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Bullwinkle

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17/11/10
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This is Bullwinkle not Boris(for those who remember the cartoon)
Hello all,I have a couple of Id's needed.This one is the slowest croton in my small collection.It has grown about 6" in 2 years.It gets plenty water and fertilizer but it never moves.It is quite stunning the old leaves are almost totally pink with a green outline
 

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This resembles one I just received that had a tag reading "Barbara Bush". It also looks like at least two other varieties that have been recently posted here. Either way, welcome to the world of "it looks like" and "it might be" that we call Crotons.
 
... It gets plenty water and fertilizer but it never moves...
Just a thought, but I have to wonder if the problem might be an out-of-whack pH...
I've had other types of plants in the past that behaved like this until I realized it might be a pH problem, adjusted it, and voila the plants started growing...
With all those concrete stepping stones perhaps the pH is too high...
if so, you might try some sulphur in the soil, or try watering that plant with a little vinegar in the water... most municipal water supplies are adjusted to a pH around 7, which is probably high for crotons...
Adding vinegar to city water can produce dramatic improvements in cactus growth for example...
Might make for some interesting results...
 
Just had an interesting conversation a few minutes ago in my office with a customer who works for the city water plant here.
I asked him about the water treatment process - our water comes from the local aquifer.
He told me they nuke it with lime and alum - the lime brings the pH up to around 14 :eek: and the alum reacts with the minerals in the water to precipitate out excess minerals. This produces a sludge which is drained off and provided to local farmers for spreading on fields.
Then they add phosphate which prevents the remaining lime in the water from settling out in pipes. They also add chlorine to keep the germs down.
The water leaves the treatment plant with a pH between 7 and 8, but "never less than 7" according to this guy - this prevents pipe corrosion which can be caused by acid water.

My understanding of plants is that it is the pH of the solution around the roots that determines uptake of nutrients more so than the pH of the soil...
This may explain why my plants in containers always seem to do better when exposed to rainfall than plants that never receive rainwater.
Just some thoughts...
 
Your local water company can provide you a very detailed analysis of what they are providing. Tampa Bay Water sends me an excruciating detailed analysis once per year with my water bill. What happens after it gets in the soil is another question. Container growers of plants, legal and illegal, can argue for hours about water quality and how it affects their plants. Most of us are stuck with whatever comes out of the tap, comes out of a local well, or what falls out of the sky. What we can more easily control is how much we put on the plants and the soil conditions the plants are living in.
Rainwater also washes off spider mites and plain old dirt that accumulates on leaves which is why planting crotons under the eaves of a house is not a good idea.

Lots of variables go into growing healthy plants - water quality and quantity being only two of them.

..and FWIW, I think we've all had crotons that sit there and do nothing for a year or more under identical conditions for those that are thriving.
Onward through the fog.....
 
That is a good suggestion about the river rock and stone effecting the ph below.

Also, some croton grow slower than others. It looks like yours is in shade. So, expect slow growth!

I'd suggest pulling up the river rock and using an organic mulch. Pretty croton, thanks for the photos.
 
I don't think the river rock will affect the pH, but concrete definitely can, though the stepping stones in the picture look kind of old which would diminish the effect on pH.
It's very common for soil near a concrete foundation to have an elevated pH that can actually kill acid loving plants, though it is usually a slow death.
The newer the foundation is, the worse the problem is....

I still think it would be interesting to take a plant like the one at the beginning of this thread and water it with vinegar water for a season to see if the growth rate changes...
I think a tsp of vinegar per gallon of water drops the pH about 4 points, but I would need to verify that.
I plan on installing an injector on my water hose at the house to drop the pH from 7-8 down to 5-6 for watering my plants.
 
Michael - welcome to the forum. Use cow manure amendments to your soil and mulch heavily. Oak leaves help acidify the soil as well.

By the way, in my opinion your croton looks like a Wilma to me. :rolleyes:
 
Barbara Bush, Wilma, Bob Bullock?? Wow Crotons really are something,
I will hold of naming this one until more certainty is forthcoming.I think that I will call it

BushWilBulll
 
I'm going to extream length to get this hopefully worked out at the Croton meeting coming up on December 11th. I have both plants in question, but in looks, are totally different.

First, according to Dr Brown's first croton book, on page 114 he describes Col. Bob Bullock as: Semi-oak leaf type. Character leaves a beautiful pastel pink fading to pinkish-red. This sounds just like what we call Wilma over on the east coast. I'm wondering if this was re-named Wilma from Dave M. and who gave me my first cutting.

My Col. Bob Bullock was described by Bob Alonzo and the plant came out of the Edison Estate several years ago(from Bob) and like I said, it looks completely different and is very beautiful, a plant anyone would love to add to their collection. I will be bringing one of these plants over for everyone to have a look at, and finally get a correct name worked out.
 
I'm going to extream length to get this hopefully worked out at the Croton meeting coming up on December 11th. I have both plants in question, but in looks, are totally different.

First, according to Dr Brown's first croton book, on page 114 he describes Col. Bob Bullock as: Semi-oak leaf type. Character leaves a beautiful pastel pink fading to pinkish-red. This sounds just like what we call Wilma over on the east coast. I'm wondering if this was re-named Wilma from Dave M. and who gave me my first cutting.

Jeff,
David M. was calling and selling Wilma as Nancy Reagan just a few years ago.
Marie
 
Just accidently stumbled upon this old thread. Geez Bull, my have things changed in 5 yrs huh? You're quite the sponge & a major asset for spreading the croton love now. Kudos!
 
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