Croton cold tolerance?

nealzibubFebruary 15, 2007

Hi guys, I'm down here in San Diego, about 5 minutes from the beach. Aside from the recent freeze we had, it typically does not get below about 38*F where I live. Can I try Crotons against my garage wall, or will they freeze / rot out come next winter? Thanks!


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Neal - First of all, don't plant them too close to the house. Your foundation leaches alkaline material into the soil and Crotons prefer an acidic soil. In the cold you will lose leaves. Even at 50 degrees here in South Florida, I know I'm going to get leaf drop every time we have a cold front come through. Not a problem, though. Just cut them back to encourage new growth. They will tolerate salt air past the first dune, so your 5 miles from the beach won't be a problem.

    Bookmark   February 15, 2007 at 5:28PM
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gaza(10 la CA)

hi,they do fine here,but it seems the thin leaved ones fair better
i am in culver city,and have never been below 40,but this year 29!!!
all are fine,but broad leaves are showing stress

    Bookmark   February 15, 2007 at 8:24PM
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I live in central Florida where we get a couple frosts most winters. This property has crotons that have been here for quite some time. They may have some leaf drop in the winter, but they seem to do quite well.

    Bookmark   February 16, 2007 at 10:08AM
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sultry_jasmine_nights (Florida 9a)

Mine have been potted up on the patio and have been put in the garage when it goes under 40. They have been out in the low 40's and survived ok. They do drop leaves in the winter, and are currently bare naked on the bottom stems and have lots of leaves on top. I think the varieties are banana, mamey, and the other common broad leaf one with red, grn, and yellow leaves from home depot (dont know the name -sorry).
I didnt know that about the acidic soil. Thanks for posting that info. I really do love crotons and plan on getting more :) I have very alkaline water here so would it be okay to use an acidic fertilizer on crotons to balance it out? Or would it be better to repot with say rose or african violet potting soil or something else acidic?

    Bookmark   February 16, 2007 at 2:26PM
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SJN - You could add some Miracid to your fertilzer mix or just get some crushed pine bark and mix it into the soil of your pot. The big leaf one from HD is probably Petra.

    Bookmark   February 16, 2007 at 6:28PM
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sultry_jasmine_nights (Florida 9a)

Thank you fawnridge. Yes, the name Petra does sound familiar! It was a h.d. rescue for .25 cents a yr ago :) I have some miracid I can use. I had been feeding them the plain MG all this time... Poor babies lol. I have a whole bag of pine needles from our family cabin up north. I will try those too. Glad for your input. I am trying to learn as much as I can about these beauties. They really add a lot of color and make my porch *sparkle*.

    Bookmark   February 16, 2007 at 7:39PM
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I have 3 Mamey Crotons and they have done well the past three winters and the plants are just beautiful. This past winter of 08-09 we had several nights below freezing in a row. I did not pull them out even though they look dead. Even though we covered them, all the leaves turned brown and fell off.

It's now the end of march and no signs of any growth. Should I cut them back, and if so how much should I cut back. When can I tell if they are still alive?


    Bookmark   March 26, 2009 at 5:09PM
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dottymc,exact same here-they looked great until early January..then a weekend of 33f started a slow decline. They had plump stems even as late as last week.Today?..they must be dead or killed so far back,I dont see them growing back with any vigor. Hope I'm wrong,but I dont think I am..
Maybe next year potted and kept on the porch out of cold rain they might do well...

    Bookmark   March 26, 2009 at 5:20PM
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