Tips for care - Gold dust croton (thin leaves)
Crotons have a gorgeous shade with lush green leaves flushed with purple, golden-yellow, red-orange colors depending on the variety. Crotons come in many types like gold dust croton, Florida select croton, bush on fire croton, etc. Gold dust croton (thin leaves) has yellow gold-colored specks on narrow green leaves. Sometimes there are purple-colored leaves interspersed with green leaves with gold-colored dots or splotches. Some varieties are air purifiers and appear in Dr. Wolverton's list of air purifiers.
Potting - Potting should be such that the roots are not bound. Repot once when you get from nursery. Retain parts of the original soil while repotting. Use 1/3rd garden soil + 1/3rd sand & 1/3rd cow dung manure. Alternatively can be planted in 4/5 compost and 1/5 sand mix with left tea leaves added to the compost. If grown outdoors, add a little bit of sand or perlite near the roots. Cover the hole in the pot by concave shape stone with the open side facing the hole.
Watering Requirement – The roots should remain moist; overwatering results in rotten roots. In winter, don't use cold water; use lukewarm water. It should be watered once every day in summers and once a week in winters. If underwatered, the leaves tend to wilt. Overwatering results in brown-colored corners of the leaves. The plant does not tolerate very low temperatures. Both over underwatering results in fallen leaves.
Light Requirement – It is a tropical plant that loves indirect/ filtered sunlight. Hence it is an ideal plant to be kept on a balcony, patio, or verandah, it can survive direct sunlight, but colors become dim.
Propagation – Use half soil and half compost for planting the cutting; bury organic kitchen waste for 4-5 days to make the compost. Make small holes at base of the pots. To make a plant cutting, cut the stem at least 6 inches in length, leaving 2-3 layers. Remove large leaves, and the rest of the leave should be cut in half so that they take less nutrition. Now remove 1 inch of bark from the bottom of the stem and cut at 45 degrees. Put rooting hormone around the cutting, then plant by making a hole of 2 inches in the pot.
Fertilization – They love acidic fertilizer. Fertilize once every two weeks. Use apple cider vinegar, sirca one spoon in 1-liter water. Apply once every 15 days. NPK (20:20:20) dissolved in water can also be given from time to time.
General Tips - Spider mites, bugs etc., easily latch into the plant. In such cases, use soapy (1 spoon soap in 1-liter water) water to clean the leaves.
Max reachable height: Height 3'-10' / 0.9m - 3.0m width 1'-5' / 0.3m - 1.5m
Air purifier: Yes
Common name(s): Gold dust croton (thin leaves), Codiaeum variegatum puntatum
Bloom time: Early Summer, Summer, Late Summer