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One of the charms of the croton plant is that it is available in a variety of colors, sizes, and leaf shapes. Common colors include shades of greens, yellows, reds, oranges, creams, blacks, and purples. Leaf shapes vary from long and narrow, curvy or curled, and even wide and flat. They make excellent potted plants and can grow between 3 to 10 feet tall if properly cared for outside.
Although all croton plants have similar growing characteristics, the exact methods will vary slightly based on the exact type of croton you grow and whether you choose to keep it in the house or grow it outside. Croton plants grow well in USDA hardiness zones 10 through 12.
Consult the plant’s identifying tag to determine how much light your particular variety will require. Generally speaking, plants with brighter colors or those that are highly variegated tend to require more light exposure. If keeping your croton indoors, make sure to place it near a sunny window, or the plant may turn to a traditional green color.
Crotons are naturally found in tropical environments and require high humidity levels. They don’t need overly wet soil though. Monitor water levels, watering only when the top of the soil is dry to the touch.
Keep crotons away from cold drafts. If the plant is exposed to temperatures lower than 60 degrees Fahrenheit it may result in leaf loss or death of the plant.
Crotons tend to be “shocked” easily when moved from one location to another. The shock in temperature or light may result in a loss of leaves. Don’t worry though, as this is a normal behavior of crotons. Maintain regular care of the plant, monitoring water, humidity, and light levels.
Keep humidity levels high by misting the plant with a water bottle or by placing the pot on a pebble tray with water.
Question: How much sun do Crotons need?
Answer: Generally speaking, Croton plants need between 6 to 8 hours of bright sunlight a day. If your plant is starting to look on the dull or dark side it may need even more direct light. Keep indoor plants near a sunny east or west-facing window for best results.
Question: Do Crotons like small pots for tight roots?
Answer: Croton plants tend to do best in pots that are about 1/3 larger than the total root ball. If you notice roots growing out the bottom of the current pot, or if the pot starts to crack you'll definitely need to repot it. But be careful when transplanting crotons though, they may get shocked and drop leaves.
Question: Should I place a plastic bag over my Croton plant to help with humidity?
Answer: You sure can place a plastic bag over your Croton to increase humidity. If you don't like the way that looks consider setting the potted plant on top of a rock tray with water or misting the plant (and the area around the plant) with a spray bottle of water.
Be careful not to over water Crotons. Only add water when the top 1/2 inch of soil is dry.
© 2018 Diane Lockridge