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I bought this plant but it had no name tag. I'd like to know tips about its upkeep. Thanks.

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The name of your plant is croton.

Crotons are native to Southeast Asia, The Pacific Islands & Madagascar and are members of an extensive flowering plant genus in the spurge family, Euphorbiaceae.

The Croton is an under storey tropical plant that thrives in an environment of high humidity and a lot of daylight hours of sunshine.

While Crotons can do very well as indoor plants, the following tips may ensure your plant thrives...

  • place the pot in a deep tray (at least 2.5 cm or 1 inch deep) filled with water to increase local humidity, allow the tray to dry out between waterings but for no more than a day;
  • (because its will be sitting in water) you may need to improve the drainage of material in the bottom of the pot so the soil and roots of a young plant do not rot (an older plant will be more tolerant);
  • to ensure the plant's leaves maintain their vibrant colour, place the pot plant in a very sunny spot that receives sunlight for at least half the day - be careful with sunlight - croton leaves can burn in too hot a position.

In the garden, Crotons do well in an environment that is high in humidity and receives regular watering to maintain consistent soil moisture. Crotons will not tolerate any frost. While some crotons can tolerate full sun, others prefer dappled sun or part shade, so it may be best to experiment with the plant before choosing a permanent location in the garden.

As with all plants, healthy soil, regular food and water will encourage plant health. Indoor plants will benefit from a regular application of a liquid tonic. Personally we use a combination of seaweed extract ("Seasol" brand) and soil bacteria ("GoGo Juice" brand). This is because we do not have ready access to worm castings, which when used with water, are the superior natural plant tonic.

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