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Frequently Asked Questions

Shipping & Handling
  • When will you ship my order?

    Orders are shipped in the same sequence as we receive them. Weather permitting; your order will be shipped within a few days to a week. Depending somewhat on the shipping method you choose, we tend to ship orders by ground means early in the week, and air shipments to arrive by Friday. When the normal delivery would require an over the weekend delay, we often hold the shipment until the following Monday or Tuesday. Please note that we may delay shipment of your order if there is a transient severe weather event that may pass soon, giving safer passage. You will be notified if any delays are necessary on our end.

  • What shipping method should I choose?

    The first tendency is to choose the cheapest means, but please consider the nature of the plants you are buying and the weather conditions locally and along the way. Hardy plants may be shipped by ground most of the time while delicate specimens should probably be sent by air outside of the coastal south. Freezing temps and excessively hot weather should be an indicator of shipping method as well.

  • What if I order by the ‘wrong’ method?

    If you order, for example, ground shipment to the Midwest in the freezing days of winter, any damage incurred in shipment would not be covered by your guarantee. If the weather is a temporary event, we may hold your shipment for a time to insure safe delivery. In the case of a grossly inadequate shipping request, we may notify you in advance to give you an opportunity to upgrade your choice of shipping methods. We want to see your shipment arrive safely.

  • Can I order year round?

    Yes, we ship year round to all areas of the country and the world. We only suggest that you take the precaution to ask for rapid delivery in times of extreme temperatures.

  • Can you hold an order for later shipping?

    Yes, we can accept your order and hold it until you tell us to ship, assuring that limited items will be there for you when you want them. For this, you will be billed for the plants only when you order. Any necessary adjustments to the billing will be made when the order is sent.

  • Do you ship in insulated boxes?

    Typically no. We do add some layers of paper and occasionally Styrofoam sheets, bubble wrap or other materials to help insulate shipments in the winter. Heat packs and cold packs are supplied free of charge on retail shipments, when weather conditions require them. Rapid delivery and some consideration of weather conditions before ordering are highly recommended.

  • Do you guarantee on time arrival?

    The shipping method you choose will determine the arrival times. Should the box not reach you as scheduled, your claim will be with the shipping company, as we have no control over it once it leaves our nursery. If you ‘must have’ your items by a certain date or time, we suggest that you order early.

  • My plants arrived wilted or the leaves are yellow or fell off.

    Shipping is stressful for any plant, any time of year. Add heat, cold or any delay and some damage will show up. Most of the time wilting or leaf drop is considered normal. Rehydrate your plants by soaking for a brief time and setting them in a shaded place at room temperatures. Most will revive quickly. Plants that drop leaves will re-grow them in a few weeks. As long as stems are firm, the plant is healthy. For bromeliads with yellowed outer leaves; strip off those leaves or wait until they turn brown. Yellowed or browning leaf tips can be trimmed off. New growth will soon replace all damaged leaves.

  • Do you ship plants in bloom?

    This depends on the variety of the plant. Bromeliads are often shipped blooming or in bud, but orchids rarely are, as damage to the buds or blooms is common. Tillandsias are very often sent in bud. Some plants seem to be ‘eternally’ in bud and are shipped with flowers. Those flowers will probably drop off in shipment, and are nothing to worry about.

  • What kind of damage is worth making a claim for?

    If your plants have minor cosmetic damage, such as bent foliage, one or two cracked leaves, leaf drop, yellowed or wilted foliage, minor heat or cold damage, soil out of the pot, etc., we would ask you to clean the plant up and allow the plant to grow out of the temporary condition. If damage is severe as from crushing or heat or cold damage, severely cracked leaves or other conditions that render the plant useless, then a claim is valid. Even if it is not our fault, we will replace the plants for you, providing an adequate shipping method was chosen. Don’t expect us to replace frozen plants sent to Minnesota in mid winter if you choose shipping by ground! Any reasonable claim will be satisfied, we want your repeat business!!

  • What is a phytosanitary certificate?

    A phytosanitary certificate is a statement of an inspection made by a state or federal inspector that verifies that certain pests were not present on the sample tested. The inspectors travel to the nursery and physically inspect the shipment. Most countries and a few U.S. states require this inspection in order to receive plants. A state phyto now costs $60 and this charge is passed on to the customer.

