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How to Transplant Croton

By Eulalia Palomo ; Updated September 21, 2017
Crotons have the best color when grown in full sun.
crotons de montagne image by Unclesam from Fotolia.com

Croton is a tropical shrub with a stunning variety of leaf shapes and colors. Though some varieties can reach heights of 12 feet, most croton plants are 4 to 8 feet high with a foliage spread of 3 to 8 feet. Croton can be grown outdoors in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 10b to 11 and is widely avaliable in these areas, according to the University of Florida Cooperative extension. The bright foliage of the croton makes this tropical shrub a unique focal point in your garden or landscape.

Water the croton two days before you transplant. The soil should be damp to a depth of 12 inches.

Measure the spread of the canopy with a measuring tape. The root ball will be 2/3 the size of the foliage canopy, according to North Dakota State University.

Dig a hole at the new planting location that is twice as wide as the root ball and 12 to 15 inches deep. Break up the soil in the bottom of the hole with a shovel.

Cut around the root ball to a depth of 12 to 15 inches with a sharp garden shovel. Using two or more shovels (and a few extra hands), lift the root ball from the hole and place it in a wheelbarrow.

Transfer the croton to the new planting site and lower it carefully into the hole. The base of the trunk should be level with the surrounding soil.

Fill in the soil around the root ball a few shovels at a time, patting the soil down as you go to prevent air holes around the root system.

Water the area so that the soil is damp to a depth of 12 inches. Water the soil around your croton once or twice a week for the first four to six weeks after transplanting. The soil should be damp but not saturated.


Things You Will Need

  • Measuring tape
  • Shovels
  • Wheelbarrow
  • Water


  • Crotons achieve their best leaf color when they are grown in full sun but can also be grown successfully in partial shade, according to the University of Florida Cooperative Extension.
  • Do not put fertilizer into the planting hole before transplanting. The roots will need a full season to get established before fertilizer can be absorbed, according to Washington State University.

About the Author


Eulalia Palomo has been a professional writer since 2009. Prior to taking up writing full time she has worked as a landscape artist and organic gardener. Palomo holds a Bachelor of Arts in liberal studies from Boston University. She travels widely and has spent over six years living abroad.