Newbie check-in

Discussion in 'THE CROTON SOCIETY' started by crotonewbie, Feb 1, 2011.

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  1. Hello All,

    I wanted to introduce myself. I am 24 years old and I live South of Atlanta and have a few crotons growing indoors. I don't have much experience with plants at all. My first houseplant was a croton "victoria gold bell" (got it less than a year ago). Since then I have collected a Croton "revolutions" and a croton "petra". The Petra and Gold bell are thriving, the revolutions is just dormant but not dying. The Petra grew a 14" long flower on it recently and is growing like crazy. The gold bell is growing 6 flowers at once (first time it has flowered). It was growing so fast it started leaning so I cut about 6" off the top and it gre three new "main stems" out of that. Each of them have two flowers just starting. I'm excited to see 6 mature flowers growing on one plant. Is that unusual? I will try to get some pictures up later. Anyways, I found a local store that sells hydroponic equipment one day on my lunch break. I started going and talking to the guys there and learning until I finally decided to give it a try. I made a DWC set-up for less than $40 using some old aquarium equipment I already had laying around. I just got it up and running last night and I have a baby jade plant and one of my small croton petras in it now. I am being careful not to let the croton's roots stay saturated. They are barely touching the water at the very bottom. I decided to join so i could ask if anyone has ever tried this before? I enjoy my crotons but I can't grow them outside here and wanted to try something else. I am just doing it to see what happens and I am sure I will kill off a few plants until I get it down. I might find that these plants don't do well in hydro and have to try tomatoes and peppers instead. Once I see some results (either god or bad) I will post them and let everyone know how it's going
     
  2. Jeff Searle

    Jeff Searle Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,754
    Location:
    South Florida, USA
    Hi ?,

    Welcome to the forum. I can't really help you with your new experiment, but you'll find this forum to be the best to offer, very informative, great people from all over the world and the best information offered anywhere. Not to mention great pictures from time to time.

    We look forward to seeing some pic's when you have the time.
    Jeff
     
  3. junglegal

    junglegal Esteemed Member

    Messages:
    3,135
    Location:
    St. Pete FL
    Welcome to the group! You've stumbled upon the best croton site around.:D

    We look forward to your contributions. I think you'll be our first member toying with hydroponics.
     
  4. Sorry, my name is Levi. I was just amazed at how fast the plants at this store were growing and the whole idea of hydroponics in general. My crotons were grwing very fast at home in soil so it made me wonder what they could do in a hydroponic set up. I searched the internet for a long time trying to find out if anyone had grown crotons with hydroponics before. Come to find out, the guys at the store used to have one growing on display. They were using a diferent system than what I have made but the guy there said as long as I don't let the roots stay soaking we, it should work. I found a few low quality cell phone images of my plants. I will have to borrow a good camera to get close up pics of the little flowers on the croton

    On another note, is that rare for a croton to grow 6 flowers at once? Has anyone ever had a croton grow multiple flowers at once?
     

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  5. koki

    koki Active Member

    Messages:
    266
    Location:
    pine island, fl
    Search this site for Sergey, he grows crotons in Siberia, and they are as nice as any. Multiple flowers are not uncommon, these plants are known to do a lot of strange things.
     
  6. OK, Thanks. I am still learning how to use the site and it's search functions etc. but I will look him up. I do have another question though. I have a lamp that I wanted to get a small plant light for in order to help my croton that isn't in very good window for sunlight. One of them is in an extremely large, heavy pot so I really can't put it anywhere else. Has anyone ever used a light on indoor crotons? There are some simple incandescent lights at home depot that give off a blue spectrum of light. They are labeled as plant lights and they fit the lamp I have. I know that some plants prefer red light and others blue and I am sure it is much more complicated than that. Just wondering if anyone thinks it would be a bad idea to try this light to supplement the sunlight? ...couldn't hurt, right?
     
