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Croton Petra — Complete Care Guide

Croton Petra — Complete Care Guide

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Originating in various regions from Malaysia and Sri Lanka to Southeast Asia and Southern India, Croton Petra is known for its vibrant foliage.

The plant, which is also known as Codiaeum Variegatum pictum Petra or Golden Petra, is an evergreen perennial plant. It is classified as a broadleaf plant or shrub.

The Croton Petra features large, green leaves with brightly colored veins. You can expect to see a mix of colors in this plant’s leaf veins including, red, orange, yellow, and occasionally pink to purple.


Croton Petra Care

Croton Petras should be kept in loamy but well-draining soil. At least 4 hours of bright, indirect light is needed. Water it deeply and thoroughly once the top inch of soil has dried. High humidity and temperatures above 60℉ (16℃) are ideal. Feed this plant fortnightly with houseplant fertilizer.



This broadleaf shrub requires moist but well-draining soil. Drainage is very important. Adding gravel to the bottom of your plant’s pot will increase the overall drainage. Croton Petras also prefers their soil to be humus-rich. Houseplant potting mixes will work well if used for this plant.

Croton Petra plants like their soil to be loamy but well-draining, and humus-rich. The addition of loam in the soil aids in water retention.

This is important as the Croton Petra prefers its soil to be kept moist, but not wet. A good quality houseplant potting soil mix will also work well for this plant. For additional drainage, gravel can be added to the bottom of your plant’s pot.



Croton Petra plants require a minimum of four hours of sun exposure per day. Light exposure should be bright but indirect. Not enough sun will cause the leaves to lack variegation. Too much direct sun will scorch the plant’s foliage.

In order for your Croton Petra’s foliage to reach their full color potential, they need to receive a lot of sun exposure. These shrubs can be grown in partial to full sun. The ideal, however, is to find the happy medium of the two.

Exposure to very harsh, direct sunlight for too long can be damaging to the plant’s leaves. It is likely to result in scorched leaves. Not enough sun exposure, on the other hand, will result in your plant lacking color.

Without the necessary exposure, your Croton Petra’s leaves will be left looking bland with just a green coloring.

For best results, you should place your Croton Petra in a spot with bright but indirect sunlight. Desirable exposure time in these conditions is between four and six hours daily.



Water your Croton Petra using the ‘deep and thorough’ method. Keep their soil moist but not soggy. Check the soil moisture frequently and water your plant when the top inch of soil has dried. Reduce watering in the autumn and winter. Only water your plant once the top 3 inches of soil has dried.

As with Croton Petra’s light requirements, a happy medium for watering your plant will need to be discovered. These colorful shrubs have very specific watering needs.

Too much water or not enough and even too long a wait before the next watering may cause issues.

The Croton Petra likes their soil to be kept moist but not soggy. Too much water will likely lead to your plant developing root rot. Also, if your plant’s potting soil becomes too dry, it will drop its leaves in protest.

Using the ‘deep and thorough’ method of watering is recommended. This method will ensure your Croton Petra’s soil is watered evenly. Check the top layer of soil often to determine when your plant needs more water. When the top inch of soil has dried out, it is time for another watering.

In the cooler months of autumn and winter, it is advisable to allow your Croton Petra a period of rest. This is encouraged by reducing the frequency of watering.

Check your plant’s soil every other day for moisture. When the top 3 inches of soil has dried, it is time to offer your plant some more water.



Consistent temperatures of 60℉ to 80℉ (16℃ to 27℃) are ideal. Bring your Croton Petra indoors if temperatures drop to 50℉ (10℃) or below at night. Ensure your plant is protected from warm or cold drafts.

As these plants are tropical shrubs, they prefer to be kept in warmer temperatures. Ideally, Croton Petras should be kept in temperatures ranging between 60℉ to 80℉ (16℃ to 27℃). Although, they are also tolerant of temperatures as high as 85℉ (29℃).

If nighttime winter temperatures drop to 50℉ (10℃) or below, it is best to keep your Croton Petra indoors. Be sure to place them in a spot where they will be protected from drafts too. Neither warm nor cold drafts are desirable for this plant.



High humidity is important to this plant. Mist your Croton Petra shrub daily to maintain desirable humidity around it. Placing your Croton Petra on a pebble tray or in a kitchen or bathroom is also acceptable.

Croton Petras are lovers of humidity and should be kept in an environment with a high humidity level. Due to their love for humidity, these plants should be misted daily. Placing them in a spot in the kitchen or bathroom is also great as these are the places with the highest humidity. The other option to increase the humidity levels around your plant would be to place them on a pebble tray.



Only feed your Croton Petra during its growing period in spring through summer. Used a balanced houseplant fertilizer. Fertilize it once every other week with a liquid fertilizer. Or, with a slow-release fertilizer, fertilize at the start of spring, early in the summer, and late in the summer.

These plants are not considered to be heavy feeders but enjoy being fed. It is best to use a general, balanced, liquid houseplant fertilizer diluted to half strength. Fertilize your Croton Petra once every two weeks during its growing period.

