Croton, Joseph's Coat
The colourful leaves of this plant species has earned it its name Joseph's Coat. The leaves come in many shapes and sizes and a kaleidoscopic array of colours.
Light shade best described by South, South East or South West facing window. Avoid direct sunlight.
Keep moist but not soggy during spring and summer. In winter water when the soil is almost dry.
Humidity and temperature
Mist once every two weeks with a fine mister using lukewarm water. Do not allow the temperature to drop below 10°C (50°F).
Feeding and repotting
Feed from April – August with a diluted liquid fertiliser every two weeks. Repot in the late spring, be careful not to damage the roots.
Quick guide to common problems and how to deal with them.
This plant is toxic to pets and humans. The plant produces white sap when the foliage or stems are broken. Wash your hands thoroughly after handling.
White cottony clumps appear on the underside of the leaves.
This is an infestation caused by the mealy bug. Use a cotton swab dipped in the rubbing alcohol (Isopropyl) to remove the clumps and disinfect the area. If the problem is severe conquer it with Neem Oil.
Scales or shell-like bumps on plant stems and the underside of leaves are visible. Sticky, sooty deposits on stems and leaves.
This is caused by the scale insect. If you catch the infestation early you can simply remove it with your fingernail and wash the stems with diluted washing up liquid in lukewarm water. Use 1tbsp washing up liquid to 4L of water.
Leaves turned dull bronze and dropping, noticeable webs appear.
The most likely culprits are red spider mites. They are most active between March - October and love dry environments. Take the infected plant out immediately. Make sure to check all your other plants for cross contamination. Remove the plant from the pot and wash out the soil until the roots clean. Clean your pot thoroughly. Repot the fern in fresh soil and keep quarantined until the plant is re-established and new growth appears. Ensure the soil is kept moist to avoid new infestation. Return the plant to its original place once you are confident the problem has been conquered.
Crispy, brown leaf tips.
A sign of low humidity. Mist the plant with a fine mist using lukewarm warm water.