Information about plants & gardens for Brisbane & Qld



Codiaeum species, hybrids and cultivars

Family: Euphorbiaceae

Intense color all year round AND easy to grow... what more could you ask for? Crotons used to be dismissed as old-fashioned plants, but who could ignore such stunning plants for long, especially with so many new varieties on the market? (Continued below...)


Where to buy Crotons

You should also be able to find some croton plants for sale in most Queensland garden centres.

More information

The fact that you see crotons in old and neglected gardens in Queensland attests to their survival skills, but for best results avoid the hottest and driest positions. A little attention with respect to water and fertiliser will be rewarded. They will need plenty of light for good colour development, but some shade is acceptable and even helpful in Qld's harsh climate.

New varieties developed for indoor cultivation in cool climates (where they won't survive outdoors) are more tolerant of low light. If attempting to grow such cultivars in Queensland, we might expect that greater shade will be tolerated (if not demanded), compared to some of the older landscape types.

Crotons are generally not fast-growing, but this means less maintenance over the longer term. For a fuller effect faster, cheat by planting 3 or more in a group.

In old gardens, you sometimes see crotons growing 2-3 meters high. However, if left alone like this they end up the foliage at the ends of the branches with bare trunks and woody stems showing below, which is hardly attractive. Cut back occasionally to keep bushy, with plenty of vibrant foliage at eye level.

Some varieties are naturally shorter and more compact. They'll need little if any pruning, except to improve shape.

Planted in front gardens, along driveways and around patios, you won't have to worry about rampant growth getting in the way. These high-visibility areas are also ideal for admiring the amazing colours.

Crotons in the Landscape

Click for larger images.

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Other information online

Note: if you do a web search for crotons, much of the information you'll find refers to cool climates where they are kept as pot plants. Some of the cultivars referred to in international links might not be available in Australia, or might be sold under different names.
The Croton Society, Inc. based in Florida, USA
Croton (Codiaeum variegatum) At "Grow Me Instead" (an Australian website informing gardeners about safer alternatives to invasive ornamentals)
Codiaeum variegatum Univesity of Florida, USA (PDF)
Codiaeum variegatum (Euphorbiaceae) National Tropical Botanical Garden, USA
Crotons Harry P. Leu Gardens, Orlando, Florida (PDF)
A croton primer Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden
The Colorful Croton Central Florida Palms
Codiaeum variegatum, Croton The Florez Nursery blog, NSW
Croton Flowers of India
Croton Colorado State University
The Croton Society Palm and Plant Society forum at Palmpedia
The Rennaissance of Crotons Pinecrest Plant Guy blog, Miami
Jamaican Croton ( Codiaeum variegatum ) Herself's Houston Garden (Blog)
Croton Production and Use University of Florida, USA (PDF)
Croton Propagation at Croton Mania
Croton Production Guide Commercial Foliage Crop Production Notes, University of Florida, USA
Roots of a different kind - How various foliage plants entered the United States trade Includes some notes on the history of croton cultivation. Reproduction of a 1997 article, Proceedings of the Florida State Horticultural Society (PDF)
Codiaeum Queensland Poisons Information Centre
Notes on poisoning: Codiaeum variegatum Canadian Poisonous Plants Information System
Possible misspellings: codieum, codiaum, codium, croaton

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