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The Croton Petra plant is a beautiful variegated plant from the tropical rainforests of southeast Asia and India.
Croton Petra shrub (Codiaeum variegatum) features multiple bright colors on its leaves with shades of reds, yellows, oranges, greens, and purples. The Croton’s leaves are oval shaped with vividly colored veins lining the middles and edges to put on a picturesque display.
Petra Croton plant is a perennial shrub and stays evergreen all year long with the right growing conditions. It is perfect for growing indoors as a houseplant but it can also be grown outdoors for landscape design in certain growing zones, or in colder climates, it can be grown in containers and moved indoors for winters.
With the proper sunlight, watering, and humidity – tropical indoor plant enthusiasts can keep this unique evergreen shrub indoors to decorate your bedroom, bathroom, or office.
CROTON PETRA CARE
You can grow Croton Petra outdoors until temperatures drop. Keep croton temperatures above 55 F or more. Crotons zones are USDA hardiness 9-11. In all other areas of the United States, you must keep Croton in a container and bring it inside when the weather is not suitable for them. They will start dropping leaves if in too cold of an environment.
Croton Petra’s size can get fairly large at maturity. The full size is up to 7-10 feet tall and 4-6 feet wide. In warmer climates, you may see small Croton trees growing. It is the larger version of the Croton Mammy variety. More commonly when grown as a houseplant, you will see heights of 3-5 feet tall when containerized.
Croton soil should be well draining and slightly acidic. Any rich, fertile potting mix would be perfect for your new croton plant. As your croton shrub outgrows its pot, the soil will need to be freshened up every few years. Crotons may need to be repotted every 2 years or so. Fertilizing will help your croton grow tall and strong.
Petra Croton Light Requirements
Crotons require lots of full sun. Bright light is best but they can tolerate partial shade or indirect sunlight in warmer climates. We recommend at least 4-6 hours of bright direct sunlight per day to keep them thriving. When growing crotons indoors as houseplants, choose a south or east facing window to allow the proper sunshine to hit the leaves. If you notice your croton plant dropping leaves or producing green leaves that are not as vividly colored, your plant needs more sunlight. Indoor crotons should be kept away from drafty vents or cold areas.
How Often Should You Water a Croton Plant?
Water the croton whenever the soil feels dry to touch about 1 inch down in the pot. The soil should be kept consistently moist the first year of planting to establish a strong root systems. The watering schedule will depend on how much moisture the potting soil holds, the temperature, and humidity in the room or area it is growing in. Crotons do not like wet feet as this can cause root rot and potentially kill the plant. Be sure to keep it in a container with a drainage hole as a potted plant and don’t overwater.
How to Prune a Croton Plant
To keep your large croton plant growing healthy, you should prune it annually! Remove any dead leaves or branches and shape the Croton Petra to the desired size you would like to keep it at. The best time to prune croton shrubs is in the late winter or early spring growing seasons.
Is Croton Petra Poisonous to Cats
Yes! Croton plants are poisonous to cats, dogs, and other pets if ingested. It can even cause skin irritation on humans if the sticky sap that oozes out gets on you. Take caution when growing crotons near your animals.
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Full Sun / Partial Shade
Growing Zones 9, 10, 11