Trying to save Grandma


Esteemed Member
This is a very old Kentucky. I talked to the son of the guy who planted it. His Dad passed away in 1961. I surmise that this croton must of been planted in the 1950's. The home was built in 1947. It was in a bad need of fertilizer and had a croton scale investation. :(

I gave it a granular fertilizer and hit it with some water soluble fertilizer in the last month. It was also sprayed with Cygon and then Merit applied around the root zone. The son is selling the old homestead and gave me permission to put on some airlayers. I want to keep Grandma's genetic lineage going. :)

Let me see if the new owners will let me move it to the Moose Land. It will need to be trimmed back to transplant and limit the ensuing transpiration. Hopefully the airlayers will take and new leaves will bud on those airlayer stems.


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Here is a shot of my #10 size shoe for scale. Look at the caliber of that trunk growing right next to the wall. :eek: Here is one of the 5 air layers I put on this croton, attempting to preserve Grandma’s genetic material. :)


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Ray - this plant has been out of color and in poor shape for years. My assumption was that it was a Kentucky. Yesterday, I went back and forth to my Kentucky and I have strong doubts now. There is not alot of orange found. Ann Rutherfordish ?, I can not dispute that possibility. The air layers got potted up this morning and a bunch of new ones were put on in case this turns out to be a special croton. :)
Grandma's got a new look. Air layers removed, new air layers added. Most of the stems that had air layers removed were budding new leaves. I added a 29-0-04 time released fertilizer around the root zone to encourage the new leaves getting established. Later, when the rest of these air layers are removed, Grandma will need some leaves for the winter.

Interestingly, this plant was growing here back on the day it snowed in Miami. :eek:


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This Grandma is coming in a three gallon container. I figured we had to get one on the west coast so Bob Alonzo could help with an ID. Now let the Ray & Bren bidding dual begin. LOL :D


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Ray - That would be nice. Or a L.M. Rutherford? Maybe a Col. Lindberg? :confused: I honestly don't know as I see so many differently hued leaves and stirations on the mother plant. Coupled with my very limited experience with these cultivars, I am just hoping that it is an unusual old variety.

Hopefully time will tell. :)

I really think it's Ann Rutherford.
Ron, you know how it goes with new vehicles. I am banished from hauling any plant matter or soil in it. It's the 'good car for guests'. I hauled in betty ford today. My old work horse.
Update: "Grandma" sure is shrinking with age. :rolleyes: She only has one air layer left on her. :eek: I hope her "grandchildren" do survive the predicted 96F temperatures forecast for the next three days. :confused: They are hidden in some deep shade. As soon as the last air layer is harvested, its off to the nursing home for her. :rolleyes:
"Grandma got run over by a Reindeer" ... :eek:


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It is difficult to see in the previous post photo (even when enlarged), there are tire tracks there. Grandma was planted next to the foundation of the wall. She was leaning out from the house seeking light. The new owner has workers driving their trucks to the back yard. I am certain that Grandma would have been destroyed. Grandma was removed and transplanted to the Moose Land. The soil was very sandy around her roots and fell away freely. Essentially, she was a bare root transplant.

The first two pictures are the first ones I ever took of Grandma. The last two are the most recent photos of Grandma post transplanting. I hope the mother plant makes it through the winter months. She has been air layered and distributed to several collectors in widely distributed gardens to preserve her DNA. :)


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There's lots of red veining on the oldest leaves and no orange that I can see. Zoom in on some of the oldest leaves and you'll see features just like the ones in the link above. Besides the photo above, noone here is really sure what Ann Rutherford looks like.

Jeff, the photo you posted last year looked like a Kentucky. Maybe we should both see the eye doctor :p.
By the way - there was a large "Grandma" at the silent auction with some mature leaves. No orange on the mature leaves. Interestingly, this large air layered plant sat lonely with a starting bid of $12.00. Eventually someone with a good eye got it for the minium bid. :eek:

I guess there was too much other croton bling all over the place. I thought the silent auction was an excellent idea. If and when a Society gets re-established, I would like to see the silent auction continue as a 50/50 format that Jeff mentioned. 50% to the donor and 50% to the Society. Just my opinion. :p
Bullwinkle visited a little awhile back. During our saunter, his attention was drawn to Grandma. He said he thinks he will have to join the Ray Camp as this being a true Ann Rutherford. :D

Here is an updated shot of Grandma Rutherford taken this afternoon. :rolleyes:


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Grandma has flourished and has become a mini-tree. With all this humidity lately, its nice to set up my lawn chair under the cooling shade of Grandma surveying the rear portion of the Moose Land. :eek: Here are some under the Grandma photos. :cool:


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Grandma has flourished and has become a mini-tree. With all this humidity lately, its nice to set up my lawn chair under the cooling shade of Grandma surveying the rear portion of the Moose Land. :eek: Here are some under the Grandma photos. :cool:

Just add sphagnum and foil to reduce the canopy before FPL has to trim it out of the power lines