Do you have a favorite shrub? . You know, one that grows well in sun or shade and gives lots of color. Got you thinking don't I?
Well, you are probably contemplating all those shrubs with great flowers but mine does not need flowers. You see, it is the croton. There are lots of croton varieties. One home grower told me he had more than 50 different crotons. How did he get them? He said he traveled throughout the state for business and he visited many garden centers often picking up a new croton
He also said he would grow them from cuttings to form attractive foliage plants and sell them on the street corner in down town Orlando to the office workers. What a neat idea for some entrepreneur today.
Now why do I like the croton? Simply put, it gives me great color. We usually grow them in containers because they are pretty cold sensitive. The last two winters there was minimal damage but they certainly do not like a freeze which could occur any year. But from about April through December they are great looking plants for the sun or shade.
We don't see as many croton varieties as my friend did. The garden centers seem to have three to maybe five and that is about it. Also, they don't seem to have the taller growing types. Maybe no one wants these anymore.
Oh yes, you can use crotons in containers or in the ground. They are pretty drought tolerant but grow best with adequate water and regular feedings. They are always going to be the accents in the landscape.