How to Care for A Croton Petra
If you are searching for bold-looking house plants, croton petra is the answer. It is hard to miss, with its bright yellow, orange, and black markings on the leaves. Such foliage brings more positive energy into the room, so you might want to consider having one. Colorful pots make them look even more interesting.
Of course, before buying one, there are things you need to know about a croton petra plant.
1. About the Croton Petra Plant
Croton petra has a Latin name called Codiaeum spp. It is a timeless shrub, originated from southern Asia and the western Pacific islands. The leaves are bright green with white, bronze, purple, or pink foliage. They are there because of the plant’s age.
You can beautify your rooms with the existence of some croton petra plant indoors. When it comes to croton petra care, this plant is not that difficult to maintain. The key is to do it regularly and it will grow just fine.
2. The Growing Instructions for Croton Petra
Just like most houseplants, a croton petra houseplant has its own growing instructions. Here they are:
- To produce all those colorful leaves, croton petra needs enough light and bright-colored containers. Otherwise, they grow tall and lanky, but they also lose their natural hues.
- Watch out when they get either too wet or too dry. Some of their leaves start too fall. Before you water the plants, make sure that the soil is really dry.
- Croton petra plants need abundant humidity. Make sure that the room has enough light with a small humidifier nearby. If you do not have a humidifier, you can also group these plants with other houseplants nearby.
- Spring and summer are the right times to fertilize your croton petra houseplant. Once or twice is actually good enough. However, you can also fertilize more frequently during these two seasons to help it grow faster.
3. Other Things You Need to Know About Your Croton Petra Plants
This is actually optional, but there is a way to keep your croton petra plants bushy. Whenever some leaf joints appear, pruning the plant back will help you to solve the problem. If you are not into bushy plants, you can keep them as they are.
Caring for croton petra in winter, you must keep the plant indoor and water it more. Once in a while, you can spray the leaves, so it will stay fresh.
Since this plant requires higher humidity, it mostly lives in tropical areas. However, if you go to the USA, you can find them in the U.S. Department of Agriculture. They are placed in Zone 9B through 11.
4. Some Diseases To Watch Out For
Croton petra is also no exception when it comes to diseases to watch out for. Since they can spread bacterial diseases, especially xanthomonas leaf spot and crown gall, you need to be careful when tending to them. They also have fungal diseases like anthracnose, stem gall, and canker.
The stem gall and canker can swell the stems of the palm plant. They do that to the plant’s leaf veins and roots. The way to deal with these is to prune the broken, darkened parts from the major infection.
Xanthomonas leaf spot is identified through the dark brown leaves and their dark lesions. To prevent this from happening, use a bactericide that contains copper. Unfortunately, once the leaves are already infected, they need to be removed immediately.
The water spots and dark tan (and sometimes dark spots too) on your leaves are signs of an anthracnose attack. To deal with this, use a fungicide that is copper-based. It will help you to cure the broken parts.
However, if the fungicide does not work, you may also need to cut off the broken, infected parts too. This is the last resort to keep your entire croton petra from getting infected.
5. The Common Pests To Deal With
Real live houseplants also invite pests indoors. This has always been inevitable, unless you know how to prevent that from happening.
First things first, though. The number of pests you must keep in mind are: fungus gnats, mites, mealy bugs, scales, thrips, shore flies, and white flies. Since they are mostly tiny, a magnifying glass is needed to locate them. Once you find them, use pesticides. Do not forget to read the instructions for proper use.
6. The Repotting and The Toxic Croton Petra
Last but not least, here are the three (3) things you also need to note down:
Repotting the croton petra plant
Like all houseplants, no matter how small, they still grow. Repot this plant once in every couple of years to keep it healthy as it grows. Since the indoor version is smaller than the landscape crotons, you need more fertilizer to help them grow better.
Keeping the croton petra plant from house pets and little kids
This may not be much of an issue if you live all by yourself. You know what to do with your croton petra plant and avoid doing what is harmful to you.
However, you might need to keep this houseplant away from your kids’ reach. Your house pets, like your cats or dogs, might also find an interest in chewing this plant. If that happens (and hopefully never), they might get seriously sick.
For safety precautions, put the plant on a higher level, like on a desk or the top shelf. That way, your kids nor pets cannot have access to it. Otherwise, they may get skin irritation and an upset stomach.
What is sensitive to croton petra
Salt spray is sensitive to croton petra. This also means that soil salinity is not good for these plants. If you live in the bay area (like by the beaches), you cannot grow them. You can still have them indoors, with your own soil and fertilizer.
Having croton petra as your houseplant requires certain things to grow and care for. As long as you know how, you get to enjoy the beauty of it for a long time.