Many gardening lovers tend to add the crotons in their gardens due to the amazingly beautiful foliage they have. However, there are some crotons which have uneven growth. Those untidily grown would be less appealing. In that context, do you know how to make croton bushy?
So, if you were wondering how to make croton look bushy, this article would be quite useful for you. If I briefly explain that you need to first let the plants absorb sufficient sunlight.
Next consider feeding them the right amounts. Thirdly you could pinch the new leaves and their stems so that it would stimulate them to branch out.
Pruning the leggy stems is one more thing you could consider doing to make them look bushy. Lastly, water them well and expose them to the right temperature levels to help them grow vigorously and healthily. So, if you want to know these things in detail, this would be the article that you need to read.
Life begins the day you start a garden.Chinese proverb
Why is my croton not bushy?
Generally speaking, crotons are bushy plants. So, if your precious croton is not bushy it literally means there are some lapses in the way you care for them.
So, before we proceed with learning on how to make the crotons look bushy, you need to first understand what are the reasons which could factor for this condition.
So, if I explain the reasons which could halt your crotons getting bushy would be lack of sunlight or lack of pruning. In addition to that improper nutrition levels and seasonal changes may also impact your crotons not getting bushy.
Lack of sunlight
Croton plants would want ample sunlight to thrive well. Usually, crotons would perform well if they can gain full sunlight for about six hours. That said, there could be certain croton species which would not prefer having full sunlight but yet bright indirect sunlight.
So, you need to first understand what kind of sunlight requirement does your croton want and then act accordingly. If you fail to supply light, it would badly impact on the plants healthy growth.
All plants need to have sufficient sunlight to conduct the photosynthesis process and crotons are no different to them Once they conduct the photosynthesis process only they will have sufficient energy to survive.
Once the plants run out of adequate sunlight, they would not be able to conduct photosynthesis and consequently, there will be less energy available for the plants. Consequently plants’ growth pattern would also be halted due to that and tend to show a slow growth rate.
In addition to that , lack of sunlight exposure could be the culprit in resulting leggy growth and uneven growths in the plants as well.
When the crotons don’t receive the sufficient sunlight, they would end up leaning towards the best possible lighting source they can reach and ultimately it would make them develop lengthy growths.
Lack of pruning
Pruning is something fundamental which you need to do when taking care of any plants and crotons are the same. Once you prune the plants from time to time, it would help the plants grow new growth parts.
On the other hand, if you skip pruning the plants, your plants would be messy and look untidy. You don’t need to prune the crotons on a constant basis.
That being said, it is best to do it once every few days so that it would ensure the plants are in a good shape. If you witness your crotons have developed leggy plant parts, it literally means that it is the high time to prune the plants.
Periodic fertilizing the plants is something important which you need to do when looking after the crotons. It would give the plants the extra boost they need to have to grow vigorously.
In fact, the nutrients in the soil would deplete as they grow and when you fertilize the plants periodically it would give them the extra boost they need to have to grow well.
Having said that, it is vital that you use the right fertilizers and with the right amount as only then you can get the best result. Unless it would also result in uneven growth. Many people opt to use fertilizers which have a higher component in nitrogen to feed the houseplants quite often.
However when it comes to feeding the crotons, you can use fertilizers which have a higher level of nitrogen but less often. If you feed the crotons with those fertilizers frequently, it would also make them grow unevenly.
On the other hand, if you skip fertilizing the plants at all, crotons would start lacking sufficient nutrient levels. Ultimately it would be difficult for them to thrive and result in weak and leggy growths in the plants.
If there are significant changes in the growing conditions, it would also stop your crotons from getting bushy. Usually the plants which are used to grow in tropical conditions need to go through a resting period during the winter season.
When they are dormant, they would prefer to stay undisturbed. In other words they would try to conserve the energy for their active growing season without consuming them in winter. The conditions after winter would be optimal for a healthy growth in the crotons.
How To Make Croton Bushy?
You could make your croton bushy by mainly three activities. For example, you could prune them or pinch them. In addition to that proper care could also make your crotons look bushy as well.
Pruning the croton would help you to keep your croton less messy and neat. Furthermore it would help them to develop new growths and develop thick branches and leaves too. As the crotons grow older, they would start to drop their leaves.
So, if you have a massively grown croton chances are that there could be sparsely covered branches which have resulted in leaving out the tune branches. So, you need to avoid this taking place by simply cutting the limbs.
In terms of the best time for pruning the croton, I would say it is best to do it in early spring. So, if you wish to spot some spectacular looking vivid colored leaves during summer, you will want to consider pruning them in spring.
How to Prune your Croton
You need to arrange the following tools first to start off pruning the crotons.
- Clean sharp tools such as shears or garden scissors.
- A pair of Gloves
- A sterilizer such as rubbing alcohol or hydrogen peroxide.
- Balanced liquid fertilizer
- Old newspaper or tarpaulin (optional)
As the first step, you need to first identify where you need to prune on the plants. You need to ideally decide which part you want to leave in the plants before you prune the plants. You need to decide this on the shape of the croton you have and the way you want to look at it at the end.
