Types of croton plants are the type of plants that come in primarily green and other variegated and colorful varieties. Choosing a suitable cultivar will add a pop of color and enhance your landscape with shades of green, yellow, red, orange, golden, burgundy, purple, brown, and even black.

9 Types of Croton Plants

Continue reading this article, and you will find a list of incredible varieties to add a pop of vibrancy.

List of Croton Plants to Enhance Your Landscape

1. Mammy

Quality of Mammy Plant

Distinguishing characteristics
  • Codiaeum variegatum ‘Mammy’ is one of the dwarf croton varieties, but it’s the mother of all croton cultivars
  • It features elliptical foliage with a midrib and pattern in shades of yellow, orange, red, brown, or purple, drawing veins on the leaves
  • It can reach three feet tall but spreads about six feet wide
Growth requirements
  • This variety thrives in USDA zones 9 to 11, but plants grow successfully indoors in any climate
  • It’s more tolerant of shade than other types, but the soil should be well-draining
Pests and diseases
  • This type is prone to the crown gall bacterial infection, which appears as swollen balls in the veins
  • Fungal and bacterial infections can quickly spread to your nearby crotons
Landscaping ideas
  • You can grow several plants to create a focal point in your garden
  • Several croton plants can be grown together as a bed under a tall tree

The mammy croton or Codiaeum variegatum ‘mother’ has thick, glossy, and curly leaves with prominent veins and is considered the base of all variegated croton types. It thrives as an outdoor shrub or an indoor plant in cold climates.

Proper croton plant care will encourage flowering in warmer climates, but it rarely blooms indoors, and when the croton houseplants are kept indoors, they usually stay smaller. When the plants are subjected to fungal infections, it’s best to prune infected plants and keep them away from your other plants.

2. Gold Dust

Gold Dust Growth Guide

Distinguishing characteristics
  • This is an evergreen shrub native to Asia, and it will grow beautifully in your garden and as an indoor plant
  • The leaves are light green with yellow variegation
  • The plant grows to be about three feet tall
Growth requirements
  • Grow your croton plants in well-draining soil or prepare a mix of perlite and sphagnum moss to grow it in a pot or bed
  • Keep your plant in bright filtered sunlight to achieve the best coloring
Pests and diseases
  • Mealybugs and spider mites can infest this plant, but you can easily treat it with insecticidal soap
  • Overwatering the plant and growing in poorly draining soil will lead to root rot
Landscaping ideas
  • Grow this plant near a west or south-facing window in a room
  • It’s an excellent choice for walkways and paths

This popular variety is also called sun spot croton, depending on the degree of golden variegation. The leaves are vibrant green, and the golden speckles are enhanced when the plant receives enough sunlight. This plant has air-purifying properties if you plant to keep them indoors.

If you are planting them outside, you can always try to place them in front of your house, or along your walkway so that it would add beauty along the way. However, make sure that the sun is filtered in the location where they are supposed to be so that they will grow to their best color and the vividness of it.

3. Gold Star

Pest Attack on Gold Star

Distinguishing characteristics
  • This plant has linear green leaves with yellow spotting
  • The plant grows white flowers in summer, but they aren’t showy
Growth requirements
  • The gold star croton thrives in well-draining soil with full sun
  • You might need to water it daily to maintain its health
Pests and diseases
  • Although this plant is resistant to most pests and diseases, it’s usually infected by crown gall bacterial infection
  • Leaf spot or leaf blight will cause tanned spots on the leaves
Landscaping ideas
  • This plant will add warmth and vibrancy to your landscape, so you can pair it with other dark green plants like dark-leaved dahlias
  • It’s often used as a foundation plant or hedge

The Codiaeum variegatum ‘gold star’ is a popular outdoor plant but can be challenging to maintain as a houseplant. It’s close to the Codiaeum variegatum ‘gold dust’ but the leaves are significantly narrower. Fertilizing this plant in the growing season will guarantee healthy growth.

It can also be added to a mixed border with the unique Codiaeum Variegatum ‘Picasso’s paintbrush’ or Picasso’s paintbrush croton and Codiaeum variegatum ‘Zanzibar’ or Zanzibar croton. You can add these different varieties around them, and the beauty, in this case, is that the rest of them will add a significant brightness.

Moreover, remember that they are all plants that belong to the same variety growing, which is why it will also be easy for you to give them the right care requirements.

