Why so cold? #$%&*! Arctic Oscillation

Discussion in 'THE CROTON SOCIETY' started by koki, Dec 11, 2010.

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  1. koki

    koki Active Member

    Messages:
    266
    Location:
    pine island, fl
  2. Moose

    Moose Esteemed Member

    Messages:
    7,947
    Location:
    Coral Gables, FL Zone 10b
    Thanks for the link. Predicting 35F for me Monday night, I will be moving lots of plants tomorrow. :(
     
  3. Central Floridave

    Central Floridave Active Member

    Messages:
    483
    I wouldn't worry about 35F. I'm way North of you, and none of my croton were hurt from last weeks low of 34F. If you have any open yard that gets sunlight you should water that in and let it soak in the thermal heat today.
     
  4. Moose

    Moose Esteemed Member

    Messages:
    7,947
    Location:
    Coral Gables, FL Zone 10b
    Thanks Dave - Ray (Crazy for Crotons) and Jeff Searle gave me the same advise as you! :)
     
  5. Central Floridave

    Central Floridave Active Member

    Messages:
    483
    ...then it is becoming common knowledge...

    My low for Tuesday morning is predicted to be 29F by weather.com. I only plan in bringing in my containerized croton and palms to the back porch for that temp.
     
  6. koki

    koki Active Member

    Messages:
    266
    Location:
    pine island, fl
    Crotons should be protected from cold and dry winds most of all.
     
  7. Crazy for Crotons

    Crazy for Crotons Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,050
    Location:
    south Tampa, Bokeelia
    31F forecasted here but after last year, this does even make me break a "sweat". It doesn't stay below freezing long enough at these temps to do much damage. If you must leave out some crotons in containers, lay the containers down and throw some non-LED Christmas lights underneath a sheet, comforter or frost cloth. Salavation Army, Goodwill stores and/or any mom and pop thrift store has plenty of $2 and $3 sheets and comforters that do the job.
     
  8. Central Floridave

    Central Floridave Active Member

    Messages:
    483
    My weather.com temps shows below 32F for more than 4 hours for Tuesday morning. My plan of attack is to go through the yard this afternoon and take some cuttings and store them in the warmer garage. Bring in the croton containers inside the house. Zanzibar and Paintbrush come inside for sure. I also plan to rake up the thick mulch that is around the croton and bank it up main stalk of the plant. This way if they get hat racked by the freeze the lower stems can survive and resprout. I've got some super tender palms that I'm more worried about. Those will get some kind of cover or a water bucket set next to them. I'll be running my sprinkler in the open part of the yard early in the morning. My thinking is if the warm running water freezes in the open yard, that the heat will be captured by the oak canopy. But, it is pretty windy out there. So, that may not work. But, like mentioned above, after last year's winter, I'm kind of not too worried. If I lose something so be it. Its nature's way of hedging.
     
  9. Central Floridave

    Central Floridave Active Member

    Messages:
    483
  10. Crotonologist

    Crotonologist Active Member

    Messages:
    761
    Location:
    southern Louisiana USDA 9a
    Colder than us right now - the NWS forecast low here in southern Louisiana was for 23 F this morning, but we only got down to 29 F...
    guess I didn't need to pump all that heat into the ground around my Hawaiian bamboo last night after all...
     
  11. Moose

    Moose Esteemed Member

    Messages:
    7,947
    Location:
    Coral Gables, FL Zone 10b
    How many more days until we are clear of the cold season. Is March 1st the date we are shooting for? These early cold events has me weary. I just want to mark my calendar and count the days. What are the latest long range forecasts? :confused:
     
  12. Croton Guru

    Croton Guru Banned

    Messages:
    181
    Location:
    SouthFlorida
    A cheap way i have found out to protect your Crotons is buy some Visqueen, and make a tent over your plants when its really cold. The Wind really is your enemy when its cold out. The Visqueen will change the Humidity in your tented area which will protect your plants. Home Depot sells the clear plastic (Visqueen).
     