Keep in mind that you cannot undo any pruning you did. I suggest you cut back the older leaves and the branches so that there would be enough room for the new growths in the plants. further if you could spot any browned or damaged leaves you need to prune them as well.
Secondly you need to keep the equipment ready. I recommend you wear gloves and any other protective gear so that the milky juice would not get in contact with your skin or with your eyes and cause trouble.
If you have crotons which have larger crotches, I suggest you wear eye protection. Next you can place a newspaper under the croton and let the sap which would run out from the plants reach those surfaces.
It is noteworthy that you need to cleanse the shears and scissors with a proper sterilizer so that it would avoid your croton getting any infection or any new wound.
Now you could remove the identified branch. You should ideally trim off the required branches from their tips. Next cut them back to the nodes at each branch base and at each shoot base.
You could spot the nodes as small swellings or protrusions and ensure that you leave them on the plants as they would be forming the new growths from those points. Furthermore, you need to avoid removing one third of the plant’s leaves and branches as then it would be a drastic change to the whole look of the plants. ‘
Fourthly you need to fertilize the plants with a proper fertilizer. When you finish pruning the plants you need to apply a liquid fertilizer so that it would help the plants to grow healthily and vigorously.
Further it would stimulate the new growths in the plants as well. Once you complete pruning the plants you could wait until they reward you with thickly clustered leaves during summer.
Pinch for new growth
Pinching is yet another fine way of encouraging the growth in the plants. You could simply pinch off the parts where you spot the plants are developing the new growths.
This activity would help the plants to develop new growths effectively and faster too. further it would stimulate the functioning of the growth hormones as well. Once you pinch the new leaves tips, you could spot a couple of new leaves emerging from that place.
Keep repeating pruning and pinching
I suggest pruning and pinching from time to time. This literally means, you could keep pruning and pinching the crotons until you spot the desired bushiness in the plants.
Best time to conduct these activities would be their active growing season as the plants would then respond effectively for these during the active seasons. I don’t recommend doing these activities in winter seasons as they would not give you the best results.
Take proper care of your croton
Proper routine care is one more important factor when it comes to making the crotons look bushy. Literally if you care for the plants well, they would grow bushier. On the other hand, if there are lapses in care treatments, they would not grow well.
Expose the crotons for full sunlight
Generally speaking, crotons would want to have full sunlight for about six hours of the day. That said, there could be some croton varieties which would want bright indirect sunlight.
So you need to ideally first identify the light requirement of the croton species you have and then place them in a spot where they can fulfill it accordingly. If you struggle to provide sufficient light you could either bring them outdoors for sometime and bring them back indoors or grow them under artificial light such as grow light.
Water the crotons if it is necessary.
It is important that you provide an evenly moist soil mix to grow the crotons. So, make sure that you don’t make the soil dry and water them if the top layer of the soil is dry. If you are unsure whether the soil is moist or dry, you could make use of a moisture meter and then check on it.
Generally speaking, crotons would prefer to have one inch of water once every week. You could water less often during winter and limit watering them once every fortnight.
Always go ahead with water which is at room temperature and never use too cold or too warm water for the crotons as it would be traumatizing for them. Best would be to apply either rainwater or filtered water so that you could avoid any harsh minerals for the plants.
Use the correct pot and potting mix
Potting mix wise, best would be to provide a rich potting mix which can retain some moisture within it so that it would help the plants to grow optimally.
You could be tactful in adding peat moss and compost to make it more appropriate for the crotons. Furthermore, always go for a pot which has a couple of draining holes for the excess water to drain as crotons hate to be in soggy soil.
Fertilize the crotons with the right fertilizers
A fertilizer which has a NPK ratio of 3-1-2 would be perfect for the feeding purpose of the crotons. Limit the feeding frequency to once a month as over feeding would be harmful for them.
You may also use a fertilizer which has a high nitrogen or a high potassium level to feed them too. However if you feed them frequently it would make the plants weak instead of making them look bushy.
Provide a warm and humid condition for the crotons
Crotons are adapted to grow in tropical regions. It literally means they get high temperature levels as well as high humidity levels. So, you need to ideally provide the same condition as in their natural habitats when you grow them in your house as well.
The right temperature level which would suit these plants would be somewhere around 65 – 95 degrees Fahrenheit. Humidity wise, 40 – 80% humidity levels would work well with the plants.
If you don’t have sufficient humidity levels at home you could make use of humidifiers to supplement the same. In addition to that you could also use a pebbles tray or mist them from time to time as well.
Do not expose the plants for much colder weather conditions or for frost as they would not like getting exposed to those. On the other hand, refrain from exposing the plants for extremely high temperatures as well.
Conclusion : How To Make Croton Bushy
Crotons usually grow as bushy plants and it would be heart wrenching to spot them grow lean. However if you ever come across any situation like that you could either prune them or pinch them to make them look bushy. In addition to that ensure that you care for these carefully.
Don’t feed them improperly as it would also badly affect these plants and make them grow in a spindly manner. So, I hope now you are well aware of how to deal with your croton which is not growing with the bushiness.
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