As a gardener, knowing the longevity of your plant can help you make some vital decisions. This knowledge can assist you in deciding the level of care and freedom you give them.
It can also help you accurately calculate the budget for your garden and plan accordingly. With that in mind, croton cultivators in mind tend to question how long their plant can last.
Croton is a perennial plant, as it lives through many growing seasons. It doesn’t require replanting. If a croton plant dies, it uses the same root to regrow during the springtime. Additionally, it is one of the six species of broadleaf evergreen perennials, shrubs, and small trees in the euphorbia family. Furthermore, croton is a tender perennial, only hardy in zones 11-12.
Do Croton Plants Come Back Every Year?
Crotons are perennials, and they stay for many years. In situations whereby they die or wither during winter, it grows back in the springtime using the same root system. The planting situation of your plant very much depends on how you water them.
You can water your croton plants daily or weekly, depending on your schedule. But do ensure that the soil doesn’t stay dry for an extended period. Moreover, crotons need frequent watering, so be careful enough not to overwater.
Reviving croton and making sure the plant stays another year comes from the resolve to give the plant a new chance rather than discard it.
The reviving process is not as strenuous as it may sound. However, the plant requires attention to determine if improvements have been made from these tips taken to revive the plant.
1. Humidity Levels
Croton plants are tropical. They require warm and not hot weather to survive. The soil would be compromised when subjected to extreme weather conditions, and the croton plants begin to deteriorate. If planted indoors and in cold areas, you should consider getting a humidifier for your croton plant.
2. Change in the Environment
Do not change a croton’s position unless you are shifting it indoors during the wintertime. A change in environment is considered difficult for the plant as it would be hard to adjust to the new humidity level.
3. Soil Mix
Crotons cannot thrive in soggy soils but do greatly in damp soil. The water level is attributed to the soil mix.
You must be careful of the amount of water you put in the soil to enable the plant’s survival. Underwatering and overwatering equally harm the plant’s growth.
Underwatering deprives the plant of the adequate amount of water needed, and overwatering causes the soil to be waterlogged, which is a bad condition for crotons, and it may lead to stem rot and eventual death of the plant.
Always add balanced fertilizers to your plant. It has proved helpful in speeding up the growth and improving the overall development of the plant.
The best fertilizers for crotons are low nitrogen fertilizers. Before purchasing a fertilizer, be sure to examine and ask if it’s good enough for crotons. Adding fertilizers to water before watering helps provide an additional amount of nutrients.
5. Choose Drilled Pots for Your Crotons
They help prevent excess drainage. Re-pot your plant when it outgrows the current one.
6. Regular Pruning
Pruning helps eliminate unhealthy parts of the plant, such as dead leaves, and helps maintain a particular shape. Crotons tend to become leggy when they are not pruned regularly. Pruning gives room for new growth and prevents the spread of insect infestations.
7. Always Be on the Lookout for Insect Infestation.
This is caused when the soil and plants are dry, as bugs and pests usually attract dry soils. A severe infestation would slow down the plant’s growth.
When this happens, applying pesticides and changing the soil altogether is an action geared towards reviving the plant and speeding up its healthy growth.
Can Crotons Survive Winter?
Croton does not survive freezing temperatures because it is very frost-tender. Gardeners in humid temperature zones would have no challenges growing croton plants outdoors.
Crotons are tropical plants, and they do not possess much tolerance to cold. They barely survive in cold temperatures, especially, when the plant is young.
Nonetheless, some croton varieties can handle freezing and thrive well in cold areas. Examples of these are nestor, yellow excurrens, and Bogoriensis.
Although some gardeners believe that if the varieties are cold-resistant one year, it doesn’t necessarily mean they would survive the next year’s winter.
How Do You Take Care of a Croton in the Winter?
The plant thrives best when grown in temperatures between 60-85 degrees Fahrenheit. Growing croton in temperatures below 55 degrees Fahrenheit can cause leaf drop.
During wintertime, or if you live in a cold environment, it’s best to grow croton in a pot. When springtime temperatures begin to rise, you can move your plants outdoors into the warm weather and sun. Below are tips for caring for croton indoors in the winter:
1. Find a Warm Spot
The plant should receive bright, indirect sunlight. Once you find this spot in your home, avoid moving the plant pot again until springtime, when you take it outdoors.
2. Apply Light Fertilizer
Many plants tend to go dormant in the winter period, but not Croton. It requires nourishment throughout its indoor stay but not too much. Crotons require a water-soluble houseplant fertilizer only once a month.
The best way to ensure that your plant gets enough nourishment throughout the winter is to put your croton in fresh potting soil. This new soil gives the plant all the nourishment it needs.
3. Sunlight Exposure
Croton needs at least three hours of sunlight exposure every day. When indoors, place your plant pot a foot away from a bright, sunny window. The least distance should be afoot because putting it too close to the window could result in a chill.
4. Temperature Maintenance
Always maintain a steady, warm temperature. Your croton will thrive healthily when kept between 70-80 degrees Fahrenheit during the daytime, and not below 55 degrees Fahrenheit at night.
Water your croton lightly, place a humidifier near the plant, or mist the plant daily. Maintain a frequent check of the plant’s soil, and when the top inch feels dry, water it thoroughly.
As a plant that can also be planted indoors, croton requires specific care. A lot of gardeners have the challenge of maintaining the right temperature it needs. When it’s too cold, the croton plant loses its leaves.
Crotons come in varieties that are different in care. There are some that are believed to be able to live through the winter period. When you keep your croton plant indoors, beware of children and pets and adhere to keeping it out of their reach.
Also, if you notice gray-colored patches on your croton leaves, ensure to provide shades for the plant, as this is an indication that it is getting too much direct heat from the sun.