  • Were my plants inspected enroute?

    If you live in California, your plant shipment may be opened for inspection in transit by local authorities. This should cause only a slight delay and no harm. However, sometimes our shipments are intercepted for inspection and poorly repacked, sometimes sans wrapping and even sans labels. This is, unfortunately, beyond our control. If your shipment has been mishandled by an inspector during transit, please let us know, and DO complain to the responsible parties in the state or local agricultural office. This mistreatment is not proper and though rare, does happen.

  • Do you label the plants?

    Yes, each of your plants will have a label with the correct botanical name. Exceptions are offset collections where several of a single variety are sent with one label for the batch, bundled together. If any labels are missing, we ask that you look carefully in the packing and in between the leaves of the plants before calling. Check off each item as you unpack it to be sure it matches the packing list.

  • Can I pick up my order at the nursery?

    Yes, but please allow us a ‘normal’ amount of time to pull your order and prepare it for pick-up. Often orders are pulled by several people in different departments and it takes time for coordination of these efforts. You can pick out plants here, but for special orders we would appreciate an advance notice.

  • Will my plants be bare-rooted for shipping?

    Bare rooting plants used to be rarely done, but with the increasing cost of shipping, it has now become a common practice. Aside from reducing the weight and volume of a shipment, it has the added benefit of preventing damage from the pots crushing the tender foliage of other plants in the shipment. Typically we do not bare root plants in pot sizes 4 inches or under. We also do not ordinarily bare root such delicate plants as ferns or most orchids. Most others are partially bare rooted by having the pot and loose soil removed. The remaining root ball and soil is then bagged and wrapped as normal. If you do not wish your plants to be bare rooted, we will not do so, but the shipping charges may change. Note that all shipments overseas require that plants be shipped fully bare rooted and washed free of soil.

  • Do you ship to California?

    Yes, we have a California Nematode Certification and ship routinely to all 50 states. Note: Arizona requires a phytosanitary certificate on all plant shipments originating in Florida and Hawaii requires a phyto for bromeliad shipments. See our TERMS section for more details.

Plant questions
  • Do you label the plants?

    Yes, each of your plants will have a label with the correct botanical name. Exceptions are offset collections where several of a single variety are sent with one label for the batch, bundled together. If any labels are missing, we ask that you look carefully in the packing and in between the leaves of the plants before calling. Check off each item as you unpack it to be sure it matches the packing list.

  • What size plants can I expect?

    Tropiflora prides itself in offering multiple size options for many plants. Most plants are sold by pot size and the plants themselves ‘fit’ that size pot. Some familiarity with the plants that you order is recommended. A mature plant in a 4 inch pot may be from 2 inches tall to 12 or more inches tall, depending on variety. An offset or cutting will also vary, depending on the variety of plant, but will always be ‘large enough’ to be easily rooted and grown. We welcome specific inquiries.

  • My plant doesn’t look like the photo!

    Note that when available, we post photos of mature, blooming plants to give a better idea of what the plant will become. The plants we photograph are often very well grown and in optimal shape and color. The plants we ship may not resemble the plant in the photo for various reasons, but the main reasons are; they are not mature or they are not grown in the exact same way. All of our plants can be grown and ‘finished’ to resemble the plant in the photo. Many plants ‘blush’ or change colors when they bloom and if not blooming; your plant will not have these colors. Best remedy is patience!

  • My plants arrived wilted or the leaves are yellow or fell off.

    Shipping is stressful for any plant, any time of year. Add heat, cold or any delay and some damage will show up. Most of the time wilting or leaf drop is considered normal. Rehydrate your plants by soaking for a brief time and setting them in a shaded place at room temperatures. Most will revive quickly. Plants that drop leaves will re-grow them in a few weeks. As long as stems are firm, the plant is healthy. For bromeliads with yellowed outer leaves; strip off those leaves or wait until they turn brown. Yellowed or browning leaf tips can be trimmed off. New growth will soon replace all damaged leaves.

  • We heard about a bromeliad weevil. Should we worry?

