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Gold Dust Croton Care — The Complete Guide

Gold Dust Croton Care — The Complete Guide

The glamorous plant that is the Codiaeum variegatum ‘Gold Dust’ is an evergreen shrub.

Better known as the Gold Dust Croton, this shrub is classified as a subtropical plant. This being as it is a native of the Eastern Pacific Islands, Indonesia, and Southern Asia. 

The Gold Dust Croton has strikingly showy foliage. Their leaves are a gorgeous green speckled with bright yellow to golden spots.

This unique, natural variegation in color is what gained the Gold Dust Croton popularity.



‘Gold Dust’ Croton Care

Gold Dust Croton needs rich, well-draining soil. Keep it moist by watering it once the top inch has dried. Choose a spot with access to bright, indirect light for at least 4 hours a day. Humidity is important and should be no lower than 40%. Temperatures should be kept between 60℉ and 85℉ (15℃ and 29℃).



Gold Dust Crotons require rich, well-draining soil with a pH level between 5.0 and 7.5. Soil drainage can be increased with the addition of materials such as gravel. Alternatively, purchase a ready-mixed soil that is rich, slightly acidic, and free-draining.

An important part of the successful growth of this plant is the use of a beneficial soil type. Gold Dust Crotons grow best in rich soil. A soil with a pH level that is slightly acidic advisable. Ideal soil pH levels are between 5.0 and 7.5.

The most crucial characteristic of the Gold Dust Croton’s soil is water drainage. These subtropical shrubs need soil that is well-draining. If your soil lacks decent drainage properties simple alterations can be made to increase it. Mixing materials such as gravel into your plant’s soil will help to increase its drainage. 

Alternatively, a ready-mixed soil can be purchased from your local nursery. Ensure the soil mix you choose is rich, well-draining, and slightly acidic. 



These subtropical shrubs need bright but indirect light. Exposure to this level of light is needed for at least 4 to 6 hours per day. Too much, direct sunlight will scorch the Gold Dust Croton’s leaves. Not enough sun will result in its dull or plain foliage. 

Possibly the most crucial care requirement of the Gold Dust Croton is light exposure. Without the correct sun exposure, this plant will not be able to produce its sought-after foliage coloring. Although they may seem picky, the result of a thriving plant will be worth it! 

Gold Dust Croton shrubs need a lot of light exposure. This is so that they can continue to look and grow their best. Typically, these plants need at least four to six hours of sunlight per day. Their ideal exposure level is bright but indirect sunlight. 

The brighter the light you Gold Dust Croton is exposed to, the better the foliage will look. Not enough light will result in its foliage looking dull or plain. The lack of variegation can be from the incorrect light exposure or not enough exposure time. 

Additionally, too much sun can negatively affect the Gold Dust Croton. Full sun exposure should be avoided. The intensity of the full, midday sun will scorch the leaves on this shrub. 



When the top inch of soil has dried, water your plant slowly and thoroughly. Allow time for the water to drain and discard any excess. Too much water will cause your plant to wilt. Not enough water and your Gold Dust Croton will drop its leaves.

Water your Gold Dust Croton regularly. These plants like their soil to be constantly moist, but never soggy or waterlogged. The frequency of watering your plant will need will depend on where the plant is kept. 

The best way to tell if your Gold Dust Croton is in need of a drink of water is to check its soil. When the top inch of soil is dry, it is time to water your plant. It is best to water this plant slowly but thoroughly. 

Leave your plant for a few minutes to allow the water to soak down to its roots. Discard any excess water that has drained out. Do not let your shrub sit in water! Be careful not to overwater the Gold Dust Croton as they will likely develop root rot as a result. 

Gold Dust Crotons will let you know if you are not watering them as they would like. If your plant begins dropping its leaves, this may be a sign that you are not watering it enough. Too much water, on the other hand, and your shrub will begin to wilt.  



Gold Dust Crotons are hardy in zones 10 and 11. Temperatures below 50℉ (10℃) should be avoided. Protect your plant from cold or hot drafts. Ideal temperatures for this shrub are 60℉ to 85℉ (15℃ to 29℃).

As a native to subtropical zones, the Gold Dust Croton likes to be kept in warmer temperatures. Preferential USDA zones for this plant are zones 10 and 11. In these zones, the Gold Dust Croton is considered hardy. 

Ideal temperatures for this shrub are between 60℉ and 85℉ (15℃ and 29℃). Protect your plant from temperatures below 50℉ (10℃) as they are undesirable. It is also recommended that your Gold Dust Croton be kept out of hot or cold drafts. 



These shrubs should be kept in an environment with 40% to 60% humidity. Mist your Gold Dust Croton daily to increase the surrounding humidity. If daily misting is not possible, place your shrub on a pebble trap. When the water in the pebble tray evaporates, the humidity around the plant increases.

Gold Dust Croton shrubs love humidity. They require a great deal of humidity in order to thrive. Preferred levels of humidity for this plant are between 40% and 60%. 

In order to cater to this plant’s humidity requirements, it is recommended that you mist your Gold Dust Croton daily. If misting your plant daily is not possible, it is advisable to place your shrub on a pebble tray. 

Pebble trays are easy to make and help to increase the humidity levels around the plant placed on it. To make a pebble tray is simple. Find a tray that is big enough to place your plant on top of.

Fill it with pebbles and some water and then place your plant on top of it. When the water evaporates, the humidity around your plant will be increased. 



