What is croton plant?
Croton, also called “garden croton,” are native to the tropical forests of southeast Asia and Oceania. In the wild, they grow as large shrubs, reaching up to 10 feet tall (in the home or garden, they stay a lot smaller).
The croton plant, or Codiaeum variegatum, is a perennial evergreen shrub native to India and Malaysia. The name "croton" comes from the Greek word for tick, because the seed of croton resembles a tick in its shape. This tropical plant has strong, leathery leaves of various colors, shapes and sizes. As it ages, the color of the plant may darken to almost black.
- When choosing a container for your croton, keep in mind that the plant will grow upright, which eventually may cause it to become top heavy. Pick a container that won’t easily tip over when the croton gets larger. Or, plan to pot up to larger pots over time.
- Use a well-draining potting mix. Croton plant like to be kept moist, but not wet. In areas with hot and humid summers, Croton can be grown outdoors as a unique and colorful landscape plant. They work well with tropical-themed vessels or earthy years. When the night temperature drops to 50 ° F (10 ° C), the croton must be moved inside.
How to Care for Croton
- Place croton in a sunny location such as an eastern, southern, or western window. If a croton is getting too little light, its newer leaves will be less colorful.
- Keep the soil evenly moist, but let it dry out between waterings.
- If humidity is low in your home, mist around the leaves with water once a week or keep a tray of wet gravel near the plant.
- Croton leaves are dust magnets. Wipe the leaves thoroughly twice a month with a damp cloth to keep them clean and free of dust.
- Fertilize the plant in spring and summer while the plant is actively growing. Avoid too poor or complete fertilization in autumn and winter.
- New croton plants can start with 4- to 6-inch stems. Remove the bottom leaves and place the piece in a glass of water. After creating the roots, plant in a small pot.
- Transplant the plant in the spring if it is too large for your current pot.
- 'Petra' is a popular cultivar. It has green leaves with red, orange and yellow roots.
- The "golden star" has green leaves sprinkled with bright golden "stars".
- 'Eleanor Roosevelt' has leathery leaves that vary in color from burgundy to lime green. The leaves are mottled with a bright yellow color, as if sprayed.
- 'Oakleaf' has dark green oak or bronze leaves with yellow, orange and red roots.