My oldest Croton has reached 6 feet! How tall do they get?

dalar_caApril 6, 2012

I've had the plant since 2005, it was about one foot at the time, and over the years I've probably transplanted it into half dozen new pots, now at a 15" pot.

It's grown out some branches, looking quite healthy. Hoping it flowers this year, as I know that's generally a good sign -- it hasn't in a couple years but last year I did move and I wouldn't blame it if moving locations just before it usually flowers spooked it.

I just counted tonight and I have 18 other crotons, each a different cultivar, none anywhere near as big (I don't have that kind of space! I keep them cut back.) but it got me thinking, how big have others got their croton to grow? And for how many years?

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birdsnblooms

Dalar...Congrats..A 6', potted Croton is miraculous.

Outdoors, they range 5-10' tall w/a 5' spread.
Potted, they rarely make 5'.

What's your secret? Have any pics? Toni

    Bookmark   April 6, 2012 at 2:02AM
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Joe1980(5)

I've always liked crotons, especially on my salad.

Joking aside, I'd like to see a picture as well, as it is quite a feat to grow one that big. I have never tried one, because I was under the impression that they like humidity, and I can't provide that. Central heat in winter for 5 or 6 months, and then central air in summer.

Joe

    Bookmark   April 6, 2012 at 6:44PM
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mateopava(8 El Paso, Tx)

Joe.... I've often read that Crotons are high humidity plants. However, you might find this of interest. I live in the Chihuahua desert near El Paso, Texas and I bought a Croton for my office about a year and half ago, just before winter was setting in. In the first month it lost all of it's leaves except for one. At that point I moved it to a spot that had brighter light and made certain not to water it until the soil felt dry as the desert. It sat all winter long with that one leaf, but when summer came around last year it began growing leaves again and managed to put on 3 inches of height. It now has 15 leaves and added 3 new leaves last week. It also seems to be thirstier this spring, because last week for the first time I had to give it water more than once in a weeks time. I knew it needed water because it started to wilt, so I gave it water and sprang back up again. The weather channel say's it is 5% humidity right now, and I have a hygrometer in my office that is measuring 32% humidity. To make a long story short, based on my plants performance, I think it is safe to say that Crotons can handle low humidity.

    Bookmark   April 7, 2012 at 9:29PM
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birdsnblooms

Although ALL Crotons need humidity, IMO some speciees require more than others.

Indoors during winter is hard on Crotons. Dry, stuffy air invites Spider Mites.

One reason it's so impressive Dalar, who lives in z6B, managed to keep a Croton going so long, and so big.

Dalar, would you happen to have a picture of your 5'er and the other 19? lol.

The longest I've kept a Croton was 3-4 yrs,. I still have it, 'don't know cultivar,' but due to dry, stuffy air it lost many leaves. However, 'hopefully, once it's outdoors new foliage will grow.

Crotons have beautiful leaves, even if they don't flower, but they're very difficult growing in cold climiates. Toni

    Bookmark   April 9, 2012 at 2:43PM
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pirate_girl(Zone7 NYC)

Mateo,

Why starve a Croton for water in TX, in Winter? I don't understand that at all, am surprised it didn't die.

I kept a Croton indoors in NYC (radiator heat in Winter) on pebble trays & watered often. When it got taller than 2 ft (in a container) I cut it all the way back, I did this twice. Gave it away as it grew too fast for me. As long as I kept it well watered, it grew in nicely lush & full. Never had any bug problems at all.

    Bookmark   April 9, 2012 at 6:02PM
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mateopava(8 El Paso, Tx)

Hi Pirate girl,

I suspect that all the leaves fell off due to root rot. When I bought the plant, the care tag said that it should be watered every day, and I believe that while it was at the HD store, it truly was being watered everyday, not to mention being left outside in cool weather overnight, thus the root rot due to those two conditions. After I brought the plant home and checked the soil, I found the soil to be quite soggy.
Sorry if I did not explain well enough in my first post. It was not my intention to starve the plant for water, I just wanted to give the roots a chance to heal. It must have worked because the plant has come back beautifully.
I love the red and yellow variegation in the leaves.

    Bookmark   April 10, 2012 at 7:08PM
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kaktuskris

Don't know where Crotons originate, but saw some that must have been 15 feet in Philippines, and so many different cultivars, at that. As for humidity, I can see why they grow so well there, as the Philippines can be brutally humid.

Christopher

    Bookmark   April 10, 2012 at 11:00PM
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Summersoff

mateopava:
Water every day? I've noticed my Croton is a VERY thirsty plant and the soil goes dry very quickly--faster than any other plant I've had. But really? Every day? I thought watering once every 4-5 days was too much, but maybe I should be watering it much more...
What's everyone else's watering cycles with this plant?

