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Making crotons a part of your garden and interiorscape design

Croton Growing-petra-croton

Petra Croton

There are many species of crotons which makes this plant a must for your garden area. Some of these crotons include petras, gold dust, corkscrew, the bananas and so on. I have worked with several of these species creating many beautiful garden designs both out and indoors. What I love about crotons is that you can have constant colour year round because the beauty or the colours are in the leaves which means no need to worry about plants losing their bloom because the season is gone.

It only makes sense to install crotons amount flowering plants so as those plants loses its bloom the crotons will continue to give that colour which I believe is a benefit. The downside to these garden babies is they are very fragile so you must handle with care because the leaves break very easily but don’t let that stop you, installing these tropical beauties is worth the investment so with that said we will be looking at how to grow and care for crotons.

Things you must know

  • Planting Location
  • Soil Type
  • Watering Methods
  • Fertilizing Methods
  • Garden insect pests of crotons
  • Croton Disease
  • Ideas on where to install them

Planting Location

The planting location of crotons should be an area that gets lots of sunlight because in order for your crotons to maintain its rich colour it needs the sunlight.

Soil Type

Crotons dose well in organic soils that drains well. Providing an organic soil mix along with peat moss will keep your crotons growing happy.

Watering Methods

Keep the soil moist not waterlogged because overwatering will cause root rot, allow the topsoil to dry before giving your crotons another drink of water. During the winter months decrease the amount of water you give your crotons.

Fertilizing Methods

Applying a slow-release fertilizer during the growing season will keep your plants growing healthy. Before applying fertilizers read and follow the manufacturer’s label because the label is the law.

Garden insect pests of crotons

Keep an eye out for these garden insect pests.

  • Scales
  • Mealybugs
  • Spider Mites
  • Thrips

These garden insect pests will suck the sap from your crotons, for additional information on these pests follow this link. Pest control methods. Threating these insects with insecticidal soap will bring them under control.

Croton Disease

Crotons have its share of disease which includes

  • Xanthomonas leaf spot
  • Stem gall and canker
  • Crown gall
  • Root Rot

Root Rot

Overwatering your crotons will cause root rot. The key is to let the soil dry somewhat between watering before giving your plant another drink.

Xanthomonas leaf spot

Xanthomonas leaf spot appears brown-blackish and is found between the leaf veins. To prevent this disease the use of copper-based bactericide will help. Once the plant has contracted this disease the only measure is to destroy the plant.

Stem gall and canker

Crotons that are infected with this disease shows symptoms of the stem having callus tissues. Plants must also be destroyed that has this disease.

Crown Gall

Crown gall shows up as thick stems and swollen veins on the leaves when this happens the entire plant must be destroyed. Also, the tools that were used to remove infected plants should be sterilized. Two tablespoons of bleach in half a gallon of water. With a soft cloth dip it into the mixture and wipe the blades of the tool slowly and gently ensuring that you don’t cause injury to your hand.

Container grown crotons

A great way to grow crotons is with the help of containers. The soil of the container grown croton should be a soil that drains well along with adding organic matter. The organic matter will help to build the soil by allowing excess water to drain while absorbing or holding the right amount of water for your plant.

Ensure that the containers have drain holes also, the container should be placed in an area that gets full to partial sunlight. The soil should be kept somewhat moist and not waterlogged. A liquid feed or slow-release fertilizer will keep you crotons in good shape. Before using fertilizer read and follow the manufacturer’s label because the label is the law.

Indoor grown crotons

Growing crotons indoors is pretty cool it is best that the pots be located in an area that gets bright indirect light because if the lighting requirements do not meet your plant’s requirements the plant will eventually die.

For example, if the light is to dim the leaves of the crotons will lose its colour and will also fall, if your crotons are planted in direct light the leaves will burn so a rule is to install your crotons in bright indirect light. Follow the steps as with planting in containers. As we discussed earlier the soil should be a well-drained soil and the pots should have drains hole to allow excess to drain through.

A saucer should be placed under the pot to collect the water that drains. Remember to empty the saucer as if fills. You will have some uninvited guess that will seek to make a meal out of your garden plants. These insects can be reviewed above in the garden insect pest section. Control garden insect pest with a mixture of half a tablespoon of dish liquid in a gallon of water and with a soft cloth wipe the leaves and the plant’s stem or applying insecticidal soap will help. Fertilize your crotons with a slow release or liquid feed fertilizer once every three months. Read and follow the instruction before applying.

The final word

Crotons are very beautiful plants that can add flavour to your garden area. The coloured leaves make the croton a must, so if you are looking for a plant that gives that constant colour then crotons are the plants for you. These garden plants can really stand out in a garden design giving that WOW. With that said let’s start installing some of these babies not only outdoors but indoors as well.

One comment

  1. Awesome post and review of Crotons. I actually have them around my house and I love what you said about these species creating many beautiful garden designs both out and indoors.

    They really do provide a beautiful look to gardens and landscapes because of their colorful leaves and they actually smell nice too.

    So I’m very happy to see that you’ve written about this and I definitely agree with you!

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