Two summers ago I had to do something drastic... I had to cut back my precious 20 year old croton. It had been given to me by a dear friend, now gone for many years. The croton was a reminder of her and the wonderful summers we spent in the Caribbean together, especially at Montserrat, now also partially gone, buried under tons and tons of volcanic ash. The croton was well over 8 feet tall and could not be brought back into the house - it just would not fit. I considered building another room on for it, but it would soon out grow that, so I took the cheaper route, I took a knife to it. I cut off the top 4 feet of the plant. Oh, I swear it hurt me as much or maybe more than the croton! I put the top in an orange juice bottle in water and watched as it dropped another leaf each week until there were only 3 leaves left. Then the miracle happened, the 3 remaining leaves stood back up and in a week there were roots and baby leaves coming from the dead looking old stem. Then, the other day, I noticed something strange on top of the new (and by now potted) plant. Since none of my friends have ever seen a croton bloom, I will take up a bit of cyberspace to show the flowers on the baby croton and the mama plant, now back up to 7 feet tall in less than 2 years.