Amid all the fuss, Croton propagation is one of the easiest things to do if you have time.
Read on to find out more detailed information on Croton Propagation.
Table of Contents Show
- When to Propagate the Croton?
- How to Propagate a Croton?
- How to Care After Croton Propagation?
- Quick Look on Caring for Newly Propagated Croton
- From Editorial Team
When to Propagate the Croton?
The best time to propagate Corton is during its active growing phase, which is around the early spring.
Further, the initiated root becomes high functioning contributing to the vigorous regeneration of the plant.
Besides, you must only try and propagate a Croton during its mature phase, as young Crotons do not have developed roots to survive the propagation shock.
Additionally, you can propagate when Croton gets too leggy or bushy if you have no idea of its maturity.
How to Propagate a Croton?
One of the most critical factors while propagation is to choose a healthy growing Croton.
Then, you can propagate the Crotons via stem cutting and air layering; however, you must be patient to try out the petiole rooting.
But make sure you keep your pets away during Croton propagation as they are toxic to cats and pets. They contain diterpene esters that may cause digestive upset and skin irritation.
Also, it is best to use a glove to avoid possible skin irritation from the milky sap from Crotons.
Here is how to propagate Croton Plants.
1. Stem Cutting for Croton Propagation
Stem cutting is a promising yet simplest method to propagate and multiply Croton for a short and bushy look.
Since an average Croton can grow up to 3 to 6 feet tall, you can strip and cut the top parts for propagating Crotons from cuttings.
- Cut the tip of the Croton stem, 4-6 inches long, with at least three sets of leaves below a growth nodule. Indeed, the cut area will bear a wound, from where new roots start forming.
- As for the cutting, you can use powdered charcoal (if you have any) to dry the sap or lay it down on the newspaper.
- Next, plant the cutting in a lightweight potting mixture of moist sand or perlite and sphagnum peat moss.
- Place the plant in a warm location and check it occasionally. Mist the planted cutting as it begins to dry.
Altogether, the rooting will appear within a month.
Besides, propagate Croton in water by rooting the stem cutting in a glass of water. The only necessary step here is to change the water every 2-3 days or when it starts losing transparency.
Unlike in soil, where you must wait for new growth to confirm the root establishment, the root initiation, and development are clearly visible while propagating Croton in water.
2. Air Layering for Croton Propagation
When you have a leggy Croton, it is always best to propagate them through air layering because this will give them a bushy development and new appearance.
- Cut about a 1/2-1 inch strip around the stem or upward halfway through the stem just below a growth node.
- Hold your diagonal cut wound open by sliding a toothpick sideways, then apply some rooting hormone.
- Cover the wound area with a handful of sphagnum moss dampened with either distilled or purified water.
- Now, use plastic wrap to tape the open wound of your Croton.
- After a few weeks, the plant will showcase a new root against the plastic wrap.
After the new roots are developed, carefully remove the whole stem below the layering; then, create a lightweight container filled with perlite, sand, and peat moss, and plant the cutting.
Upon favorable conditions, the root should develop within a month.
During the air layering process, the plastic wrapped with sphagnum moss turns brown, which is the significance of dryness. So adjust the watering accordingly.
3. Petiole Rooting for Croton Propagation
Petiole rooting is done when the Crotons start dropping their leaves due to low humidity or age. However, patience is a must when one opts for this particular method.
- Remove a leaf, then cut and trim up 11⁄2 inches of the petiole.
- Please place it in the water immediately and wait for about four weeks.
- Plant it in perlite, peat, or ground coir as soon as the leaves portray the root development.
This process will form new plants at the base of the petiole.
4. Croton Propagation via Seed
Croton plants can also be propagated using the seeds, although this method is not preferred due to its slow germination rate.
If you plan to propagate Croton using seeds, ensure you get freshly extracted seeds, as Croton seeds lose their viability quickly.
Follow the steps below to ensure successful propagation.
- Place the seeds in warm water at around 60°C for about 20-30 minutes.
- After a day, the outer layer must easily separate. Remove the layer to reveal the seed inside.
- Take a germination tray and fill it with some seed starting mix.
- Sow the seeds 1-2 cm deep, individually, in each void of the germination tray, and moisten them.
- Place the tray at a temperature of around 23°C for better chances of germination.
- Water the seed once every 4-6 days.
In about a month, you will witness the seed germinate properly.
How to Care After Croton Propagation?
A slight change in Croton’s environment sometimes results in shock and leaf loss. Newly propagated Crotons get sensitive to every environmental condition.
Therefore, it is crucial to keep their environment constant, and below are the details you will need to focus on.
1. Choose a Spot With Indirect Sunlight
Croton requires ample sunlight every day for about six to eight hours.
You can place Croton in your house’s east or west-facing window and use thin or sheer curtains to block unnecessary direct light.
You can also opt for artificial light if your house lacks sunlight.
Fluorescent lights are always the best option for those artificial lights because they reflect most electrical energy as heat energy, perfect for plants.
2. Ideal Temperature
Crotons are tropical plants that love warm temperatures and do not do well if the temperature is cooler than 50ºF (10ºC).
The idea is to keep the temperature range between 60-85ºF (15-30ºC).
Altogether, you should keep your Crotons far away from cooling/heating vents, uninsulated windows, entrance doors, and heat registers.
Also, keep it far from the cool currents and mist it regularly during winter.
3. Optimum Humidity
Croton loves and thrives in a moist environment while they start to droop in dry air. Hence, maintain moist air; try misting your Crotons regularly.
In the meantime, you can also use a good quality humidifier and move them nearby the Crotons.
You can also use a more easy method with a clear plastic bag after tying it on your Croton to make a greenhouse effect.
4. Watering Requirement
It is best always to use distilled or rainwater rather than tap water. This is because tap water is usually softened with minerals, fluoride, chlorine, and salts.
These chemicals sometimes cause Croton to go brown in their tips and edges, turning yellow.
Water only after the top two to three inches of soil are dry.
5. Soil, Fertilizers, and Container Size
Crotons’ ideal potting mix is rich in organic compost and peat moss. Also, ensure they have moist soil (neither soggy nor dry).
As for fertilizers, use all-purpose houseplant fertilizer by diluting it with water once a month. However, it would help if you did not use it often, as it may cause root toxicity.
Furthermore, use a container that is ⅓ larger than the plant’s root ball and has a drainage hole in the bottom. You can add a gravel layer at the bottom to improvise the drainage system.
Last but not least, it would help if you repotted your Croton every two years to let them grow up to their full potential.
Quick Look on Caring for Newly Propagated Croton
Below I have highlighted the critical factors to consider while caring for your Croton babies.
|Container Size||⅓ larger than the plants' root ball|
|Sunlight||Indirect sunlight for 6-8 hrs|
|Potting Mix||Rich in organic compost and peat moss|
|Fertilizer||Diluted all-purpose houseplant fertilizer
Once a month
|Watering Schedule||Water only after top two to three inches of soil are dry
Use distilled or rainwater
From Editorial Team
Address Croton’s Fussy Nature!
Apart from multiplying your beloved Croton Plants, propagation assists in rejuvenating the plant with a fresh and healthy look for the time ahead.
Make sure to be mindful of the plant’s care requirement before, after, and during the Croton propagation process.