Croton 'Zanzibar' (Codiaeum variegatum)

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Features

Whether grown as a potted accent plant indoors or out in the garden during warm months, Zanzibar Croton is sure to be a conversation piece. The narrow, multi-colored foliage adds incredible color and textural interest to any location. A great complement to flowering annuals in the landscape or plant near dark-leaved plants for a striking contrast.

Uses

Perfect for all kinds of containers. Makes a nice windowsill plant. May be displayed outdoors in warmer weather. Wonderful for combination plantings.

Plant Feed

Every two weeks with mild liquid fertilizer.

Watering

Keep soil evenly moist.

Soil

All-purpose mix.

Basic Care Summary

Keep soil evenly moist and fertilize regularly. Mist frequently. Keep away from drafts. Dust or wipe off leaves for best display.

Planting Instructions

Start with a good quality, commercial potting soil. These are usually lighter in weight than topsoil, sterile and pest-free. Many are available with a mild starter fertilizer in the mix.



Select a container with a drainage hole or be prepared to drill holes for drainage if there are none.



Prepare the container by filling with potting soil up to 2” (5cm) from the rim of the planter. Remove the plant from its pot or pack. If plants are in a pack, gently squeeze the outside of the individual plant cell while tipping container to the side. If plant doesn't loosen, continue pressing on the outside of the container while gently grasping the base of the plant and tugging carefully so as not to crush or break the stem until the plant is released. If the plant is in a pot, gently grasp the base of the plant, tip it sideways and tap the outside of the pot to loosen. Rotate the container and continue to tap, loosening the soil until the plant pulls smoothly from the pot.



Make a small hole in the soil slightly larger than the root ball either by hand or using a trowel. Insert the plant into the hole and press soil firmly around the roots and just covering the root ball. When all the plants are potted, water thoroughly to settle the soil and give plants a good start.



Plan ahead for plants that get tall and require staking or support cages. It's best to install cages at planting time, before the foliage gets bushy. Vining plants require vertical space to grow, so provide a small trellis that allows the plant to grow freely and spread.

Watering Instructions

Prefers moist but well-drained soil. Check the soil moisture with your finger. If the top 2-4” (5-10cm) of soil is dry, or plants are wilted, it is time to water.



Apply water at the soil level if possible to avoid wetting the foliage. Water the entire soil area until water runs out the base of the pot. This indicates that the soil is thoroughly wet.

Fertilizing Instructions

Fertilizers are available in many forms: granulated, slow-release, liquid feeds, organic or synthetic. Determine which application method is best for the situation and select a product with a nutritional balance designed to encourage blooming (such as 5-10-5).



Too much fertilizer can damage plants so it’s important to follow the package directions to determine how much, and how often, to feed plants.



Slow-release fertilizers are an especially good, care-free choice for container plants. A single application can often provide plants with the proper level of nutrition all season long.

Pruning Instructions

Most container plants can be pruned freely to maintain the desired size and shape. Keeping the foliage trimmed also keeps the plants looking neat and tidy, encourages the plant to develop more side-shoots and flowers, and reduces the demand for the plant to develop a larger root system. This is important since the roots are in a confined space.



Remove old flowers to keep plant looking healthy and prevent seed production that drains the plant’s energy at the expense of forming new flowers.



Some plants are grown only for their attractive foliage (such as coleus, dusty miller and flowering kale). The flowers are not particularly attractive so any buds that appear should be pinched off to keep the foliage looking its best.

Plant Details
Category: Houseplants
Available Colors: Grown for foliage
Bloom Time: Grown for foliage
Height Range: 3-6' (0.9-1.8m)
Space Range: 2-5' (0.6-1.5m)
Lowest Temperature: 50° to 80°F (10° to 27°C)
Plant Light: Bright Light
Companion Plants: Hibiscus, Lantana, Canna
USDA Zone: 11-12

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