Croton Petra Problem

Scarlet09(9)August 22, 2011

Hi all! I posted the below message in the "Tropical" forum and someone suggested that this would be a better outlet...

I'm new to this forum and new to caring for a Croton plant. I just moved to the Tampa area in June (from VA) and immediately began working on my flower beds.

I planted two croton petra plants along with others (buttercup, cape plumbargo, setcreasea, scaevola, purslane, dwarf pentas). The crotons are doing the worst. The other plants are blooming, growing, and looking healthy overall. The crotons seem to be losing leaves daily (mostly those at the bottom).

I've read folks saying that their crotons do best when the soil can dry out between watering (for indoor growing). Might my crotons be getting too much water (i.e., the frequent Florida rain showers)?

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Crotons require a fast-draining, organic soil, and shade at noon. Petra, in particular, does not do well in full sun.

    Bookmark   August 22, 2011 at 7:25PM
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Thanks fawnridge. Interestingly, all websites that I go to reiterate that croton petra should be "in full sun" and should receive "minimal shade".

    Bookmark   August 22, 2011 at 7:36PM
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"full sun" and all day FLORIDA sun are not necessarily the same thing. I find that things that require "full sun," in other places, do great with half day of Florida sun. It takes a pretty hardy sun lover to do full all day August Florida sun.

With that said, I have a petra croton that gets lots of sun. Just some shade in the late afternoon, and I've had no problems like you have described. Perhaps it is too wet. Mine is in mostly sand. I amended a bit with garden soil when I planted.

    Bookmark   August 22, 2011 at 7:52PM
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Well, I don't know the exact amount of full sun they are getting but I do know that it is not an entire day (though likely most of the day).

I also added soil to our beds to compensate for the sand.

I do see others in the area with crotons planted outside in what seems to be a high-sun area. ???

    Bookmark   August 22, 2011 at 8:21PM
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Yme405(10b SW Fla)

I have mine inside the pool cage and they get full sun all day, but my Mom thinks they do well because the pool screen adds a layer of sun protection. Not sure how true that is. But they've been very happy for the past 5 years. They are planted in the native quick-draining sand/shell soil I have here with a pebble covering (keeps the sand out of the pool) and I have not had any problems in the monsoons we've been having down here lately.

    Bookmark   August 22, 2011 at 11:09PM
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I've read Croton to not like to be moved/transplanted much. They go into shock but generally recover quite well. Also, watch out for cold snaps come winter. The last two winters my plants looked like sticks because I didn't cover them well.

    Bookmark   August 24, 2011 at 3:19PM
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