Croton Mammy

Codiaeum variegatum
Croton Mammy
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The orientation of your window defines where to put your plant so it gets bright, direct sunlight. If your window faces
East or West, put it 0 to 1 ft away.
South, place it between 0 to 1 ft away, as sunlight from the South is the strongest.
This plant won’t survive in a north facing room

Air Purifying

This plant cleans the air from toxins and VOCs like a pro.

Most notably removes: trichloroethylene, formaldehyde, benzene, xylene, ammonia.

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Robert McCormick brought the Croton Mammy to the Palm Beaches of Florida. He built the ‘Croton Cottage,’ the first notable Palm Beach winter home in 1886, which inspired the name of the plant.

Plant story

The Croton Mammy symbolizes changes because of its vivid and sometimes colour-changing foliage. It has large oval leathery leaves and comes in a wide variety of colours: purple, crimson red, pink, yellow, orange… It changes colors according to the seasons. Although when indoors, the plant won’t show drastic changes, it serves as a beautiful reminder of the ever-changing and cyclical nature of life. With all its bright shades, it also makes for the perfect gift for a loved one who needs cheering up!



Place of origin

Indonesia, Malaysia, Australia, and the western Pacific Ocean islands, growing in open forests and scrub


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Codiaeum variegatum
Croton Mammy
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Check the direction of your window, then put your plant within the range suggested below.

Within any given range, aim to place the plant as close to the window as possible.

0-1 ft
0-1 ft



Check the moisture of the soil 1/week and water only when 1/2" of the topsoil is dry.


Chemicals in water

Sitting in water




Aim to provide the air conditions your plant would find in its natural habitat.


Mist daily

Use humidifier


Low humidity




Use liquid fertilizer as indicated below from March to September.


Fertilizing in winter and fall months

Care for your Croton Mammy like a pro!


Croton Mammy needs DIRECT.

To place your plant in the perfect spot, let’s start with understanding how much light it needs and how much light your place gets. To figure this out, you need to find the direction of your window and measure how far the plant is from it. First, using the compass or map on your phone, see what direction your window faces: North, East, West, or South. Here’s what you need to remember:

  1. South-facing windows make for the brightest spots, then East- and West-facing, and then North-facing.
  2. If the window is in between two directions, use the least sunny direction as a base.
  3. Each window has an optimal proximity range. Here’s where to put your Croton Mammy, based on the direction of your window:
    • not possibl to place in a room with North Window, as not enough sun
    • within 1ft away from East or West window;
    • within 1ft away from South window;

Within this range, the closer your plant is to the window, the more light photons it gets, and the better it thrives.

Note: This is a general guideline. Each place is unique, and you know yours best. Is the window view obstructed by the trees and a highrise? Is there a sheer curtain? If so, less light is coming in. Move your plant closer!

Still not sure if your Croton Mammy will be thriving in the spot you picked?

Another simple way to define brightness levels is by measuring the intensity of the shadow. That’s particularly helpful if the view is somewhat obstructed and it’s hard to estimate how much light actually sneaks in. Place a sheet of paper on the spot where you’d like to grow a plant. Hold your hand about 1 foot (30cm) above the paper. Now, what do you see?

Croton Mammy needs Direct.


Croton Mammy is a HEAVY DRINKER.

Check your plant regularly, but only water it when it’s thirsty.

Every plant needs a period of drying for the oxygen to get to its roots. Overwatering damages your plant by preventing that process from happening. So how can you know how much water your
Croton Mammy
needs? The ideal watering frequency depends on the plant’s drinking habits and how fast the soil dries out in your unique indoor space, so it would be misleading to recommend a fixed schedule. To best meet your plant’s water needs, monitor it, and watch for the signs it’s thirsty.

Here’s how the how to:

Once a week before giving your plant a drink, check the moisture level in the pot by dipping your finger a couple of inches into the soil.

Heavy Drinkers
need to be watered when 1/2′ of the topsoil is dry.

The dislikes of Your Croton Mammy When It Comes To Water

  • Your Croton Mammy doesn’t like it when its roots are left sitting in water. They would start to rot and that would irreversibly damage your plant.

What to do: Make sure you always discard the drenched water from the pot or saucer after watering.

  • Croton Mammy doesn’t like it when the soil dries out completely.

What to do: Make sure only the topsoil gets dry in between the waterings while deeper down the pot, the soil still retains some moisture. The plant’s roots need to stay in slightly moist (not wet) soil all the time.


Croton Mammy comes from a Tropical climate. Aim to provide the air conditions it would find in its natural habitat. At all times, maintain a comfortable room temperature of 60-80°F,16°-27°C.

Croton Mammy
thrives in high humidity (40-50%) and it will feel best if you mist it daily or use a humidifier. However, it is adaptable and will also tolerate normal humidity(30-40%), so don’t sweat it (get it?).

The Dislikes of Your Croton Mammy When It Comes to Air

  • Croton Mammy dislikes low humidity. When the air is bone-dry, the pores through which the plant breathes lose most of their moisture, and the plant can’t always counter that through the water that its roots absorb.

What to do:
Your plant will feel best if you mist it a few times a week or place it by a humidifier.




To provide your Croton Mammy with the right nutrients, fertilize it from March to September.
It’s a HEAVY eater plant. As a rule of thumb, it should be fertilized once a month.

Liquid fertilizer with NPK formula 10-10-10 (Nitrogen, Phosphorous, Potassium) works best for it.

Otherwise, you can use all-purpose indoor plant fertilizer.

Never fertilize your plant during the winter or fall months. It goes through winter dormancy and its appetite naturally slows down.

Curious to learn more?
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