Want to know How to Grow Big Croton like a Tree? Here are some super tricks to make it tall and showcase it like a colorful focal point!
People usually associate crotons as container plants, but they can also be cultivated as tall specimens. Here are some tips on How to Grow Big Croton like a Tree that’ll help you to flaunt it as a tall specimen in your yard!
Find out a few unknown secrets of colorful croton plants here
Croton As a Tree
Crotons grow best in a subtropical climate, usually found around South and Central Florida. In their native environment, they can achieve an impressive height of 8-12 feet. While growing it in the garden requires a certain degree of care and attention to ensure it grows tall as a tree.
NASA names crotons as one of the top 50 best air-purifying houseplants. Growing them in the house as a big tree can absorb pollutants into their leaves, while the roots can absorb the toxins. They then change the toxins into nutrients keeping the environment around you clean.
Learn about growing croton as a houseplant here
These Croton Varieties Can Exceed 8 Feet and are Perfect to Grow as a Tree
Red Iceton, Petra, Magnificent, Gold Dust, and Mammy are some of the best varieties you can cultivate in your garden for tall growth.
Have a look at the best types of crotons to grow here
#1 Technique to Grow Big Croton Like a Tree
The most amazing trick to growing croton tall as a tree is to give them support from the early stage. Place the pot near a wall or grow them near a fence in the garden. This may sound weird, and there is no scientific reason behind this, but it usually tricks the plant into achieving a good height.
Note: Do not use additional support or a trellis.
Check out some beautiful pictures of croton landscaping here
How to Grow Big Croton Like a Tree?
Here is a list of a few things that you need to keep in mind if you want to grow big croton as a tree:
1. Transfer It to the Garden or in an Appropriate Container
Croton will achieve its full potential only when you plant it in the garden or a big pot, where it gets ample space to grow its roots.
A specimen root bound in a small container will not achieve a height of more than 3-4 feet, as the roots will have a limited scope of development and absorbing nutrients, which directly relates to the height of the plant.
Make sure the pot you use is 1-2 sizes bigger than the rootball of the plant, as it will greatly help in achieving good height. Using an unnecessarily big container, thinking it’ll make the plant grow well, will actually backfire as it’ll result in root rot.
2. Prune It to Grow Upwards
If you want your crotons to grow tall, give them a trimming at the beginning of the growing season. Get rid of the lower branches so that the plant focuses its energy on growing taller instead of spreading around.
Keep the upper growth while taking most of the side shoots to give it an excellent, tree-like shape.
If you see it getting too top-heavy, it would be good to give it a little support by using a bamboo stick or wooden pole.
3. Let It Grow
It is always good to let the plant grow at its own speed. Avoid unnecessary pruning and snipping. If you see it develop at a uniform rate, then avoid experimenting. Crotons are steady growers, and if you let them be, they’ll soon grow tall, adorning your garden!
4. Take Care of Its Growing Requirements
Crotons love acidic, humus-rich soil. The soil needs to be evenly and consistently moist but not wet. Ideally, it prefers if the soil is enriched with compost.
Also, make sure they get plenty of bright light throughout the day with a minimum of 3-5 hours of direct sun exposure.
All of this will significantly contribute to the plant’s growth, making it tall as a tree in no time!
5. Give An Extra Boost
Use liquid fertilizer to feed crotons once every 5-7 weeks during the growing season, starting from March to September. Observe the plant’s growth over the next month and readjust the feeding frequency. Do not fertilize the plant during winter.
It is best to use acidifying fertilizers in 3:1:2 or 8:2:10 (NPK) ratios.
6. Keep the Plant Safe from Pests & Diseases
You have to be careful with mealybugs when it comes to crotons, as they result in stunted growth and cause the plant to die.
If you spot a white cottony mass on the leaves and stem along with honeydew and sooty mold, then take immediate action. We have a great article on getting rid of mealybugs here.
Croton is also susceptible to scales, thrips, and spider mites. You can use insecticidal soap or horticultural oil to eliminate these pests.