Croton plant: Care tips, How to Grow and Propagate Codiaeum variegatum

Croton Plant – scientific name Codiaeum variegatum  also known by various names like garden croton or variegated croton,  Croton variegatum is a species of plant in the genus Codiaeum.

 

It is native to Indonesia, Malaysia, Australia, and the western Pacific Ocean islands. But  it s an evergreen plant with colourful leaves.

In tropical climates, crotons make attractive hedges and potted patio specimens, valued for their striking foliage – that’s colourful leaves. They are mainly outdoor plants.

Before I proceed, though the plant is attractive – it’s a poisonous plant  and can can cause skin eczema in some people.[ The bark, roots, latex, and leaves are poisonous. The plant contains an oil which is violently purgative and is suspected of being a carcinogen. Consumption of the seeds can be fatal to children.

Regarding the Growth of Crotons, They can grow up to 10 feet tall when grown

They are most often grown as houseplants in pots and they reach a max of 2 to 4 feet in container gardening.   re are many varieties available in varying sizes, leaf shapes and colors. Due to their light and humidity requirements, these plants can be somewhat difficult to grow successfully indoors. With a little extra effort, though, it is possible, like you may need to shift them regularly to expose to sunlight for few hours in a week and so on..

 

The points to remember are:

  1. Make sure your croton gets a lot of humidity. You can make a humidity tray using pebbles – will make a separate video on this later.
  2. Do not set crotons near doorways or heating vents.
  3. If the croton starts dropping its leaves after they become yellow and dry, the humidity is too low. #Make sure your croton is exposed to a few hours of direct sunlight each day.
  4. Water croton plants with room-temperature water. You should water them as soon as the top of the soil becomes dry during the spring, summer and early fall. These are tropical plants and cold, fresh tap water can stress them.
  5. Pour the water evenly over the potting soil until it begins to drain from the bottom hole and this watering depends on the season.
  6. Look for signs that your plant is not getting enough, or is getting too much water. A croton plant’s leaves will turn yellow and drop if it is being watered too little and if it is being watered too much.
  7. Croton plants do not normally require fertilizer in summer, you can add 5 – 10 crystals of NPK 20 20 20 fertlizer once in 15 days. Watch my NPK crystals video on youtube.

Repot crotons if they have outgrown their containers like root bounding which needs root pruning and repotting. Soil may not be required to change as there is no expiry of soil, you can add compost to it or NPK crystals.  You can suspect that it need repotting when there is slowed growth, and root bounding.

 

Propagating Croton Plants and Growing Them from Seed

Crotons are easily propagated cuttings  easily in the spring or summer and rooted at 70°-80°.

Croton plants can also be propagated by air layering

Also from  Croton seeds indoors at any time of the year.
Maintain a temperature of 75°-80° within the growing medium until germination, which takes about 30 days.

 

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