Croton Petra is a tropical shrub derived from plants first native to Malaysia and islands in the western Pacific. The star-shaped flowers are produced on long stalks but are insignificant. The foliage of Petra is broadly oval with a pointed tip with colors which vary between pink, red, orange, yellow, and green with the veins often times being a lighter color. This is one of the most common cultivars for both indoor and outdoor use.
Croton is typically offered as an indoor plant, but can also be used outdoors as a seasonal accent plant in containers or plantings of annuals or mixed ornamentals.
Croton is propagated by stem cutting and air layering.
1. Stem Cuttings Propagation by rooting a stem from a healthy, mature plant is a method commonly used to propagate croton and many other houseplants. Rooting involves cutting a stem with at least three sets of leaves. A wound is created by removing the bottom set of leaves, and new roots form at the wound site. The stem is planted in a container filled with the lightweight potting mixture and then covered with plastic to create a greenhouse atmosphere.
2. Air Layering Air layering is a propagation technique in which a stem is rooted while it's still attached to the plant. The process involves making a diagonal cut through one-third to one-half the diameter of the stem. The wound is treated with rooting hormone and kept open with a piece of toothpick or matchstick. Damp sphagnum moss is packed around the area, with the moss carefully covered with plastic wrap. When the stem roots, it is planted in a container filled with lightweight potting soil or a mixture of ingredients such as perlite, sand and peat moss.
Special features: The colorful foliage and air purification ability.
Ornamental use: Can be used for Container, Foundation, Hedges, Houseplant, Mixed Border, Screening, etc.