Croton plants for tropical gardens indoors and pot planting, that you can try easily. Especially like other tropical flowering as well as non-flowering plants.
It is really fantastic to have a look at this fascinating group of plants.
Truly these are beautiful plants with foliage that come in different shades, shapes and sizes. For example, leaves that are slender, curly, oak like etc. In a like manner, leaves in different colour combinations with red, purple, yellow etc. are really awesome.
Why we choose croton plants for tropical gardens
Definitely the most attractive feature, is its wide variety of colours. Doubtlessly a few crotons can make our gardens look amazing.
Truly there are croton plants with large as well as small leaves. Likewise those with long slender leaves are equally fantastic as the other ones with short or curly foliage.
Many of them are having leaves with unique shapes. Apple leaf croton and banana croton are examples.
In addition they are ideal for garden fencing and landscaping.
Moreover crotons are the best examples of ornamental plants for compound walls.
If allowed, crotons can grow up to a height of about eight to ten feet. Therefore, it is one of the best options to grow as ornamental tree for home gardens. Mostly like ficus benjamina, night jasmine, mango tree etc.
Air purifying properties of croton plants
Crotons are best examples of air purifying plants, preferably that can absorb lots of toxins. In addition, it is one of the important detoxifying plants according to NASA’s clean air studies. Especially like spider plant, snake plant, zz plant, peace lily, syngonium, money plant, jade etc.
Different varieties of croton plants for tropical gardens
There are more than 100 different varieties of croton plants. For example, petra croton, zanzibar croton, gold dust croton, banana croton, croton magnificent etc.
How to grow croton plants for tropical gardens
Certainly we can propagate croton plants through stem cuttings. Really cuttings of about four to six inches are ideal. We can collect this from mature healthy mother plants.
It is better to avoid cuttings that are too thick or thin. However, choose those with a thickness similar to that of a pencil.
Likewise, always try to collect cuttings from branches that are having active growth. Stem cuttings with at least five to six nodes, is good.
Propagation through air layering, from rooted leaves etc. are also fine. But the former one is the easiest and fastest.
Also we can buy good quality saplings from sellers and nurseries.
Rooting our croton plant cuttings
For this we can use ordinary pots or polythene bags filled with river sand. Further apply some rooting hormone at the lower end of the cutting.
Then tuck it about two inches deep in the sand. Keep it in shade for a few days and water regularly.
Surely new buds begin to sprout within two or three weeks.
Gradually move the sapling to bright sunlight.
Finally we can transfer the plant to the growing medium, either directly in soil or in pots.
Transfer the plant for ground planting
For ground planting we can transfer the sapling from the rooting soil. Always remember to take care against damaging roots.
Meanwhile prepare a pit with dimensions 1:1:1 foot and fill it with a mixture of compost, mulch and garden soil.
After that dig a small pit in the middle, and plant your sapling.
Never forget to maintain properly your croton for a healthy growth. For this, the first thing is to water your plant when the top soil becomes dry. Likewise, feed the plant with an organic manure at intervals of about six months.
Preparation of potting medium
For our crotons, we can prepare a homemade potting medium. Preferably with ingredients mixed together in the following ratio.
|Dried cow dung and compost||20%|
|Mixture of bone meal and neem seed powder||10%|
Before filling the mixture in the pot, ensure proper drainage. For this, first put the bottom layer with broken bricks. Mostly about a thickness of about one inch.
After that you can fill the pot with the above medium.
Further, plant the sapling in the pot and keep it in shade for a few days.
Gradually you can transfer your croton to bright sunlight.
Usually, our pot planted crotons need more care than those grow directly in soil. Because there are chances for the plant to die due to lack of water, over watering, shortage of proper lighting etc.
Potted crotons for indoors
Definitely we can keep our potted croton plants indoors. The only requirement is availability of sunlight for at least six or seven hours a day.
Balconies, window sides or patios are ideal places for this. Especially along with a few flowering and non-flowering plants, bonsai tees etc.
Generally, crotons prefer a moist, but well drained medium for better growth. Truly, we can check the top soil about one inch deep for moisture between consecutive watering.
Pinching and Pruning
Really, pinching and pruning can make our crotons appear bushy, which is more attractive. We can remove unnecessary buds with our fingers, which is commonly known as pinching.
In addition, we can do drastic pruning if the plant becomes leggy. Certainly this is the process of cutting off one third of the main stem that helps sprouting new buds. Definitely this can make plant to retain its beauty. Usually, a sharp knife or pruning shears is used for this. Never forget to wear protective hand gloves against the toxic sap of the plant.
Commonly crotons always love full bright sunlight. Because, it is essential for the plant to attain brightest colours for the foliage. Also, the leaves gradually turn back to pale green, if kept away from light longer.
However, try to avoid direct midday light that may cause burning of leaves.
Diseases of croton plants for tropical gardens
Usually, crotons are not affected by pests or diseases in tropical places. But, we should always take care against over watering. Because, this may lead to root rotting, wilting and browning of leaves.
Undoubtedly the sap that oozes out through the cut end of leaves or stems, is toxic to humans and pets. Therefore, always remember to keep children and pets away from the plants.
With the above points in mind, try to grow a few beautiful crotons either directly in soil or in pots. Make your garden really fantastic.