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  • grown in many varieties for their brightly colored foliage; widely cultivated as a houseplant

  • tropical Asiatic shrub; source of croton oil

  • The Croton-Harmon Metro-North Railroad station serves the residents of Croton-on-Hudson, New York via the Hudson Line.

  • A small evergreen tree or shrub of the Indo-Pacific region, which is grown for its colorful ornamental foliage

  • A strong-scented tree, shrub, or herbaceous plant of the spurge family, native to tropical and warm regions. Several kinds yield timber and other commercially important products

Some people make things happen; some watch while things happen and some wonder "What happened?" ~

Some people make things happen; some watch while things happen and some wonder "What happened?" ~

Croton (Codiaeum variegatum)
Family: Euphorbiaceae
Crotons with their colorful, glossy foliage and variation of leaf types are one of the most popular plants in Florida. It is a native of the tropics from Java to Australia and the South Sea Islands, and because of the Crotons' susceptibility to cold injury, is restricted to the southern and warmer parts of central Florida. Cold injury normally shows as leaf dropping soon after periods of cold weather.

Major leaf types
Broad Leaf Croton - large and broad leaves
Oak Leaf Croton - mimics perfectly the structure of a true oak leaf.
Semi-oak Leaf Croton - indistinctly lobed; many varieties.
Spiral Leaf Croton - leaves are twisted - RH, LH, partial.
Narrow Leaf Croton - width is 2-4" and length is usually 2-4 x width.
Very Narrow leaf - width is usually 1/2" or less; long and droopy.
Small leaf - original shape; length about 2" max.
Interrupted Leaf Croton - leaf blade stops; midrib continues for about 1"; leaf blade continues.
Recurved leaf - leaves curl back on themselves; scarcest leaf type.

Crotons may be pruned heavily during spring or other mild periods of the year. Crotons may attain a height of 8-10 feet, and tend to produce the heaviest foliage at the top of the plant. It is wise to cut back rather heavily to force new foliage lower down on the stem. It is best to prune about one-third of the branches, then wait until new growth has started before pruning again. This keeps the Croton plant more uniform in shape and more attractive during the pruning process. Pinching out the tips of Crotons will encourage multi-branching and therefore, a more attractive, fuller specimen.

Crotons are easily propagated from greenwood cuttings, leaf bud cuttings, or if plants are desired quickly, by air layering. Make your cuttings from 4-12 inches in length and insert them in sand or peat, or in a mixture of the two, for rooting. In air layering, a ring of bark is removed from the branch to be layered, from two cuts spaced from one-half to one inch apart, exposing the wood. The cambium layer, a slight green area immediately underneath the bark, should be completely removed to prevent new bark from forming again rather than roots. Wrap the cut surface with a ball of moist sphagnum moss about as big as a man's fist. The entire ball is then wrapped with plastic film or aluminum foil. The plants will root quickly at the point the cut was made, and after the roots are established, the branch is removed from the parent just below the roots, and planted in a pot or in the garden where it is to grow.

Crotons develop their best leaf colors when planted in shifting sun. Plants placed in shade or semi-shade tend to develop a large amount of green color. Soil should be enriched with compost, muck, or peat moss, and the plants fertilized regularly with a general purpose fertilizer, preferable one that has an high acidic rating, such as an azalea fertilizer. Also, up until September, use of high nitrogen is preferred. After that only use a fertilizer that has more phosphorus and potash.

Pests: scale, mites, thrips, and root rot diseases.

My rain-drenched Crotons.

Please view on the LARGE size ~

Croton Aquamatic circa 1960's

Croton Aquamatic circa 1960's

© Chrissy Avila Photography all rights reserved

The Croton Watch Company Inc. was established in the year 1878. More than 128 years old the company is known worldwide for its classical watches.

Croton Restoration, we left the dial aged as it was... it shows character.

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