Croton (Codiaeum variegatum) Grow Guide

If you have never noticed the croton, I assure you that from now on you will see many, many places with this plant. It is one of the interior classics for offices, shopping centers and offices. In homes they are also seen for their color and shape of their leaves that undoubtedly do not go unnoticed.


The croton (common name) can be confused with a broad genus called Croton that has nothing to do with this plant. Well, a little yes, since the two genera (Croton and Codiaeum variegatum) belong to the great Euphorbiaceae family 

Something we can comment on is that the genera and species of the Euphorbiaceae family contain various latex. Natural rubber, for example, is extracted from plants in this family. In the case of croton we will not be able to take advantage of these secretions of gums and resins. In fact, it is irritating in contact with the skin and mucous membranes.

We recommend that you handle the plant with gloves if you are going to transplant or cut for example. It is considered toxic but there is no need to be alarmed. With proper handling we will not have problems.

If you are clear that the croton is going to occupy a place in your home or office, we will tell you what it needs in interior spaces.



Given its tropical origin, it is not recommended that the temperature drop below 15ºC. As for the upper threshold, you will not have to worry excessively, except in very hot climates because we are talking about 27 ºC not negligible. By protecting it from drafts and sudden changes in temperature , we will have complied with the thermal section.


You certainly need high but not direct exposure . This is important. Too much direct sun burns the leaves. On the contrary, a shady place will make the colors disappear, leaving the plant withered and without grace.


Good drainage and nutritious is the type of soil preferred by this colorful plant. The croton fears waterlogging so it will be necessary to prepare a substrate with a part of river sand in addition to the nutritional components such as mulches and / or peat to ensure its demands. The subscription can be made with a universal subscription in the busiest periods, which will be mainly spring and summer.


The risks will vary according to the season of the year. In winter, one watering every week or 10 days will suffice. In summer we will have to increase the frequency to 2 times a week with the occasional water spray to help the croton to withstand the heat of the season. A recommendation that we should not go through something: the water should be warm , at room temperature (that of the house). In summer it is not too much of a problem but be careful in winter that the water usually comes out of the tap much colder. Let it rest to warm it up. It is essential  not to flood the substrate. The roots are very shallow and fine. Root asphyxia will be ensured in case of excess irrigation.


In many indoor plants it is recommended to transplant from time to time (every 2 or 3 years). We comment on it as something complementary. On this occasion, it is essential to do an annual transplant for optimal development. In fact, being a plant that is not easy to maintain for many years, the annual transplant will help the croton to be durable over time.

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