Look at these colorful Codiaeum variegatum (croton) seedlings! I really like the variegation as it looks right now.
I think both of the croton seedlings got all of their genes from the mother plant (Codiaeum variegatum). They have been getting a tiny bit more sun lately and the leaves on one of the seedlings is gradually shifting colors from green to bright yellow.
They’re not actively growing right now but they should pick up the pace when we get closer to spring. Right now I’m watering every time the top of the soil feels dry to the touch.
My Croton seedlings have now been acclimatized to the air outside the plastic bag they were in. Usually, Crotons hate changes in their environment and lose some of their leaves whenever they feel stressed. These babies can’t afford losing the one big leaf they currently have.
I worked out that my Croton has been in my possession for just over 4 years now. I got it when it was a tiny little stalk with 4 small leaves on it and it’s now 40 cm tall, not even including the top leaves. And it’s flowering again! This is the 2nd time this year, within a couple of months. They smell wonderful 🌸
Look at this big, new leaf! I think maybe these are going to be just like their mother, the Codiaeum variegatum with red/orange/green colored leaves, although it’s hard to tell right now. The leaves do have the same shape.
These are the Croton seedlings I germinated 1 month ago. I don’t know what happened to the rest of the seeds, but only these two decided to pop up. Luckily these guys are doing alright. I’m still keeping them in a plastic bag with the top open to keep humidity high. One of the seedlings have already grown a third baby leaf.
So far the leaf shape actually looks like the ones on the mother plant, only green.
My first Croton seed germinated barely a week ago and more are popping up! Even though I know the seeds came from my colorful Codiaeum variegatum, I can’t be 100% sure the seedlings look like their mother. So I’m going to assume that these are hybrids until they grow up. I’ll most likely end up with a pot of very different plants.
It took them 2 weeks to germinate in a pot with moist potting soil, wrapped in a plastic bag to keep humidity high. I added a top layer of diatomaceous earth after germination to prevent gnats from laying eggs in the soil. 4 out of 8 seeds have germinated so far and two of the seedlings have just opened their first little leaf set.
I went in to check on my Croton this morning and clean even more dead flowers off the window sill. This time I noticed something new poking out from underneath a leaf. My Croton developed fruits on a smaller, well hidden flower stalk!
I just learned why the flowers on the two flower stalks looked different from each other, too. The flowers on the smaller flower stalk looked very uninteresting with only three small, yellowish petals. Those were apparently female flowers. The fluffy, white flowers on the large stalk were male. I must have unintentionally helped it self-pollinate when I shook the dead flowers off the bigger flower stalk and the female flowers just beneath it were hit with pollen.
You bet I’m going to try and grow Croton from seeds! I’ve read that it’s unlikely that the baby plants will resemble the mother plant. They will most likely be hybrids of different types of Croton and won’t be as colorful as the Codiaeum variegatum. In my opinion, that just makes it even more exciting.
Only a couple of weeks later, I discovered that the fruits explode when they’re ripe. One fell off the plant after a watering and I placed it in my kitchen window to keep an eye on it. The next morning I found the fruit scattered all over my window sill and one single seed had popped out. I learned from my mistake and wrapped a tea bag around the remaining seed pods to capture the seeds when they were ready to pop.
It’s been two whole months and my colorful Croton is still flowering. I thought it was done after dropping the dead, sticky flowers all over my window sill, but I left the stalk instead of just cutting it off. It then grew new flower buds from that same stalk. I might just leave it indefinitely.
I like how the growth is gradually becoming more dense. I wasn’t sure if it was getting enough light because the stem seemed a bit too bare, especially near the bottom. But when it made a couple of new growth points end even more leaves, it started to look very nice and compact.
A few pictures taken over the span of a month. The Croton flower stalk is now just around 25 cm long and the little flowers are opening in little groups, following the flower stalk from the stem of the Croton to the tip of the stalk. They’re only open a day or two and then fall off as a sticky mess. This year they don’t have a strong scent. Last year they had an almost overwhelming scent, like cheap flowery perfume.