Crotons are perennial shrubs popular both in gardens and as potted houseplants. They are best known for their vibrant, colorful leaves, which come in a wide variety of shapes and colors. Crotons are native to tropical environments and diligent care is required in order to achieve the best results.
Perennials vs. Annuals
Crotons are perennials, which means that with the right care your croton plant can live for several years. Unlike annuals, which last for only one growing season and must be replanted the following season, perennials will continue to grow for several growing seasons.
When grown outdoors, Crotons usually reach a height of 5 or 6 feet but can grow as tall as 8 to 10 feet.
Effects of Sunlight
Croton plants produce their most vibrant colors when exposed to plenty of sunlight, while crotons planted in shady areas tend to produce mostly green hues. Bright artificial light can be used to enhance the growth of indoor crotons.
Crotons are native to tropical environments such as the Pacific Islands, the Malay Peninsula and Australia. In the United States they are commonly grown in southern and central Florida.
Beware of Sap
When broken, the leaves of croton plants secrete a white sap that can stain clothing and act as a skin irritant.