The croton (Codiaeum variegatum) appears to have it all: colorful foliage, nearly limitless leaf forms, and even a cultish following. But these plants have a drawback: They’re difficult to please indoors. In their native habitats, crotons like humid, warm conditions with dappled light and plentiful water. The primary challenge when growing them indoors is maintaining the ideal temperature—when it is too cold, they start losing leaves. However, crotons are well worth the effort because well-grown croton is an explosion of color.
Crotons are evergreen shrubs that are hardy only to USDA plant hardiness zones 11 and 12, where they are often grown outdoors as ornamental shrubs. Outdoor plants can reach 10 feet in height, but pot-grown specimens tend to be much smaller, making them suitable for permanent houseplants or indoor/outdoor container plants. Many crotons can be brought outdoors when temperatures stay above 50 degrees Fahrenheit, provided they are properly acclimated to the light and temperature conditions.


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