Croton Mammy is a well-loved plant in the community of indoor gardeners because of its unique feel and characteristics. It is tropical and easy to care for.
This comprehensive post will cover the dos and don’ts of raising your Croton Mammy successfully. Keep on reading if you’re interested in purchasing this Codiaeum and many other fascinating features of this plant.
Table of Contents
- 1 What Is Croton Mammy?
- 2 Where To Buy
- 3 Croton Mammy Plant Size
- 4 Croton Mammy Care Needs
- 4.1 Croton Mammy Care Difficulty
- 4.2 Croton Mammy Growth Rate
- 4.3 Croton Mammy Potting
- 4.4 Croton Mammy Repotting
- 4.5 Croton Mammy Soil
- 4.6 Croton Mammy pH
- 4.7 Croton Mammy Water
- 4.8 Croton Mammy Light
- 4.9 Croton Mammy Fertilizer
- 4.10 Propagating Croton Mammy
- 4.11 Humidity And Aeration for Croton Mammy
- 4.12 Croton Mammy Temperature
- 4.13 Flowers
- 4.14 Toxic
- 4.15 Pests, Diseases, And Other Problems for Croton Mammy
- 5 Similar Plants to Croton Mammy
- 6 Conclusion
What Is Croton Mammy?
Croton Mammy is a tropical perennial well-known today because of its bright and colorful foliage.
This plant is also known as Codiaeum Variegatum but is often referred to by its common names Mamey Croton, Fire Croton, and Garden Croton. It has dark green leaves tinged with vibrant pink, yellow, orange, and red hues. Each leaf is about 8 inches long and an inch wide and grows upright, curling, twisting, and corkscrew, making it a beautiful décor for your home.
When Mammy Croton plants are grown indoors, they can be placed near a south-facing window. When raised outdoors, it should be in USDA hardiness zones 10-12 to survive and must be grown as annuals or kept as indoor plants during the winter months.
Croton Mammy Origin And Family
From the Codiaeum genus in the Euphorbiaceae family, the Mamey Croton is native to the open forests and scrub of Malaysia, Indonesia, Australia, and the west Pacific Ocean islands. It produces insignificant small yellow and white flowers.
First described in 1753 by Carl Linnaeus, this houseplant is a great addition to any home.
Where To Buy
Croton Mammy can be purchased in a nursery or a home improvement store. It’s usually better to buy it on Etsy, where you’ll likely find more affordable options. Etsy frequently provides fantastic deals from plant enthusiasts who cultivate this variety in their homes as a hobby.
Croton Mammy has relatively expensive pricing, from $30 for small plants (6-inch pots) to $70+ for larger or more mature plants.
Croton Mammy Plant Size
The Croton Mammy, as a houseplant, reaches a height of 2-4 feet and a width of 1-2 feet. It typically grows slowly. Place it near a south-facing window for optimum plant development.
Croton Mammy Care Needs
With appropriate care, most plants, including Croton Mammy, are simple to cultivate at home.
It favors sun and relatively dry soil and is well-known for leaves with bright colors.
You should only be watering this Mammy when the soil’s top 2 inches are dry to the touch.
Like other plants, you’ll require good drainage holes in a plastic, terracotta, or clay pot.
Croton Mammy Care Difficulty
The Fire Croton is typically considered easy to care for in most circles. For growing conditions, the primary considerations are the amount of light and the well-draining soil that this plant has.
Croton Mammy Growth Rate
The Garden Croton is a slow-growing plant. As container plants, it reaches a mature height of 2-4 feet.
You can manage this plant’s height with appropriate pruning during the growing season in the spring and summer.
Croton Mammy Potting
This Mammy plant wants good drainage, and a plastic, terracotta, or clay pot with drainage holes work fine.
With its need to be watered when the soil’s top 2 inches are dry to touch, drainage holes are a must for Mamey Croton.
Croton Mammy Repotting
To keep your plant healthy, it is a good idea to transplant it to a new pot once it grows to a specific size.
On average, Croton Mammy grows slowly and must be repotted every 2-3 years as this plant’s root system is sensitive to movement. Soil loses its essential natural components over time, so it’s better to add some standard commercial potting soil when repotting. Select a pot size that’s 1-3 inches larger than the current size of your Mamey, so it grows adequately with almost no need for repotting.
Croton Mammy Soil
A standard commercial potting soil is the most recommended option for the Fire Croton. Use peat, perlite, and organic compost to make your soil mix. Adjust the ratio accordingly so that the final mixture is well-aerated. Remember that this plant prefers a growing medium that stays relatively dry.
The soil type should always support good drainage to avoid rot and other diseases. We suggest choosing potting mixes such as the following:
please welcome to the stage… mammy croton pic.twitter.com/zMpH0ozvb2— Luxury Vinyl Wood Laminate (@evliath) July 12, 2022
Croton Mammy pH
For the Garden Croton, you’ll need a soil pH of roughly 4.5-6.5, which is acidic. If you’re concerned about acidity, you may check your soil with a simple pH testing tool available online.
