Foliage doesn't get much more colourful than the Variegated Croton. With colours ranging from deep emerald green through lime, yellow, orange and red, Codiaeum variegatum 'Petra' is a surefire attention grabber!
Crotons are tropical plants and need warmth and plenty of sun to stay happy, so make sure you have a sunny windowsill or heated conservatory to help these plants succeed. This plant is poisonous to pets and humans - please read the warnings in the care information below.
Hailing from the jungles of Southeast Asia, Croton plants are lovers of heat, sun and humidity. Where naturally occurring they can reach huge sizes, but the cultivars selected for growing indoors rarely grow over around 2m tall. When in a warm sunny spot, expect around 15-30cm of growth per season.
The accepted botanical name is Codiaeum variegatum 'Petra'. It's commonly known as Croton Petra, Wonder Plant, Croton Plant and Garden Croton.
Images pictured in this section are for illustration only. Please see the product photo above for an accurate representation of the size of plant you will receive.
The most important aspect to the health of any house plant is finding a spot which meets it’s basic needs for light, temperature and water.
Perfecting the environment and ensuring long-term care needs are met will take your plant from surviving to thriving.
Read through these care instructions for Codiaeum variegatum 'Petra' (aka ), and remember if you need help, we’re an email away.
Feed with half strength organic plant food once a month throughout the growing season. Allow leaves to fall naturally. Pruning is rarely necessary, but if a stem gets unwieldy it can be removed during the growing season. Take note of the warnings and wear gloves when pruning to avoid skin contact with the sap.
Repot when roots begin to grow out of the bottom. Use a well draining house plant mix containing vermiculite.
Crotons are acid-loving, so if you live in a hard tap water area, try to use filtered water or flush the compost with plenty of water once a year to avoid lime build-up in the soil.
Crotons do best in a bright spot with several hours of direct light each day. A conservatory or south facing window are ideal. The bright colours which make Crotons so appealing will fade if solar exposure isn't sufficient. Very intense noon sun can occasionally be a little too much, but that's rarely a problem here in the UK! If in a very sunny conservatory, consider allowing for a little light shade throughout the day by clustering with other sun loving plants.
As a tropical plant, Crotons are accustomed to a dry dormant season and wet growth season. Water freeley, ideally from below with purified water, or with water left overnight to reach room temperature and allow the chlorine to evaporate. Let the compost dry out a little inbetween waterings, but never allow to dry completely. Water little in winter, allowing the compost to dry and watering sparingly to avoid extended periods of wet soil.
Crotons love humidity, so placing above a pebble tray or near source of humidity will keep them at their happiest. Regular sprays with filtered water help maintain humidity, but always be cautious to not leave water pooling on leaves.
Keep above 15ºC at all times. Night time temperatures can drop a little, but more than a couple of days feeling the chill will leave Croton plants feeling miserable. Extended periods at 10-12ºC or below will cause the plant to drop it's leaves and lose vigor.
In a warm, sunny spot in your house Crotons are easy to care for. They lose health quickly if temperates drop below 15ºC for extended periods of time, or when not getting enough sun.
Not recommended for a first-time grower, but easy for anyone with a little experience.
Like other members of the Euphorbiaceae family, Crotons have an irritating and poisonous white milky sap. Wash any sap off your skin immediately to avoid irritation. While pets are very unlikely to show any interest in nibbling the leaves due to the waxy leaves and irritating sap, it is important to know that the sap of this plant is highly poisonous. All parts of the plant are poisonous, so if the plant sets fruit you should carefully remove and dispose of it to avoid children or pets from consuming the fruit or seed.