Feed you Gold Dust Croton a maximum of three times during its growing season. Apply the first feeding at the start of spring. The second application should be done at the start of summer. The third feeding should be given in mid-summer. Avoid fertilizing this plant in the autumn or winter months. 

The Gold Dust Croton should only be fed during its growing season. This subtropical plant experiences its growing season from spring through summer. During this time, you should feed your Gold Dust Croton a total of three times. 

For the best growth results, use a general houseplant fertilizer to feed your shrub. The first application of fertilizer should be applied at the beginning of spring.

The second application of fertilizer should be given to your plant at the beginning of summer. And the third and final feeding should be done in mid-summer. 



Gold Dust Crotons are popular due to their brightly colored green and yellow speckled foliage. In their natural habitat, these shrubs can grow to ten feet tall (3 meters). Cultivated types are grown as our common houseplants and only grow to two feet tall (0.61 meters).

These subtropical shrubs are popularly kept as houseplants for their decorative foliage. When kept in their ideal conditions their variegation is at its best. When thriving, the Gold Dust Croton features vibrant green foliage speckled with yellow-gold spots. 

Spring through summer is considered the Gold Dust Croton’s growing season. During this time, the shrub will grow at a moderate rate. In their natural habitat, these plants can grow to reach ten feet (3 meters) tall. However, the cultivated type typically only grows to about two feet (0.61 meters) tall. 



Repot your Gold Dust Croton once a year in the spring. Always use a pot with drainage holes. Only increase your plant’s pot size one size each time. Planting your shrub in an oversized pot is not recommended. 

The most important feature to keep in mind when selecting a pot for your Gold Dust Croton is drainage. It is crucial that your subtropical shrub is grown in a pot that has holes for drainage

Typically, you will only need to repot your Gold Dust Croton once per year. Only repot it in the spring to avoid shocking it with the transplant. Ensure that you only move up one pot size at a time. Do not plant your Gold Dust Croton in an oversized pot. 



Remove damaged or discolored foliage as needed. Prune your Gold Dust Croton is the spring or summer months. Prune your plant to keep it in a desirable shape and size. Do not remove too much of the shrub at a time as it may cause it to go into shock. 

These plants are fairly low-maintenance when it comes to pruning. Pruning is only necessary to keep your plant in a desirable shape and size. Discolored or damaged leaves should be removed as and when necessary. 

Pruning your Gold Dust Croton should ideally be done in the spring or summer. Pruning it during the autumn or winter may cause it to go into shock. Avoid removing too much of the plant at once as this may also shock the plant. 


Codiaeum variegatum ‘Gold Dust’ Propagation 

Propagation of the Gold Dust Croton is best done through stem cuttings. A clean and sharp kitchen knife or gardening shears should be used. Ensure the plant you are taking the cutting from is healthy and undamaged. Plant the cutting in moist, well-draining soil. Care for it as normal. 

Gold Dust Crotons are thought to be one of the easier plants to propagate. The most common method of propagation used for these plants is through stem cuttings. When taking a cutting from a Gold Dust Croton, it is important that the specimen you are using is healthy and undamaged. 

Using a sharp, clean pair of gardening shears or kitchen knife, cut a portion from your parent plant. Be sure the cutting your take is undamaged and healthy with a few leaves.

Plant the cutting in moist, well-draining soil and care for it as you would for a normal Gold Dust Croton. 


Common problems with Codiaeum variegatum ‘Gold Dust’

The most common disease-related issue Gold Dust Crotons face is root rot. This is more likely than not a result of overwatering your plant. Difficult to mend once it begins, root rot is better prevented than cured. 

Ensure you only water your Gold Dust Croton when the top inch of soil has dried. Only use pots with drainage holes and make sure the soil it is planted in is free-draining. 

Due to their love for humidity, spider mites are often a minor irritant for these shrubs. From time to time, mealybugs and scale insects can also be found pestering your Gold Dust Croton.

If you notice these pests on your plant, simply wipe their foliage with neem oil or rubbing alcohol. 


Frequently asked questions about Codiaeum variegatum ‘Gold Dust’


Why are the leaves on my Gold Dust Croton plain green?

If your Gold Dust Croton’s foliage is lacking variegation it is a result of improper light exposure. These plants need access to bright, indirect sunlight for a minimum of four hours per day. Anything less than this or inadequate lighting will result in a dull or plain-looking plant. 


Why is my Gold Dust Croton wilting even though I water it often?

If you regularly water your Gold Dust Croton but it begins to wilt this is a sign of overwatering. Unlike most plants that wilt when they do not get enough water, this plant wilts when it is receiving too much water. On the other hand, if your Gold Dust Croton is not receiving enough water, it will begin to drop its leaves. 


Is the Gold Dust Croton plant toxic?

Yes, the Gold Dust Croton is considered a toxic plant for both animals and humans. Symptoms after consumption include irritation in the mouth and digestive system. Contact with this plant’s sap may also result in skin irritation. 



The little bit of extra effort these plants require to thrive is well worth the result. The Gold Dust Croton’s shimmering, golden speckled foliage brings life and class to any area they are put.

Also, they do not grow too quickly, which means less worry about maintenance and more time to enjoy them! 

Growing these shrubs as houseplants is like bringing a splash of sunshine into your house. Their glamourous foliage colors bring happiness and good vibes wherever they are!