Crotons are tropical plants native to South America. These narrow-leaved evergreen shrubs have gained popularity in recent years, and they’re perfect for indoor spaces that get little light. Their small leaves mean they don’t take up much visual space, but these plants add warmth to any room with their green hue. You might see them referred to as arum lily or bullseye plant—both names are common variations on the word “croton.” There is more than one type of croton.
The most commonly available variety is yellow-leafed, which has a pale yellow center surrounded by a darker yellow ring of leaves. Because there are so many different types of crotons, it can feel like you need a degree in botany before you can grow your own plant successfully. But don’t worry! This guide covers all you need to know about caring for your croton plant and making it grow.
What Does a Croton Plant Look Like?
The croton plant is a narrow-leaved evergreen shrub with short, oval leaves that grow in an alternating pattern. The leaves are usually a dark green color, but they can also be yellow with a pale yellow center or red. When you water your croton, the leaves will turn brown and then fall off.
This is natural and to be expected because it signals the plant to go dormant for the winter. Typically, the height of a croton plant is about 3 feet tall when planted in the ground, but when planted indoors it will only grow up to 18 inches tall. The width of a mature croton is about 2 feet wide at full growth.
Where to Place Your Croton
It’s important to know where to place your plant so it can get the most light. Crotons need plenty of light, and they need to be put in a location that gets at least four hours of sunlight each day. If you want your croton to thrive, place it near a window where it can receive plenty of natural light.
The croton plant requires frequent watering, but be sure not to over-water. Too much water can cause root rot, but too little water can dry the humidity-loving plant out. You can use new croton foliage as an indicator of water needs, as it will begin to wilt when thirsty.
you want to water your croton every 3-7 days in summer and spring to keep the soil moist but not soggy. However, you don’t want to actually count days before watering. Instead, check the soil moisture and water when ½ inch of topsoil is dry.
When to Care for Your Croton
Plant One of the most important parts of caring for your croton plant is when you should water it. Crotons need regular watering, about once a week in the summer and once every two weeks in the winter. The goal is to keep the soil moist, but not soggy. Crotons also need to be fertilized regularly. You’ll want to fertilize them at least once a month with a liquid fertilizer like Miracle-Gro® Liqua Feed Plant Food or natural fertilizer like manure tea for optimal plant health.
f your plant is getting too much sun, try moving it to an area that gets less light so it can still get enough light but doesn’t overheat during the day. If you find that your croton isn’t getting enough light, try adjusting their location or adding grow lights to their environment so they can get more sunlight. If your plant has yellow leaves and looks droopy, that means it’s thirsty! In this case, water it right away and watch closely for improvement.
You don’t have to prune croton plants, but if lower leaves have fallen off and you want to encourage fresh growth, simply snip off the branches or stems at the desired height and the plant will soon fill out. To encourage a bushier plant, snip off the growing tips of each stem.
How to Care for a Croton
Plant Caring for a croton plant is not that difficult. You need to ensure that it has enough water, and you will have to repot it every year or two. But other than that, crotons are fairly low maintenance plants. One of the key things to remember when caring for your croton is that it needs plenty of humidity. It does not like dry air and will thrive best in a humid environment. If you live in a region with high humidity, then you don’t need to worry about this at all. But if you live in an area with low humidity, To keep your plant outliving its lifespan, take stem cuttings from a mature, then misting your plant every day is the best way to keep it healthy.
You should also make sure your croton gets enough sunlight. It needs at least six hours of direct sunlight per day to thrive, so if you want your plant to grow larger and greener, then brighten up its spot by placing it near a window with plenty of natural light coming in!
When watering your plant, be careful not to overwater or underwater it as both scenarios can cause problems—crotons do best when watered regularly but sparingly (every one or two days).
The average lifespan of indoor croton is two to four years. To keep your plant outliving its lifespan, take stem cuttings from a mature, healthy plant to propagate the plant. A plant living outdoors in the correct zone in ideal conditions will live longer
Final Words: Is the Croton Worth It?
The croton is an excellent plant for people who want to make their home feel more cozy and welcoming. If you have an indoor space that gets little light, the croton is a great choice for you. These plants can also be grown in outdoor spaces with partial to full shade. From the moment you buy your croton from a nursery or home improvement store, it will start to grow—and with these simple tips, it’ll flourish!
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