The 13 Beautiful Croton Varieties You Can Grow at Home

The 13 Beautiful Croton Varieties You Can Grow at Home

Crotons are one of the lesser-known plants to own despite their beautiful, vivid, and textured foliage.

Now in this article, we will zero in on some beautiful varieties of crotons along with their general care needs.

How many croton varieties are there?

How many croton varieties are there

There are more than 100 varieties of croton plants. 

These evergreen tropical shrubs differ in leaf structure and color as well as size; there are tall and dwarf kinds.

Plus, some crotons are easy to find, but some are quite rare and can only be bought from an exotic or rare plant store. 

What are the most beautiful types of croton?

What are the most beautiful types of croton

Here are the most beautiful types of croton you can grow indoors or pick up from a florist or nursery:

  • Croton Golden Arrowhead
  • Zanzibar Croton
  • Gold Dust Croton
  • Yellow Thai Croton
  • Red Iceton Croton
  • Petra Croton
  • Thai Round Leaf Croton
  • Banana Croton
  • Sunny Star Croton
  • Oakleaf Croton
  • Victoria Gold Bell Croton
  • Lauren’s Rainbow Croton
  • Mother and Daughter Croton

1) Croton Golden Arrowhead

Croton Golden Arrowhead
Photo credit: Top Tropicals

Scientific name: Codiaeum variegatum ‘Golden Arrowhead’

Ornamental feature: Bright yellow arrow-shaped leaves

Light exposure: Bright, direct sun 

Soil type: Lightly moist soil

Mature height: 5 to 10 feet tall indoors or outdoors

Having golden arrow-shaped leaves, the Croton ‘Golden Arrow’ is a rare and striking variety of its kind.

The croton leaves can have yellow variegation in the form of small dots or be partially or entirely covered (except for the green veins), depending on the plant’s age and health.

At maturity, this variety grows from 5 to 10 feet tall and 2 to 3 feet wide. But it will be much smaller if kept indoors rather than outdoors.

With regard to care, it thrives in full sun (but not around mid-day, as its leaves can suffer from burns), fertile and lightly moist soil, and has to be given plenty of moisture.

2) Zanzibar Croton

Zanzibar Croton

Scientific name: Codiaeum variegatum ‘Zanzibar’

Ornamental feature: Long and slender grass-like foliage

Light exposure: Plenty of full or shaded sun 

Soil type: Rich and well-draining soil

Mature height: 2 1/2 to 3 feet indoors

The Zanzibar Croton is a colorful low-growing plant with long and narrow grass-like leaves, unlike its croton relatives.

Moreover, the shoestring foliage sports various colors of green, yellow, red, pink, and orange, making the ornamental plant nice to display at home.

To produce wonderful, healthy foliage, the plant needs to get full sun for up to 8 hours a day and rich and well-drained soil.

While you can grow it in lower-lit spots indoors, it will need at least dappled or artificial light so its leaves can still grow normally and develop nice colors.

Also, the vibrant shrub is native to Malaysia, Indonesia, Australia, and the Western Pacific Islands.

3) Gold Dust Croton

Gold Dust Croton

Scientific name: Codiaeum variegatum ‘Gold Dust’

Ornamental feature: Gold leaf spots and patches

Light exposure: Lots of bright indirect sun 

Soil type: Light-acidic, well-draining soil

Mature height: Up to 2 feet indoors

Gold Dust Croton is a beautiful cultivar known for its oval leaves with many gold speckles and white flowers that grow in between the leaves all year.

This evergreen plant is home in the tropical forests of Indonesia, which have a hot and humid climate.

In these ideal conditions, Gold Dust Crotons grow very fast and can reach up to 10 feet tall in their natural habitat. 

In contrast, they grow a lot slower and smaller indoors, only up to 2 feet. This can make them a great potted plant for the patio, porch, or tropical garden.

However, it contains toxic chemicals namely 5-deoxy ingenol and thus, isn’t safe around children and pets.

4) Yellow Thai Croton

Yellow Thai Croton

Scientific name: Codiaeum variegatum ‘Yellow Thai’

Ornamental feature: Broad, round, lemon-yellow leaves

Light exposure: Sufficient bright light

Soil type: Rich, well-draining soil

Mature height: Up to 6 feet tall outdoors

Yellow Thai Croton is a rare species of Croton found in Australian and Southeast Asian rainforests.

It is named after its richly colored lemon-yellow leaves that cover only the edge of or most of the leaf. 

The leaves also feel waxy to the touch, and they are broad and round. The growth structure is dense and full.

It is average in height, growing up to 6 feet in the wild, but smaller in a cultivated environment.

