Monday, April 29, 2013

How to Care for a Croton

I came upon this fantastic burst of colorfulness known as a Croton on my last stop to the florist, Flowers and Plants in McLean, VA; Flowers and Plants Etc . There are few indoor plants that will jazz up a place like a bright and lively croton. They just beckon you to celebrate life!

In order to fully appreciate and maintain this plant, you must keep it in the right conditions.  Direct sun is a must, to keep it colors deep and rich. It is a bit fussy about its interior environment. It prefers some humidity and does not do well in an overly warm room. It is susceptible to mites if its conditions are not met.

Its leaves should be kept dust free and the occasional shower or outdoor clean-up with a hose would be quite helpful. It would do well to place it outdoors in the summer in a semi-shady area. The light outdoors is much stronger than indoors and houseplants should be put in a shady place outside or semi-shady for indoor sun lovers.

This magnificent plant is not botanically known as a Croton. It's a hybrid of the Codiaeum species. It has been sold as a Croton for so long, which sounds like a proper horticultural name, that the name has stuck.

It is indigenous to South India and Sri Lanka.

Care Instructions--
  • Water thoroughly when the top of the soil is very dry. It will wilt if it is too dry but will perk up after a good soaking.
  • A plant in a 10" (25cm) diameter container should use about 2 quarts (almost 2 liters) of water, when necessary.
  • Mist daily if the humidity is low where it is kept.
  • At least 2-3 hours of direct sun indoors is required to keep the colors bright and varied..
  • Fertilize regularly for best growth. It does not tolerate neglect well. It will drop leaves if it stays too dry and can become susceptible to insects without the proper conditions.   


***To watch short video clips on plant care from my 90's TV series, click below:

  The Indoor Garden TV


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