Croton is a common houseplant grown for its striking foliage. Croton plants grow best outdoors in warm, humid climates. They like full to dappled light and plentiful water. Growing croton plants indoors can be a challenge to mimic their ideal conditions. Outdoor croton plants can reach around 8 feet tall, but as pot-grown houseplants they tend to be much smaller, making croton a good indoor plant in that regard. In general, Croton grows relatively slowly, gaining less than a foot per growing season.
The primary challenge with croton plant care indoors is maintaining the ideal temperature. If it is too cold, the plant will start losing leaves. However, crotons are well worth the effort for the explosion of color they can provide in a space. Other croton plant benefits (and houseplant benefits in general) include cleaning the air, adding humidity to a space, and improving mood and productivity.
Be careful about where you plant, as crotons are toxic to humans and animals.
The trick to take care of a croton plant is to provide steady warmth. A well-grown croton plant keeps its leaves down to the soil level. Even croton plants outdoors drop leaves after a cold night. Croton plants also need sun to maintain their vibrant leaf colors.
When caring for a croton plant indoors, low humidity can make the plant particularly susceptible to spider mites. Mist your plants daily to help avoid an infestation. Crotons can be brought outdoors in warm weather, as long as they are properly acclimated to the light and temperature conditions.
Croton plants need a fair amount of sun. Bright, indirect light is best. Some croton plant varieties don't tolerate unfiltered, direct sun as well as others, but they will thrive in dappled sunlight. If the plant is getting insufficient sun, the leaves will turn green.
Keep croton plants evenly moist in the summer. Crotons need about 1 inch of water per week. Reduce watering in the winter to biweekly. Watch the plant for signs that it needs more water, such as wilting young foliage. Increase watering if the wilting noticeably happens during hot weather, but check the top couple of inches of soil with a finger for moisture before you increase water. If it's still moist, hold off on watering. Mist frequently during the growth period.