Q.Lovely Old Croton, Springing Back to Life from Tuberous Roots?
Bit of a long story, but I need to share some background. I’ve had a lovely croton plant, inherited from my grandmother, for over 20+ years. It’s been an uneasy relationship, trying to balance what it wants & needs with the level of care I was able to provide for it. We’ve been through many, many fits of dropped leaves from cold, lack of water, too much water, not enough sun, pouting because of simply moving the pot somewhere else–all of the normal croton self-centered behavior.
Sadly, six months ago, it just suddenly dropped all of its leaves. All at once. Oh, well! I tossed the main branch out and put the pot on a shelf somewhere and sulked a bit. However, after deciding to use the pot again, I was about to toss soil, but found 2 or 3 tubers leftover that had tiny projections like potato eyes. I thought I’d give them a try, and sure enough, after soaking them and keeping them moist for a few days they’ve begun to sprout.
Now, finally to my question: Is there special care for these “tubers”? I’ve never heard of planting croton this way, and can’t seem to find any other info about rooting them–it’d be nice to give them a headstart in life and plant them the right-way up, for instance. Thanks for reading, and any advice given.
Crotons are not the type of plant that produces tubers. I think it's more likely that you've found root galls, which croton do suffer from, and which could have been the cause of all the leaf drop. These can be fungal or bacterial in origin. The green sprouts would probably be an example of the extreme determination of some plants to live no matter what. You can put them in soil, green sprout up, and see if they will grow.
In the future, when a plant inexplicably drops large numbers of leaves, you might want to pull it up and inspect the roots. While there is rarely a treatment for things like galls, you would have better understanding. Also, croton as well as many other plants)roots readily from cuttings, so you can often save a plant even when the roots are fatally infected. Here are a couple of articles for reference: https://www.gardeningknowhow.com/houseplants/croton/care-croton-plants.htm