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Thread: Croton

  1. #9
    Tropical Fish Enthusiast jimscott's Avatar
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    Nov 2003
    Western New York
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    I though it was Jenny Craig . Anyways, I love to Google and I came up with this care sheet:


    There are many indoor plants that blend into the background (sometimes even going unnoticed) while they subtle add to the decor of a room. Crotons are not one of them. In fact, it would be a challenge not to notice them in any room or any groupings of plants. They are truly striking plants, making a definite contribution to any space with their boldly colored leaves. Crotons offer the indoor gardener bold color, striking texture and mass. But color is the croton's most prized and notable feature. Depending on the specific variety you select, croton leaves are multicolored, usually with bright yellow, shades of red and some incredible shades of green all on one plant. The leaves of most varieties of crotons are large, often 6 inches wide and almost a foot long. A few varieties offer narrower, wavy leaves and some offer unusual leaves shaped like oak leaves. And then there are those with leaves that offer all the color, sizes and shapes that are also incredibly wrinkly or curled. Croton definitely have a lot to offer!
    In return for all they offer the indoor gardener, crotons are a bit demanding. They are really best suited to greenhouses or sun rooms. They need lots and lots of light and high humidity. If you don't have the perfect spot for a croton, consider using them are a more temporary house guest. Enjoy their bold nature for a few weeks or months, and let them go.

    Sometimes called by the old-fashioned common name Joseph's Coat, crotons are actually evergreen shrubs native to tropical areas of Malaysia, southern Asia and the Pacific Islands. Most of the crotons grown for indoor plants are botanically Codiaeum variegatum.

    Tips for Growing Healthy Crotons
    What are the light requirements for croton?
    To stay healthy and colorful, crotons require lots of strong light. If exposed to it gradually, crotons will even thrive in the full sun. Supplemental artificial light will help indoors.
    How much water do they need?
    Crotons need to be kept slightly damp and cannot be allowed to dry out. Outdoors in the summer, you may need to water them several times every week. Indoors they use less water. Water should be at room temperature.

    Do they have any special temperature requirements?
    Crotons like it warm, but not hot. Like many other tropical plants, they can handle hotter temperatures when the air is very humid. Hot and dry is especially hard on crotons. Also, avoid exposing them to temperatures below 60º.

    Do crotons need much humidity?
    High humidity is essential for a healthy croton. The plants should be misted regularly and kept on a humidity tray indoors.

    How much fertilizer do they require?
    To maintain good growth, feed crotons regularly throughout spring and summer with a water-soluble fertilizer such as Bachman's Excel Gro® or Schultz's Instant Plant Food. Let the plant rest during fall and winter.

    What type of soil do they prefer?
    Use a quality, peat-based potting soil such as Bachman's Exceloam or Hyde Park Professional Potting Mix.

    When should I repot my croton?
    Keeping in mind that crotons like to be somewhat crowded into their containers, repot them in late winter or early spring when needed.

    Will they need any grooming?
    Their large leaves can collect dust which clogs the plants pores and interferes with the leaves collecting available light. To minimize this problem, give them an occasional shower or wipe off its leaves with a soft cloth. Leafshine can be used on crotons.

    How are they propagated?
    Crotons are not easily propagated at home. Commercially they are propagated through tissue culture. Their leaves and stems exude a sticky, milky sap when the plants are cut and this can make rooting or air-layering difficult.

    Troubleshooting Problems with Crotons
    What causes a croton to drop leaves?
    If it is lower leaves that are falling off, the air is probably too dry for the croton. When leaves drop off here and there throughout the plant, that usually indicates that the temperatures are changing too much for it, probably dropping too low.
    When leaves become dry and crunchy, what is the problem?
    When the air is too hot, too dry or both, leaves will turn dull, then brown and get brittle.

    Why is the new foliage such a different color than the older leaves?
    The newest foliage is almost always a bright green and the more bold colors develop as the leaves mature and receive good strong light. If the foliage fails to develop its characteristic colors, try increasing the light. Too much nitrogen fertilizer may also dull the colors.

    If the leaves develop brown edges or brown spots, what is wrong?
    This is often the result of the leaves getting wet while they are in full, hot sun. Spray early in the day to avoid this problem.

    What causes the leaves to wilt even when it is adequately watered?
    Too much water can make the leaves wilt and droop. It can also cause the stems to rot down toward the base of the plant. Allow it to dry out slightly between watering, especially during the winter.

    Are crotons prone to any insect problems?
    When crotons are stressed, they can have problems with scale, mealy bugs and occasionally with spider mites. Keep them as healthy as possible and consult a Bachman's indoor gardening expert if you suspect an insect problem.

  2. #10

    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    north carolina
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    What would cause the new developing leaves on my croton to fall off?
    John 3:16
    My grow list/want list
    Prior to the funeral home visit, we heard ~ "Hey'all watch this ! !"

  3. #11
    endparenthesis's Avatar
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    Jun 2004
    Northern VA
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    I found a shot of their natural habitat.

    EDIT: Wait, I might be thinking of something else...

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