Newly acquired croton - acclimitizing for sun

glen3a(Winnipeg MB 3A)May 31, 2008

So I splurged and bought croton, schefflera, dracaena for the outdoor deck. Instant tropical look. I assume I should be cautious and give them mostly shade at first and then work my way up to part sun? (similar to how it's done with plant grown indoors and getting them used to outdoor sun?)

The plants were new stock at home depot and definitely look healthy, vibrant and compact, so perhaps they just came from the nursery down south and can I assume that they were already getting some sunlight so should be used to it?

Still, I don't want to burn the leaves. As it is, their final placement spots may end up being more part sun than full sun.


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I moved my crotons out too quickly last year and burnt the heck out of them.

I'd say acclimatize them slowly.

    Bookmark   June 2, 2008 at 3:37PM
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glen3a(Winnipeg MB 3A)

Thanks Sammy, I decided to plant my croton in a pot and keep it in a part shady spot. So far so good, it's developing new leaves (just love the way the new leaf is apple green and contrasts with the colorful foliage). I also bought a smaller croton that I slipped into a flower bed, talk about instant "tropical".

Everything seems to be holding it's own despite coolish (low 60 for highs, upper 40's for overnight lows) weather.


    Bookmark   June 5, 2008 at 8:14AM
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glen3a(Winnipeg MB 3A)

Just an update, the croton and schefflera did get a bit of sunburn, some leaves look a bit faded, but they are getting new leaves so that's a good sign. I haven't been watering as it's been cool and rainy here lately. If anything, the humidity is good for the plants.

I bought a few more tropicals: bismarck palm, Chinese fan palm, some more small crotons that were on clearance. Sweet potato vine, even a red hens n chicks. Then I had to buy a Persian Shield plant as I read good things about it in the book "Hot plants for Cool Climates".


    Bookmark   June 14, 2008 at 12:05AM
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Linda's Garden z6 Utah

Hi Glen,
I have a croton, its green with small yellow splotchs on it, I put it in the sun every summer and it just loves it. It has never burned. I think I will get some more different varities to put outside this summer. I love the one that has a lot of red in the leaves. I few years ago I went to Kauai, Hawaii and they have crotons planted everywhere outside. They use them for hedges. I couldn't believe how BIG they were!
You should post some pictures of your garden, it sounds wonderful! Last summer I bought a persian shield and kept it growing in a pot in mostly shade. It did really well. I tried to overwinter in the house and it didn't fare well, it was looking really bad and I got tired of looking at it so I moved it to the garage. I just recently put it back outside and it is regrowing beautiful leaves.

I wish I could find a bismarck palm around here...they are really cool looking! I did just buy a Chinese fan palm and a spindle palm.

BTW I also have that book, its what got me interested in growing all these tropical plants outside!

How's your dracaena doing outside? Is it in full sun? I saw a really nice one the other day a Lowes and have been thinking about buying it.


    Bookmark   June 14, 2008 at 9:15AM
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What the heck are you going to do with the Bismark Palm?

They become huge and might just be the palm most sensitive to root shock. There are many other better options for palmate palm species to grow in the north, in pots or otherwise.

    Bookmark   July 5, 2008 at 8:06AM
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glen3a(Winnipeg MB 3A)

Hi Linda,

I must say I really like the look of the Chinese Palm, probably one of my better $15 buys.

I thought my dracaena was doing okay, now I notice that the leaf ends are turning brown. Hopefully the new growth will be better. They had a few of them at the store but the one I picked out had exceptionally pink/white/green striped leaves. Mine receives about 4 hours of morning sun and then bright light the rest of the day.

I really wanted a spindle palm, or the bottle palm, but both were fairly pricey here plus I guess there's the matter of overwintering and there's only so much rooms with good light in my house.

Xerophyte, I hear what you are saying but it was an impulse buy from the tropical patio plant section at the nursery. I am beginning to think it might be an "expensive annual", however, as from what I read they need high light indoors and humidity to over winter, no different from most palms I guess. I did transplant but very carefully, basically plucked it out of the black nursery pot and into another. Mine has three leaves and has the potential for a fourth leaf, but so far not much growing happening. Maybe now that it's warm, sunny and humid it will help.


    Bookmark   July 5, 2008 at 9:33AM
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Hi Glen

Nice to see another northern Canadian into turning their yard tropical. I move all my tropical house plants out, grow a lot of vines, and any thing else I think will fit it. It is a lot of work and hard on the back moving everything out for our short summer. But than you get an evening like last night when the weather was great and it is all worth it. If you have any pics I would love to see them.


    Bookmark   July 6, 2008 at 2:14PM
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