Wise purchases or not?

Discussion in 'THE CROTON SOCIETY' started by annafl, Nov 4, 2014.

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  1. annafl

    annafl Esteemed Member

    In the last year I've purchased two rare plants that were at most 6-8 inch stubs of perhaps 3/4 to 1 inch diameter stems, with one or two growths coming out of the cut top of the stem. There were a few nice, older leaves coming off the stem as well. I think these plants came from the piece of stem between the mother plant at the bottom, and the better air layer at the top. I bought them on impulse because I thought I'd never be able to find them again, but I'm wondering if these will ever be successful, vigorous plants, or whether they will always be stunted. Any opinions? Did I pay a lot of money for plants that will never be good?
     
  2. Phil Stager

    Phil Stager Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,650
    Location:
    Sunny St. Pete, FL
    Patience, Grasshopper! Crotons will grow successfully from sticks as small as one inch long; it just takes forever and a day. Bigger sticks, slightly quicker results. My Pheasant Tail ( a nice interrupted variety) took about five years from a six inch stick to a nice 18" tall vigorous plant.
     
  3. Bullwinkle

    Bullwinkle Esteemed Member

    Messages:
    1,460
    Location:
    DAVIE FL
    Hi Ana,I agree with Phil with one important caveat,in my opinion it is more important to get a good clone rather than a rare plant.I have tossed out some "rare" plants that simply did not look good (Lucille Alonzo comes to mind,it was a bad clone that refused to color up).For me it is more important that the plant looks great rather than it's rarity.For instance my Zulu that caught everyone's eye.Not rare by any means but certainly a head turner.
     
  4. junglegal

    junglegal Esteemed Member

    Messages:
    3,135
    Location:
    St. Pete FL
    Interesting points brought up. Anna this is a good time to bring up my large 7 gal clown. I had written you about wanting to find it a new home. It had never colored up. A couple weeks back I had dragged it to a new spot & all of a sudden, nice orange color presenting itself on a couple branches! I think location is key before pitching a plant. My lack of patience gets the best of me all the time.
     
  5. JoseLopez

    JoseLopez Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    261
    Location:
    Miami, FL
    Anna, like Phil said, patience is the key. I found so many crotons in bad condition but time and good care showed me a wonderful plant. Some crotons like sandy soils while others like acidic soil . It just takes a little playing with. Just give it time and you will see. Sometimes it takes years to see results.
     
  6. JoseLopez

    JoseLopez Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    261
    Location:
    Miami, FL
    Anna, like Phil said, patience is the key. I found so many crotons in bad condition but time and good care showed me a wonderful plant. Some crotons like sandy soils while others like acidic soil . It just takes a little playing with. Just give it time and you will see. Sometimes it takes years to see results.
     
  7. annafl

    annafl Esteemed Member

    Thanks for your responses. When the plant is mostly a stick with a little green new growth and just a few mature leaves it's frequently difficult to know how good a clone it is.

    My frustration arises from the fact that I live so far away from where most of the sales/opportunities are to find good plants that are not Petra and Mammey. When I do make the trip, I feel stuck with purchasing what is available or wait another 6 months to try to find it. I don't have many opportunities to find a great clone. Mike, I agree wholeheartedly with what you said. I don't care as much about rarity as getting a beautiful plant I love, but there are a few rare plants I think are beautiful and if I don't get them when I see them (although they may be only sticks that are difficult to know if they will be a great clone), I might not have another chance for a long time.

    Thanks, Phil, I will have to be patient with these.
     
  8. annafl

    annafl Esteemed Member

    Sorry for the uncalled for whining:rolleyes:. Phil, Mike and Jose, thanks for your responses. I just need to be patient.

    Bren, so glad your Clown is responding! You'll have to show us in the spring after a few months of higher light!
     
  9. Moose

    Moose Esteemed Member

    Messages:
    7,952
    Location:
    Coral Gables, FL Zone 10b
    Was the decision wise, if they live then it was wise. If they perish, well you gotta break some eggs to make a great omelette. Ana, I have passed on some great plants figuring I will come across another in the future. Sometimes the future was 5 - 10 years, sometimes never. I have lamented longer about what could have been more then from what has carked. Usually the uber rare stuff can only be had by small cuttings or tiny rooted plants.

    Your not whining. Your just concerned and nervous like most collectors when they get a plant that needs TLC to get established and thriving.. Can't always acquire a well rooted robust plant, especially the rare stuff.
     
  10. Perry Edge

    Perry Edge Active Member

    Messages:
    126
    I have bought some small and/or bad copies in the past, with the hope that I could get them to thrive and color up. In some cases, I was sucessful, but others I eventually tossed in the garbage can. I remember what Bob ALonzo said, that if you get a clone of a clone from yet another clone off a clone etc. it will degrade the genetic line, so it will always be a bad copy. So without knowing the history of how many past generations there are of a variety you have bought, (which is often next to impossible) it is always a roll of the dice. But that doesn't keep me from continuing to buy them, as long as they don't cost me an arm and a leg.
     
  11. Native son

    Native son Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    878
    Location:
    10a
    Croton's are like a box of chocolates, As you saw this past weekend I am not prone to give up on one. In my opinion our job is to grow what we like and enjoy. image.jpg
     
  12. annafl

    annafl Esteemed Member

    You guys are right. Sometimes you have to take a risk. Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose. At times there are regrets, but sometimes there are great rewards. I hope I'm on the winning end. Thanks.
     

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