Crotons are tropical plants that thrive outdoors in warm temperate areas. These plants do not like cold weather, so make sure that the temperature remains above 60 degrees Fahrenheit all year. Humidity is also tolerated by the croton plant, so areas like Florida will present the perfect outdoor growing space. If you live in an area where it gets cold outside for a few months out of the year, then you will need to grow the plant indoors where you can control the environment that the plant lives in. It rarely flowers when grown indoors, but the foliage on a croton is striking.
soil – Croton plants require rich soil. I use a combination of organic compost and peat moss. These plants require soil that drains well; they do not like to sit in a pool of water though, so the pot also needs to be able to drain as well.
Fertilizer – Fertilizing croton plants will encourage growth in these plants, but there is no need to feed them more than once a month. The fertilizer should be high in nitrogen and potassium, but feeding the plant too much can cause the leaves to dull and damage the roots. During the winter months when the plant is dormant, you can decrease the amount of fertilizer you give to the plant as well as feed it less frequently. One feeding every other month should be sufficient.
Water – You will need to water your croton plants rather frequently during the growing season. They require the soil to be constantly moist, so when the top begins to feel dry, the plant must be watered again. In addition, these plants like a humid environment. If you cannot find a location that provides this type of atmosphere, then you need to mist the leaves to create it artificially. During the winter months, the watering requirements will decrease, so be careful not to overwater your plants.
Sunlight – These plants require six to eight hours of direct sunlight a day to produce gorgeous yellow, red, and purple foliage. It is best to position a croton plant in an east or west window to ensure that it gets enough sunlight. If the plant is lacking the light it requires, the leaves will turn green.
Temperature and Weather Conditions – Crotons like warm weather, and they tend to grow best in an environment that is around 70 degrees Fahrenheit. Temperatures below 60 degrees Fahrenheit or chilly drafts of air can cause the plant to lose its leaves, and it is possible that it may even die.