Croton is a genus of tropical evergreen foliage shrubs and houseplants in the euphorbia family. They are prized for their brightly-colored, glossy and varied leaf patterns. When grown in tropical gardens, croton can reach 10 feet in height at maturity and have either small, smooth strap-like leaves or large elliptically-shaped leaves with heavy veining.
Native to humus-rich tropical soils, croton require amended planting soil and regular fertilization during the growing season by either slow- or quick-release fertilizer.
Annual Soil Amendedments
Croton thrive in and require quality humus soil rich in organic nutrients. Amend the garden or potting soil at planting with generous amounts of quality compost and/or well-aged livestock manure to boost soil fertility. Top-dress the soil each year with one or both of these soil amendments to feed basic and trace nutrients to the roots.
Weekly Fast-Release Fertilizer
Fertilize your indoor-growing croton plants once a week at watering time using a water-soluble general-purpose plant food with a guaranteed analysis of 10-10-10. Apply according to label dosing directions but cut the amount of fertilizer by half.
Fertilize garden-grown croton plants using a complete, balanced slow-release granular fertilizer formula with a guaranteed analysis of 10-10-10 three times a year beginning in the spring, again in the summer and again in the fall. Apply around the base of the plant in keeping with the product dosing directions and water in well until the soil is drenched after application.