How to grow croton plant from leaf? The simple answer is you can not grow a croton plant from a leaf. But you can grow them from its Petiole.
Many people misunderstood this as leaf propagation. Actually it should be Petiole rooting. So, from this article I will be addressing How to grow croton plant from Petiole in detail.
One might think that crotons would be of a fuzzy nature, however many people tend to add them to decorate the indoor setup. These are becoming such trendy plants all over the world and it is worth knowing how to propagate these plants properly.
There are three main ways of growing croton plants using the stem cuttings, air layering and from using the petiole rooting. If you wish to increase the number of crotons you have in an economical way, it is definitely worth trying to propagate them.
So, if you are curious to know how to grow them from a leaf and how to care for them after propagation, this is the article you need to go through.
When to propagate the croton?
You can get the best results of propagation only if you conduct it at the right time. Crotons would actively grow in spring and would go dormant during winter.
So, I recommend you conduct propagation during January, February or in March as those months would be ideal for the propagation. It is always best to conduct propagation when they are actively growing so that you could get the best results in a short span of time.
Furthermore, the root formation would also be much better in their active growing season. It will avoid the plant’s stress after propagation. All these factors help them to regenerate vigorously and effectively.
Apart from these, you need to keep in mind to propagate them only if they are in the mature phase only. if you end up propagating a baby croton plant, it may probably kill the plants. Furthermore, it is worth trying propagation when the plants have developed leggy or bushy plant parts.
How to grow croton plant from leaf
As I explain in the beginning of this article you can not propagate croton with leaves. Instead, you need to do petiol rooting to make a new plant. If you use a croton leaf with petiole and propagate them using either soil or water, you will see how they produce roots.
How to propagate the crotons by using petiole rooting?
You could conduct petiole rooting when the crotons are shedding their leaves. Usually crotons would shed their leaves due to low humidity and due to age. That said, I recommend trying this method out if you are a patient gardener only.
To start off, you need to first remove a leaf from a healthy looking croton and then cut and trim it to about 1 ½ inch of the petiole. Thereafter , place it in water and wait for another four weeks to spot them developing roots.
Lastly you need to plant them in a perlite peat mix or even on a ground coir. You need to do this transfer when you spot them carrying leaves since it literally means the roots are developing. Eventually you could witness the new plants arising at the base of the petiole.
Other ways to Propagate a Croton?
First you need to choose a healthy growing croton to start off the propagation process. If you are looking for a faster way of propagating the crotons, you could try out the stem cutting method or the air layering method. If you are a patient gardener, you may try out the petiole rooting as mentioned before.
It is noteworthy that crotons may come up with certain elements which could contribute to issues related to the digestive system and in skin irritations as well. So, it is best to protect yourself by wearing protective gloves so that those harmful elements will not get in contact with your skin.
You need to first arrange a healthy croton, knife or a sharp blade, disinfectant such as rubbing alcohol , pot with fresh soil mix, plastic bag and optionally you can arrange some cutting powder as well.
Secondly, you need to take your knife or a sharp blade and then clean it well. I suggest you keep them in hot water and then dry them with a soft clean towel. Once you do this activity, it would avoid any potential infestation of harmful bacteria.
In addition to that, you may also disinfect these tools by using pure alcohol or any other disinfectant.
How to propagate the croton by using stem cuttings
If you wish to have short and bushy crotons, you could consider propagating the plants by stem cutting method. Usually, a croton would grow up to 3 to 6 feet in height and you could easily cut off the top parts of the plants to propagate them.
First you need to snip off 4-6 inch cuttings which would carry about three sets of leaves. The cut area would be somewhat wounded and the roots would start to form from there.
If you want to dry the sap which is flowing out of the cutting, you could use powdered charcoal and then lay it on the newspaper. Thereafter you could plant the cuttings in a light potting mix.
A potting mix should ideally consist of moist sand, perlite and sphagnum moss. Ensure that you are maintaining the right temperature so that the cuttings will be kept warm and moist. Once you do all these steps, you could spot them producing roots within a short period of one month.
How to propagate the crotons by air layering process.
Suppose you have a leggy croton, then the best way of propagating the crotons would be using the air layering method. It would in fact give a bushy and a new appearance for your plants.
- To start off, you need to first cut ½- 1 inch strips around the stem below the growth node.
