Indoor Plants and Flowers Care Plant Care for Indoor Croton Houseplant - Croton Plant Care

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Croton House Plant Care
House Plants & Flowers


Croton houseplants are one of the more colorful indoor tropical plants. It is hard not to notice this bushy, upright plant because of the vividly colored foliage. The Croton house plant, or Codiaeum variegatum pictum, has leaves splashed with green, orange and red with the veins often yellow, depending on the variety.

Croton Petra house plant

Croton Petra

There are a multitude of different types of Croton, most commonly with oval shaped leaves but some of the varieties have forked leaves, long ribbon-like leaves or lobed leaves. Some even have ruffled, twisted or curled leaves. The most used Codiaeum variety is generally the Croton Petra or Norma. These Croton varieties both make colorful, easy care indoor plants.

Croton Plant Care Question?

You can send a house plant question but before you do, please finish reading this page and other plant care information on watering your indoor plants, how to help keep your house plant's root system healthy and lighting for your house plants. These are most important for your house plant's health and this is some of the information I will refer you to when you send an email.

Sometimes called Joseph's Coat because of its many colors, Croton is a member of the Euphorbia plant family. One of its relatives is the Poinsettia, Euphorbia pulcherrima. Both of these are beautiful and colorful tropical plants and make great houseplants.

Croton plants should be kept in warm temperatures, with the minimum being approximately 60°F. Keep out of drafts and move away from windows in the winter if you live in a cold climate, as the glass can also get quite cold.

Croton plants do best with high humidity which you can provide by placing on a humidity tray. Misting frequently, grouping with other plants or placing in a room with naturally high humidity will also provide added humidity.

Croton Plant Care
How to Water

From spring through summer, in high light let the potting media dry down one-fourth of its depth. In medium light, allow to dry down about 1/2 of the soil depth. Let your Croton plant dry down almost completely fall through winter. It is important to remember that lighting and watering are very relative to each other.

Please read the sections on watering your potted plants and lighting for better plant health.

Croton Plant Care
Other Care Tips

Croton plants will drop leaves if they are exposed to cold drafts, watering stress (under or over-watering) or insect infestations. In lower light situations, the variegation will fade and lower and inner foliage will be lost. Keep Croton root bound to help avoid problems due to over-watering.

Croton plants do best with high humidity. You can help provide extra humidity by placing on a humidity tray. Misting frequently, grouping with other plants or placing in a room with naturally high humidity will also provide added humidity.

Croton plants should be kept in warm temperatures as they are not cold tolerant plants. The minimum temperature should be approximately 60°F. Keep out of drafts and move away from windows in the winter if you live in a cold climate, as the glass can also get quite cold.

While it is an attractive plant, it can be difficult to keep Croton looking good if not provided the proper growing conditions and plant care. One necessity for a healthy Croton plant is bright light, whether it is natural or artificial light. If you do not have sufficient natural light, adding some artificial grow lighting is relatively inexpensive and easy to do.

I have had success with Croton under bright artificial lighting. While the variegation will fade somewhat, the colors will become deeper and darker. The Croton plant will also lose more of its lower and inner growth under an artificial light source.

Many houseplants will survive in very low lighting but Croton is not one of them. To keep your Croton looking good with colorful, dense foliage, provide a bright spot near a window. An east or west facing location is ideal but any brightly lit spot will do. A sunroom, greenhouse or atrium would be fantastic for this plant of many colors.

Croton house plant

Croton 'Mammy'

Spider mites are a common insect problem with a Croton. They are also prone to mealybugs, scale and thrips. Keep an eye open for these pests, especially when you first bring a new plant home.

It is a good idea to quarantine any new additions to your houseplant family for a few weeks just to be sure there are not any insects that were not noticed at first. Wash down your new houseplant with a mixture of water and mild dish detergent. I like to add a few drops of Eucalyptus essential oil to my plant cleaning solution. Apply to top and lower leaf and stem surfaces being careful not to saturate the soil. You can clean by hand or use a spray bottle to apply your plant cleaning solution. I use a sponge saturated with my cleaning solution to wipe the top and lower leaf surfaces. Cleaning of your houseplants should be a regular part of your houseplant care.

Move the plant out of any sunny locations before applying anything to the foliage. It is best to do this just after you have watered your plant. Twice a week for two weeks and your plant should be safe. Learn more about indoor plant care with one of these great indoor plant care booksIndoor Plant Care books from

If you have indoor plant questions you can send a plant question or visit the blog for interior plant questions and answers, to post your own comment or questions or share some of your indoor plant wisdom with others. Visit the Facebook Page or Google+ Page, also great places to post houseplant care comments and questions!

Thanks for visiting and come back soon as plant care information, pictures and more are being added all of the time. I hope your indoor tropical Croton plants and all of your plants and flowers are happy, green and growing because that is why I started the website.

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