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Crotons are prized for their leaf coloration which includes different shades of red, yellow, and green. The leaves of these plants attract profuse looks when put in the center as a focal point against a neutral background.
Different Croton varieties are not so easy to grow since they require high humidity and constant warmth without temperature fluctuations, but you can still cultivate them indoors. Provide bright light, let the plants dry out before applying water, fertilize four times annually. Watch out for mealybugs and keep the plant free of dust. Use richly organic soil and mulch it if you are growing the plant outdoors. The ideal home for it is a bathroom.
Read on to find out about 20 different varieties of crotons.
Codiaeum consists of more than 15 species of trees and shrubs from Southeast Asia, Indomalaysia, and the Pacific Islands, including Codiaeum variegatum.
The plants have inconspicuous and unisexual flowers with both sexes borne in pendent spikes on the same plant. The leaf blades are variously or entirely lobed, marked with red, purple, green, yellow margins that are smooth, hairless. Many plants have been hybridized, resulting in a wide array of vividly splashed or spotted smooth, ruffled or twisted leaves.
New vivid forms make attractive landscape displays and have revived the popularity of crotons. They are especially attractive if mingled with other species that have deep green foliage and taller plants because they ensure protection from the sun.
The botanical name of crotons is Codiaeum and they perform well in zones 9-11.
Croton plants bloom if provided with regular moisture and humidity during the warm months and moderate moisture and humidity during the colder months. They can grow more than 30 cm tall.
Their leaves start out green and soon develop incredibly diverse patterns in rich colors. Croton plants are native to Australia where they developed myriad leaf shapes and color mixtures. They can be large and broad to small, narrow and spiral, from green to cream, red, orange, even pink, thick, waxy, almost look artificial.
They leak a white sap that can discolor clothes or irritate the skin, so be careful where you put them and make sure your pets don’t come into contact with crotons.
Types of Croton Plants
1. Codiaeum Variegatum ‘Petra’
Petra has thick stems, thick, large leaves pointed at the tip. Coloration can vary, but the leaves are usually green with prominent yellow or pink venation. It is one of my personal favorites.
Bonus care tip: Plant it in a white pot to make it look attractive. It tolerates lower levels of light.
2. Codiaeum ‘Jamaican Croton’
This plant variety is easy to distinguish because it has deep green leaves that are adorned with pale peach in the center along with hot pink venation and stems.
Bonus care tip: Use a banana peel to make the plant shiny. Provide fertile, humus-rich, and well-drained soil, preferably of acidic pH. As regards sunlight, bright filtered is necessary at midday.
3. Codiaeum ‘Picasso’s Paintbrush’
This plant lives up to its name and looks like a picture made up of long, thin lines in a vibrant color palette that resembles ornamental grass in some kind of a fairytale.
Bonus care tip: Plant this one in front of some larger species to add a splash of color to an otherwise dull display.
4. Codiaeum Variegatum ‘Florida Select’
Another personal favorite of mine, this showy species is made up of contrasts. Dark and light on each leaf, usually green leaves with yellow venation or very deep green with light pink venation.
Bonus care tip: Crotons are poisonous if ingested, so keep your pets away and wear protective gloves when handling the plant.
5. Codiaeum Variegatum ‘Gold Dust’
This is a plant that likes to hang out outdoors. It has oval leaves speckled with yellow spots. With time, you will need to transplant it into a somewhat larger pot.
Bonus care tip: Provide adequate light and find companion plants that will make it stand out.
6. Codiaeum Variegatum ‘Bush on Fire’
This is another interesting species that has green leaves with yellow and pink to red spots, curly at the tips, symbolic of its name.
Bonus care tip: Provide around 5 hours of sunlight and keep the soil evenly moist.
7. Codiaeum ‘Andrew’
This is an extremely popular species that bears narrow and long leaves with creamy markings on the leaf edges.
Bonus care tip: Provide bright light to dappled shade.
8. Codiaeum Variegatum ‘Eleanor Roosevelt’
Henry Coppinger first discovered this species which bears deep green leaves with yellow markings. It can grow around 5 feet tall so you will need a larger pot when it reaches that height.
Bonus care tip: Water moderately.
9. Codiaeum Variegatum ‘Banana’
This croton has lance-shaped green leaves adorned with splashes of yellow and deep pink.
