Tropicals in central Pennsylvania

jeffseattle(z6 PA)November 9, 2006

I just moved to State College from the northwest, and am wondering if anyone can suggest any non-specific leads for local sources of sturdy, flowering tropical houseplants: for example, orchids, bromeliads, banana, or clivia, especially more unusual varieties.

Since there are RULES AGAINST ADVERTISING on this site, you don't have to be too specific in the forum, but at least a city name would be helpful. (I'm concerned about ordering stuff by mail, because it might get exposed to extreme temperatures along the way.) I tried the large local home-improvement stores, and their selections were fairly depressing. Any ideas?


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Pipersville_Carol(z6 Bucks PA)

Hmm, interesting question. I can't really think of any nurseries that specialize in tropicals, but there must be some around.

I used to get nice free bromeliads from the corporate offices of my former employer. They had seasonal floral displays and would throw away the bromeliads each year. Perhaps a large florist would sell tropicals, or know of a supplier.

    Bookmark   November 13, 2006 at 1:02PM
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I have seen tropicals for sale at the Phila Flower Show (March), and at the Winterthur Garden show (can't remember exact name) in Sept. You may want to check their web sites, and see who some of the vendors are. Some may be close enough to do a road trip, or perhaps they'll be visiting in your area. I have a hard time keeping indoor plants alive, so I don't pay much attention to the vendors. Keep poking around the various forums, and someone will know. Try the smaller nurseries, and see if they can give you any leads if they do not carrying many tropicals.

If you can visit the Phila Flower Show in March, do so. It is amazing. One year they did a lot with tropicals, and it was beautiful and fascinating. We were a little disappointed, because we go looking for plants we can use (mostly outdoors), and there wasn't much of that that year.

    Bookmark   November 14, 2006 at 9:20AM
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katob Z6ish, NE Pa

Hmmmmmm. If I had loads of money and a greenhouse to fill, I would try a trip out to Glasshouse works in Stewart Ohio. I've never been there myself, but the website is tempting. It would be a nice daytrip out of State College.....
oops, I just checked and it's a 7 hour drive.... sure you don't like mail order?

Here's one in PA, I found it on google- so I have no idea- it may be just a warehouse that moves orders around, not a real local source, but it's a start right? It's banana and it's in Pa, but check gardenwatchdog first, their rating is not as good as other companies and I seem to vaguely remember bad comments about them!

Rules be darned- I'm adding the link to glasshouse.

Here is a link that might be useful: glasshouseworks

    Bookmark   November 16, 2006 at 7:51PM
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Pipersville_Carol(z6 Bucks PA)

Check out the thread about Ott's nursery. I'm not sure how central it is, but it sounds like they've got lots of tropicals. Might be worth a drive.

    Bookmark   November 28, 2006 at 1:17PM
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Have you just gone to the PennState. They have several excellent greenhouses on campus. A friend of mine runs a greenhouse up there. We trade seeds and plants every year. Real nice guy with a ready smile or laugh. Email me if still interested.

    Bookmark   December 22, 2006 at 12:41PM
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Hmm, I order most of my plant through the mail. I NEVER buy from garden centers, I had gotten a coffee plant and it had some black spot virus on it which infected ALL my other plants and I had to get rid of them all. I had grown guava, papaya and many others from seed (I got the seeds via the seed exchange on this forum).

    Bookmark   December 22, 2006 at 4:49PM
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I have had personal interaction with the owner of The Banana Tree in Easton Pa. as mentioned by kato b.

I cannot recommend them due to poor customer service.

    Bookmark   December 22, 2006 at 11:10PM
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jeffseattle(z6 PA)

Thanks for all the tips, and enjoy your holidays!


    Bookmark   December 23, 2006 at 11:02AM
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