A native of Malaysia and India, the name Croton (pronounced crow-tun) has its origins in Greek. With it’s thick, leathery leaves and varying colours and patterns here is a hardy genus that’s easy to grow and care for and very tough to kill. There are two reasons why a Croton can turn listless or start dropping leaves. It’s been moved around and developed a shock (don’t worry the plant will get over it in a week or two), or it’s not been receiving the amount of light it neeeds to thrive (Crotons are not natural indoor plants).
Adopting and caring for a Mammy Croton
Adopting: Look for a plant with crisp glossy leaves. If a Croton has lost a lot of leaves at the bottom of the plant, chances are it’s not been cared for. Check its leaves for any scars or insect damage. Also check the underside of the leaves for any pests.
Locating: Crotons do well oudoors in the open sun. If you live in an apartment it’s best to give them a place with a lot of bright, direct sun. Crotons do not do well in low light conditions. If your spaces have limited light, it is better to grow other plants than to bring home a Croton.
Potting: Since these plants are natives of the tropics they need porous, well-drained soils. They do well in a 30:30:30:10 mix of coco-peat, compost, coarse sand and Perlite
Watering: Crotons need to be watered daily. If possible spray water on its leaves while watering to add to the humidity and to wash off any grime or dust that could be settling on its leaves.
Fertilising: If your potting mix is right, these plants will not require too much fertiliser. However nourishing them with an organic liquid fertiliser two or three times a year will help them do well. If you are using a chemical mix, ensure that they don’t touch the stalk or its leaves. This could damage the plant.
Crotons are tough, hard to kill plants if they are grown in spaces with good light. They are natives of India, hence should be the ideal foliage plant to grow in any part of the country.
Did you know
Did you know? Grown in the open Crotons are known to reach heights of up to 20 feet