Crotons: Dramatic Plants for Fall

Crotons: Dramatic Plants for Fall

Beautiful crotons add bold color to your spaces, indoors and out. By Justin Hancock
By Justin Hancock

If you’re looking to bring a little extra fall flair to your home, get a few crotons. Their variegated foliage brings in the traditional colors of the season – bright golden yellow, warm orange, and rich red -- making them ideal fall accents. And the plants are versatile enough that they’ll grow inside as houseplants or outside as seasonal plants. Of course, you could get the most from them by using them outdoors and then bringing them in when temperatures cool.

Decorating with Crotons Indoors for Fall
Look at your local garden center and you should find crotons available in a variety of sizes. Smaller crotons in 4- or 6-inch-wide pots are perfect for using as centerpieces, on mantles, or on shelves or window sills. Accent their colorful leaves by growing them containers that have a fall feel: Yellow, orange, and red are classic choices, but you can also go with traditional terra cotta or add the warm tones of copper or bronze.

Larger croton plants, in 8-, 10-, or 12-inch-wide pots make for dramatic floor plants and look beautiful next to side tables, framing bookshelves or other furniture, or in tall planters to put their bold foliage right at eye level.

Big or small, crotons grow best indoors in a bright spot. Unlike some houseplants, crotons don’t mind direct sun on their leaves when placed in a sunny window or in front of a large glass patio door. They also appreciate abundant relative humidity, especially in winter, making them excellent selections for kitchens and bathrooms.

Decorating Outdoors with Crotons in Fall
Outside, crotons are just as versatile if you’re decorating your front steps, porch, deck, patio, or balcony for fall. Crotons are natural companions for mums; the bold foliage accents mum flowers beautifully. Take your décor a step farther and pair crotons with other fall favorites, such as ornamental peppers, flowering kale, or pansies.
Discover more fall flowers!

You can also use crotons to make beautiful mixed planters. For example, a croton with a mum, purple fountain grass, and trailing sedum planted together makes for a beautiful display.

Pair crotons with other traditional fall favorites such as pumpkins, winter squash, hay bales, grapevines, and cornstalks. In fact, you can even plant crotons in a hollowed-out pumpkin for a festive planter!

Because crotons are tropical plants, they don’t tolerate frosty temperatures. It’s best to either cover or bring your croton in to a protected spot at night when temperatures dip below 50 degrees F or so.

Get ideas for fall decorating with houseplants.

Discover other houseplants that have colorful leaves.

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