4. Iceton

Landscaping By Iceton Plant

Distinguishing characteristics
  • Iceton croton plants have leaves that come in shades of green, orange, burgundy, yellow, purple, maroon, and lime
  • The leaves are glossy and leathery, so it looks similar to the rubber plant, except for its variegation
Growth requirements
  • When grown as an outdoor plant, this variety can survive in USDA zones 10 and 11, but it can grow in a colder climate as an indoor plant
  • Lack of sunlight will affect variegation and make the plant look unhealthy
  • Grow the plant in rich, moist soil and ensure it receives enough sunlight to enhance variegation
Pests and diseases
  • Leaf spot is a significant issue for this plant, so cut the infected leaves to prevent its spread
  • Several pests, including mealybugs, thrips, and scales, can infect this plant
Landscaping ideas
  • Grow this colorful variety with asters, mums, and pansies for a vibrant fall garden
  • Growing this plant on a patio where it can receive more sun is a good decision
  • It’s also a good deck plant and can be mixed with other green varieties in a hedge

Iceton plant varieties are well known for their colorful foliage. Some types, like the yellow iceton and red iceton croton, are common as indoor houseplants, especially in colder climates.

Codiaeum variegatum ‘Mrs. Iceton’ has base green foliage with fewer colorful speckles. Red Iceton is the type that is is distinguished for its bright red leaves, and it will show its significance when it grows.

On the other hand, if you are thinking about expanding your garden’s colors, you can always add some of the different companions such as placing codiaeum variegatum ‘petra’ or petra croton.

You may also invest in the magnificent croton or Codiaeum variegatum ‘magnificent,’ which shows bright violet patches, as this way, you will see your garden from a different perspective.

5. Sunny Star

Sunny Star Plant Uses

Distinguishing characteristics
  • The Codiaeum variegatum ‘sunny star’ is what you need to grow in your garden if you’re looking for an attractive plant with yellow-green foliage
  • The plant has elliptical light green leaves and the yellow variegation is concentrated at the base
Growth requirements
  • Receiving more light guarantees that the leaves will become more gold or yellow.
  • This is why growing this variety as an outdoor plant is better
  • Moderate to high humidity is essential, but you should water it only when the first two inches of the soil are dry
Pests and diseases
  • This croton is resistant to most problems, but fungal infections from introducing infected plants to your garden represent a big issue
  • Mealybugs and scales attack this plant, but they’re not fatal
Landscaping ideas
  • This is an excellent plant for a sidewalk or pathway, as the variegated leaves will make your space pop with color
  • Because this variety can be a little taller, you can train it to grow as a hedge or screen

As one of the tallest croton plant varieties, the sunny star croton plant will add a pop of color next to solid green-leafed plants, mainly when grown in a sunny spot. This croton size is one that grows to reach a height between four and six feet tall as a houseplant, but when grown outside, it can be about 10 feet tall.

Fertilizing this plant several times a year is crucial, and you should make sure that it has access to full sun to achieve its best color. In addition, if you live in an area where the weather is higher than average in terms of humidity, you can surely invest in them and place them outside, so they grow so tall.

6. Eleanor Roosevelt Croton

Eleanor Roosevelt Croton Plant

Distinguishing characteristics
  • This variety is quite distinctive with its narrow and arching leaves
  • Green and yellow colored leaves
Growth requirements
  • This plant grows outdoors or indoors, thriving in full sun and partial shade
  • Choose a spot with well-draining soil, and water the plant when the top layer feels dry
Pests and diseases
  • Powdery mildew and root rot can infect this plant if the soil is too moist
  • Scales usually attack this plant, but you can control their population by using horticultural oil spray
Landscaping ideas
  • You can grow this plant under taller plants and trees because it tolerates some shade
  • This variety can spread up to four feet wide, making it a great focal point in your garden

The Eleanor Roosevelt croton or Codiaeum variegatum ‘Eleanor Roosevelt’ is named after the former First Lady of the US and is quite popular in humid and shady spots, where other crotons might struggle. As per the texture of the foliage, it is less rubbery than other types, like the foliage of Andrew croton, this is a reason that would tell you how the plant doesn’t need too much humidity when growing.

It adds contrast and depth to any landscape design, thanks to the dark-green leaves and leopard skin-like yellow-golden patches like the Codiaeum variegatum ‘bush in fire’. The leaves can also be purple-green. As a result, you should grow this plant in a location where there are taller trees and underneath their shade, it will thrive, growing up to four feet tall.

You can propagate croton plants any time of the year as long as the temperature is around 70 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit. Otherwise, propagating croton can start from stems indoors, but yet it will not grow as tall.

