The Croton: [Planting, Care, Substrate, Irrigation] – Complete Guide

The Croton or Codiaeum Variegatum Pictum belonging to the Euphorbiaceae family, is a fabulous indoor plant, thanks to the color of its large leaves.

These are its greatest attraction and for this reason it is considered an ornamental plant. They are hard, ribbed with perfect colorful brush strokes in shades of yellowish, orange, green, dappled, pink, cream, black and reddish that attract everyone’s attention.

Croton Characteristics

The croton is a plant native to the South Pacific (Malaysia, Polynesia and Australia). Its average height is about 90 centimeters and if it is well cared for, its foliage will be generous and unique. It will shine in the home wherever you want to grow it.

There are varieties of very wide leaves, more elongated, short, of contrasting combinations and colors.

Keep in mind that when buying a cretonne, what is the variety that you are taking from your trusted nursery, because there are greater or lesser light and humidity requirements in certain species.

Did you know…?Do you know how many croton varieties exist? Around 750 worldwide.

Maintaining more or less the same conditions as before arriving at your home, will guarantee that you do not lose foliage. The croton is considered a delicate plant because it does not like to be moved.

Some of the following keys will allow you to enjoy the croton for a very long season.

Temperature: Where to plant the croton?

Ideally, croton should be kept at a constant room temperature, 20°C would be excellent. But it supports a range that ranges from 18° to 24°C and up to 30°C. The minimum it can withstand is around 15°C.

Remember, however, that its Tropical origin makes it dislike cold.

It should not be exposed to cold drafts or sudden changes in temperature that generate significant stress, because it will not do well and its leafy leaves will begin to fall.

If you activate a humidifier containing distilled water at home, the croton will feel comfortable until it gets used to the new environment.

It does need, yes, a lot of humidity to stay alive. And if there is also a lack of ambient heat, it will progressively lose its leaves. Remember that it is a tropical plant, it does not tolerate low temperatures.

If you activate a humidifier containing distilled water at home, the croton will feel better.

Light: What needs do you have?

Very good direct light from time to time also likes it very much. Help her to meet this minimum requirement so that the colors of her leaves are always brightened and maintained.

Consequently, excellent natural lighting must be lavished on it, so you must choose the space where it will remain very well.

Hence, we recommend looking for an area of ​​the house that receives sunlight. Near a window would be perfect for the Croton. Abundant but not direct light is essential for its development, without affecting its variegated leaves, which can burn when receiving sun indiscriminately.

That is why the croton is considered delicate in its maintenance. The ambient light and temperature must always be carefully monitored so that this spectacular plant does not perish to complete decorations at home.

Substrate and Fertilizer: How do we prepare the land?

In spring and summer, apply an excellent quality liquid fertilizer every 15 days.

A fresh substrate, containing very good quality peat, is a good gift for the Croton.

An optimal mix to achieve a high quality substrate, mix mulch and sand in equal parts.

Irrigation: How and how often do we water?

The irrigation will be equally constant, but not exaggerated, because its roots must always be taken care of so that they do not get waterlogged because, like any plant, if this happens it will rot from the inside.

The soil must be dry so that a new irrigation can begin.

In the growth period, watering will be increased with caution and the key to not losing the leaves is to spray frequently.

A weekly watering is appropriate.

Between the months of May to September, which is the time when it reaches splendor, use a liquid fertilizer for green plants. This will delight your croton.

And take advantage of this moment to clean its strong smooth leaves. Use a rinse aid that does not contain any gas. Spread it and then pass a clean balletta so that the sheet is free of dust and shine, once a month.

croton care

  1. Place Croton in a sunny spot such as a window facing East, South, or West. If a croton gets too little light, its new leaves will be less colorful.
  2. Keep the soil evenly moist, but let it dry out between waterings.
  3. If humidity is low in your house, spray around the leaves with water once a week or put a tray of moist gravel near the plant.
  4. Croton leaves are dust magnets. Gently wipe the sheets with a damp cloth twice a month to keep them clean and dust-free.
  5. Fertilize the plant in spring and summer.
  6. New croton plants can be started with stem cuttings 4 to 6 inches long. Remove the lower leaves and place the cutting in a glass of water.
  7. After the roots have formed, plant the croton in a small pot.
  8. Repot in spring if it has grown too large for its current pot.

The croton plant can be toxic: Be careful!

Crotons can be poisonous plants to have in your home, especially if you have children or pets living with you.

The milky sap inside the stem of the plant is Toxic. The sap will cause indigestion problems, but is not normally fatal to dogs, cats, or small children.

Ingesting the sap-filled seed pod can be a fatal mistake, so keep croton plants away from small children and pets that might be curious.

Problems that the croton plant can have

Low humidity indoors makes crotons particularly susceptible to spider mites. Mist the plants daily to prevent an infestation.

Humidity, along with a lack of bright light, also affects the color of the leaves. Try to keep the humidity level between 40% and 80%. If the humidity is not high enough, the plant may drop some of its leaves.

If you’re having trouble keeping humidity between those levels, put a humidifier in the room or place a humidity tray under the plant. Join it with other plants, this will make the environment more humid.

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