Who Are We?
Skyfield Tropical is a mail-order company offering a selection of distinctly rare tropical fruit trees, medicinal plants, and select herbal products. Our house brand of herbal products, "Bone Thru the Nose," is the result of years of trialing different products/forms from numerous different suppliers. We use these products every day.
We are committed to providing our customers with high quality, healthy plants, as well as horticultural information for growing them successfully. Our free online encyclopedia is intended to expand with new information, as we study species individually here at Skyfield Tropical. We hope this will be a useful resource for our customers and for the public.
If you cannot find the information you are looking for, or if you have information you feel we should include, please contact us with your comments and questions. We enjoy hearing about your experiences!
If you live within a reasonable distance of the Englewood, FL area, we open to consultations on growing rare trees in the local soil and climate. We have had to create ideal soil profiles for dozens of species, due to the local "beach sand" soils, which are devoid of nutrition. We are open to participating in soil augmentation projects, depending on their scale and nature.
If you truly want to grow that tree that nobody else has, please contact us with your consultation inquiry.
Please indicate where you live and the species you are interested in growing.
Where Are We?
We are located in Grove City, in southwest Florida. Our nursery, situated on less than an acre, is currently testing dozens of rare fruiting species. Detailed observations on the health and success of various tropical fruits in Florida's climate and soils will be available in the website's encyclopedia.
Why No Chemicals?
We do not use any chemical fertilizers or pesticides. To control pests (which has never been a serious problem), we use essential oil or enzyme-based products. Skyfield Tropical feels that environmentally sound growing methods are very important. A chemical-free approach to horticulture helps to maintain the biological integrity of soils and overall health and vigor of the plants.
Healthy soil is a dynamic community based in the activity of countless insects, microbes, and fungi. Plants and trees themselves are always symbiotic with fungi and bacteria, and often in nature, other plants. We grow all of our plants with this in mind, hoping to learn very precisely the specific needs of each species. We feel it is important because these methods work directly with the resources provided by nature, helping to sustain healthy soils for use by future generations.
Seedlings and Grafted Trees
Skyfield Tropical primarily sells seedling fruit trees, and for many rare species this is the main method of propagation. We will have excellent grafted cultivars in the future as our in-ground trees mature and can be propagated.
Fruits such as chempedek (artocarpus integer), tarap (artocarpus odoratissimus), black sapote (diospyros dignya), jaboticaba (plinia cauliflora), and cambuca (marlierea edulis) are all most commonly propagated by seed, and the seedling fruits are considered excellent. With seedlings, we focus our rare fruit selections on trees which are normally propagated by seed.
Grafting is a practice used to clone a certain outstanding cultivar (a compound word meaning cultivated variety). Commercially, it is employed to maintain consistent fruit qualities: flesh to seed ratio, balance of flavor, color, clingstone/freestone seed, texture, fiber content of flesh. Other methods of vegetative propagation include cuttings (branch or tip), root cuttings, air-layers (marcottage), and tissue culture. For most interested in rare fruit, thorough knowledge of these methods is commonplace.