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How to Grow Crotons

By Joyce Starr ; Updated September 21, 2017
Crotons boast colorful leaves.

Whether you decide to grow a croton indoors or out, you will find the task will not be that difficult. This colorful, tropical plant is native to Malaysia and is known for its eye-catching leaves. Though blossoms do exist, they are unnoticeable compared to the foliage. Crotons are relatively hardy plants and in warm, humid locations can be planted directly outdoors. In sections of the country that freeze, it is probably best to grow your crotons inside of containers. Crotons won’t go unnoticed mingling with the landscape or your indoor settings.

Growing Crotons Outdoors

Select a croton that has been raised outdoors so it will not suffer shock from the sunshine. If the plant has been raised indoors, slowly harden it by allowing the plant to adjust to outdoor sunlight before planting it in the ground.

Choose an area to plant your croton that will allow it to have room to grow. Some varieties can obtain a height and width of 6 feet. Crotons are relatively tolerant to living in both high- and low-light conditions.

Plant your croton into the existing dirt amended with cow manure and peat. Mix the manure, peat and soil together, before placing the plant into the ground. Crotons like rich soil.

Water the croton every other day for the first two weeks. If the weather conditions are hot and dry, water the croton at least three to four times per week. Crotons prefer humid, warm temperatures. Unless temperatures are extremely hot, cut back on watering your croton to once per week during the fall and winter.

Fertilize the croton with an all-purpose, granular fertilizer such as 8-8-8, three times per year. You can also use a water-soluble fertilizer on the croton several times a month in addition to the granular fertilizer.

Growing Crotons Indoors

Choose a container to grow your croton that is twice as big as the plant’s root ball. Crotons will endure crowded root conditions better than most plants.

Fill the container with a potting mix that contains peat. Crotons do best planted in a rich soil medium.

Choose an area that will get high light to place your croton. It won’t do well in living in low-light conditions indoors.

Water the croton once per week. The soil needs to remain moist but not soggy. Mist the croton with water several times per week to create humidity for it.

Fertilize the croton with a water-soluble fertilizer several times per month. As the croton grows larger, replant it into a bigger container with fresh soil.

 

Things You Will Need

  • Cow manure
  • Peat
  • Water
  • 8-8-8 granular fertilizer
  • Water-soluble fertilizer
  • Container
  • Potting mix
  • Misting bottle

Tips

  • Healthy crotons are usually pest-free. If a problem such as scale or spider mites appear, treat it with an insecticide designed specifically for crotons.
  • Pruning isn't necessary, but you can trim off the stem where you would like the croton to branch out. This will make the plant denser.
  • Brown, dried leaves mean the plant is not getting enough moisture for the hot conditions it is living in. Water the plant regularly and new growth should start to appear within one to two weeks.

About the Author

 

For over 25 years, Joyce Starr has owned businesses dealing with landscape & design, lawn maintenance, specialty herbs and a garden center. She holds certificates in landscape design and xeriscaping. Starr shares her passion for nature in her writing, publishing articles on horticulture, outdoor recreation, travel as well as business.