If you are concerned that the pH level is too high, you can correct it by adding sulfur or aluminum sulfate.
Meanwhile, if the pH level is too low, you can supplement your soil with baking soda, calcitic or dolomitic lime, or wood ash.
Croton Mammy Water
Proper watering is essential for Mamey Croton. If there’s too much water, you risk causing diseases such as root rot. If you do not water it enough, your plant’s roots can possibly dry out, especially during warm days. In general, Mamey Croton requires a growing medium that is relatively dry.
There is a simple way to determine if your perennial plant needs to be watered. You can stick a wooden skewer or a pencil into the pot to check if wet, muddy soil is still sticking to it. Or, you can use your finger to feel for moisture. When the soil’s top 2 inches are dry to touch, it’s time to water your plant.
A porous pot with drainage holes and an aerated, chunky soil mix can help get rid of excess moisture.
Croton Mammy Light
This evergreen shrub prefers partial shade to full sun. Remember that you’re attempting to replicate how it grows in the forests and scrub of Malaysia, Indonesia, Australia, and the west Pacific Ocean islands. In most cases, placing this plant near a south-facing window works fine.
When its multicolored leaves are getting scorched, you’ll know your Croton Mammy is getting too much direct sunlight. Conversely, the plant needs more light if its leaves droop and lose their vibrant color.
Croton Mammy Fertilizer
Water, sunlight, and soil provide the necessary nourishment for houseplants. Over time, soil can lose its nutrient value and needs to be supplemented with plant food.
If you want a thriving Fire Croton, fertilize it once each season during the spring and summer. You may opt for a granular fertilizer but dilute it first if it’s highly concentrated.
Typically, you don’t need to fertilize at all during the winter.
Propagating Croton Mammy
You can quickly reproduce your Codiaeum Mammy through different methods. Below are specific guidelines for each type of propagation.
Stem Cuttings In Soil
The most convenient way to propagate Croton varieties is by creating a cutting and planting it in soil. The ideal period to propagate is in the early spring. Here are the steps for getting started.
1. Collect your cutting. Look for a healthy section of the Croton Mammy’s stem with new growth with one or two nodes. Cut just below the Mamey Croton’s nodes with clean gardening shears.
2. Plant your cutting. Plant the cutting directly into standard commercial potting soil.
3. Maintain your cutting. Maintain the soil around your baby Croton Mammy moist and keep a temperature of approximately 60-70°F.
4. Rotate your cutting. To ensure even growth on all sides of your Mammy, rotate the pot now and then. “
Stem Cuttings In Water
To propagate Fire Croton cuttings in water, follow these steps:
1. Cut. Cut a section from your plant about 4-6 inches in length. Cuttings that are too long might grow lanky.
2. Submerge. Let the cutting sit in a glass of water and wait for it to grow roots. To avoid rot, make sure to remove leaves that are below the water level.
3. Refill. Refill the glass with clean water every 3-5 days. For faster rooting, keep the plant nodes submerged.
4. Transplant. When the roots are long enough, transplant your cutting into a sterile potting mix. Moisten your new plant frequently to help the roots transition into the soil.
Humidity And Aeration for Croton Mammy
For your Croton Mammy, high humidity (between 50% and 80%) is excellent. Lack of humidity in houseplants is frequently characterized by crisp leaves and browning edges. Think about purchasing a humidifier or putting your plant in areas that are naturally brighter and more humid (such as bathrooms, kitchens, and laundry rooms).
Croton Mammy Temperature
Temperature ranges between 60-70 degrees Fahrenheit is best for your Garden Croton.
Your Garden Croton is susceptible to death from abrupt temperature changes. Close windows and seal any gaps where cold drafts could enter throughout the winter. Keep your plant away from heat-emitting gadgets.
Albeit rarely, the Mamey Croton is capable of producing flowers that are insignificant and yellow and white. In optimum conditions, this plant blooms every fall.
Unfortunately, the Fire Croton is harmful to pets (including cats and dogs) and humans. If consumed, you can expect the following symptoms: gastric upset such as diarrhea, stomach pain, and vomiting. It can also trigger allergic reactions and cause skin irritation. This plant is generally thought to not be life-threatening.
|Toxic To Pets?||Care Specifics|
|Botanical Name||Croton Mammy|
|Common Name||Mamey Croton, Fire Croton, Garden Croton|
|Origin||Malaysia, Indonesia, Australia, and the west Pacific Ocean islands|
|Leaf Color||dark green tinged with vibrant pink, yellow, orange, and red colors|
|Recommended Home Placement||near a south-facing window|
|Light||partial shade to full sun|
|Soil||standard commercial potting soil|
|When To Water||Water when the soil’s top 2 inches are dry to touch.|
|When To Fertilize||once each season during growing season|
|Toxic To Pets?||Yes – symptoms include gastric upset such as diarrhea, stomach pain, and vomiting|
|Common Pests & Diseases||spider mites, brown tips, scale insects, yellow leabes, root rot, mealy bugs, drooping leaves|
Pests, Diseases, And Other Problems for Croton Mammy
In most situations, the Croton Mammy is a disease-resistant and pest-resistant plant. However, a few frequent problems can still affect it. Below we’re discussing some common problems and solutions to protect your Croton Mammy.
