I’ve been so proud of myself for keeping all my indoor plants alive over the last 2 years. As you may recall, I used to be an OUTDOOR gardener (Master Gardener in CT and NH), but since moving to a small apartment (across the country, to an entirely different climate, in Seattle, WA) I’ve decided to turn my gardening efforts to indoor plants. Up to now, I’ve been pretty successful. With the exception of a Bonsai, that I had to toss because of aphids, everything is looking healthy…
Until NOW! I have a Croton (Codiaeum) that is going NOWHERE fast! I understand that to judge your success with one of these, it should have lots of leaves on the lower stem… Mine does NOT fill that requirement. It is also so very SLOW in adding either height or leaves. It had what looked like little blooms developing…but they hardened up and died off. Now I’m discouraged. Hence, the need for my Teddy Bear!
What I have found from my research is that, in nature, these plants tend to grow tall. The way to stop that is similar to pruning outdoor plants. Prune the top, and leaves will (hopefully) sprout from the lower regions of the plant.
My searching has also indicated that it reproduces readily from cuttings! That means that what I cut off the top, I can stick in the soil and it will soon yield another plant. Perhaps I’ll try that and soon have a pot full of Crotons? Maybe I’ll try that! If you’ll notice my plant however, it isn’t exactly a “redwood” from Muir Forest! It isn’t big enough to prune ANYTHING off the top!
This is one of my weaknesses. I tend to buy my plants small and grow them big. This one never got there! I’ve had it about 6 months now, and it sure is puny!
Another thing to remember is that these pretty (should you be so lucky) plants like full sun. Mine grows in a north-easterly exposure. Probably not the very best, but it will just have to do! Even more noteworthy, it is POISONOUS if ingested! Do NOT add this to your salad!
If you would like to read a bit more about the care and enjoyment of this lovely foliage plant, try this link: Croton-Codiaeum
If there are those of you that are expert with caring for these plants, please comment and let us all know how you are successful. I know I’d appreciate a few words of advice. Reading about it from a text, is often not nearly as good as hearing about it from those “in the know”.