If a slow-release is used, feed your plant once at the beginning of spring. Apply a second feeding at the beginning of summer. And finally, a third feeding once more late in summer.

Do not feed your Croton Petra late in the autumn months or through winter. Although this plant does not necessarily go into a state of dormancy, it is best to allow it a period of rest.



Actively growing from spring through summer, the Croton Petra will reach up to 4 feet (1.2 meters) tall. They are grown for their eye-catching foliage so their small flowers should be removed. Allow the plant a period of rest from autumn through winter by reducing watering and not feeding it.

Commonly kept as a houseplant, the Croton Petra grows to about 4 feet tall (1.2 meters) with a spread of around 1.6 feet (0.5 meters). Their ovular leaves reach a size of roughly 18 inches (10 centimeters) long. When kept in their ideal conditions, these plants are truly magnificent with their colored foliage.

A number of bright colors can be seen glowing through this plant’s leaf veins. The Croton Petra’s green leaves come alive with a mixture of reds, oranges, yellows, and occasionally pinks and purples.

This plant experiences its seasons of growth from spring through summer. It does not go into a state of dormancy in the autumn and winter months. However, watering and fertilizing should be reduced to encourage the plant to have a period of rest.

When the season is right, small, creamy-white flowers bloom. As they are grown specifically for their colorful and exotic-looking foliage, the Croton Petra’s flowers are not of much significance. In fact, it is recommended that the flowers be trimmed back. Doing so will enhance your plant’s overall appearance.



Croton Petras are wonderful houseplants but need to be grown in pots with drainage holes. They are sensitive plants and should not be transplanted unless absolutely necessary. Repot once every two years and only in the spring. Prepare the roots by watering the plant 24 hours before repotting.

Croton Petra shrubs grow well in pots and make for excellent houseplants. It is important the pot they are grown is has drainage holes. Unless misted daily, it is best to place your Croton Petra’s pot on top of a pebble tray. This will help to keep the humidity level around your plant up.

These plants are rather sensitive when it comes to being disrupted. They shock easily and therefore should not be transplanted. However, repotting may be necessary every two years.

Repotting should only be done during the Croton Petra’s growing season. Specifically, in the spring. You should water your plant at least 24 hours beforehand. These measures are necessary to prepare the plant’s roots and minimize the chance of your plant going into transplant shock.



Prune your Croton Petra as needed to maintain a desirable size. When necessary, remove damaged or discolored leaves. To prune your plant, use a kitchen knife or a pair of gardening shears. Before pruning your plant, make sure the tool you use is sharp and clean.

The Croton Petra has low pruning and maintenance requirements. Pruning is typically done to control and maintain the plant’s growth and size. When needed, remove any leaves that appear to be discolored or damaged.

When pruning your Croton Petra, either a sharp kitchen knife or gardening shears should be used. Make sure your knife or shears are clean before you use them. It is also advisable to keep them sharp for the best results.

Codiaeum variegatum picum Petra Propagation

Croton Petra’s can be propagated through stem or petiole cuttings. The process to do this, however, is not easy. Propagating this plant is a lengthy process and requires very specific environmental conditions.

Propagating this plant is not considered an easy-to-do job. Although propagation is possible through both stem and petiole cuttings the process is difficult. In order to successfully propagate the Croton Petra, you will need to adhere to very specific environmental needs. Despite the challenges involved, propagating a Croton Petra is also a lengthy process.


Common problems with Codiaeum variegatum pictum Petra

These shrubs are rather hardy when it comes to pests and diseases. Croton Petras are not typically susceptible to any. However, common houseplant pests such as mealybugs, scale insects, and spider mites may take to your plant. Not having enough humidity around your Croton Petra will make it especially susceptible to spider mites.

The most common disease to affect these plants is also a result of improper care. If their soil is kept soggy or waterlogged it is very likely your Croton Petra will develop root rot.


Frequently asked questions about Codiaeum variegatum pictum Petra


Is the Croton Petra plant toxic?

This plant is toxic for both humans and pets. Consumption can result in symptoms such as diarrhea, nausea, and vomiting. Contact with the Croton Petra’s sap may also cause skin irritations.


Does the Croton Petra plant have purifying abilities?

Yes, the Croton Petra is thought to have purifying abilities. This shrub is known to purify the air around it. This is done by filtering any airborne toxins.


Why are my Croton Petra’s leaves not colorful?

If the leaves on your Croton Petra have little to no variegation it is likely a result of your plant not getting enough sunlight. Plain green or dull-looking foliage is a common protest for these plants. Move your shrub to a spot where it will receive bright but indirect light for a minimum of 4 hours a day.



A truly magnificent plant, there is no place a Croton Petra would not look good in! This is a plant that is an absolute must-have for any gardener or plant lover.

They are fairly low-maintenance plants but prefer consistent condition and care. The vibrant colors of their foliage will bring life to any environment it is put in!