Many Croton varieties have been lost to the trade for several reasons;many more have become rare, and others just harder to find because they are not as widely grown. Coincidentally, many desirable cultivars sought by croton lovers today are large leafed varieties, which are not commonly found on the market. Cultivars with the largest leaves can be slow growing and poorly branching. Unfortunately they are not good candidates for tissue culturing in its present incarnation. Propagation is by tip cuttings or air layering.
Most wholesale nurseries work on volume and low production costs because our mass merchandising system demands largevolume at low cost for sales through large mass merchandisers. Large scale croton propagation—when both time and space are at a premium—relies predominantly on mist house rooted tip cuttings, which cannot afford the additional space or time required to cultivate larger leafed croton varieties. As far as most commercial nurseries are concerned, 10 Mammie or Gold Dust can be produced by tip cuttings in the same space it takes to grow one Thomas Edison or Jungle Queen.
While air-layeringis too slow and tedious for most commercial nurseries, old-time and rare crotons are largely dependent on the dedication of devoted croton lovers for their propagation.
We owe a debt of gratitude to all those who, long before we, discovered and extolled the beauty of the Codiaeum. In particular we would like to acknowledge Dr. B. Frank Brown, Dypsisdean, Jeff Searle, Jesse Durko, Steve & Marie Nock, Jim & Judy Glock, and countless others continue to dedicate themselves to its preservation, conservation and education, and whose passion can be encountered frequently at palmpedia.net/forum/forums/the-croton-society.
Air-layering is a reliable process for propagating crotons, and one which ardent croton lovers soon come to appreciate. It’s also a handy technique to know as it can be practiced on all woody shrubs, from hibiscus to roses.
Some of the varieties that we have in limited supply include:
Mrs. Snyder’s Disraeli
Sturrock’s Pink Veitchii
William J. Bryan
Call or email for availability, pricing and other varieties.