The speckled croton is an exotic plant with pointed green leaves speckled with yellow spots. Native to Southeast Asia, the plant is known for its resilience and toughness, but will only thrive in most homes under very specific conditions. Of course, the moderate difficulty it takes to care for a speckled croton will not stop many from placing such an eye-catching plant in offices and homes. You need not be a professional horticulturist to keep your croton plant alive and thriving.
The resilience of the speckled croton means it need not be watered until the soil appears completely dry. However, when water is finally applied to the soil, it must be done in abundance. Water until the soil looks totally wet, and allow it to leak out of the bottom of the pot. Do not water so much that the water pools on top of the soil. Let it drain into a pool for thirty minutes before disposing of the runoff. The leaves may be sprayed with water every now and then (or even taken into the shower with you) if they seem to be becoming dry even with regular watering.
As with any plant, pruning regularly can improve the appearance of a speckled croton and will allow for healthy re-growth. You may prune a croton to reshape it or to get rid of dead leaves and branches. Once the plant has been pruned, resume a normal cycle of watering without fertilization. The plant will not respond well to over-watering and heavy fertilizing to promote new growth. A fertilizing schedule for your speckled croton plant should begin once new growth is seen in the plant and should start on the light side.
A speckled croton requires plenty of warmth and direct sunlight. Even cool drafts through windows can kill the plant. Wherever you decide to keep your plant, warmer temperatures will ensure its longevity---it will thrive around 80 degrees, if you can bear to keep it in such a climate. Because it requires a moist environment, you might want to consider running a humidifier in the room where it is kept, or spray the leaves with water every couple of days. The speckled croton is prone to infestation, so keep an eye out for mites or other bugs.