It’s important not to keep them in a low-light place, as this will result in the yellow leaves turning back to green.

Rather, provide them with sufficient bright light amid warm and hot conditions to encourage yellow-splashed foliage and bushy growth.

5) Red Iceton Croton

Red Iceton Croton

Scientific name: Codiaeum variegatum ‘Mrs. Iceton’

Ornamental feature: Color-shifting leaves from yellow to red-pink

Light exposure: Partial to full sun

Soil type: Rich, well-draining soil

Mature height: 7 to 8 feet tall outdoors

The Red Iceton Croton, with the formal name of Codiaeum variegatum ‘Mrs. Iceton,’ shifts in color as it ages.

At first, it sprouts yellow waxy foliage, which then turns into red, pink, red-pink, or green shades, creating a fabulous aesthetic combination.

Relative to other plants, the variegated shrub can grow up to 7 or 8 feet in its tropical environment. Besides that, it will grow smaller and produce fewer flowers indoors 

Thus, the eye-catching variety can be used to decorate your hallway, bedroom, garden, or workplace.

Remember to place it somewhere with dappled or direct sunlight. Fertilizing isn’t required because it gets most of its nutrients from organic, nutrient-rich soil.

6) Petra Croton

Petra Croton

Scientific name: Codiaeum variegatum ‘Petra’

Ornamental feature: Thick-veined vibrant leaves with canary yellow, red, and red-orange hues

Light exposure: Moderate to bright partial sun

Soil type: Moist, well-draining soil

Mature height: 3 to 8 feet tall indoors or outdoors

The Petra Croton has distinct, colorful marks and hues throughout its many leaves, giving it an exotic appearance.

Common hues of the variety range from red to canary yellow. Green is the starting color of young leaves.

The color splashes on each leaf appear randomly from the edge to the midrib. 

Some of them are intense and continuous, some are faint and alternating, and others have tiny multicolored patches, giving them a unique appeal.

The Petra Croton requires partial sun that is moderate to bright in intensity. 

Unlike with other plants, do not leave it in a dark corner or window because this will hinder its ability to produce bright variegated leaves.

Also, the ornamental houseplant won’t take up too much space, as it grows 3 feet on average inside the house.

7) Thai Round Leaf Croton

Thai Round Leaf Croton
Photo credit: Plant Shop Montenegro

Scientific name: Croton persimillis

Ornamental feature: Bold-colored large and round leaves

Light exposure: Moderate to bright partial sun

Soil type: Moist, well-draining soil

Mature height: Up to 10 feet tall outdoors

Thai Round Leaf Crotons are a rare hybrid Croton which can only be bought from exotic plant collectors and merchants.

They can be easily distinguished given their large round leaves with subtler or more noticeable pale red-pink and yellow shades.

Originally, Thai Round Leaf Croton was called Round Leaf Croton, but since it was first cultivated and made popular in Thailand, it adopted this name.

Contrary to its larger size in its home, it grows only about 3 feet indoors, as all dwarf crotons do. 

That makes it a suitable and elegant ornamental plant atop mantels and tables. 

Thai Round Leaf Croton does best when receiving shaded moderate to bright sun and needs to be watered when the top inch of soil feels dry.

8) Banana Croton

Banana Croton
Photo credit: Plantophiles

Scientific name: Codiaeum variegatum ‘Banana’

Ornamental feature: Banana-shaped foliage

Light exposure: Bright full sun

Soil type: Slightly acidic or basic, fertile, well-drained soil

Mature height: 3 to 4 feet indoors, over 6 feet outdoors

Banana Crotons feature pointed, oval, and banana-like leaves splashed or dotted with yellow. 

They belong to the tropical forests of North Australia, Malaysia, and the Pacific Islands. 

Though Banana Croton leaves only come in yellow and green, their pattern differs. This makes them an interesting addition to a living or working space.

Also, they can grow at 4 feet in pots, a foot taller than most croton species. Outdoor banana crotons, however, will grow over 6 feet.

A fertile, well-draining, and slightly acidic or basic soil with a pH of 6 to 7.5 is ideal for them.

And it’s helpful to feed this tropical shrub with quality, balanced fertilizer every 1 to 2 months to make it productive and healthy.

9) Sunny Star Croton

Sunny Star Croton

Scientific name: Codiaeum variegatum ‘Sunny Star’

Ornamental feature: Sword-shaped leaves with bright yellow splashes

Light exposure: Bright partial sun

Soil type: Quick-draining, moist soil

Mature height: 4 to 6 feet indoors, up to 10 feet outdoors

Sunny Star Croton acquired its name due to its starburst growing formation and varied yellow marks. 

