Lavender croton (Croton gratissimus)

There are plants that, despite their origin, can surprise us a lot. One of them is the Croton gratissimus. Maybe when you hear about the croton you immediately think of some tropical bushes that cannot stand the cold, but with the species that I am going to present you you will not have to worry about the low temperatures; at least not in excess.

In addition, it is a tree that does not grow very much, and that in any case tolerates pruning well. So, what are you waiting to meet him?

Origin and characteristics

Our protagonist is a deciduous shrub or tree that grows between 5 and 8 meters high. It is native to tropical Africa, and its scientific name is Croton gratissimus. It is popularly called lavender croton, since when the leaves are squeezed they give off a smell of the aforementioned plant. The branches are somewhat hanging, and the crown is open. The leaves are elliptical-lanceolate to oblong-lanceolate, 2-18 x 1-6cm, with the entire margin and a chartaceous or subcoriaceous texture.

It has male and female flowers. The former are fragrant, and measure between 1 and 5mm; the second are 2-3mm in length. The fruit is a sublogobous capsule that contains ellipsoid seeds about 7mm long.

What are their cares?

If you want to have a copy, we recommend you provide the following care:

  • Location: the Croton gratissimus must be outside, in full sun.
  • Land:
    • Pot: universal growing substrate.
    • Garden: grows in all types of soils.
  • Irrigation: it has to be watered about 3 times a week and every 4-5 days the rest of the year.
  • Subscriber: in spring and summer, with organic fertilizers once a month.
  • Multiplication: by seeds in spring.
  • Pruning: late winter. Remove dead, diseased or broken branches, and trim those that are growing too long.
  • Rusticity: withstands frosts down to -7ºC.

What did you think of this plant?

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