The Ultimate Guide to Croton Plant Care


This is how to properly care for your Crotons so that they thrive!

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Croton plants are easy to take care of and can be a nice tropical indoor plant that will survive for years with the right care!

I was at the nursery the other day and I saw a section that was entirely Crotons! They are seemingly becoming more and more popular for us houseplant people! There are some people who hate them because they have had bad luck keeping them alive, but I promise you – you can do it! With the right care, they can grow up to 8 feet tall! This blog post is going to show you how to properly care for your crotons so that they thrive. I’ll discuss croton potting soil ingredients, light requirements, watering needs, pruning tips, and more in this article. Want your own Croton? You can buy beautiful Crotons HERE.

What Is a Croton Houseplant?

Codiaeum variegatum pictum, common name Croton, also known as Joseph’s Coat, is an exotic plant that comes from the tropical forests of Oceania and Southeast Asia. It stands out because of its bright and bold foliage. Its tropical nature makes it seem like a high-maintenance plant, but it is easy to grow. It grows up to approximately three to eight feet tall and three to six feet wide. Crotons make wonderful houseplants, but they can live happily outdoors in USDA hardiness zones 9-11.

The Croton is scientifically called Codiaeum variegatum and is characterized by its bright purple, cream, black, red, orange, and yellow color. Croton variations include the corkscrew, stoplight, red bravo, gold dust croton, Zanzibar, red iceton, Petra, mammy, magnificent, and sloppy painter. They all require different and specialized croton plant care.

The croton plant is usually compared to the Fiddle Leaf Fig because of its high maintenance reputation. Most first-time owners complain that the croton plant has lost some of its foliage after the first few weeks, which is quite normal, so you do not need to be afraid if this happens. Simply remove the dead leaves and with proper care and a little TLC, your Croton will grow new colorful leaves.

Tips For Caring for A Croton

1. Soil composition: The croton plant flourishes in rich soil that contains peat moss and organic compost. Since it does not respond well to sitting in damp soil or a pool of water, the soil and pot should drain water well.

2. Croton food: The soil composition of its pot should contain slow-release granular fertilizer and low nitrogen. Feed it once every spring and summer, meaning that you should not feed it in winter. Follow the schedule and fertilizer amount recommended because overfeeding the Croton can lead to fertilizer burn.

3. Sunlight: Your exotic plant requires about six to eight hours of direct sunlight every day to help it maintain its foliage and bright color. Therefore, make sure it is potted in an area that has access to direct bright light. Some croton variations can withstand staying in the shade for short periods.

If the croton leaves are losing their vibrant color, then this could mean that the plant is getting limited access to direct sunlight. On the other hand, make sure the plant is not exposed to the sun’s full glare for too long, as this can cause brown patches on its leaves.

  • Watering requirements: It is important not to over or under-water your crotons because this will kill them. Never allow your croton plant to stay in dry soil for an extended period. Water it weekly or daily after checking whether the soil is dry. Take extra care in the summer when the temperature is high by ensuring that the soil is moist evenly. Summer and Spring are also peak growing seasons so your Croton will need more water than in the Fall and Winter months. Look out for wilting leaves. As with most plants, over-watering can cause root rot. The best way to know how much water you should be giving your croton is by looking at the soil in its pot – if there’s no moisture left on top then it needs more! You’ll also want to monitor their leaves for signs of dehydration like browning edges or wilting leaves, which means they need a drink ASAP.
  • Humidity and Temperature requirements: A croton houseplant flourishes in the humidity range of between 40% to 80%. It is similar to the humidity that is present in a bathroom. To maintain this humidity, you can position it close to a humidifier or mist it often. Its ideal growing temperature is approximately between 60 and 70 degrees Fahrenheit. As with all houseplants be sure to keep them away from cold drafts from windows/doors/ac units and strong dry air from a heater.
  • Potting: Since the croton experiences stress and shock when moved, it is often not reported. It will prevent its leaves from wilting and falling off. It is advised that the Croton is only repotted when its roots have overgrown the pot or when extremely necessary. Using a pot with drainage holes will help prevent root rot because the soil will be able to drain any excess water.
  • Prune: They are pruned to shape or remove the unhealthy parts of the plant that are affected by pests and unfavorable conditions. When pruning, cut off up to a third of the stem, not more. TIP: The Croton home plant experiences stress and shock when moving, making it lose its leaves and foliage.
  • Pests: This brightly colored plant is prone to pest infestation such as thrips, spider mites, scale, and mealybugs. To avoid some severe infestation, you can clean your plant regularly to keep away the pests with the aid of a cotton ball and alcohol. Clean the Croton gently with the aid of a cotton ball that has been soaked in alcohol. Alternatively, you can clean it using neem oil and water.
  • Toxicity: This plant is highly toxic, especially its seeds, for both pets and humans. Therefore, make sure it is potted in an area that is inaccessible to pets and children.
  • Want your own Croton? You can buy beautiful Crotons HERE.

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Join the Conversation

  1. thank’s I learned a lot about this beautiful croton . I would like to know please and thank’s ,the toxin, is it recommended in the house for some one with asthma, thank’s
    have a wonderful day ?

    1. Ren Lenhof Author says:

      Hi! Great question! I think the Croton would be a great choice for you! In general, houseplants that use insects to pollinate and reproduce are a better idea than plants that spread airborne pollen. For example, I wouldn’t recommend a peace lily or any flowering plants. I would stick with Crotons, Snake plants, Spider plants, Ivy, Rubber plants, and Aloe.

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