The Croton plant is a tropical multicolor beauty loved by all plant parents. It is one of a very few houseplants that can handle direct sunlight. Coming from warm temperate climates, the colors in its leaves become more pronounced with more sunlight. It is the only plant grown indoors with green leaves of new growth that quickly turn darker with brighter vein colors of yellow, orange, and red.
The bigger this plant grows the more colorful display is seen so who wouldn’t want to grow this beautiful Croton plant quickly?
Here’s how to grow your croton big and colorful
The Croton can handle strong direct sunlight. The leaves will not burn and the more sunlight, the faster and more colorful it grows! I have mine in a west facing window in Arizona. The hottest and brightest window. The leaves look beautiful during a colorful sunset!
Do turn your plant about once a week to get even sunlight.
The soil in a container can dry out completely between waterings. It is drought tolerant, but being by a sunny window tends to dry out the soil quicker. If by a hot sunny window, this plant may need to be watered every few days. In the winter months, it can definitely go longer like two weeks.
Water deeply when the soil is dry and ONLY water with filtered water. Most houseplants especially tropical ones are very sensitive to chlorine and other contaminants that come in tap water. Tap water is usually alkaline. Houseplants like slightly acidic soils. I have never seen a yellowing leaf until I tried an experiment using my tap water and there came a yellow ugly leaf. I pulled that off and switched back to filtered water. No yellow leaf again.
Make sure the leaves are wiped down with a wet cloth in the morning when dust accumulates and mist the plant with a spray bottle. The Croton can’t get the sunlight if dust is in the way!
This plant does fine without too much humidity but misting the plant will help prevent spider mites. This plant is susceptible to them and this is how you get rid of spider mites on your Croton.
My plant got spider mites the first year when I was a beginner indoor gardener and successfully got rid of them so don’t worry if you find these tiny little things on your Croton but you need to act quickly when they are found. My Croton is now in its third year and thriving.
TIP: Your Croton will tell you it is thirsty when you notice the leaves are curling.
During the summer months, fertilize the Croton plant once a month with an organic all purpose plant food. Just like how houseplants are sensitive to chemicals in tap water, they are also sensitive to chemicals in non-organic fertilizer.
TIP: Your plant will tell you its hungry when a few leaf nodes begin and just stop growing or don’t leaf out. As soon as you feed it, all of those leafs will open up.