    Bookmark   April 11, 2012 at 11:44AM
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mateopava(8 El Paso, Tx)

Summersoff:

Yes, the care label that came with the plant said it should be watered everyday. However, I do not water it everyday. I water it every 4-7 day's depending on how much water the plant is consuming. Naturally, it consumes more water during hot weather and less when it is cool.

    Bookmark   April 11, 2012 at 3:46PM
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birdsnblooms

Summer, like most other tropicals, I was my Croton when soil dries..
Summer, maybe once or twice a week, plus rain.
In winter, since it's in a cool room, plus north window, once every two weeks..
However, once a week it's taken to the sink and showered..soil and foliage. Toni

PS: About watering everyday..Perhaps the tag meant to water daily for Crotons planted in-ground in hot, dry, sunny places.

    Bookmark   April 11, 2012 at 3:59PM
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dalar_ca

Here's the photo of the six-footer:

Its largest leaves are up to 17 inches long. Still seems to be thriving!

    Bookmark   April 12, 2012 at 12:33AM
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dalar_ca

A couple more of them. I probably should take more pics of my crotons...

Cat seems to like hanging around them. Thankfully they don't like eating or disturbing the plants at all :) This one's a curly variety I picked up at a local garden centre.. had to chop it back due to spider mites, which are near impossible to clear off curly ones. (Also another one in the background, yellow leaves and rather leggy)

And not sure the name of this cultivar, but it goes from greenish-yellow and fades to pink. I cut it back a bit recently as it'd been stagnant for a couple years, which seems to have given it a jolt enough to want to grow again.

I actually picked up another one the other day, putting me at 20. Will add pics if I remember to take some in the daytime soon :)

    Bookmark   April 12, 2012 at 12:51AM
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Summersoff

wow lol! That 6 footer is really cool. How big was it when you got it? I'd love to grow mine that tall. I got mine from a Walmart and it's growing pretty quickly. I like it.

    Bookmark   April 12, 2012 at 7:38AM
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dalar_ca

I got it in 2005 - probably a foot tall at the time at the most.

    Bookmark   April 12, 2012 at 12:10PM
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dalar_ca

I got some decently lit pics today, here's a few more from the collection!

A better view of the big one:

A bonsai-esque dwarf variety of some kind:

This one is a broadleaf cultivar with blotchy colours.. I had to cut it back as its old leaves were not acclimating well and spider mites were starting to have at it. So, I went for a drastic haircut, which seems to have worked out okay, as it's been growing back slowly the last couple months!

Might be same cultivar as the big one, not sure though as the "rippled" effect seems to appear in some leaves. I've cut it back each year for two years, hoping to develop a nice looking bushy plant some day out of it.

Hard to get a good pic of this one on an iPhone camera but it's certainly one of the stranger ones I have. I think the cultivar was labelled as "devil's paintbrush" or somesuch. Didn't handle going from the garden centre to the home very well as first, but after a couple haircuts its growing well enough. Haven't fully recovered the colour yet though, wondering if it needs more or less sun.

Bit of a weird one I haven't seen at any garden centres since getting it.. long leaves like the Banana cultivar but fades to red/pink instead:

The second croton I ever bought. When I got it it was very leggy and in a tiny 2" container, I've given it regular haircuts which have done well for it.

(The third one I ever bought has since died, as has any of that cultivar I've bought since.. the very-long-leaved brght-yellow ones just don't last long with me for some reason!)

This one seems to be a relatively close cultivar to the previous, but the leaves seem different to me, enough to nearly convince me it's a different cultivar.. it certainly grows slower and with larger leaves:

Bought this one last week. I noticed today as an added bonus it has started to product a flower stem! I guess it likes me. As usual, came with spider mites, I have it in quarantine away from my sunroom at the moment:

Here is a link that might be useful: All these photos on a Google Plus Album

    Bookmark   April 12, 2012 at 11:02PM
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mateopava(8 El Paso, Tx)

I am wondering what other people use to clean their Croton leaves. The leaves on my plant are awfully dusty. Is a sponge and water the best method?

    Bookmark   April 13, 2012 at 4:38PM
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mauby(6a)

Hi Dalar. Can you let me know how you heat your sunroom? BTW, do you grow anything else besides crotons? :-)

    Bookmark   September 18, 2013 at 5:31PM
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greentoe357

>> I am wondering what other people use to clean their Croton leaves.

Take it to the shower. I have a flexible hose, which helps a lot when it comes to directing the flow to tops, bottoms of the leaves and every which way. Many plants like showers.

    Bookmark   September 19, 2013 at 4:12PM
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