Croton (Codiaeum variegatum) is a bright, multi-colored plant grown indoors and outdoors.
Typically, Crotons grow well, but if your plant is getting weak and you are worried about how to make Croton bushier, this guide is for you!
In this guide, I will be sharing all the required steps to carry out this task in your indoor garden.
So, let's get started!
Can You Make A Croton Plant Bushy?
Croton plant grows bright-colored foliage, and the good news is you can make it bushier with little effort.
All you need is to cut back or remove dead leaves by trimming.
When dead or diseased leaves are removed, the plant replaces them with fresh leaves that give it a compact shape and make it bushier.
Normally, you can trim plants any time of the year, but avoid removing dead leaves when the temperature is too cold.
They are perennials that don't really go dormant but do not produce new leaves and other growth in the cooler season.
So, early spring is the best time to give your plant a trimming round to make it thick.
Now, let's see how you can go about this process and get the right shape for your Croton plant.
How To Make Croton Bushier
Making Croton plant bushier is not a big deal, and you can do it in no time with some basic pruning tools.
So, make sure to manage these things for trimming your plant -
- Pruning shears/ Scissors
- Disinfectant – Chlorine bleach or 70 – 100 alcohol
- Gardening gloves
Get these tools before you go ahead with the pruning process.
Below, you will find the step-by-step method to make this plant bushy.
1. Wear Gloves And Clean Your Pruning Shears
The very first step is to wear sturdy gloves and sanitize pruning shears to prevent further issues.
You can dip a clean cloth in disinfectant and wipe it across each side of the pruning shears or simply disinfect in a solution of 1 part chlorine and 9 parts water.
2. Cutting Old And Dead Leaves
Now trim off dead leaves and branches of your plant by keeping them in front of you.
Also, look for shriveled leaves and cut them off where they meet the parent branch or the main stem.
It is the leaf node that helps to regrow new leaves.
Thus, cutting leaves at the leaf node encourages growth.
You may also remove the leaves that have turned yellow, brown, or black.
These leaves are not very beneficial for your Croton plant.
So, it's better to get rid of them while performing this task.
3. Remove Dead Branches
Similarly, if there are many dead leaves on a branch and you think it is dead, cut the branch where it meets the stem.
You can determine whether a branch needs to be removed or not by breaking it from the end.
Don't cut the branch if it is green, but brown or brittle branches are of no use and should be removed swiftly.
Remember to cut damaged stalks at least 6 inches outside the affected area.
4. Cut Off Swollen Growths And Stems
Cut back any long, overgrown stems just above the leaf to maintain the bushy shape of the plant.
Similarly, if you see any swollen growth on your plant's leaf veins and stems, possibly your plant is dealing with crown gall.
You can cut off these growths with your pruning shears, and don't forget to disinfect the shears before using them at any other part of the plant.
Now, your croton plant is in shape and all set for new growth that will make it look thicker.
These are the four important steps in this process.
So, follow them properly.
Also, it's important to note that it takes time to see new growth in the plant.
Further, it takes even more time to get the bushy look on your plant.
So, just be patient and keep an eye on how the plant grows each week after the pruning process.
Besides, there are a few things you need to remember when you perform this task.
Let's quickly take a look at them as well.
10 Things To Remember While Making Croton Bushier
Here are some important things you must not forget when following steps for how to make Croton bushier:
- Always wear gloves, as it helps keep your hands protected.
- Use sharp cutting tools to avoid crushing of plant.
- Don't forget to sterilize pruning shears before and after trimming, as tools can have harmful bacteria on them. Using unsterilized blades, scissors, or pruning shears can transfer that bacteria to your plants.
- Check croton leaves for powdery mildew and black patches on leaves to indicate plant infection. This inspection should be done prior to pruning the plant.
- If pruning shears are not available, you can use sharp scissors.
- Trim the plant equally to make it thick from all sides.
- Try to trim the branches at a 45-degree angle because it doesn't allow the water to accumulate on the cut surface.
- Put the pruned leaves and branches in your compost bin. If they seem infected, you can discard them entirely. There is no point in using them for the composting process.
- Water the plant after you prune the plant. It helps rejuvenate the plant from pruning shock.
- Once the pruning is done, you can put it in a place that gets enough sunlight during the day.
What To Expect After Trimming the Croton Plant?
After trimming the Croton plant, you should keep it in light and avoid moisture.
Cutting or pruning can stress your plant for some days, so it is better to avoid overwatering and let the soil dry before the next round of watering.
Similarly, as I mentioned earlier, move your plant to a sunny spot that could be either a windowsill or an outdoor location.
This helps in two ways.
Firstly, it provides decent sunlight to the plant, which is essential in creating food for the entire plant system.
And secondly, the plant and soil dry out quickly.
Since you don't need a lot of moisture around the plant at this stage, it's essential to enable such conditions as soon as possible.
Next, I have shared some FAQs below.
The following FAQs section will help you understand more about this topic.
If you want to keep your Croton from getting leggy, make sure it is not in the shade and receives adequate light.
Similarly, maintain an ideal watering schedule without making it overwatered as water accumulation in the plant-soil invites many pests and diseases.
Above all, pruning prevents Crotons from many issues and helps them to grow thicker.
Yes, you can trim your overgrown Croton plant.
But remember, the actively growing season of the plant is the best time to prune it.
Use sharp pruning tools to cut damaged or diseased leaves, branches, and stems.
Make sure not to remove more than one-third of the stem height at one time.
Crotons are slow to moderate growing plants, but proper care and routine maintenance help them grow faster.
Regular watering, bright and filtered sunlight, and war temperature encourage their growth, and they grow up to 12 inches in a growing season.
Yes, the Croton plants prefer sunny spots to grow bright and vibrant foliage.
Bear in mind, prolonged exposure to direct sunlight can burn their leaves, so it is best to put your plant at a place where it can receive at least six to eight hours of sun each day.
In summers, you may move them in a slightly shaded place so that the sun doesn't scorch the leaves.
The average lifespan of Croton plants is 2 to 4 years, and the best growing conditions keep them disease-free during their growth phase.
In addition, you can take cuttings from a mature plant to propagate and grow for many more years.
Over To You
Well, I hope the above guide helps make your Croton bushier.
As you can see, it's not the most difficult thing to trim the leaves and branches of the plant and turn it into a bush-like shape.
That said, you will need to be a bit more precise in this process.
If you remove most of the branches, you might end up losing your entire plant.
So, be cautious and follow the suggestions shared in the guide.
If you're still not sure about any steps or need more assistance, please drop your queries in the comments below.
I will try to help you out.
In the end, do share this guide with your friends and family if you found it useful.