  13. fawnridge

    fawnridge Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,439
    Location:
    Western Boca Raton
    How many rolls would I need to enclose the entire garden? When we lived in NJ, I built a redwood hot tub from a kit. We tried, one winter, to build a teepee over it with visqueen and 2x4s. The first couple of snowstorms were no problem. But then we had a blizzard and the teepee ended up looking like Pic-Up-Sticks wrapped in plastic.
     
  14. Croton Guru

    Croton Guru Banned

    Messages:
    181
    Location:
    SouthFlorida
    Opps, I didnt consider snow, Maybe i should of said for the Central and northern Florida Residents :)
     
  15. RonDEZone7a

    RonDEZone7a Active Member

    Messages:
    93
    Location:
    Wilmington, Delaware
    Can't believe the cold you guys are having in Florida - especially far south Florida. Here in Delaware, it's been extra cold too but just more like late January / early Feb cold a few weeks early and not even approaching "zone defining" low temps. I think my low here for the season was around 18'F (an 8b low) so nothing approaching our all-time low for the season. I am officially in Zone 7a but most of our annual low temps have been in the 7b range.

    My sunroom is cooler than usual as a result of the outside temps. Crotons take quite a bit of cool, if they are already well established in their pots. But I still try to bring the temps up in there to mid-60s during the day so they have a little relief. My all-time low in the sunroom for the season so far has been around 50'F.

    When I first got the sunroom, I wasn't sure I could winter tropical plants like crotons in there at all. But crotons are hardier than some tropicals. Still, I've learned not to re-pot any tropicals during the winter when their soil can get and stay too cool. I avoid disturbing roots when it's chilly in there and most plants do fine. Also, the bigger the croton, the better, seemingly when trying to over-winter in my not-so-tropical sunroom.

    [​IMG]

    Even in the chilliness, I get some growth all winter on the crotons under my grow lights. Also, I get re-bloom on Poincettias in the sunroom every winter. They don't come out "florist quality" but still it's fun to see Poincettias re-bloom. If I remember to Miracle-Grow them now, I get better blooms.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  16. Central Floridave

    Central Floridave Active Member

    Messages:
    483
    that is a 'cool' sun room. Do you monitor the humidity also? I would keep a five gallon bucket of water tucked behind the plants for a humidity source. Heating a room usually pumps in dry air. Maybe with a water source you can keep the humidity level higher than usual.

    I didn't have any cold damage from any of my croton from that 28 degree reading. My lone banana got scorched and copper leafs got topped. But, winter has just begun and we got a couple more months to worry about hard freezes.
     
  17. RonDEZone7a

    RonDEZone7a Active Member

    Messages:
    93
    Location:
    Wilmington, Delaware
    You're right. I need to keep some water containers in there to keep up the humidity. I used have a waterfall going in there but it leaked - gotta fix it.

    Although heating dries the air in there, the humidity does tend to stay higher than in the house - and really goes up after I water.

    [​IMG]

    I keep birds in there too - but of course they don't raise the humidity!

    [​IMG]
     
  18. Bullwinkle

    Bullwinkle Esteemed Member

    Messages:
    1,460
    Location:
    DAVIE FL
    Lovely birds
     
  19. Crotonologist

    Crotonologist Active Member

    Messages:
    761
    Location:
    southern Louisiana USDA 9a
    So winter officially starts today...
    :D
     
  20. koki

    koki Active Member

    Messages:
    266
    Location:
    pine island, fl
    Unfortunately, it looks like there will be another arctic blast between Christmas and New Years. According to the NOAA long range forcast, it's too early to know how cold it will be. We drove across the state last weekend, Ft. Myers to Ft. Pierce, and noticed frosting on bananas, adonidia, copper leaf, mangoes, geiger. My burle marx is unhappy, and I've given up on haliconia. Crotons are fine so far, and looked good across the state. It looks like a triple wammy before 2011.
     
  21. Crotonologist

    Crotonologist Active Member

    Messages:
    761
    Location:
    southern Louisiana USDA 9a
  22. Moose

    Moose Esteemed Member

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

    Moose Esteemed Member

    Messages:
    7,947
    Location:
    Coral Gables, FL Zone 10b
    Not as severe as predicted so far ....
    Cloud cover helped.

    Tomorrow morning is the hump to get over. :(

    Can't wait til the end of the week warming trend! :)
     

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