Bonus care tip: It performs best if provided with light shade.
10. Codiaeum Varigatum ‘Zanzibar’
This plant has long and narrow leaves, green, yellow, orange and purple-very colorful indeed. It looks best if potted in a plain pot so that its contrasting leaves can stand out.
Bonus care tip: Indirect light will make this plant extremely happy.
11. Codiaeum Variegatum ‘Superstar’
Now, this is an interesting plant. It has somewhat long and lanceolate deep green leaves that are splashed with yellow spots. What an amazing contrast, right?
Bonus care tip: This one can be grown indoors or outdoors. Provide bright light and regular moisture.
12. Codiaeum Variegatum ‘Oak Leaf’
This is a relatively small variety that has an interesting leaf shape with green and yellow coloration.
Bonus care tip: Grow it in a smaller pot and put some decorative pebbles on top.
13. Codiaeum ‘Mother and Daughter’
This plant represents the symbiotic relationship between mother and daughter, hence the very name. The plant has long and narrow green, yellow, pink or burgundy leaves that hold another leaf that’s usually green with central pink venation.
Bonus care tip: Provide dappled shade and water once the soil becomes dry to the touch.
14. Codiaeum ‘Red Iceton’
The leaf coloration is initially yellow, but as it matures, the plant develops different leaf patterns: green with blatant pink venation, yellow with green tips and venation or green with yellow venation – there is a wide array of them to choose from.
Bonus care tip: Provide a rich, well-draining and humusy mixture for optimum growth.
15. Codiaeum Varigatum ‘Sunny Star’
This leafy friend can grow up to 5 feet tall and it has elliptic and small leaves with yellow venation. The stems are thin and more visible than in the case of other crotons.
Bonus care tip: Find a place where the plant will be exposed to bright light and turn it occasionally so as to ensure even exposure.
16. Codiaeum Varigatum ‘Mammy’
This plant looks dazzling if grown along a walkaway, where it can take even some full sun. It has curly and narrow, yellow, green and burgundy leaves.
Bonus care tip: Mulch for additional moisture if you are growing it outdoors.
17. Codiaeum Variegatum ‘Yellow Iceton’
This plant variety can be grown both indoors and outdoors. It is distinguished by medium yellow leaves with green markings at the tips, central green venation, and small veins on both sides.
It looks best if paired with other burgundy and green varieties.
Bonus care tip: It can take a bit of full sun.
18. Codiaeum ‘Victoria Gold Bell’
The leaves of this beauty will fall over the pot. Green leaves have yellow central venation, while bright pink leaves are embellished with green markings.
Choose a mint color pot to make it look more prominent.
Bonus care tip: Avoid overhead watering so as not to invite fungi.
19. Codiaeum Variegatum ‘Mrs. Iceton’
This is a true autumnal plant. It has somewhat thick stems and usually yellow leaves with central green venation, but rose gold leaves and some light green ones are a common sight too.
Bonus care tip: Plant it in a neutral pot and place it in the center of the room to act as a focal point.
20. Codiaeum Varigatum ‘Magnificent’
Now, this plant showcases leaves that are deep or light green or pink with yellow or peach markings. It can grow up to 6 feet outdoors and around 4 feet if kept as a houseplant.
Does your plant has sticky leaves?
Scale insects might be the problem and they are the first sign of sticky leaves which gradually turn black and sooty. Rub off the insects and wipe the leaves clean. Also, treat the leaves with insecticide.
Are the leaves of your croton falling off?
Temperature fluctuations might be the issue here or a spot where you keep it too dark. Instead, locate the plant in a warm enough spot between 15 and 24 degrees C. Make sure your watering regime is suitable for croton.
Is your plan leaning to one side?
Plants tend to turn to one side- towards the source of light. In order to save it, turn the plant regularly to make sure it receives even exposure.
Who wouldn’t like to invite a plant in such colorful attire with its big, thick, leathery orange and neon yellow-striped leaves into their home? There are no two plants that look exactly the same and no matter where you put them, they can stop traffic as your guests are moving through your home, especially if you plant it in a container that accentuates its exotic side.
Despite its beauty, the plant will stubbornly refuse to remain clothed if your house lacks humidity. Provide enough humidity and enjoy the rewards of having a croton plant in your home.