Cool weather versus benefits of outdoors??


Active Member
Dear Croton Lovers,

I have a question for you. As some of you may know, I am up north in Delaware with a decent-sized (potted) croton colllection. My goal is to keep them outside in the natural sunlight, humidity, and fresh air as late as possible. We are forcasted to get a low of 45'F one night later this week.

Given that my crotons have been outside all summer and have become accustomed to cool nights gradually, do I need to worry about a 45'F low? I of course know they will be damaged by frost and I know frost damage can occur even above 32'F, but I was wondering if I needed to worry about mid-40s for cold damage? They have already endured close to that - probably high 40s with no ill effects. What do you think is the "cut-off" point temperature-wise where I should not risk them outdoors? 40'F?

While your Crotons are somewhat acclimated to your environment, they are nonetheless, a sub-tropical/tropical plant. At 45 degrees you are going to get significant leaf drop. I would bring them indoors at 50 degrees nighttime temperature.
45F does nothing to crotons here. 35F is altogether a different story and can be a problem to some (not all) cultivars. Ron I would water them that evening before the sun goes down to hydrate them for the cool night.
I do not bring anything in except for a few special varieties and that is if we are expecting 35F or below for a night. Water them well ahead of time. A cool/cold wind with very low humidity can be as damaging as the cold event. If those plants were mine and were well-aclimated to your summer/autumn climate, I would not sweat 45F.
Both Ray and I are on the FL west coast where it is a bit cooler year round than the south east.
My crotons seem to have survived mid-40 lows OK so far - but I plan to bring them in this weekend. Just a couple more cool nights!!!

It's a big process, to bring my jungle indoors....