How to Grow and Care For Crotons

Crotons are one of the most exciting foliage plants to grow indoors. The leaves bear colorful variegations, and they come in different forms. They are great indoor plants as they can tolerate low light and a slight degree of neglect. 

Croton plants may require a high level of maintenance when tender, but once they acclimatize to your environment, they’re relatively low-care. Find out how to grow crotons at home.

Crotons Varieties

There are different species of croton plants that you can grow at home. Here are the best for you:

Codiaeum Variegatum ‘Gold Dust’

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Most people choose to grow this croton species because it is easy to grow. It has yellow-golden leaves with bright orange veining running through them. “Gold Dust” can grow to about 4 feet in height. It needs plenty of light and well-drained soil. The plant likes medium watering – water only when the top 1 inch of soil is dry.

Codiaeum Variegatum ‘Petra’

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It’s known for its stunning rainbow-hued foliage. The leaves are oblong with an irregular edge, and they come in yellow, green, orange, and bronze colors. This variety can thrive in both indoor and outdoor environments. However, growing them indoors results in shorter plants.

Codiaeum Variegatum ‘Zanzibar’

Image source: Pinterest

This variety is a good indoor choice because it can tolerate darker spaces and brighter ones. Plus, the foliage comes in purple, red, green, orange, and yellow shades that you’ll love seeing every day!. This plant grows to about 3-6 feet tall, so make sure you have enough space for it. When growing it indoors, place it near a windowsill.

Codiaeum Variegatum ‘Mammy’

Image source: Pinterest

The Mammy croton is another great variety. It has a mix of colors from the Zanzibar variety and an extra splash of bright purple. Unlike the Zanzibar croton with narrow leaves, this species has large, thick, and shiny leaves. It is the perfect decorative shrub for both indoor and outdoor settings.

Codiaeum Variegatum ‘Magnificent’

Image source: Pinterest

This variety has leaves whose shape resembles the ‘Gold Dust’ type. The leaves are large, wide, and come in shades of orange, pink, yellow, deep purple, and burgundy. They love sunny and moist conditions. This plant grows with an average height of about 3-4 feet in most cases. But it can extend to 7 feet when grown outdoors. 

Crotons Care & Maintenance

Crotons are easy to care for once new plants adapt to your environment. Some of the easy caring tips include:

  • Place them in sunny locations to attract their beautiful colors
  • Maintain moist soil but allow it to dry before watering.
  • Maintain a humid environment when growing them indoors.
  • For mature plants,  prune them at the start of the growing season.

Propagating Crotons

The beauty of croton plants is that you can propagate them any time of the year. And the best way to propagate crotons is by using stem cuttings measuring 3-4 inches in length with 3-5 leaves. Before planting them in a small pot, you can quicken the rooting by dipping the cuttings into a rooting hormone. Growing crotons from seed is not recommendable as they don’t develop well.

Crotons Growth Conditions

It is easier to grow crotons as long as you meet the growing conditions:

Light

To achieve vibrant colors on the leaves, crotons need bright environments. However, some varieties like “Magnificient croton” will thrive in light and shade conditions.

Water

Crotons appreciate moist but not wet soil conditions, especially during summer. During winter, only water when the soil feels dry. Wilting of young foliage is a sign that the plant is thirsty.

Temperature and Humidity

Crotons love temperatures that are above 60 degrees Fahrenheit. Avoid exposing them to cold drafts. They appreciate humid environments, but it should be in the range of 40 to 80%.

Pests and Diseases

Croton plants are attractive to mealybugs, scales, spider mites, and thrips. If neglected, the plants may experience poor health, and the plants may eventually die. Get recommended pesticides to control the pests.

Croton plants are susceptible to Crown gall and Anthracnose. Bacterial and fungal infections, respectively, cause the two. Destroy the plants with severe bacterial infections and apply copper-based garden fungicide to curb the fungal infection.

Conclusion

Crotons are beautiful plants and come in different varieties with distinct characteristics. Which is your favorite? Subscribe to our blog for more gardening tips. 

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