Croton (Codiaeum variegatum) is a shrub from the Euphorbia family. While it is not known to many connoisseurs of exotic flora. The plant is distinguished by large bright leaves with an unusual pattern. Its home is islands in the Pacific Ocean, Australia, and India. Croton plant care indoor is quite simple, so the plant is suitable even for beginner growers. In some countries, croton as a houseplant is the keeper of the hearth, while protecting the home from poor energy. Now we will tell you how to grow croton plants at home.
What Is Croton? Botanical Description
Croton bush is a perennial with branched shoots. How big does a croton plant get? In its natural environment, it is capable of reaching 10 ft in height, but when grown indoors it rarely exceeds 2-4 ft. The plant has dense, erect stems with many lateral processes. They have large petiole leaves.
Croton leaves can be of various shapes: from lanceolate and oval to three-toed. The edges of the leaves are usually even or slightly wavy. The leaf plate has a pronounced relief pattern along the veins. The veins are often outlined with variegated lines. Plant leaf coloration can be red, yellow, green, white, or pink.
During the flowering period, small paniculate inflorescences are formed in the leaf axils. On a dense peduncle, there are several whitish or yellowish buds with long anthers.
Croton flower, like all euphorbia, requires careful handling. Its juice can be toxic to pets. It also irritates the skin, so care for croton houseplant is best done with gloves.
Now we know what a croton plant is, so it’s time to learn about interesting signs about it. It is considered a plant with powerful energy. It cleans the house from negative energy, protects it from “energy vampires” and increases the owner’s self-confidence.
How to Care for a Croton Plant?
Croton plant care includes such important aspects for this plant as:
Croton needs a well-lit place, but shaded in summer from direct sunlight, as you can burn the leaves. In winter, put Croton on the sunniest window – west or south, in summer – on the east or west. Croton needs to be gradually taught to the spring sun.
Croton needs warmth, so the temperature where you keep it should be at least 60 °F. Otherwise, the flower feels bad and begins to shed its leaves. Also, at low temperatures, Croton’s roots can begin to rot. Winter temperatures should not drop below 60-64 °F, and summer highs should ideally be no more than 68-71 °F. If the room is hotter, be sure to provide increased air humidity.
Croton is native to humid tropic regions and therefore needs abundant watering during the growing season. Croton requires regular abundant watering in spring and summer. It is enough that the drying is only 0.5 inches deep in the soil. In autumn and winter, watering is reduced. Since at low temperatures, moisture from the ground evaporates more slowly, therefore excessive waterlogging can lead to decay of the roots and the plant itself.
Also, a feature of Croton is that when there is a lack of moisture in the soil, its leaves hang down. Do not be afraid – just water or spray abundantly on the plant, but it is better not to come to “drooping”. Be sure to settle the water for irrigation and heat it to room temperature – from watering with cold water, Croton can suddenly shed its leaves.
Today, of all possible species in indoor conditions, only one is grown – variegated croton. Long time ago it moved into the interiors of rooms from flower greenhouses. Croton leaf has a rather variegated color. The veins are also distinguished by a wide variety of colors, they can be red, yellow, orange, and even have black shades. The shape of the leaf plate depends on the subspecies, the most common are oval, lobed, linear, or lanceolate.
The most popular today are the following varieties of hybrid Codiaeum with dazzling colors:
Croton Petra is one of the most popular and beloved plant species with a lobed leaf shape. The leaf blades are oval and are most often colored dark green, while the veins and edges of the leaves are predominantly bright yellow. Petra croton care does not differ much from the general rules, but keep in mind that this species always needs high air humidity.
Mamey croton has narrow, long, sometimes curled leaf blades that are colored according to age and hybrid in a variety of shades. Most often, this croton is dominated by dark green, red, yellow, and pink tones.
Croton Sunny Star, famous for its interesting bush shape, grows in width. Beautiful lush bushes form shoots with dense leathery leaves. The leaf blade can be of different shades, from light green with lemon shades to dark green with red veins.
Croton Magnificent is a rainbow leaf plant with warm shades of red, pink, yellow, orange, pink, and purple on a dark background.
Croton Norma differs in that on its emerald green leaves, yellow different sizes spots, and bright red veins are distinguished.
Croton Oakleaf has unusual, oak-like leaves: dark green leaves, indicated by veins of orange, red and yellow.
Banana croton – A flower with leaves shaped like bananas. Croton’s color is speckled: on a dark green background, like a name, specks of shades from yellow on the upper leaves to dark red on the lower ones are scattered.
Red Mrs. Iceton Croton — variety forms a small tree or sprawling bush with large leaves. On the green leaf plate, burgundy and pink spots are present, as well as golden streaks.
Dreadlock croton are spectacular ruffled cascades of variegated narrow yellow-green and orange spiral leaves similar to dreadlocks. This cultivar is one of the most attractive crotons.
Bush on Fire croton has long left in vibrant reds, golds, and purples. A great option of houseplants croton if you are looking for an unusual ornamental plant.
Gold luna croton has a long, light green foliage with bright yellow veins.
Frequently Asked Questions about How to Take Care of a Croton Plant
Why is Croton Not Growing?
Poor croton growth is usually due to poor lighting conditions. Light for the growth of croton is critically important, therefore, in the wintertime, it grows much worse than in the summer.
Why Do Croton Leaves Dry?
Croton leaves will not dry out if you regularly water the plant, do not leave the soil dry, and monitor the humidity of the air. It is worth remembering that poor moisture can lead to the appearance of parasites and other troubles.
Why Does Croton Shed Its Leaves and What to Do?
Many who have the first experience with croton may be frightened by such a phenomenon. If there are few of them and this happens rarely, then you should not be intimidated, because this is a natural process. But if you notice that a lot of leaves fall off quite often, then this may be the result of various diseases. If the tips of the leaves of the plant dry up, then this indicates insufficient watering. Also, this can be observed when ultraviolet radiation hits the flower. With improper care, a variety of parasites can develop on the plant.
Is Croton Poisonous?
Like many members of the Euphorbia family, Croton is poisonous. The poison is contained in the seeds and milky sap of the plant, which appears if you break off a leaf or stem of croton. If croton juice gets on your skin, wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water.
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