The Sunny Star thrives in dappled and bright sunlight, which is what it gets from its natural habitat in the jungles of the South Pacific Islands and Southeast Asia.

If it gets less light than it needs, its leaves become large and green, lacking the yellow color it is known for.

But if it is located someplace with scorching sun, its leaves will succumb to damage and discoloration.

Apart from light needs, it needs fast-draining soil, preferably one made with orchid bark or cactus or succulent soil.

It’s one of the taller croton plants out there, growing up to 10 feet outdoors and up to 6 feet indoors.

10) Oakleaf Croton

Oakleaf Croton

Scientific name: Codiaeum variegatum ‘Oakleaf’

Ornamental feature: Trilobed colorful leaves

Light exposure: Bright partial sun

Soil type: Well-draining, moist soil

Mature height: Up to 5 feet tall indoors

Oak Leaf Croton is a prized multicolored croton with tri-lobed leaves in shades of hot pink, red, violet, lime green, and yellow.

Additionally, its main and branching veins don’t remain green, unlike other croton cultivars.

With ample nutrients, indirect sun, and the right care, it can grow with color and tall, up to 5 feet in a house.

Watering the Oak Leaf Croton must be done frequently to make the soil moist but not soaked, as the latter can lead to rotten roots and pest infestation.

The oak-shaped shrub hails from hot and humid regions of the Pacific Islands and North Australia. 

11) Victoria Gold Bell Croton

Victoria Gold Bell Croton
Photo credit: Palmpedia

Scientific name: Codiaeum variegatum ‘Victoria Gold Bell’

Ornamental feature: Lengthy leaves with thick deep-red midribs and small hanging foliage

Light exposure: Plenty of direct sun

Soil type: Evenly moist, well-drained soil

Mature height: 5 to 8 inches indoors

A special Croton variety, Victoria Gold Bell boasts round lengthy leaves with smaller dangling leaves like bells, hence the name.

It only grows 5 to 8 inches, barely a foot tall.

Southeast Asia is where it originates from. The red-colored plants grow low to the ground in large and humid jungles where the sun shines on them directly.

Its soil should be kept moist all the time, not too dry or too wet. Otherwise, its leaves will yellow or fall to the ground. 

But Victoria Gold Bell Croton is drought-tolerant in case you forget to water it.

And note that it doesn’t fare well in intensely hot and drafty conditions and can weaken and die due to them.

12) Lauren’s Rainbow Croton

Lauren’s Rainbow Croton
Photo credit: Indoor Plants Brisbane

Scientific name: Codiaeum ‘Lauren’s Rainbow’

Ornamental feature: Colorful cluster of leaves and year-round white flowers

Light exposure: Direct or shaded sun

Soil type: Average to evenly moist soil

Mature height: About 3 feet tall indoors

Aptly named, Lauren’s Rainbow Croton reminds one of a rainbow with its bright color combinations.

These colors include dark violet, yellow, green, red, orange, and light and deep shades of pink.

Aside from that, the foliage itself is waxy. Like the Victoria Gold Bell, its thick midrib has a bold color as well.

This unique tropical plant prefers full or partial sun, but it will produce beautiful colors with the former. 

Additionally, it needs to be given even or slightly damp soil. It dislikes sitting water, which can disrupt its normal functions and make it prone to sickness.

Upon maturity, the colorful shrub will grow compactly and can measure up to 3 feet tall and 4 feet wide. Plus, it will sprout a white flower that will stay around for the entire year!

13) Mother and Daughter Croton

Mother and Daughter Croton
Photo credit: Nursery Buy

Scientific name: Codiaeum variegatum ‘Mother and Daughter’

Ornamental feature: Hanging leaves colored orange, yellow, and green

Light exposure: Direct or shaded sun

Soil type: Rich loamy soil

Mature height: 8 to 12 inches indoors

The Mother and Daughter Croton features a firework leaf shape with bright areas or spots of orange, yellow, and green, and it has little hanging leaves as well as long ones.

The smooth and leather-like leaves can be linear or oblong, which adds varietal interest.

Also, depending on the shrub, it can display other colors like reddish pink, ivory, and even purple. 

It’s very easy to grow and care for, requiring either full direct or shaded sun. 

The soil should ideally be loamy to facilitate good drainage and moisture retention, both of which are vital for the plant.

One of the dwarf croton varieties, Mother and Daughter Crotons grow only between 8 and 12 inches indoors.

And they commonly grow in and belong to Southeast Asian and Pacific Island rainforests.

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