How to Care For a Croton Plant Outdoor and Indoor

Know how to care for croton plant. Crotons are most beautiful houseplants with bright and vibrant multicolored foliage. Most people find the croton plants fussy and difficult to care for. But if you care for your croton plant as per its specific requirements for light, temperature, water and humidity, they will continue to delight you for decades..

Croton Plant
Croton Plant

Although, the croton plant is very good as an indoor plant, it is possible to grow it outdoors in warm climates with high humidity levels.

Keep an eye on your plant, when it starts looking dull or dropping leaves or leaves wilting, it is time for action. Continue watching below to keep your croton plant for life time with its vivid gorgeous color. Read below on how to care for a croton outdoor in your garden or in your home.

Croton Plant Care

The Location For Croton Plant

The Croton Plant Hate To be Moved

Crotons do not like to be moved.  They hate shock, which includes movement, extreme temperature variation, air currents, etc.

So once you find an ideal location for your croton plant where it is happy, avoid moving it at all costs. The ideal location would be where it gets the proper brightness and its environmental needs.

Lighting

Too low light will turn the croton leaves green without any other colors, making your plant not looking good. So don't place your plant in a north facing window.

On the other hand, if the plant is exposed to direct hot Sun every day for a few hours, the color of the leaves can get faded and dull looking or even the leaves can burn. So it is important to provide your plant bright indirect light to get colorful display of croton leaves.

The sun loving croton varieties should get 6 to 8 hours of direct sun.

Environment

The croton plants grow well in an environment similar to that suitable for human beings. So these plants are good as houseplants.

Temperature

The plant grows well in temperatures from 15 to 38°C (30 to 100°F) as long as it is watered well. The plant cannot tolerate frosts and snow so move the plant indoors when this happens. 

Humidity

The plant grows well in a humidity around 50%, higher humidity is better. In a dry environment, the leaves can drop. High humidity can be created by misting the leaves every second day. You can even place your croton plant your bathroom. You can place your plant on some pebbles in a tray covered with water.

Watering Croton Plant

Crotons are sensitive to over-watering. If your your Croton leaves are wilting, you are watering too much. If the bottom leaves fall off, you are not watering enough.

When the plant actively grows in Spring and Summer, put your finger in the soil and if the top inch of soil is dry, water until the water comes out of the drainage hole. Check the soil frequently and water again only when the top inch of soil dries out. However, the soil should never stay dry for a long period of time.

During the Autumn and Winter only water when the top 3 inches of soil become dry. Do not put a tray below the pot, otherwise the lower part of the pot is always standing in the drained water, which will make the roots rot. Use lukewarm water to avoid shock to the roots in winter.

Soil For Croton Plant

It needs well-drained, organically rich, slightly acid soil. Mix garden soil or potting mix with coarse river sand or perlite in equal amount. Make the soil acidic by mixing some azalea potting mix or some compost made from rotten leaves. The plant suffers if water stands in soil and it becomes soggy, so mixing river sand makes the soil free-draining.

How Make The Croton Plant Bushier?

Pinch the growing tip of the plan to encourage new branches and growth on the the lower parts. Continue the pinching on all the new branches. This will make the plant bushier rather than a  a tall leggy plant.

Cleaning Croton Leaves

Clean the leaves by wiping them with a moist cloth or damp cotton. If there are spider mites on leaves, wash the leaves with soapy water to kill them.


Fertilization

Fertilize in the growing season in spring, summer and autumn, not more than once a month, but do not fertilize in winter which is the dormant time for the plant. Apply a balanced slow-release fertilizer to the soil away from the base of the plant and water. Or you can give a liquid fertilizer. Over-fertilization will make the leaves of dull color.

Pests and Diseases

Common pests affecting croton are scale insects, spider mites, mealy bugs, and caterpillars. Spraying a dilute solution of neem oil on the leaves will solve the problem of insects. Wash the leaves with liquid dish soap to kill spider mites.

Good Color Production

Bright light and cool temperature are best for producing best colors. Bright colors are   likely during the winter if proper amount of light is maintained. In summer, keep the plant cool.  Lack of light will cause the leaves to become pale due to less chlorophyll. The plant stretches because it increases the likelihood of it finding light.

The Croton Plant Height

Croton plant height can go up to 1.8 m (6 feet) depending on its species. The size of plant will restrict its height. Keep the plant in the same pot to stop its growth. Simply replace the top soil with fresh soil in every spring.

Keep away From Air Drafts

Croton plants hate air drafts and fluctuating temperatures. So keep your plant fat away from windows, and doors, ceiling fans, ac vents and air returns. If the leaf edges are turning brown, it may be either under-watering or  because of exposure to cold temperatures or a cool draft.

Croton Plant Problems

The croton plant may have the following problems due to improper water, light, temperature, fertilizer, change in environment and shock to the plant.

Croton Leaves Drop

Crotons can drop their leaves if the plants are stressed. Stress can be change in then plant's location or if you have transplanted your croton, shock will cause leaf loss. If this happens, wait for some time, the plant will revive itself. If the tissue underneath the main stem is green, your plant is alive.

The croton leaves can also drop due to over-watering or under-watering. Over-watering can cause the leaves to wilt, only water when the top 1 inch of the soil becomes dry. A pot with several drainage holes and free-draining soil will prevent over-watering.

Due to under-watering, the bottom leaves of the plant dry out and fall off.

Brown Leaves: General dryness and browing of leaves can be treated by giving more water or misting the plant.

When you bring your croton plant from the shop's greenhouse to your home, the plant needs some time to adjust to environmental changes and may lose leaves. In a few weeks, the plant will begin to produce new growth.

Croton Leaves Curling

This may happen due to improper watering and lack of humidity.

Only Green Leaves

If your croton plant has predominantly green leaves and less or no yellow, red, or orange leaves; it means that there is insufficient light.

Gray, Faded Leaves

Too much direct sun on the croton plant causes bleaching, making the faded color in leaves looking dull. Direct sun can develop gray patches on leaves. Move the plant to a place that gets less direct sun.

Leaves Lose Color and Stretch

The inadequate light creates lack of chlorophyll, making the leaves dull. The plant stretches in search of light.

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