Spider mites are common pests, particularly among Garden Croton plants. At first, spider mite damage will look like small, brown, or yellow patches on your plant’s shiny evergreen leaves. You might also find your plant’s growth may have slowed or stopped entirely.
To get rid of spider mites, wash your Garden Croton with a garden hose, a sink nozzle, or a pressure sprayer. Neem oil or insecticidal soap can also be sprayed on the leaves, but be sure to cover all surfaces, including the undersides of the leaves!
Of course, you can also add spider mites’ natural predators, such as ladybugs, lacewings, and the “Spider Mite Destroyer” beetle, Stethorus picipes. The wonderful thing about these bugs is that while they consume spider mites, your plant is unaffected.
Even though adult scales are dormant and covered in a waxy layer, they can give birth to tiny crawling insects.
You can remove armored scales, but you must do so delicately using your fingertips or an old ID card. Be careful not to rip your lovely plant’s leaves.
Use insecticidal soap, neem oil, or horticultural oil to get rid of scale insects. When you see crawlers that are active, spritz your plant with a general insecticide. Repeat the procedure with a second application a week later. Here are a few items we recommend:
Mealybugs are white, fuzzy insects that feed on plant nutrients and are the natural counterpart of human head lice. These pests may potentially cause the death of your Garden Croton.
Neem oil can be sprayed directly on them to drive these disgusting crawlers away (but remember to dilute it in water first). Another choice is to rub the leaves and stem with a cotton ball that has been dipped in isopropyl alcohol.
If you have other indoor plants, you might need to confine your sick Garden Croton until mealybug symptoms disappear.
Brown Leaf Tips
If you notice browning tips on the leaves of your Mamey Croton, you might need to double-check on several factors.
Make sure the humidity in your home is high enough. Filter the sunlight with curtains if it’s shining too harshly on your plant. Don’t apply too much fertilizer. Let the water flow through the soil for several minutes to flush out excess minerals and salts.
A wilting, droopy appearance on your Croton Mammy indicates distress. Possible causes of drooping leaves are overwatering, underwatering, excessive light exposure, lack of light, and low humidity.
Several factors can cause the leaves of a Fire Croton to become yellow. One possibility is that it doesn’t get enough sunlight. It could also be that the plant gets too much or too little water.
Yellow leaves should be pruned to encourage new growth and prevent the spread of deterioration. Besides, they can be unattractive and worrying to look at. Use a clean, sharp pair of shears to trim the leaves.
Root rot is a prevalent killer of the Garden Croton. Some indoor gardeners might get overzealous with their watering or need to remember to provide adequate plant drainage. These two mistakes are the two leading causes of root rot.
Because root rot is difficult to treat, prevention is the best option. If you don’t have a soil meter device, get comfortable touching your soil to feel for moisture. If the top few inches do not feel dry, skip the watering for later!
Use pots high in porosity (such as clay, unglazed ceramic, and concrete) to allow excess moisture to escape from the sides. Give your plant a well-aerated soil mix to let its roots breathe and grow freely.
Similar Plants to Croton Mammy
Love Mamey Croton? Here are some other similar colorful plants you should try:
Iresine Herbstii – Terrific as bedding or margin plants, Herbstii plants add a touch of drama anywhere they’re placed. Their vibrant red-pink leaves add a tinct of color to an otherwise very green garden.
Ponytail Palm – Don’t be deceived by this plant’s name, for it’s a succulent, not a palm or a tree. It is an attractive houseplant that requires little maintenance because of its sleek, bulb-like stem covered in long, curly leaves.
Hoya Lacunosa – Gorgeous, fragrant, and delicate. The Hoya plant has slender, trailing tendrils that develop into an oval-shaped, delicate, green vine. As a perennial with year-round flowers, it makes a beautiful addition to your interior garden as a houseplant.
The Croton Mammy is a stunning plant and is indeed a delight to care for. When you witness this plant’s vibrant and brilliant foliage develop, you will know that your care and attention were worthwhile.
Can’t get enough of Codiaeum plant guides? Check these other insightful posts by Two Peas in a Condo!
Please help us grow! This post contains affiliate links, which means we receive a commission if you click a link and purchase something recommended. All opinions, however, are our own, and we do not accept payments for positive reviews.