Crotons can add color to your summer garden

By Cindi Sullivan - bio | email

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - One of the most popular houseplants around is the Croton. They are most prized for their colorful foliage. They are multi-stemmed shrubs that grow well in the tropics, reaching 6 feet or more with an equal spread. Here in Kentuckiana, they make a great potted plant for the outdoor garden and will do well as a houseplant in the right conditions.

Leaf shape will vary with species and cultivar; colors will be found in green, red, bronze, yellow, pink, and gold, there are even spotted varieties.

Crotons require high light. So they will do well in our summer gardens in a full sun location. Crotons also like to have their potting soil kept evenly moist, although saturated soil will cause yellow leaves.

Although they don't tend to be disturbed by pests, plants that are allowed to dry out might be susceptible to spider mite damage. Scale could also be a problem, check the undersides of the leaves and the stems often to catch these pests early.

Around the middle of September, you'll need to take your Croton indoors. They need a very bright south or west facing window. Yellow leaves might be an indication that they are not getting enough light indoors.

If you have a gardening question for Cindi, you can e-mail her by clicking on her name below. You can also find many helpful garden tips from Cindi by clicking on the highlighted link: Garden Talk.