hoyas up for auction on eBay tonight along with a few unusual tropical plants. Auctions start at 10:00pm eastern time, check us out! You can find us by our username: rareflora

We are recently new to twitter. We actually went a little crazy and made 5 different ones, lol.
Pick the one that you like (all of them? :P) and follow us. We have HoyaPlants, RarePlants1 and FragrantPlants. We also have OneFlowerADay1 where you see a new picture daily of a cool flower! We also have plan ol’ Rareflora.
Don’t forget to “like” us on Facebook: Gardino Nursery

Well I hope everyone enjoy their weekend!

We will be part…

We will be participating in two plant sales this weekend. Hope to see you there!

USF Botanical Garden 2012 Summer Plant Festival
Where: USF Botanical Gardens – Tampa, FL
When: July 14th, 2012 Saturday 10am-40m
July 15th, 2012 Sunday 10am-3pm
Phone: 813-974-2329
Admission: $5 adults, children under 12 and members free

Summerfest 2012 – Rare & Unusual Orchids & Plants
Where: Stelmar Gardens – Miami, FL
19350 SW 232 Street (in the redland) 33170
When: July 13th, 2012 Friday 9am-4pm
July 14th, 2012 Saturday 9am-4pm
July 15th, 2012 Sunday 9am-4pm
Phone: (305)-ORCHIDS
Admission: FREE!