Is it too late?

Discussion in 'THE CROTON SOCIETY' started by annafl, Oct 5, 2013.

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  1. annafl

    annafl Esteemed Member

    As you all know, I'm in Sarasota. I really, really want to plant the beautiful crotons I got at the sale. I know Scott (from Tampa) says he doesn't plant after labor day, but I'd also love to hear from Phil, Ray, and any other 'northeners', or even the Glocks from east Fort Myers, as to how late one can plant before cold weather. I feel it's better to get them in the ground rather than have them in pots and cover them. In my case, I have a lot and it would be difficult to cover them or put them in a protected area every time cold weather comes. I would love to hear opinions. I know I won't 'plant' the pots and pull them out in spring. I'll either plant or not plant. What do you say?:confused:
  2. Moose

    Moose Esteemed Member

    Coral Gables, FL Zone 10b
    Put them in the ground in my opinion. You have time to get additional roots going. Based on you having so many and you would just be covering them. The roots will be much warmer in the ground. Easier for a exposed container of soil to get chilled as opposed to being in the toasty soil.

    If you had a place to bring inside, thats a different scenario. I do defer to those who are cultivating in your neck of the woods. Scott Land is in a much cooler area than you. This is just my opinion.
  3. ScotTi

    ScotTi Esteemed Member

    Anna, I have my own rule of thumb that I use. I picked Labor Day to play it really safe. If the plants have a well established root system you will be fine to plant now. I find the problem with planting the recent rooted air layers. There are a few Crotons out there that it would not matter as they seem to hate any cold well established roots or not.
  4. Phil Stager

    Phil Stager Esteemed Member

    Sunny St. Pete, FL
    One way around the dilemma is to put the entire pot in the ground. That way if we get a really gruesome freeze, you have the option of taking it out of the ground and into the garage or wherever or covering the plant. Lots of mulch helps whether port in ground or plant in ground method. If it were a pricey or scarce cultivar, I put the pot in the ground. If it were a plant going in a fairly protected location and if it were not a particular favorite, in the ground it went. Water well before and after planting and mulch well.
  5. annafl

    annafl Esteemed Member

    Thanks, Phil and Scott. I'm getting nervous about it now. I really want to plant them because I'm so bad about taking care of them in pots. Especially if there's more than a few. I think I may risk it with most, unless they don't look like they're established in the pot, and then mulch like crazy over the roots. Thanks.:)
  6. Jeff Searle

    Jeff Searle Well-Known Member

    South Florida, USA

    I think along the same lines as Ron. With my experiences over the years, I would plant them as soon as possible.
  7. Sihara

    Sihara Active Member

    Hi Anna,

    Nice meeting you at the 'Ganza.

    If you have nowhere to bring the pots indoors - in case of cold, I would plant them, especially under canopy. Mulch is very important, as Phil mentioned - it can keep soil temps warm in cold wx.

    If you have a few favorites, you can keep those in pots and maybe find somewhere in the house to bring them in, if it gets chilly.

    I've been hearing this winter is going to be a cold one, not like last winter. Unless you're near the coast, S/sota can get very nippy, often colder than St. Pete.

    My crotons are staying in pots. When it gets cold, we'll pull them all into the carport and protect with tarps. Potted palms, too.
  8. ScotTi

    ScotTi Esteemed Member

    Anna, Plant the Crotons in your best warm microclimate spot in your garden. Canopy (that is also tricky canopy from frost but also allowing some sun) and mulch is a must here in W. Central Fl. Also try to plant with a block of the N/NW wind. I looked at Weather Underground records for the Sarasota area from the Winter of 2010-11 and the Sarasota area was on par for temps here in the Tampa Bay area. If you are close to the coast you will always fare better. The S E FL growers do not have to put up with what we do in the Winter for the most part.

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