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The #1 Brilliant Croton Plant

Common name: Croton

Botanical name: Codiaeum variegatum

Difficulty level: 

Easy to Moderate. Crotons are resilient plants that can thrive in almost any indoor environment. They can, however, be a tad temperamental if moved around frequently.

Croton Plant– General Description

Crotons are tropical shrubs that feature stunningly beautiful rainbow-coloured foliage. Their exotic variegated leaves come in an inspiring variety colours: shades of red, yellow, orange, green, and purple. Some varieties have bicolour leaves—e.g. red/green or green/yellow—while others are multi-coloured.

The leaves of the Croton can be either long and narrow; or a wider oval shape. The mature plants can grow to be five to six feet tall. While Crotons rarely flower when grown indoors, their gorgeous foliage still makes them a favourite among houseplants.

Croton is a popular tropical shrub that enjoys growing well in the temperate and subtropical regions of the world. The name comes from the Latin word ‘croto’ which means “middle” or “central” and is most commonly used to refer to a plant with multiple colours such as red, orange, yellow, white, green and purple.

The Croton genus has been used for centuries in the cultivation of crotons. It was included in the first list of species published by Carl Linnaeus in his 1753 publication ‘Species Plantarum’. It was later included in a second list published by Linnaeus’ successor at the Royal Botanical Gardens (Kew) as a species of Croton after it had been observed growing on Kew’s estate in London.

Mangrove species such as ‘Croton microcarpa’, ‘Croton tetragonopterus’, ‘Croton albomaculatus’ are also used as a source of flavonoids and other secondary metabolites. Crotons have been grown for centuries as ornamental plants and have become one of the most popular living examples of tropical nature.

Their striking beauty has led them to be used for decoration for homes, offices, gardens and commercial establishments around the globe.

The Croton Plant are known for their brilliant colouration (which can range from white to red), ornamental foliage (which can be varied from pale green to bright yellow), beautiful flowers (which can be white to yellow) and superb growth rates (which can vary from low-thickness woody stumps to dense crowns).

Their exotic variegated leaves come in an inspiring variety colours: shades of red, yellow, orange, green, and purple. Some varieties have bicolour leaves—e.g. red/green or green/yellow

There are two types of croton: the Croton bicolour and the Croton variegatum .

How To Care For Your Croton Plant:

Here’s some basic guidance on how to take good care of your Croton.


In order to maintain its gorgeous multi-colored foliage, the Croton will require six to eight hours of direct sunlight daily. Placing the plant in an east- or west-facing window is the best way to accomplish this. Finding the right light is important to support a healthy happy plant. Find a bright location for your Croton plant to thrive. 

Soil & Water:

Crotons do best in rich soil (e.g. a combination of organic compost and peat moss) that is kept moist but well-drained. Water the plants frequently during their growing season, and less during the winter months. Never allow the plant to sit in standing water.

Temperature & Humidity:

The Croton prefers a warm and humid environment: around 21 degrees Celsius is perfect. Chilly drafts or temperatures below 15 degrees Celsius can result in the plant losing its leaves, or dying. If the local atmosphere is dry/arid, it’s good to occasionally mist the Croton’s leaves, to artificially create a more tropical level of humidity.

Nutrients & Fertiliser:

To encourage growth, you can feed your Croton plant once a month, with a fertiliser that’s high in nitrogen and potassium. During winter months, decrease the amount of fertilizer, and the frequency to once every other month.


 Crotons are part of the poinsettia family—all of whose members have a milky sap inside the stems, which can ooze out during pruning. While typically not fatal, this sap is toxic, and can cause digestive distress in pets or small children if it is ingested. The sap can also cause a skin rash for some people, so it’s best to wear gloves when pruning the Croton.

Pests & Other Problems:

The Croton plant is susceptible to mealybugs, spider mites, and caterpillars, as well as bacterial and fungal diseases. To get rid of pests, wash the plant with a gentle soap and water mixture, and then rinse it thoroughly. To remedy a disease, you may need to transplant the Croton into a new pot and soil.

Helpful Hints & Additional Care Tips

  •  If your Croton’s leaves lose their vibrant colours and become a homogenous green, this probably means it’s not getting enough direct sunlight.
  • While pruning isn’t necessary, you can use it to shape the plant to a desired height, or encourage a bushier plant—by snipping off branches or stems.


Image Of Croton Plant
Decorate with the colourful croton plant

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