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Slower growing cultivars ?

Discussion in 'THE CROTON SOCIETY' started by Moose, Sep 16, 2009.

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  1. Moose

    Moose Esteemed Member

    Messages:
    7,947
    Location:
    Coral Gables, FL Zone 10b
    As an avid collector of palms, I have many "understory" palms growing under canopy. Because of the "crowding" of these understory palms, I would like to add slow growing cultivars of crotons. The croton colors help to delinate and define the individual palms making them more apparent to the eye. It does not make sense to plant a fast growing cultivar that will require pruning as it competes for the filtered light with the palm. Adding slower growing cultivars would be the appropriate solution for these plants to becoming sybiotic. :cool:

    Please, everyone chime in here and list which cultivars you have experienced being slower growing.

    Best regards to all, :)

    Ron.
     
  2. fawnridge

    fawnridge Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,423
    Location:
    Western Boca Raton
    Ron - Before I list my choices, I should warn you about planting Crotons, or any plant for that matter, underneath a palm or a tree. Several things to consider:

    1. You have to trim your palms or at least consider the large fronds that will fall from a self-cleaning palm. Any plant in the way of a falling frond is subject to damage.
    2. When the palms bloom (or the trees flower) you will get sap and perhaps sooty mold, if there is scale (nah, never in Florida.) Your Crotons will be sprinkled with the stuff and will lose color.
    3. In terms of pure design, most palms (or trees) will tend to guide the viewer's focus upward and thus the Crotons may actually be missed.
    4. The fibrous root system of most palms becomes very aggressive when in a drought situation; the Crotons may suffer from lack of available water.

    All of this having been said, I have dozens of Crotons planted below palms and trees and just end up dealing with the above in stride.

    Slow growers:

    Ram's Horn
    Golden Glow
    King of Siam
    Stoplight (never seen this one over 5' tall)
    Dreadlocks (but watch the cold!)
     
  3. Crazy for Crotons

    Crazy for Crotons Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,050
    Location:
    south Tampa, Bokeelia
    Some of my slow growers are Candy Cane, Sybil Griffin, Jenseni, Brilliantissima and Sweet Marie.
     
  4. Moose

    Moose Esteemed Member

    Messages:
    7,947
    Location:
    Coral Gables, FL Zone 10b
    Ricky - I have been growing palms in excess of 15 years. When my Royals drop their leaves it is mass destruction. The area that I am going to add crotons is under the Canary Island Date, Red Latania, Bismarckia Noblis and Gebang palms. These guys do not shed their leaves readily. They usually hang brown until I get out the ladder out and prune them. This usually happens when the filtered shade starts becoming too deep. I have tender, rare and usually quite expensive palms growing in this understory. The crotons will be fine. Just want slow shade loving cultivars there. Actually I anticipate that some crotons may be perfect for this area. Thank you for your words of wisdom.

    Judy - what slow growing cultivars do you recommend? Your opinion is encouraged! :rolleyes:

    Ron. :)
     
  5. Crazy for Crotons

    Crazy for Crotons Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,050
    Location:
    south Tampa, Bokeelia
    Ricky, I'm going to bring you some fertilizer for Golden Glow. It's not slow.
     
  6. Moose

    Moose Esteemed Member

    Messages:
    7,947
    Location:
    Coral Gables, FL Zone 10b
    Could someone post a photo of golden glow? Please :rolleyes:

    Ron. :)
     
  7. fawnridge

    fawnridge Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,423
    Location:
    Western Boca Raton
    These are probably Golden Glow:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  8. Crazy for Crotons

    Crazy for Crotons Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,050
    Location:
    south Tampa, Bokeelia
    Add Ben Alexander to the slooooow list.
     
  9. Moose

    Moose Esteemed Member

    Messages:
    7,947
    Location:
    Coral Gables, FL Zone 10b

    Wow Ricky! That is one sweet looking croton! :eek:
    Thank you for posting! :)

    Ray - do you know a source for Ben Alexander? Jeff has not updated his list yet, but I do not see it right now. Are they encountered at the Society's auctions?

    Ron. :
     
  10. Crazy for Crotons

    Crazy for Crotons Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,050
    Location:
    south Tampa, Bokeelia
    Ron, I never see BA at sales maybe because it grows so slowly. Mine came from a yard in St. Pete and the plant has since been leveled :(
     
  11. Moose

    Moose Esteemed Member

    Messages:
    7,947
    Location:
    Coral Gables, FL Zone 10b
    Add Stain Glass to the slow list! :(
     
  12. Crazy for Crotons

    Crazy for Crotons Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,050
    Location:
    south Tampa, Bokeelia
    My Ben was also leveled...by 26F last January 11th.
     
  13. Phil Stager

    Phil Stager Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,592
    Location:
    Sunny St. Pete, FL
    Catherine Gephardt is not only slow, they get near my yard and start doing into terminal decline. Stoplight is a fast grower here; I've got two over 6 ft in height. Golden Glow is fairly fast but few of the Coppinger varieties have much cold tolerance before defoliating.
     
  14. Moose

    Moose Esteemed Member

    Messages:
    7,947
    Location:
    Coral Gables, FL Zone 10b
    Add to the painfully slow list: :(

    Polychrome
    Mona Lisa
    Bimbo - real slow
    Wilma - extremely very slow
    Black Beauty - real slow
     

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