The croton (Codiaeum variegatum) plant appears to have it all: colorful foliage, nearly limitless leaf forms, and even a cultish following. But these plants have a drawback: They're difficult to please indoors. In their native habitats, crotons like humid, warm conditions with dappled light and plentiful water.
The primary challenge when growing them indoors is maintaining the ideal temperature—when it is too cold, they start losing leaves. However, crotons are well worth the effort because well-grown croton is an explosion of color.
Size - 6"
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Crotons need bright, indirect light. They do not like unfiltered, direct sunlight, but thrive in dappled sunlight. Vibrant colors depend on bright light.
A well-drained potting soil is perfect.
Keep them evenly moist in the summer and reduce watering in the winter to biweekly. Mist frequently during the growth period.
Temperature and Humidity
Keep the room above 60 degrees Fahrenheit and do not expose the plant to cold drafts. Humidity, along with the lack of bright light, also affects the color of the leaves. Keep the humidity level at 40 to 80 percent. If the humidity isn't high enough, the plant may drop some of its leaves. If you have trouble maintaining the humidity in your home at this level, run a humidifier in the room or set a humidity tray beneath the plant and group it with other plants.
Apply slow-release pellets or liquid fertilizer during the growing season.
Potting and Repotting
Repot a croton in spring when needed. Use a container only one size larger than the plant's current container. Put 1 to 2 inches of damp peat-based potting soil into the new container. Turn the croton on its side and gently slide it out of its container. Set it in the new pot and fill in around the roots with potting soil. Water the plant and add additional soil if needed to bring the soil level to about 1 inch below the rim of the new container.
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