The colorful Croton plant. They are happiest when kept at consistent temperatures between 60°-85° degrees Fahrenheit. Being left in temperatures below 50° degrees Fahrenheit and sudden temperature changes can cause Croton leaf drop.
If you live in an area such as this, it may be best to keep Crotons as container plants. Then you can move them during the wintertime.
Alternately, you can plant your Croton in the landscape during the warm months and then pot it to live indoors for the winter.
When temperatures begin to drop at the end of summer, move your plant to a sunny window indoors. Be aware that Croton leaves may drop when moved.
When springtime temperatures rise above 55° degrees Fahrenheit, begin exposing your plant to outdoor light and temperatures. You can then move it outdoors to enjoy the warm weather and sun in the spring and summer.
Croton Can Be Quite Picky
Croton, aka Codiaeum variegatum (Koh-dee-EE-um variegatum), is a lovely, colorful, tropical perennial. It can live happily outdoors in USDA hardiness zones 10-11.
None of the Croton varieties like frequent changes, drafts, or cold temperatures. They often drop leaves in protest, but this is not a matter of extreme concern. If this happens, review your care practices and make corrections as needed.
How To Keep Croton Indoors In Winter
Find a Calm, Warm Spot for Your Croton
It should receive ample bright, indirect sunlight and be free of drafts. Once you have your plant in place, avoid moving it again until springtime comes to prevent leaf drop.
Also keep your Crotons away from children or pets during their time indoors. Read Are Croton Plants Toxic?
Unlike many plants, Croton does not go dormant in the wintertime.
Provide nourishment throughout the winter, but don’t overdo it. Crotons rest in winter and only need a weak water-soluble houseplant fertilizer solution once a month.
If you put your Croton in fresh potting soil before winter, you won’t need to feed it. It should get plenty of nourishment from the new soil.
Water Your Croton Lightly and Maintain Humidity
These tropical plants like a humid setting. Place a humidifier near the plant, place the container on a pebble tray, or mist the plant daily.
Check the plants’ soil frequently. When the top inch feels dry, water it thoroughly.
A Southern Exposure is Best
Crotons like lots of sunlight all year and need at least three hours of bright sun daily. A south
Place your plant about a foot away from a bright, sunny window. Putting it too close to the window could result in a chill.
Maintain a Steady, Warm Temperature
Your Croton will be happiest if you can keep it between 70° – 80° degrees Fahrenheit during the daytime. Don’t let the temperature drop below 55° degrees Fahrenheit at night.