Crotons were originally an outdoor decorative plant and have only become a popular indoor houseplant within the last 15-20 years. They have beautiful multicolored, hard, leathery leaves in red, yellow, green, orange, and black.
Croton houseplants need bright light to maintain their colorful leaves. If there is insufficient light, new leaves are green not predominantly yellow, red, or orange. Too much direct sun causes phototoridation, a condition that makes Croton leaves gray and dull looking.
Allow the top 25%-30% of the soil to dry out before watering. Crunchy leaves indicate over-watering. Leaves become soft and droop when your plant needs water. When a croton is severely over or under-watered leaves drop off.
Croton Plants prefer warm temperatures between 60°-80°F (15.6°-26.7°C).
High humidity is a plus.
The flowers on a croton houseplant are small and inconsequential. I’d recommend removing them as soon as they appear so they don’t drain the plant’s energy and hinder leaf development.
Crotons are susceptible to Mealy Bugs, scale, and Fungus Gnats but it is spider mites that do the most damage. Because croton houseplants have multi-colored leaves, it is often difficult to see the spider mites. These Plant Pests suck the color from the leaves and ruin the plant.