Also known as variegated Laurel, Crotons come from the South Pacific Islands. The habit of growth varies with the type of plant. Dwarf croton varieties are bushy and compact. The tree-like varieties are tall and have a good spread. Crotons are usually maintained at two to three feet, but if given the opportunity, they can grow into large trees.
There are many varieties of different-shaped leaves with colors ranging from nearly all black to red, green, orange, pink, cream, and any combination. Unusually twisted and sectioned leaves have ornamental qualities.
Light & Crotons
Different varieties have differing light requirements. Some crotons thrive in full sun, while others do best in semi-shade to full shade. In general, the more sunlight the foliage receives, the brighter the colors will be. The light requirement indoors is usually about six to eight hours of light. Plants placed in east or west windows do best but shouldn’t be exposed to direct sunlight coming through the glass. Crotons respond well to artificial light from grow-lights.
Keep crotons lightly moist at all times. Never let your Croton dry out completely, which causes foliage to drop. Mist the foliage at least two to three times per week. Do not overwater or allow the plant to sit in water.
Temperature Range for Crotons
Crotons require warm, moist conditions with a minimum winter temperature of 60 degrees. Changes in climatic conditions should occur gradually to avoid defoliation.
Good drainage is necessary. Use quality potting soil, like premium potting soil.
Fertilize frequently and lightly with balanced soluble food for houseplants, trees, and shrubs.
Scales, thrips, mealy bugs, and spider mites are some of the more common pests. We advise preventative treatment. Spray at least once a month. Always use a spreader sticker with the insecticide. If you detect spider mites, make three applications of a recommended miticide at five-day intervals. The timing of spraying is crucial for killing the egg hatch.
Crotons are popular plants for adding bright colors to indoor gardens and patios. They make excellent specimen plants in a window that does not receive direct sunlight.