Maintaining a good temperature is a major challenge when planting crotons indoors, because if it's too cold, they will start to lose leaves. However, crotons are worth the effort for their color saturation. Croton can be planted at any time of the year depending on temperatures that remain constant from 70 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit indoors, outdoors or in a glass garden. Crotons are toxic to humans and animals.
Garden Croton Care
A well-grown croton keeps its leaves at ground level - and its trick is to provide constant warmth. Even in the outdoor environment, croton leaves fall off after a cold night. The vivid colors of the leaves depend on the quality of the light; they need a lot of bright, changeable sunlight.
Low humidity in the house makes crotons more susceptible to mites. Wash the plants every day to prevent infection. Crotons can be taken out if the temperature remains above 50 F, as long as they are well adapted to the light and temperature conditions.
These plants respond well to trimming, so if your croton plant becomes leggy, prune it back hard at the beginning of the growing season. Remove unhealthy leaves and branches or if you want to maintain a specific shape. Trim just above a node or leaf set. Try not to remove more than 1/3 of the stem at one time. The plant will regrow from the cut portion. If pruning an indoor plant, move it outside once it's been hardened off or gradually introduced to outdoor conditions for a week.
How to propagate croton plant
You can propagate croton plants at any time of the year; the co-dependent factor is temperature. In tropical areas, where the temperature remains constant at 70 to 80 F, you can grow croton plants outdoors every year. You can also lay out the interior indoors or in the greenhouse if you can keep the temperatures. Crotons do not grow well from seed because the plant is not strong and the offspring do not grow as a parent. Crotons are easily propagated by stinging the stem. The stems stimulate new growth and control the size of the plants. Use rooting hormone on your ducks cut on the stem to increase your chances of rooting success.
Crotons can sometimes produce "sports" or shoots that are completely different from the older plant. These branches can be grown independently and only the cuttings will multiply on a plant that is the same as the parent. Here's how to multiply your croton by dividing:
- You will need sterile pruners, well-drained commercial soil (sand, peat, and a mixture of vermiculite), a growing pot, and rooting hormone (optional). You do not need a pot if you plant directly in the ground in tropical environments.
- Using sharp, clean pruning shears, cut a 4- to 6-inch stem with the circumference of a pencil at a 45-degree angle right above a leaf node. The cutting should have at least three leaves.
- Optional: For a higher rate of rooting success, dip the cutting in rooting hormone at the cut point.
- Plant the cutting in moistened soil about 1 to 1.5 inches deep. Place the plant in a warm and sunny place away from cold drafts. Keep the soil moist but not wet. You can place the pot in a transparent plastic bag and create a cash register to increase the rooting success. After a week, remove the plastic bag.
- The roots should grow within four weeks. When you notice new growth, the plant is already rooted. You can also try rooting by giving the cut a subtle hint. When it's hard, it's ingrained. Once the plant takes root, it is ready to be planted in a larger pot or in the surroundings.
Watering and transplanting Croton Plant
Every spring or early summer, transplant a young croton for the first three growing seasons. Then repeat only if you notice that the roots are growing from the canal openings or you see the roots growing at ground level. Get a container with lots of drain holes. It should be only one size larger than the inner core of the plant. Place one to two inches of moist peat-based soil on the bottom of the new container. Remove the plant from its old pot by turning the croton on its side and slowly sliding it out of the pot. Put it in the middle of a new pot. Fill the ground around the roots. Water the plant and add more soil as needed to bring the soil level about an inch below the edge of the new container.