    The imported bromeliad weevil; Metamasius callizona, has indeed spread to our area of Florida. We use a proactive regimen of insecticides to prevent the introduction of this pest into our collections. We are aware of it and all personnel are trained to identify one on sight. So far we have not had a problem with this pest spreading. If you are a Florida resident, the threat from this weevil should be taken seriously. Please see the Help section under A Few Critical Tips about Growing Bromeliads for several interesting and helpful web links. Also see our links page.

  • Are bromeliads poisonous to pets?

    No. Bromeliad plants are non toxic to humans and animals, however some of the succulent plants that we grow may be toxic to skin, eyes or if ingested. It is best to look up the plants by the generic names before purchase to see if they are toxic to humans or animals, if you believe that could be a problem for you.

Export questions
  • Do you ship overseas?

    Yes, we ship to all countries providing that we can comply with the regulations set forth by each. Typically an import permit is required and a phytosanitary certificate.

  • Can you export CITES regulated plants?

    Typically no. There are exceptions, but generally it is not worth the expense and effort to send CITES material. We are sorry for the inconvenience.

  • What is a phytosanitary certificate?

    A phytosanitary certificate is a statement of an inspection made by a state or federal inspector that verifies that certain pests were not present on the sample tested. The inspectors travel to the nursery and physically inspect the shipment. Most countries and a few U.S. states require this inspection in order to receive plants. A state phyto now costs $60 and this charge is passed on to the customer.

  • How do I get an import permit?

    If you are in a country outside of the U.S. you must contact your department of agriculture or its equivalent and ask what permits are needed to bring in plants from the U.S. In some cases you may have to submit a list of plants to them in advance. If a permit is required, we will have to have the original or certified copy in order to obtain a phytosanitary certificate. If you are in Hawaii or Arizona, you will have to contact your state department of agriculture to see if a permit is required for the plants you wish to bring in from Florida. Unfortunately, a phyto for either state is still $60.

Wholesale questions
  • Can I buy wholesale?

    Wholesale is reserved for those who are in the trade that buy our products to resell. We have certain minimum purchase requirements and wholesale shipments are not protected by a warranty of any kind. All costs related to handling and shipping are billed directly as well. If you think you would qualify for wholesale purchasing, please contact us by email or phone to talk to a representative and get your wholesale password. We do extend temporary ‘Courtesy Wholesale’ pricing to certain organizations or groups that wish to buy our products to resell for fundraising or other purposes. Regular wholesale limitations may apply. Please inquire.

  • What are the minimum requirements for wholesale purchases?

    Providing that you are a legitimate business or are eligible for a ‘courtesy wholesale discount’, then here are the minimum requirements:

    • $100 minimum purchase
    • 10 plants per species minimum ($1 & under)
    • 5 plants per species minimum (over $1, under $5)
    • 2 plants per species minimum (over $5, under $20)
      • All shipping is billed at cost.

        For Florida customers only; Florida State Sales Tax applies unless you provide a current tax exemption certificate.

  • Can I be a VIPP and a wholesale customer too?

    Yes you can, but please note that VIPP discounts are based on and available for retail sales only. Wholesale VIPP members may purchase VIPP special items, but only at the stated VIPP price. Wholesale Customers are not eligible for any other discounts associated with the VIPP program, including walk-in discounts or shipping discounts.

  • Can my club or organization get wholesale pricing for a fund raiser?

    Yes, we do extend temporary ‘Courtesy Wholesale’ pricing to certain organizations or groups that wish to buy our products to resell for fundraising or other purposes. Regular wholesale limitations may apply. We ask that you provide a request on your club’s or organization’s stationery or from a club officer, stating your needs and we will gladly contact you with details.

Visiting Tropiflora
  • Can we visit Tropiflora?

    YES! Visitors are welcome year round, except for a few major holidays when we are closed. We are open Monday through Saturday each week and our hours are: Monday to Friday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturday from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. No appointment is ever necessary for a regular visit.

  • Can we bring a group to tour Tropiflora?

    Yes! Groups from clubs or organizations, conventions or travel groups are always welcome. If all you want to do is tour the greenhouses, then all we need to know is when you would like to come and about how many you will be bringing. If you would like special tours, demonstrations, picnic lunches or anything that would require special planning, please contact us for details. We can do all those things and more, subject to availability of personnel or facilities.

