The landscape croton is a plant species with an enormous range of varieties that are all excellent sources of beauty for any outdoor area. The changes in color and leaf shape between variations make crotons a delightful plant to grow. Minimal care requirements also make the croton the perfect plant choice for many landscaping projects in Palmetto and surrounding Florida areas.
At Three Seasons, we provide Palmetto, Parrish, and Bradenton, FL, with an assortment of plant life from our nursery. While crotons can vary in over 100 different ways, three varieties are extremely popular in central Florida.
The Croton Species
The garden croton, or Codiaeum variegatum, is a tropical shrub native to Australia, Indonesia, Malaysia, and a few Pacific Ocean islands. Many people grow crotons for their vibrant colors and visual appeal of their unique leaves.
However, the plants contain toxins that make them dangerous when consumed. So, it’s best to keep them out of reach of overly curious pets or children. Crotons will only grow to be a few feet tall when they mature. This height makes them perfect for potting, and some can even flourish indoors.
Corkscrew Croton (Mammy Croton)
Gardeners may find this variety of croton under a few different names. Along with “corkscrew croton” and “mammy croton,” these plants may also appear as the “fire croton.” It earned its fiery name due to the brilliant red, orange, and purple hues of its thick leaves. Care tips for the corkscrew croton:
- Corkscrew Crotons grow best in temperatures ranging from 65-95 degrees but can survive short intervals as hot as 100 degrees and as low as 40 degrees.
- Plant the corkscrew croton in an area with a good balance of sun and shade.
- Make sure the plant’s soil drains well enough that it stays moist but not soggy.
The gold dust croton is another appropriate name for this variety. Leaves of the shrub appear to have a sprinkling of gold all over, with a bright green color peeking out beneath. This variety grows at a slow pace but can reach up to six feet in height. It requires relatively little maintenance, with only a few tips to keep in mind:
- Gold dust crotons prefer partial shade with a high level of humidity.
- Like the corkscrew croton, the gold dust croton grows the best in temperatures ranging between 65 and 95 degrees. This makes it a great choice for central Florida landscapes.
- Avoid soggy soil, and the gold dust variety will thrive.
The petra croton is the most popular variety in central Florida. Its colorful veins distinguish it from the corkscrew and gold dust crotons. While it has deep green leaves, the leaf veins radiate with an auburn glow. To keep this variety looking its best, growers will need to:
- Water the plant about one time per week.
- Make sure the petra croton gets around 6 hours of sun each day.
- Prune and trim the petra to remove any discolored or damaged areas.
- Fertilize the plant once or twice a month during warmer seasons and bring it indoors during cooler seasons.
Visit Our Nursery To Browse Our Crotons and Other Great Plant Selections
These are only a few of the many different varieties of crotons available. Each unique type has its own remarkable character that can bring life to any home and garden. However, when handling the croton, plant enthusiasts should always wear gloves, as the sap may cause eczema in some people.
Our nursery has many different kinds of plant varieties for those with green thumbs. We offer a wide range of landscaping and hardscaping services in central Florida, too. Contact us today at (941) 748-4613 to learn more.