Tag: croton

Croton seedlings, 7 months old

My little Croton seedlings are now 7 months old and still pretty small. They’ve started to grow bigger leaves now that the weather is getting even warmer and the sun is shining more often. I don’t really know what to do with these yet, but it’s a fun little project to try and grow a common houseplant from seeds instead of just buying an adult plant.

I had to chuck out the mother plant because it kept attracting spider mites and started losing leaves. After trying to save it several times with different bug sprays, home made and store bought, I gave up. Luckily, its babies are looking pretty healthy.

Croton seedlings, 5 months old

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.

Croton seedlings, 1 month old

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.

1 week old Croton (codiaeum) hybrid seedling

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.

Here’s how the Croton fruit developed.

And here’s what the mother Croton looks like.

Fruits on my Codiaeum variegatum (Croton)

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.

My Croton is still flowering!

Croton

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.