croton propagation
Mon, Jan 03, 2022

How to Propagate Croton Plant: Best Practices and Proven Techniques

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croton propagation

Croton is a fascinating plant. A strong beautiful tree or fluffy shrub with bright colorful leaves of a fancy shape can decorate not only your home but also be your friend in your study and office. For these purposes, one flower is not enough, so it’s time for you to think about propagating croton at home.

Tropical crotons (Codiaeum variegatum) thrive exclusively in the warm regions of USDA plant hardiness zones 11-12, but their vividly colored leaves make them magnificent pot plants, either as houseplants or as summer garden decorations. Croton plants can grow up to 8 feet and spread up to 6 feet. It may even reach a height of 12 feet in ideal conditions. Let’s find out how to propagate the croton plant.

Croton Plant Cultivars

Crotons come in hundreds of distinct cultivars, or varieties, each with its particular growth requirements. Croton varieties include the following:

  • Croton petra. It has pointy, oblong leaves that are golden, bronze, red, and green in hue. This specific cultivar may reach a height of five feet.
  • Zanzibar croton. In comparison to many other croton kinds, Zanzibar crotons have thin, narrow-leaf forms. It has purple, yellow, green, and red leaves and may reach a height of three to four feet.
  • Croton oakleaf. This croton is an evergreen shrub with both male and female flowers and is known for its oak-shaped red, yellow, and green leaves.
  • Gold dust croton. This one, also known as the sun-spot croton, has dark green leaves sprinkled with striking golden yellow patterns (resembling gold dust).
  • Mammy croton. This croton, which can grow up to six feet tall, has a variety of leaf colors, with purple, green, red, and orange colors on each of its long, thin leaves.

How to Propagate Crotons

propagate croton

Crotons, like other tropical plants, require wet, humus-rich, well-draining soil. Set pots on pebble trays to offer extra moisture in the winter. During their winter resting phase, when development slows, they acclimatize to decreased humidity, but if humidity lowers significantly, they may shed lower leaves. Crotons need intense light all year to keep their vibrant color, so keep them near a south-facing window in the winter and moderate shade outside. Remember that all portions of the plant contain esters, which can induce skin irritation and gastric distress when propagating them. Keep crotons away from dogs and children.

Let’s find out how to propagate croton using different methods.

How to Grow Crotons from Cuttings

Growing crotons from cuttings is perhaps the easiest way to propagate a plant that even a beginner can handle. Crotons may grow to be 3 to 6 feet tall, so trim them to make them more shrubby. How to make cuttings from the croton plant? Cut 4- to 6-inch tip cuttings below a growing nodule. All but three to five top leaves should be removed. To dry the sap, dunk the cutting in powdered charcoal or place it on paper. Plant your croton cuttings in wet sand or perlite with sphagnum peat moss, then create a little greenhouse by tying a big plastic bag over the container. Keep the cutting wet and warm (above 70 °F) for a month, and it may root.

Croton Propagation in Water

Croton plant propagation in water is as simple as taking a clipping and placing it in water. Take a 6 to 12 inch long and as thick as a pencil cutting from the plant’s crown. Lower leaves should be cut, but the developing tips should be left alone. Place the cuttings in the water that is between 68-77 °F. Keep the container in the shade, whether indoors or out. In approximately 5-6 weeks, roots will emerge, and you may transplant the cutting into a soil mix made up of equal parts of manure, compost, and river sand.

Crotons Propagation by Air Layering

The stem is rooted while it is still connected to the plant in this mode of propagation. Select a branch that receives indirect sunlight.

Make a diagonal incision through one-half of the diameter of the stem and hold it open with a toothpick.

On the wound, apply some rooting hormone.

To retain the moisture within, cover the cut area with damp sphagnum moss and wrap it in polythene. Sphagnum moss that has turned a tan tint indicates that it is growing dry. Remove the covering, for now, spray the moss, and re-wrap it. The stem will establish roots and fresh growth will begin after a few weeks. Cut the branch and transplant the freshly rooted branch into a soil-filled container.

Once you’ve tried these croton-growing strategies, you’ll be ecstatic to see how easy it is to create fresh plants.

Can You Propagate Croton from a Leaf?

Croton leaf propagation is simple: you may even do it in a glass of water. In addition, the solitary leaf will produce a very strong root system. It would, however, require an axillary bud to develop a new stem and, eventually, a whole plant. The plant can only reproduce itself from this bud. When propagation of croton plants from leaves, unfortunately, there is no ability to create a bud from a leaf. This occurrence even has a name – a ‘blind cutting’ – is a rooted cutting that never develops a plant.

In this circumstance, the croton isn’t the only plant. Ficus, hoyas, and a variety of other plants, particularly in the tropics, can generate adventitious roots (adventitious: appearing from an unexpected location) from a leaf, but they will always be ‘blind.’

If only a little of the stem is taken with the leaf, and this piece has a latent axillary bud (which can happen when a hoya leaf is removed), the plant may regenerate from this bud, although this is unlikely with croton plant, stems of which are woody and unyielding.

Growing from Seeds

The seeds are more often used for growing hybrids since the seeds of indoor Codiaums do not retain their parental properties. Seeds obtained from a blooming flower cannot be stored for more than a year, as they can lose their germination. You can buy croton seeds at the store. The time to plant seeds is in January or February. Their seeds must be disinfected. To do this, they are first immersed in hot water for 30 minutes and then kept in water at room temperature for a day. Special growth stimulants can be added to the water, and then the seeds are planted in loose, well-fertilized organic soil under a film to a depth of 1 cm. At a temperature of 71-80 °F, seeds in a greenhouse will germinate in about a month. The greenhouse is ventilated. When the first shoots appear, they are carefully watered and taught to room temperature. Bushes with two or three blossoming leaves are transplanted into separate pots.

Care Rules

croton plant propagation

This plant loves bright light, but the plant can be in direct sunlight only in the early morning or evening. Therefore, in the summer, the sill of the northern window will suit it, and in winter, when the sun is shining but not warming, the southern one.

If you have the opportunity to take croton out in the summer to fresh air and bright diffused light, do it. The ideal temperature for the plant in the summer is 68-71 °F, in the winter – at least 58-60 °F. As you can see, there are several ways of Codiaeum propagation, so you can choose whichever you like. Nevertheless, when multiplying croton at home, it should be remembered that this flower belongs to poisonous indoor plants, therefore, during all operations with it, you must be careful, work with gloves. If the juice gets on the skin, quickly wash the place of contact and hands with soap to avoid burns.

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