Crotons – Year Round Color for Your Garden
Looking for a colorful addition to your garden that lasts all year? Consider the Croton. Crotons are accent shrubs, so colorful as a matter of fact, it is overwhelming to see more than a few of them together. These shrubs are available in an array of sizes and colors to suit your taste and your space.
Placing and Growing Crotons
Crotons (Codiaeum variegatum) are from the South Pacific and not considered cold hardy in all parts of the Treasure Coast. Meaning they will suffer cold damage from freezing temperatures. North of Ft. Pierce and inland these shrubs need protection if cold weather threatens. Consider growing them in a container, locating them in a site easy to cover or placing them out of the wind. Sun tolerance varies in Crotons, for the most part placing shrubs in a part sun to shade location works and dappled light is ideal as the foliage on some varieties can burn if placed in full sun. Crotons are somewhat toxic if eaten, so if anyone (pet or human) has plant eating tendencies place the Croton out of reach.
Plant combinations to consider with Crotons.
Given their tropical vibe I like to use these with other tropical looking plants – Boston Ferns, Split Leaf Philodendrons and Ground Orchids are good companions and like the same type of growing conditions.
Crotons are easy to grow if placed properly, watered and fertilized regularly. The only problem I have encountered growing these is scale insects find them really tasty. The solution to the scale problem is insecticidal soap and diligence.
There are endless varieties of Crotons, ranging in mature size from 3 feet to 10 feet tall. Two favorite varieties are easy to find on the Treasure Coast. Mammy is a dwarf variety growing 3 feet tall, liking full sun and sporting red, green and yellow leaves.
Another popular variety is Petra. Petra features big multicolored leaves and reaches 10 feet if left unpruned.
May 10, 2017