5 Unknown Secrets of Colorful Croton Plants

Ralph Astley is a retired gardener from Philadelphia who specializes in outdoor plants and trees. With years of hands-on experience, Ralph not only cares for a diverse range of outdoor flora but also shares his extensive knowledge through well-written articles and social media posts. A trusted authority in arboriculture, he's committed to helping the community grow healthier, more robust gardens.
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Discover the 5 best Unknown Secrets of Colorful Croton Plants practiced by commercial growers in this informative article.

Colorful Croton Plants

The attractive and colorful foliage of Croton makes it a showstopper wherever you plant it! If you want to ensure it looks vivid at its best, then here are the best Unknown Secrets of Colorful Croton Plants!

Check out our article on growing Croton here

Unknown Secrets of Colorful Croton Plants

1. The Light is Most Important

Colorful Croton Plants 3

Like flowers, crotons need sun exposure for the loveliest foliage. If you can ensure 3-4 hours of direct morning sunlight every day, nothing like it! Exposure to partial sunlight that excludes the afternoon sun will do wonders for its growth while bringing out the best colors on the leaves.

Make sure that you are not keeping the plant in a completely dark spot. Also, avoid exposing it to the full sun either for a longer duration as too much direct light will fade the colors.

2. Wipe them Regularly

Colorful Croton Plants 2

The leaves of croton are dirt magnets. If the foliage has accumulated too much dust, then it will result in two things—first, the plant will look dull and less colorful, and second, it will hamper the photosynthesis, resulting in lackluster leaves.

The best way to ensure it doesn’t happen is to give the foliage a good clean once in 7-14 days, using a damp cotton cloth. You can also use diluted milk to clean the leaves. Do make sure you are not exposing the plant to the harsh sun after cleaning.

Check the best leaf shiner recipes for lush houseplants here

3. Boost is Where the Secret Lies

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If you want your crotons to stand out with the best hues, then use an 18-6-12 NPK blend. Dilute it to half or one-quarter of its recommended strength and start feeding the plant from spring, once in 3-5 weeks until it grows actively.

You can also use pasta water, along with food and vegetable scraps fertilizer in the growing medium.

This will make sure that the plant gets a saturated tone in the foliage, making it more vivid and lively!

Note: Stop fertilizing the plant in fall and winter.

4. Be Picky

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The best way to ensure the plant pops with colors is to pick the right variety. Crotons also come with green foliage and growing that variety will not give you vivid leaves.

For best color-combination, grow ‘Franklin Roosevelt,’ ‘Magnificent,’ ‘Mammy,’ ‘Oakleaf,’ ‘Petra,’ and ‘Zanzibar.’

Here are the best crotons you can grow

5. Don’t Fluctuate Too Much

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Crotons are not tolerant towards cold and should never be exposed to temperatures below 30 F or -1 C at any time. Also, keep them away from air conditioners and heating vents.

Temperature above 60°F or 15°C would be great for their growth. Also, move them indoors before the first frost date in fall as too much exposure to the cold can knock the bottom foliage off the plant. 

Have a look at the best landscaping with crotons ideas here

Quick Tips to Maintain Colorful Croton Plants

  • Crotons do best and stay colorful in acidic to mildly acidic soil with a pH between 4.5 and 6.5. Get a soil tester and ensure your growing medium has similar traits.
  • It will be a good idea to regularly pinch the buds. It will promote new growth, which is full of colors, looks glossy, and makes the plant appear more vivid.
  • Do not keep the plant in the excessive afternoon sun as it will make the leaves crinkle while fading the colors.

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