7. Lauren’s Rainbow

Lauren’s Rainbow Plant Application

Distinguishing characteristics
  • Each leaf usually displays two or three colors
  • Some varieties can have orange, cream, or yellow variegation
Growth requirements
  • This plant can be three feet tall and four feet wide in optimal conditions
  • It’s more drought tolerant than other varieties but can’t stand growing in the shade
Pests and diseases
  • Although this plant is less picky than other croton types, it can suffer from root rot if the soil doesn’t drain well
  • Root-bound indoor plants can suffer from foliage drop
Landscaping ideas
  • This is one of the most common croton varieties of English and cottage gardens, where it’s grown as a container plant
  • Grow this short variety in a front yard where there’s no space to grow bigger plants

Lauren’s rainbow croton usually starts green, and then it changes color to become warmer as it matures. The foliage is usually green, red, or purple with rounded edges like the banana croton or Codiaeum variegatum ‘banana’ but this one is more burgundy colored and this is why its colorful hues make it popular.

The Codiaeum variegatum ‘Lauren’s rainbow’ might be easily confused with other varieties like the Zanzibar type because it has narrow leaves. This variety flowers in winter and spring but rarely when it’s kept as an indoor plant. The flower clusters are star-shaped and can be whitish-green.

8. Oakleaf

Oakleaf Plant Detailed Description

Distinguishing characteristics
  • The Codiaeum variegatum ‘oakleaf’ gets its name from the tri-lobed leaves that look like the oak tree’s leaves
  • The leaves can be dark green or purple-green
  • The top leaves will arrange as rosettes
Growth requirements
  • This plant needs filtered sunlight, but too much sunlight can cause scorching
  • The soil should be slightly moist, but let it dry out between watering sessions
Pests and diseases
  • Mealybugs usually attack overwatered plants
  • Over-fertilizing can cause the leaves to roll or curve
  • Heavy nutrients will also increase the possibility of a powdery mildew infection
Landscaping ideas
  • Grow this plant as an indoor houseplant or on a patio if your room doesn’t get enough sunlight
  • It’s a good choice for walkways and sideways

The oakleaf croton variety is quite sensitive to change. More specifically, the foliage has yellow patches, but they turn red as the plant ages, which means the more it matures, the better the colors get. For this reason, you can brighten up the entryway of your house by planting them around it, as they add color.

If you notice a leaf drop, it might be because you’ve moved an indoor plant outside or vice versa. This also happens when you change the watering schedule. However, one thing to be keen on would be the fertilization frequency and amount, which you shouldn’t overdo, because it will weaken the plant.

9. Mother And Daughter

Mother And Daughter Plant Features


Distinguishing characteristics
  • The mother and daughter croton has the most exotic leaves of all crotons
  • At the end of the large leaf, there’s a smaller leaf attached, giving this plant its distinctive name
Growth requirements
  • This plant thrives in moist, well-draining soil
  • You can water it once a week in colder climates
  • Keep this plant in indirect sunlight to avoid scorching
Pests and diseases
  • Anthracnose is a common fungal infection, and if you notice a sick plant, you should avoid it touching other plants because the spores can spread
  • If the plant is infested with thrips or scales, use insecticidal soap
Landscaping ideas
  • An excellent companion to other variegated plants like philodendrons and monstera plants
  • This is a great plant to grow next to a pool as it appreciates the extra humidity

As one of the most attractive-looking plants, this croton variety will be the perfect addition to any outdoor landscape design or room. The mesmerizing shape of the leaves matches beautifully with other crotons like the Victoria gold bell croton, which grows dangling leaves instead of the usual upright foliage.

Make sure that you would water the plant when the soil feels dry, and this is an indicator that it should remain moist. However, remember that the soil should have a well-draining property so that the roots will not stay in prolonged water medium.


Croton varieties will enhance the look of your garden in warmer weather or indoor space, as they’re not tolerant of cold weather. Here are the key points that we covered:

  • Most varieties, like the gold dust croton, will achieve better variegation with more sun exposure.
  • Crotons thrive in full sun, but some varieties, like the mammy type, are more tolerant of the shade.
  • Care tips state this plant should be brought inside in cold weather, so varieties like oakleaf will work better as houseplants.
  • Most crotons are between three and six feet tall, but the sunny star can be about 10 feet tall.

Enhancing the landscape of your indoor or outdoor garden is easy with these beautiful plants. With all the incredible varieties on our list, you can add a vibrant color wherever you like, so which ones are you picking?

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