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Gardening in the Rainy Zone.
Sizzling Hot Pot of Crotons, Daisies and Strawflowers
by Debbie Teashon
Not only is this pot hot with sizzling colors, the names are pretty wild too. I haven’t grown a croton since I lived in Hawaii where my carport had a wall made up of a hedge of these shrubs. I loved the variety of foliage colors. Each leaf seems to independently decide on its own to be yellow, red or green, or if the veining would be yellow or red. That’s a lot of variation in one plant, even when small!
Eventually the croton will take over the pot. While the shrub is small, I’ve tucked in two companion plants to make this container shout at anyone who catches a glimpse of it. The African daisy, Osteospermum Astra™ Orange Sunrise has beautiful variations in the bloom from a pinkish mauve to pastel orange; it is quite stunning.
I selected a strawflower from Stuttgart, Germany, for its clear yellow blossoms. However, its name, Xerochrysum ‘Klebb08392’, makes you want to respond with a furrowed brow—it's horrid. Did a robot name it along with its parents’ ‘W 156’ and ‘W 007'? They sound more like inmates from the nearest Floral Penitentiary. Even though I loathe trademarked names—preferring the botanical names to help avoid confusion—in this case I will make an exception. Thankfully, the plant marketers swooped in and gave it a much nicer title to remember it by—Xerochrysum Mohave™ Yellow.