One of the best and charming houseplants because it appears in a variety of colors, leaf shapes, and sizes. Learn how to care for your Croton plant.
The Croton plant, also called “garden croton,” is popular for its exotic appearance because of its bold and bright foliage. Similar to the Fiddle Leaf Fig, it also has a reputation for being fussy and high maintenance, but in reality, this tropical plant is easy-to-grow and hard-to-kill, if you know how to care for your Croton plant.
Fun Fact: The seeds from the Croton plant are used to make medicine for emptying and cleansing the stomach and intestines and treating blocked intestines, colic, gallbladder problems, and malaria. However, experts believe that Croton seeds are unsafe, especially for women who are pregnant.
There are only a few houseplants that are as striking or vivid as the Croton plant. Native to Australia and Southeast Asia, this vibrant houseplant is an attention stealer because of its broad and glossy green leaves splashed with black, cream, orange, pink, purple, red, or yellow. However, to maintain its colorful leaves, you should choose the right location for your Croton plant where it will receive the right type of sunlight.
As we have mentioned that the Croton plant has a reputation for being fussy and high maintenance, and that’s because they tend to make a bad first impression, especially for new owners of this plant. We have heard stories that the Croton plant has lost some of its foliage in its new home. Don’t be shocked if this happens because it’s normal Croton behavior.
Similar to the Fiddle Leaf Fig, it doesn’t like to be moved because it causes shock and stress, which results in leaf loss. However, once your Croton plant has adjusted, and you have provided proper care, it will flourish and prove to be a resilient houseplant.
|Botanical Name||Croton tiglium|
|Common Name||Variegated Laurel|
|Plant Size||The Croton plant usually grows between 3 and 8 feet tall and 3 to 6 feet wide.|
|Types of Croton Plants||Codiaeum Variegatum ‘Gold Dust’
Codiaeum Variegatum ‘Magnicent’
Codiaeum Variegatum ‘Mammy’
Codiaeum Variegatum ‘Mother and Daughter’
Codiaeum Variegatum ‘Petra’
Codiaeum Variegatum ‘Red Iceton’
Codiaeum Variegatum ‘Zanzibar’
|Sunlight||Croton plant requires six to eight hours of direct sunlight every day to maintain and produce its gorgeous foliage.|
|Water||Watering a Croton plant depends on the situation. It can be daily or weekly because you should never let the soil stay dry for an extended period. However, check if the soil is dry before watering to avoid overwatering and root rot. Keep your Croton plant evenly moist in the summer.|
|Humidity||The ideal humidity range for your Croton plant is between 40% to 80%.|
|Temperature||Your Croton plant loves warm weather, and it prefers room temperature, between 60°F to 70°F.|
|Toxicity||Croton plants are poisonous to humans and pets.|
|Food||Feed your Croton plant with a low-nitrogen, slow-release, granular fertilizer once during spring and summer.|
|Pests and Problems||Croton plants are prone to common pests, such as mealybugs, scale, spider mites, and thrips. To eliminate these pests, clean your Croton plant with a cotton ball soaked in rubbing alcohol.|
|Omysa Plant Care Tip||Avoid moving your Croton plant as much as possible to prevent shock and falling leaves.|
CREDIT: KARA RILEY / THE SPRUCE
Croton Plant Care Tips
Aside from the falling leaves problem, Croton leaves are dust magnets, as well. Just remember to gently wipe the leaves with a moist cloth twice a month to keep the leaves clean and dust-free. Here’s a complete explanation of how to care for your Croton plant, from sunlight requirement to common problems and its solutions.
First, on our list on how to care for your Croton plant is to put it in a sunny location where it can get direct sunlight or full sun of at least six to eight hours each day to attain full, vibrant color. However, different Croton species can tolerate partial shade.
Common Problem: If the leaves of your Croton plant are losing its color, this could mean that it’s not receiving the right amount of sunlight. However, if the leaves are turning brown, this could mean that it’s getting too much sun.
Solution: Your Croton plant prefers direct sunlight or full sun, but exposing your Croton plant for too long can cause scorched brown spots or sunburn. Color loss of Croton is common in low light conditions. Since it’s a tropical plant, they do best under bright indoor light or full sun.
Next on our list on how to care for your Croton plant is to water it when the soil is dry. This depends on the situation and the amount of light your Croton plant is receiving. It can be daily or weekly. Keep in mind that you should never let the soil stay dry for an extended period. Keep your Croton plant evenly moist in the summer, but do not overwater it as it can cause root rot, which is fatal to plants.
Common Problem: If the leaves of your Croton plant starts to wilt, this could mean that your plant needs more water.
Solution: One way to check if your Croton plant needs water is to check its foliage. The leaves of this plant will begin to wilt when thirsty. Be sure not to overwater your Croton plant because root rot is difficult to fix, and it can kill your plant.
Humidity & Temperature
Adding to our list on how to care for your Croton is to put it in a room with high humidity or 40% to 80% humidity levels, such as your bathroom. Croton is a humidity-loving plant, so it’s best if you can mist it often, place it near a humidifier, or use a pebble tray.
Your Croton plant prefers room temperature, between 60°F to 70°F. Never allow the temperature to go below 60°F as it can cause the plant to lose its leaves, and it may even die.
All parts of the Croton plant are poisonous, especially the seeds.
Another on our list on how to care for your Croton plant is to feed it with a low-nitrogen, slow-release, granular fertilizer once in spring and summer. Do not feed in the fall or winter.
Remember to follow the recommended amount of fertilizer and schedule to avoid fertilizer burn or plant burn.
Pests & Other Problems
Croton plant is prone to common pests, such as mealybugs, scale, spider mites, and thrips. To prevent these pests, clean your Croton plant regularly with neem oil and water. You can eliminate mealybugs with a cotton ball dipped in rubbing alcohol.
That’s a wrap on how to care for your Croton plant. Another tip to avoid leaf loss, repot them only when necessary or when its roots are growing out of the bottom of the pot. Always remember that different types of Croton plants require different plant care. Check the tag and do your research.
Grow your plant knowledge. Check out our Plant Care blog to learn more about different houseplants and tips on how to keep your plants alive and healthy.