Croton Hardiness and Tips for Enduring a Cold Spell
Most people grow Crotons outside in the landscape south of Tampa to Orlando, and east to Melbourne. Our Nursery is located just south of Central Florida on the Treasure Coast in Vero Beach. Most winters can get quite cool (occasional lows of 34 degrees) with a sporadic bout of frost/ freezing temperatures. This will not usually bother old, well-
Since Crotons are Tropical Plants (not sub-
In the event of Wind-
Crotons always need to be sheltered from a cold North wind.
If the plant is outdoors and lives in a container which can be moved into a shed/garage, we suggest doing so as long as the temperature inside the structure will hover in the late 30’s to low 40’s, and be protected from the wind.
If an outdoor container is too large/heavy to be moved, or if the plant is in the ground, they must be covered amply with Frost Cloth or medium-
If or when a Frost Advisory or Freeze Warning for the overnight period has been, or is expected to be issued, we suggest you plan on covering the plants—or sort of ‘tenting’ them-
When temps. are expected to plummet it also helps if you water the plants (not the leaves just the soil/root portion) around mid-
An old wives’ tale states that the hardiest crotons are the green & yellow varieties.
If you live in Key West it’s okay to plant Picasso’s Paintbrush and Zanzibar in the ground, just make sure they will be protected from the ferocious winter winds.
The first sign of cold damage is defoliation, but that does not necessarily mean the plant is dead. The bare sticks often surprise and delight their owners with new growth in the spring.
Thousands of crotons are shipped to all 50 states for Florists and Garden Centers. Several cultivars were originally bred in Europe specifically for the interiorscape market, and will perform very well in a house or office all winter long. Ironically, these same crotons do not do well in air-
A Frost Advisory is issued when the predicted temperature is expected to fall to 36 degrees or lower in the next 3 to 30 hours. Temperatures in the 35 to 40 degree range would also dictate a frost advisory.
A Freeze Warning is issued when there is an 80% or greater chance that the temperatures are expected to fall to 32 degrees (F) or lower in the next 3 to 30 hours.
If the temperature is expected to fall below 28 degrees (F) it is considered a Hard Freeze.
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