Codiaeum plant leaves
Codiaeum (Croton) - Expert tips

How to Care for Codiaeum (Croton) - Expert Tips for Thriving Plants

Croton plants, aka Codiaeum plants, are among the world's most vibrant and colourful houseplants. They come in various cultivars, each displaying unique and stylish colour patterns. The Codiaeum genus is a member of the overarching family Euphorbiacea. Most species in the Codiaeum family are shrubs with leathery leaves. Only some species are cultivated as houseplants.

However, with such a colourful appearance comes a lively character. Croton plants require specific care and have their own requirements, making them a bit more challenging to care for than some other houseplants. Croton comes from the tropical areas of Southeast Asia, hence their demand for a place of growth - warm and tropical! When you get to know them and understand their needs, it's easy to take care of them.

Codiaeum plant

Croton Plant Care: 10 expert tips for growing it successfully

  1. Avoid overwatering your Croton plant. Ensure the topsoil is half dry or completely dry before watering again. Overwatering is a common problem that can lead to root rot.
  2. Find a spot with the brightest indirect light. Crotons are known for their vibrant colours, which can fade when they don't receive enough bright light.
  3. Good drainage is key. Crotons don't like their roots sitting in water. Always use pots with drainage holes and well-draining soil.
  4. Your Croton loves humidity. As tropical friends, these plants love moisture in the air. Misting them regularly or using a humidifier can be very beneficial.
  5. Fertilise regularly. During the growing season (spring and summer), use PLNTS organic liquid houseplant fertiliser every two weeks.
  6. Avoid any drafts and sudden temperature changes. Crotons are pretty sensitive to temperature changes and cold drafts. Try to maintain a consistent room temperature all year round.
  7. They don't like being moved around a lot. Once you find a spot your Croton likes, keep it there. Stress from constant movement may cause it to drop its leaves!
  8. Regularly check your Croton for common pests such as spider mites or mealybugs. Early detection and intervention can save your plant from severe damage.
  9. No need to worry if your Croton's new leaves are green and simple. These leaves gradually start to reveal their vibrant colours as they mature.
  10. Be patient with new growth. Croton plants can be slow to produce new leaves or display colour changes. You'll eventually see their vibrant foliage flourish if you give them time and consistent care.

Croton plant care tips

Light requirements

Codiaeum love bright light! They need a lot of it, and even direct sunlight for a few hours is recommended. Find a spot near the windows where it can get lots of natural light and morning or evening sunshine. Intensive midday sun can be too intense and burn the leaves. Under full sun, the soil will also dry out too quickly, making it difficult to control its watering needs.

Expert tip! If your Croton plant's bright colours look pale or its mature leaves are too green, it might not get enough light. Try moving it to a spot with more light to bring back its beautiful colours. It will tolerate shadier spots too, but it will be less vibrant there.

Codiaeum plant leaves


Croton plants want consistently moist soil - not too much water, not too little water. If it seems complicated, don't worry! Getting used to its watering routine just takes a little time. You can use a water meter to determine soil moisture or use your finger to feel if the top soil is dry or wet. When a Croton Plant is thirsty, it will droop its leaves. You will see it perking up in no time if you water it quickly. Water only with room-temperature water.

Expert tip! If your Croton leaves start falling, it is most likely because it has been watered too much or too little. Just feel the soil and adjust the watering routine accordingly.


Croton plants are moderately heavy feeders since they are used to grow in nutrient-rich soils that support their colourful foliage. Fertilising once or twice a month during spring and summer is enough. Fertilise with our PLNTS Nutrition liquid plant food that provides your Croton with all the necessary nutrients. In winter, your Croton plant doesn't need feeding because she goes into a resting state state.

Codiaeum watering

Temperature & humidity

Croton plants love temperatures between 18°C and 29°C. Avoid draughty places, and the foliage will shine with its healthy condition! As a tropical plant, they do love high humidity. If you keep it around 40-70%, your Croton will be happy. If your home air is too dry, consider increasing humidity for your houseplants.

Repotting & soil

Croton plants need repotting every 2-3 years when they outgrow their current pots. Choose soil that is specially made for houseplants and is well-draining and nutrient-rich. We recommend using PLNTS organic houseplant soil for the best results.

Expert tip! Wear gloves when repotting your Croton plant. They have toxic sap that can leave stains on your hands.

Croton propagation

Taking cuttings from a Codiaeum plant is actually quite simple. Just follow these easy steps:

  1. Choose a stem that has at least three to five leaves.
  2. With a sharp knife or pruning shears, cut off a stem measuring about 5 to 10 centimetres in length.
  3. To enhance rooting, you can dip the cut end of the stem into rooting powder.
  4. You have two options for rooting: place the cutting in water or plant it directly into well-draining soil. If you choose the water method, once the cutting has developed a strong root system, you can transfer it into a pot with well-draining soil.

You'll have to be patient while rooting your cutting. It can take up to 8 weeks. As soon as it grows and is established, you can treat it like your Croton mother plant.

Codiaeum leaves

Most common pests on Codiaeum

Codiaeum are very sensitive to nasty insects. Pests such as mealybugs, red spider mites and thrips are common to them! The scale insects are rarer but more frustrating. They particularly like strong (woody) stems. Codiaeums are one of the best options for them because of their strong stems.

If your Codiaeum looks unhappy or loses some leaves, but you don't know why, take a look at our PLNTSdoctor page to identify and eliminate plant pests!

Is Codiaeum poisonous for your pets or children?

Sadly, Codiaeum is poisonous. You must ensure that your furry friends and children do not come into contact with it. Wear gloves and rinse your skin if you come into contact with the sap! We don't want you to get hurt as a PLNTSlover.

Buy your new Codiaeum online at

At, we have the beautiful Baby Codiaeum Petra, which will make your heart melt with its beautiful orange colour and cute leaves. Luckily it's so easy to take care of and will turn you into a real PLNTS parent! Buy Codiaeum online at

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Hi, I'm Emma, your guide!

Hi, I’m Emma, your guide!