Garden Croton

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

The botanic name of Garden Croton is Codiaeum Variegatum. Garden Crotons are small shrubs that can grow more than five feet high. They come in many shapes and colours. In fact, they are the world’s most colourful tropical plant! The origin is said to be from the Malay Peninsular and Pacific Islands. It is slow growing and not fussy at all.

Propagating croton is very easy. I just use a cutting (a branch) and insert it into the soil. I also learnt that it can be propagated using leaf cutting and air layering as well.
I have two types of garden croton. One has ordinary-shaped leaves while the other one is quite unusual.

I bought the ordinary-shaped croton about two years ago because of its striking yellow colour. This is the only plant in my garden that has yellow on the leaves and the colour is quite obvious. This shrub compliments other green and red foliages that I have. I place it at a spot where it can receive direct sunlight from afternoon till evening, daily.

My other croton, the one with unusual-shaped leaves, is called Croton Mother-and-Daughter, also an unusual name!

The matured leaves are green on the surface and dark red underneath. I place this plant undershade as I do not want the rain water to break the ‘daughter’ leaf from the ‘mother' leaf and in order for the green colour to stay rich. Nonetheless, it grows healthier undershade.

The leaves are long and narrow initially before growing to become mothers and daughters. Earlier, this shrub grew too bushy and I did some pruning. I cut off the branches from the main trunk and pinched the tip of the croton in order to grow a standard topiary. Now you can see three trunks of the shrub. But later, I might just retain the tallest one in the centre. Let's see how it grows. I am still experimenting ;-)

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  1. Hi Steph. Croton is a popular plant here as well. It's not really surprising since it is so colorful. Iridescent colors, shimmering in the breeze. That's the first time I see the Mother-and-Daughter Croton. It is very unique.

  2. The leaf has a unique shape :) Very pretty looking plant...I don't remember seeing this plant before.

  3. Lovely crotons. Every time I see pics of crotons I'm amazed...there are so many varieties. That yellow looks good!

  4. I love the look of the one with the big splash of yellow. It almost makes me yearn for the tropical Florida climate I grew up in, just so I could grow stunning shrubs like this. Cheers!

  5. It can be a great house plant too. Great colors!

  6. I love both. Especially the strange looking one. Bright yellow on leaves usually looks good, right?

  7. When I lived in Hawaii croton were called mother-in-laws tongue. They seem to love the tropics.

  8. I have never seen a croton before. Neither heard of it. Interesting name!

  9. Found your crotons Steph ... love the golden yellow! I've never actually seen a Codiaeium appendiculatum before .... what a great plant!



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