  • What are your hours of operation?

    Tropiflora is open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturday from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. We are closed on New Year’s Day, Memorial Day, July 4th, Labor Day, Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve and Christmas. Exceptions are during special events and festivals.

  • Do you have sales or special events at Tropiflora?

    Yes. Tropiflora holds three scheduled events during the year:

    • Our Spring Festival is held on the first Friday, Saturday and Sunday of April. This is a huge event with many outside vendors, live entertainment, food, free refreshments, door prizes, raffles, and much more. This event is on Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. , Saturday from 8 a.m. to 5p.m. and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. All parking and admission is free.
    • Our Summer Sale is usually held the last Friday and Saturday of June. This is a ‘no frills’ sale that consists of a large tent sale with drastically reduced prices for many plants and supplies. Hours are Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturday from 8 a.m. to 5p.m. This event does not run on Sunday. Free admission and parking.
    • Our Fall Festival is held on the first Friday, Saturday and Sunday of October. This is a huge event with many outside vendors, live entertainment, food, free refreshments, door prizes, raffles, and much more. This event is on Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. , Saturday from 8 a.m. to 5p.m. and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. All parking and admission is free.

    Please check our event calendar for exact dates and times. If you are a VIPP member you will receive email notices and a valuable coupon announcing each event.

  • Can I pick up my order at the nursery?

    Yes, but please allow us a ‘normal’ amount of time to pull your order and prepare it for pick-up. Often orders are pulled by several people in different departments and it takes time for coordination of these efforts. You can pick out plants here, but for special orders we would appreciate an advance notice.

  • How big is Tropiflora?

    We like to say that we are small enough to give you personal service, but big enough to handle all your needs. Physically we have about 260,000 square feet of growing space under cover, or about 6 acres of inside space. Additional areas outside are used as well. There are miles and miles of benching, so if you want to look at everything, give yourself lots of time!

Selling to or trading with Tropiflora
  • Do you buy or trade for plants?

    Yes. In fact, excepting those which we collected ourselves, all of our original stock we purchased someplace! Private collections are frequently a rich source of desired new plant material for us. If you have extras of plants or seeds of plants that you do not see in our listings, please let us know. We may wish to buy or trade for your extra stock. We do have many plants in production that are not listed, so we may already have what you are offering, but if not, likely we would be interested.

  • Do you buy used books?

    Yes, we solicit books and some journals related to the kinds of plants that we sell, mainly bromeliads, succulents, ferns and the like. Used books in good condition are always sought. Please let us know what you have and what you would like to get for them. We can issue credit for our material if you wish, or we can pay cash for wanted books.

Photos and Media
  • Why do the photos all say Tropiflora on them?

    Our photos are watermarked to protect unauthorized use of copyrighted material. Virtually all of our photos are original work by Dennis Cathcart unless otherwise noted and are valued private intellectual property. We do occasionally license some photos to be used for illustrations in books or by plant clubs or other nonprofit organizations. To obtain permission to use any photo, please write to sales@tropiflora.com and state which pictures you wish to use and for what purpose and we will get back to you as soon as possible.

  • Can I reprint your stories in our newsletter?

    The stories and all other printed or electronic data on this website is copyrighted intellectual property. No part of this information may be copied or used without express permission. We do occasionally license some articles or information to be used in newsletters of plant clubs or other nonprofit organizations without charge or in magazines or books for a fee. To obtain permission to use any material from our website, please write to sales@tropiflora.com and state what materials you wish to use and for what purpose and we will get back to you as soon as possible.

  • Can I print out your care sheets?

    Yes. Printing of our care sheets is allowed for personal use or distribution by plant clubs, etc. All such care sheets have a built in watermark identifying them as copyrighted material belonging to Tropiflora, LLC. Removal of this watermark or re-typing the material is prohibited unless full credit is given for the source. Use for any commercial purpose or in another website is prohibited without express permission. To request permission to use any material from our website, please write to sales@tropiflora.com and state what materials you wish to use and for what purpose and we will get back to you as soon as possible.