The croton plant (Codiaeum variegatum) has been dazzling gardeners with its colorful gold, orange and green foliage for centuries, according to the University of Florida. Originally hailing from the South Pacific and tropical Asia, crotons can be grown in USDA hardiness zones 10A through 11. The plants are very low maintenance, but occasional trimming can help to keep the shrub bushy and attractive.
Use your thumb and forefinger to pinch off the ends of new growth on the croton plant throughout the year. This encourages new side branches to develop from the pinched branches, thereby forming a dense and lush appearance.
Trim the croton plant back once a year in the spring using pruning shears. Grab a branch and visually identify the 1/3 mark from the end of the branch.
Cut the plant at the point you identified. Make the cut right after the branch node or eye where a croton leaf grows. New branches will form from this node.