Pictures of Crotons ~ Bright Dazzling Colored Plants in Garden Landscaping

Crotons (close-up photo)

Closeup of croton plant
Closeup of croton plant | Source

Crotons

There are many varieties of croton and they are primarily added to the garden landscape or included indoors as potted plants because of their bright and dazzling leaf colors.

Crotons can be used as an accent plant in a garden design or can be massed for maximum impact if desired.

I have used them both ways in our Houston, Texas garden.

For several years I had a beautiful specimen plant that could be viewed out of our everyday dining area and when frost or freeze warnings were given in the winter, my husband and I would cover our more tender vegetation with some old bed sheets which generally saved them and kept the plants alive from year to year.

Last year was a great exception in terms of the weather. Not only did we have prolonged days of freezing weather but it actually snowed a couple of times in Houston and the surrounding area! It was most unusual weather and we lost that specimen plant and a few others that I had planted in other areas of the garden.

Gold Dust Crotons

Gold dust croton
Gold dust croton | Source

Colorful Croton

Tropical Plant

The Croton plant is very tropical in nature and is native to either Malaysia, Bolivia or Ecuador depending upon different sources writing about their origin.

For that reason, most people are probably more familiar with viewing these show stopping colorful leafed plants in indoor settings as opposed to outdoors unless one lives in a tropical climate.

In commercial settings like hotels and other venues that utilize live plants for décor, crotons brighten up the areas with a rainbow of colors.

Speaking of brightness, that is one requirement for successfully growing crotons in an indoor setting. They do need bright lighting to maintain their vibrant coloration of their leaves. It can be natural light or even artificial lighting as is often the case in business establishments.

If grown in lighting conditions with not enough light, the colors gradually fade thereby losing their main attractive feature. So while they do not talk to one in a literal sense, crotons will let you know their needs in a demonstrative manner!

Crotons on our backyard patio in pots

Crotons on our backyard patio massed together in a collection of pots
Crotons on our backyard patio massed together in a collection of pots | Source

Crotons grown in clay pots

A collection  of crotons on our patio
A collection of crotons on our patio | Source

Croton

Do you like to use crotons in your home or garden?

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Growing Crotons

Ideal growing conditions for Crotons in addition to the direct sunlight or at least very bright lighting conditions include the right amount of water and humidity.

In Houston, Texas we generally have enough humidity outdoors to suit any humidity loving plant. Our air-conditioners hum off and on most of the year trying to wring some of that water laden air out of our homes and offices.

Thus, if growing Crotons outside, worrying about humidity is one thing that we Houstonians can cross off of our "to-do" list. For others a light misting of water onto the Croton leaves will keep these plants happy if growing them in drier locations.

Crotons appreciate moist soil so again depending upon weather conditions and heat, water accordingly.

If it is in the middle of the summer and temperatures in Houston could enable one to literally fry an egg on a side-walk, we water our potted Croton plants every day. Other times of the year, once or twice a week is sufficient to keep the soil moist.

A light fertilizing several times a year will help nourish Crotons.

The potting soil that I choose to use has some fertilizer in it that helps feed any new plants for a number of months. In addition it helps the plants from being under or over-watered.

They are coming out with some great potting soils these days that can be acquired at nurseries.

If one is investing in new plants, one may as well spend a little extra and get a good potting soil to get them off to a great start!

Underside of croton leaf

Closeup of underside of croton leaf
Closeup of underside of croton leaf | Source
Another colorful underside of a croton leaf
Another colorful underside of a croton leaf | Source

Other Characteristics of Crotons

The undersides of the Croton leaves are amazing to see as well as the top sides as these photos indicate. The veins in the leaves create intricate patterns and multiple colors would hit just about every color spectrum depending upon which species one is viewing.

Speaking of species...there are 750 of them!

Crotons come from a family called Euphorbiaceae.

While the leaves, fruits and sap of the Croton can be dangerous or even poisonous, it has also been studied academically and many uses have been found in addition to simply embellishing a landscape.

Crotons have been used medicinally as a tonic and even show some antibacterial effects. They have also been used in varnishes, waxes and oils. Some tobaccos have been scented with parts of the Croton!

With so many species and more being discovered all the time, research on Crotons continues.

Use normal precautions if utilizing these beautiful plants around pets or children and enjoy Crotons for their bright and dazzling colors if using them in your home or garden landscape.

Some of the potted crotons in our backyard landscape

I have moved the potted crotons off of the patio and intermingled them into the backyard landscape this past year.  Very versatile when left to grow in pots!
I have moved the potted crotons off of the patio and intermingled them into the backyard landscape this past year. Very versatile when left to grow in pots! | Source

Croton Varieties

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© 2010 Peggy Woods

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Comments are welcomed! 60 comments

Peggy W profile image

Peggy W 3 years ago from Houston, Texas Author

We have our potted crotons in the garage now for a predicted freeze tonight but should be able to put them out again tomorrow. No freezes predicted for at least another week or longer. Happy Thanksgiving to you tomorrow!


moonlake profile image

moonlake 3 years ago from America

Beautiful plants I use to grow them in the house when I had more room but can't grow them outside here. We would be covering all the time. Enjoyed your hub voted up and pinned.


Peggy W profile image

Peggy W 3 years ago from Houston, Texas Author

Hello Always Optimist,

Our crotons have gotten even larger than when these photos were taken and are so very showy! Glad you like the photos. Thanks for your comment.


Always Optimist profile image

Always Optimist 3 years ago from India

Very beautiful pictures and I really envy your garden.


Peggy W profile image

Peggy W 3 years ago from Houston, Texas Author

Hi Roberta,

You should see them now! Our crotons have gotten immense in size! I had to repot them into larger pots and switched from the heavier clay pots to clay colored plastic ones so that during the few freezes a year that we get in Houston, they can be more easily moved into our garage for protection. Sorry you don't have them in the Carolinas, but as you said, you have other types of plants up there to compensate. :)


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