­Croton's leaves are marbled in many vibrant colors. See­ more pictures of house plants.

Croton is a demanding but very colorful house plant. While mostly priced for its foliage, this plant does on occasion produce flowers.

The shiny leaves of the croton are heavily marbled in red, yellow, orange, white, and green, all often on the same plant. The leaf shapes are equally varied: oval, indented, spiraled, etc. The plant makes a magnificent indoor shrub. Fluffy, cream-colored flowers are sometimes produced.


Crotons lose much of their color, even dropping their leaves, if given insufficient light. They are often infested with spider mites if the air is not humid enough. It is best to purchase young specimens; mature specimens suffer serious leaf loss when moved.

Croton Quick Facts

Scientific Name: Codiaeum variegatum pictum

Common Name: Croton

Light Requirement for Croton: Full Sun to Bright Light

Water Requirement: for Croton Evenly Moist

Humidity for Croton: High

Temperature for Croton: House

Fertilizer for Croton: Balanced

Potting Mix for Croton: All-Purpose

Propagation of Croton: Air Layering, Stem Cuttings

Decorative Use for Croton: Floor, Table

Care Rating for Croton: Demanding

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR:Larry Hodgson is a full time garden writer out of Quebec City in the heart of French Canada where he grows well over 3,000 species and varieties. His book credits include Making the Most of Shade, The Garden Lovers Guide to Canada, Perennials for Every Purpose, Annuals for Every Purpose, Houseplants for Dummies, and Ortho's Complete Guide to Houseplants, as well as other titles in English and French. He's the winner of the Perennial Plant Association's 2006 Garden Media Award.