- Furthermore, you could use a plain wooden toothpick and keep the diagonal cut wound open by simply sliding on it. As you do this step, you could consider adding some rooting hormone here.
- Thereafter you could use some handful of sphagnum moss and wrap the wound area.
- Ensure that the sphagnum moss is dampened with purified water.
- Next, you need to cover the wounds of the croton by using either plastic wrap or tape.
- You could spot them producing roots within a few weeks’ time. When they develop the roots, you need to separate the whole stem from the layering.
- Thereafter plant the cuttings in a container which is filled with perlite sand and peat moss. The rooting would take place within one month’s time.
Can you propagate Crotons in water?
Yes certainly you can. In fact one might think that propagating the crotons in water is less messy and much more effective than the soil propagation method. However the water propagation tips are the same as the soil propagation method.
First, you need to select a healthy looking cutting and that is the most crucial thing you need to do. In fact it is what would determine the success of the propagation in water just like in the soil propagation method. Thus, you need to always go ahead with a stem cutting which consists of a few leaves.
Secondly make the cut using sterilized and sharp pruners and make a clear cut on the plants. Ideally you need to make a 45 degree cut on the stem. I suggest you remove the bottom leaves as unless chances are that they would submerge in water.
Thirdly, you need to insert the cuttings. However I urge you to use a glass container so that you can see the root growth of the plants. Furthermore you need to always use pure water to do this task too. If you wish you may also mix a little fertilizer also to the water as it would boost the growth.
Lastly , ensure that you are taking care of the specimen to have the best results of the propagation process. Ideally you need to keep the glass container in a spot where they can gain bright indirect sunlight.
Moreover, make sure that you maintain a proper temperature level as well. If you spot the water is dirty, ensure that you change the water too. You could spot them producing roots within six weeks’ time.
Further, when you spot the roots are somewhat long, you could transfer the cuttings from water to a pot which is filled with an appropriate soil mix for croton plants.
How to Care for Your Newly Propagated Crotons?
Crotons have a fussy nature in general and due to that taking care of them is somewhat tricky. It is important that you try to provide the same conditions as they were in before since it would make them less traumatized.
Croton are somewhat sensitive to changes in the environmental conditions, and you need to ensure that you keep those conditions consistent.
Choose Spot with Indirect Sunlight
You need to plant the crotons in a spot where they can gain bright indirect sunlight for about six to eight hours. That said, there could be some croton varieties which could tolerate bright direct sunlight.
On the other hand , there could be some croton species which can survive in partial shade throughout the day too. So, depending on the croton species you need to grow them in an appropriate spot where they can fulfill the sunlight requirement.
If you find it difficult to enhance the light, you can be tactful in placing artificial light such as fluorescent lights. They would increase the heat and the lighting levels as well.
Crotons used to grow in tropical areas and you need to provide them with warmer temperatures as much as you can. Never expose them for temperatures which get dropped to 50 degrees Fahrenheit ( 10 degrees Celsius ).
A temperature range between 60-85ºF (15-30ºC) would work well with these plants the best. It is noteworthy that you need to avoid placing the freshly propagated plants closer to heating and cooling vents.
Crotons would prefer to grow in moderate humidity levels. if you grow them exposing low humidity levels, it would make them drop their leaves. if there are low humidity levels, you could increase the humidity levels by either placing a humidifier or misting them lightly.
It is best to water the crotons with either distilled water or with rainwater. Refrain from using tap water as chances are that they may contain minerals such as fluoride, chlorine and salt. On that note, you need to always water the plants only if their top layer of the soil is dry only.
Soil, Fertilizers, and Container Size
A soil mix which consists of organic compost and peat moss would be an excellent choice to grow the crotons. Ensure the soil is always moist and not soggy or dry.
When it comes to fertilizing, you need to feed the plants with a diluted all purpose fertilizer once a month. Furthermore, you need to choose a container which is 1/3 larger in size so that there would be enough room for the root ball to grow freely. In addition to that it should have one or two draining holes too.
Conclusion : How to grow croton plant from leaf?
It is a fine idea to propagate the crotons from time to time as it would help the plants to multiply. Further it helps them to rejuvenate as well. So, I hope you found all the above said information quite useful and that you are all set to grow new crotons.