  7. Thought I'd share a picture of the croton that is growing multiple flowers. It's the best picture I could get with my phone. I topped the plant and it grew three new stems. Each stem is growing two flowers like the ones in the picture. I really want to learn how to start new plants from cuttings. I tried once and was unsuccesful. Are there any old threads about this. I scanned through a few and didn't see any how-to's or anything
     

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  8. Crotonologist

    Crotonologist Active Member

    Messages:
    761
    Location:
    southern Louisiana USDA 9a
    Levi,
    The easiest way to get started with cuttings is to stick a healthy cutting in a small pot of moist soil and completely cover it with a large baggie to keep the moisture in so it doesn't dry out. You could also use a plastic dome, aquarium, etc anything to trap the moist air around the cutting...
    Summer is probably the best time to root croton cuttings, but I have good success even this time of year by using bottom heat. I also place the small pots in a tray with about a half inch of water in it to keep the soil moist, otherwise the bottom heat will dry out the pots...
    Hope this helps!
     
  9. pocomo

    pocomo Active Member

    Messages:
    337
    Location:
    10
    Levi
    I think probably just about anybody that grows crotons and has made cuttings for display purposes inside the house and set the crotons in a container of water, has found that totally submerged stems will produce roots and continue to grow there. I think you could totally submerge the stems in your medium with good results. Crotons generally don't rot in that situation. Good luck.
    Chris
     
  10. pocomo

    pocomo Active Member

    Messages:
    337
    Location:
    10
    Levi,
    I'm going to amend my comment. If you have a 12" cutting and set in the water 4" or so you should have good results. I'm curious.
    Chris
     
  11. pocomo

    pocomo Active Member

    Messages:
    337
    Location:
    10
    I remember as a little kid when I'd walk next door to Henry Coppingers' my aunt Helen would always have a croton or 2 in a glass of water sitting on the windowsill and I would marvel at the roots growing. I guess that would be my first experience with hydroponics.
    Chris
     
  12. Thanks Pocomo. I think my experiment will work out after all. I have some small branches (excuse me if I use the wrong terms) starting near the bottom of my large petra and have wanted to try to start a new plant from them b/c I don't think they will ever get a chance to mature on the mother plant since they are so shaded by all the larger leaves. I think I will wait until spring / summer and give it a shot. I tried once before on a cutting I took from my Victoria Gold Bell and was unsuccessful. I think it is b/c I used miracle grow potting mix and it has fertilizer in it. I later read not to fertilize until the plant has established it's roots. Do you trim back or remove any of the leaves on a cutting? I have seen how-to's online about "cloning" or starting a new plant from cuttings and they always say to trim the leaves on the cutting. Do you guys recommend the use of a rooting hormone? I have some rooting hormone (powder form) made by Green Light. The active ingredient is 0.1% Indole-3-butyric acid. Is this stuff necessary to start a new cutting and is this a good brand/product?

    By the way, I'm jealous of all of you who can grow these outdoors! :p It gets too cold here in the winter so now I have large pots in front of all the windows in my house. It is quite a chore to keep my 1 year old out of them!
     
  13. Marie Nock

    Marie Nock Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    677
    At the Tropical Plant Industry Expo (TPIE) in Ft. Lauderdale last month there was an exhibitor who featured crotons growing in a hydroponic situation. I was drawn to the exhibit by the crotons but when I found he was selling equipment, I moved on. All to say that I don't remember the name of the company but there were only 5 companies selling hydroponic equipment and supplies so I can give you their names:
    BioWorks, Inc.
    Dyna-Gro Nutrition Solutiona
    Growth Products, Ltd.
    Smitherd-Oasis North America
    Ted Mahr Supply, Inc.
     
  14. Hi Marie,

    The first two names sound familiar from the supply store I have been going to. I made almost all of my set-up myself though. all I bought from them was a cheap general purpose liquid fertilizer, the pots you use to hang down into the water solution and the clay rocks they use for the plant to have something to stand up in. I was amazed how easy and cheap it is to make one. I can't figure out how to attach a picture of it. I think it is in a format not supported by the site or my computer one
     

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