How to Care for Crotons

How to Care for Crotons image by mauroguanandi: Flikr.com

Overview

Croton is a genus of tropical shrubs native to Indonesia that is made up of more than 650 different species. These shrubs are adapted to constant hot weather, making it unsuitable for outdoor growth as it cannot survive winter temperatures. Crotons are commonly grown in large planters, which can be left outside during summer and transported inside when temperatures drop.

Step 1

Plant crotons in a large planter between 5 and 7 gallons in size. Use a soil composed of three parts peat moss to one part sand, which has superior drainage and fertility. Keep the temperature above 50 degrees F at all times, or permanent damage can occur.

Step 2

Place crotons in a location that receives between three and five hours of direct sunlight each day. Crotons require periods of both sunlight and shade to maintain the color of their foliage.

Step 3

Water crotons daily to ensure they receive plenty of moisture. Soak the soil to a depth of 6 inches.

Step 4

Feed crotons using a 3-2-1 NPK ratio fertilizer to increase the color intensity of foliage and reduce the root size, which is beneficial for potted plants. Apply fertilizer once per week following the manufacturer's directions for proper dosage.

Step 5

Use a pH soil test to determine the soil's pH level. A level between 4.5 and 6.5 is recommended for optimal growth. Add dolomite to the soil to increase the pH level, or sulfur to decrease the level. Refer to the manufacturer's directions for application.

Things You'll Need

  • Planter
  • Peat moss
  • Sand
  • Fertilizer
  • pH soil test
  • Dolomite
  • Sulfur

References

  • Plant Talk -- Croton
  • Add Fall Color to Your Landscape with Vibrant Colorful Crotons
  • Croton Production and Use
Keywords: growing crotons, croton plants, croton care

About this Author

Willow Sidhe is a freelance writer living in the beautiful Hot Springs, AR. She is a certified aromatherapist with a background in herbalism. She has extensive experience gardening, with a specialty in indoor plants and herbs. Sidhe's work has been published on numerous Web sites, including Gardenguides.com.

Photo by: mauroguanandi: Flikr.com