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Shrub/tree suggestion to grow crotons under

Discussion in 'THE CROTON SOCIETY' started by junglegal, Feb 15, 2011.

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  1. junglegal

    junglegal Esteemed Member

    Messages:
    3,133
    Location:
    St. Pete FL
    I have a western exposure that desperately needs some shade. I lost a lot of plants back there this winter. Since then, my croton collection has grown and I am running out of space for them that is filtered sun.

    My requirements are:

    Fast growing & gets no taller than 15' due to power lines overhead. Color is not important as the crotons will provide that. I would also prefer that they keep their leaves year round but not a deal breaker. Suggestions? :confused:
     
  2. koki

    koki Active Member

    Messages:
    266
    Location:
    pine island, fl
    White Geiger is a beautiful little tree. Cold hardy, long bloom time, not too tall, but not exactly fast growing. Loquat is faster growing but will eventually be taller than 15 feet. Both keep their leaves in the winter.
     
  3. Crazy for Crotons

    Crazy for Crotons Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,050
    Location:
    south Tampa, Bokeelia
    Bren,

    Pink Powderpuff (Calliandra sp.) stays small and keeps its leaves all winter. The blooms are amazing.

    Ray
     
  4. junglegal

    junglegal Esteemed Member

    Messages:
    3,133
    Location:
    St. Pete FL
    Thanks for the suggestions. I will look into them all. I just saw the pink powderpuff at sunken gardens today. I love the loquats too, had one but slowly lost it to fire blight which is prevalent in this area. I'm not familiar with a white geiger, I'll have to look it up.
     
  5. Bullwinkle

    Bullwinkle Esteemed Member

    Messages:
    1,411
    Location:
    DAVIE FL
    I vote for the Caliandra.They are always in bloom and need no water
     
  6. fawnridge

    fawnridge Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,417
    Location:
    Western Boca Raton
    Powder Puff Trees drop flowers everywhere. You'll have them sticking to leaves. At the size you're talking about, I would suggest a Japanese Fern Tree - Filicium decipiens - assuming they will grow in your neighborhood. They grow to around 15' from a 15-gallon size in around 5 years, are evergreen with dense foliage and no flowers.

    I planted the one in the photo for a neighbor around 9 years ago from a 15-gallon can. If you notice, it's leaning. That's from Hurricane Wilma.
     

    Attached Files:

  7. junglegal

    junglegal Esteemed Member

    Messages:
    3,133
    Location:
    St. Pete FL
    Ricky,

    I like your suggestion but it gets way too big to be planted under power lines. The city will come along and give it a V haircut & it won't be pretty.
     
  8. Phil Stager

    Phil Stager Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,585
    Location:
    Sunny St. Pete, FL
    FWIW, the city does not perform powerline trimming. Progress Energy contracts this out to various tree trimming companies like Asplundh. The end result is the same - a V shaped crown in the tree. Avoid palms with moderate to large crownshafts like Royals or Foxtails - they grow into the power lines and drop the frond with crownshapt right onto your best plant under.
     
  9. Crazy for Crotons

    Crazy for Crotons Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,050
    Location:
    south Tampa, Bokeelia
    The Japanese fern tree is not reliably cold hardy for this area long term.
     
  10. fawnridge

    fawnridge Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,417
    Location:
    Western Boca Raton
    What a shame. I've come to see this tree as one of the top 10 for planting shade-loving plants under. It rarely loses leaves, has no flowers or fruit, and is as dense as heavy shade cloth. The one in the photo has all sorts of Crotons growing below.
     
  11. Crazy for Crotons

    Crazy for Crotons Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,050
    Location:
    south Tampa, Bokeelia
    Go with the Calliandra
     
  12. junglegal

    junglegal Esteemed Member

    Messages:
    3,133
    Location:
    St. Pete FL
    Ray,

    Do you know of a source? I'll be on the look out at the up coming sales. Maybe Crowley would stock these, I'll call.
     
  13. Crazy for Crotons

    Crazy for Crotons Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,050
    Location:
    south Tampa, Bokeelia
    Bren, the ones I saw at Lowes were 7 gallon. These are slow growing plants so you'll be waiting awhile for canopy with those. You're better off looking for 15 gallon or larger specimens with established roots.
     
  14. junglegal

    junglegal Esteemed Member

    Messages:
    3,133
    Location:
    St. Pete FL
    The Lowes on 22nd ave did not have them. The guy said they'd have them next weekend. Since they are slow, I'll try and hunt down a larger one but wanted to see what they looked like at least. We are talking about this one yes?
    http://toptropicals.com/catalog/uid/calliandra_surinamensis.htm

    I just wonder if crotons would clash with the pink? Maybe a red form would be better even though the flowers aren't as flashy
     
  15. Moose

    Moose Esteemed Member

    Messages:
    7,947
    Location:
    Coral Gables, FL Zone 10b
    What is wong with Oak Trees. I know they get big, but are realitively slow. And the they will get pruned for free. Let's not forget the benefit of the oak leaf litter. :)
     
  16. junglegal

    junglegal Esteemed Member

    Messages:
    3,133
    Location:
    St. Pete FL
    Love live oaks but this is way to small of a space. I don't plan on being in this house longer than a few years too. Next house purchase will be contingent on having live oaks I am so found of them.
     

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