Codiaeum: Greenhouse Plants
T – tropical, minimum of 18°C (65°F)
Malaya and Pacific Isles
These attractivewith their brightly coloured leaves, earning them the name Joseph’s Coat or Croton, really need tropical conditions to do well. Lower temperatures result in growth stopping, whereas fluctuations will cause leaves to drop. However, given the conditions they like they will mostly make 1.5-m (5-ft) specimens in pots before becoming leggy. There are many named varieties to choose from derived from the main species Codiaeum variegatum pictum but if you get them mixed up it is almost impossible to sort them out. It is common to see several completely different coloured leaves on each plant according to maturity and light. If they become leggy, cut the stems back hard and given good light they will shoot again in spring. This is a good time to 8-10 cm (3-4 in) long. When doing this it is advisable to reduce the length of the leaves to make them more manageable. Mealy bug are the only pest liable to cause serious problems but are easily controlled if spotted soon enough.