Croton is a tropical houseplant, popular mainly for its stunning foliage. If you are thinking of growing a Croton and are fond of growing plants in water, you might be wondering if Croton can grow in water. Let’s find out.
Crotons can be grown in water if proper care is provided. Clip a 6-12 inch stem from a mature croton plant and keep it in a container filled with clean water. Change the water frequently and place it in a spot that gets indirect sunlight. Move the plant to the soil once roots are big enough.
Crotons will grow in water as long as you want. You just need to change the water from time to time and provide them with proper care. This article will discuss how we can grow crotons in water quickly and the pros and cons of doing so.
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How to grow crotons in water?
Crotons can be grown in water by propagation. Growing crotons in water is a simple process, and you can use both leaves or stems for doing it.
Usually, Croton is primarily grown in soil, but there is nothing wrong with growing them in water as they can thrive in both conditions. But you need to provide the ideal factors like light, fertilizer, temperature, etc.
You can also transfer your crotons from water to soil if you want. It will continue to grow equally well in the soil.
Let us discuss all the ingredients you need to grow crotons in water.
You need a glass container to check the progress of the roots. It is not compulsory to use a glass container, though. You can also use a vase instead of that.
But a glass container will let you see the condition of the roots, and you will be able to understand when is the right time to change the water.
Pruners or garden shears
Clean cuts are necessary for the healthy growth of crotons. You need sterilized and sharp scissors or pruners for making a clean cut.
The cut can invite various diseases and hamper croton’s growth if the cut is blunt.
You should avoid using regular tap water as it might contain hard minerals like fluorine, chlorine, etc., harming the crotons. Growing roots can also become problematic if the water is not suitable.
You must use good quality water for propagating your Croton, such as distilled, filtered, or rainwater.
If you use a wide container to plant your crotons, you need a plastic stopper. This will prevent your plant from falling and will provide support.
It is best to use a container with a thin neck. In that case, you don’t need a plastic stopper.
Steps for growing crotons in water
Now let us discuss the process for growing crotons in water:
Cut a good quality leaf or stem.
You should choose a good quality stem or leaf for successful growth, and the cut should be clean. Before cutting, you should keep a few things in mind:
The leaf or stem should be healthy. If the cutting is not healthy, it can attract various diseases and pests. Healthy cutting will encourage faster root growth.
If your current croton is not doing fine, don’t stress about it. First, take care of your croton for some time till it fully recovers. Then find a fresh and healthy leaf or stem for planting.
Don’t forget to include a node while cutting. Node is necessary for new growth. It is a bump on the stems where the leaf is attached, so you should cut just below a leaf node.
Avoid using a young or old stem.
Don’t use stems that are too young or old. Young ones will not survive in water for too long, and old ones will take too much time to grow.
You must choose a stem that comes in the middle, neither too old nor too young.
Always make a sharp and clean cut.
Always make a clean cut. Otherwise, the growth of your croton will be slow or unsuccessful. A sharp and clean-cut encourages the roots to grow fast and healthy.
On the other hand, an uneven cut can take a lot of time to grow the roots and invites diseases that might kill the plant completely.
In the case of stem propagation
Take a stem that is almost 4-5 inches tall. If you want to propagate your crotons from its stem, remove a few leaves from it, as it should focus on growing roots.
Leaves can be pretty distracting if you want new root growth.
In the case of leaf propagation
Choose a healthy leaf from the croton plant. Cut from its base, where the leaf is attached to the stem. Make sure the cut is sharp.
Wait for cuttings to dry out.
You should keep the cuttings in a shaded area for drying out. The wound should be completely dry, whether a leaf or stem, so wait for 2 days until it gets dry.
If you keep the cuttings in water without letting them dry, then they can absorb too much moisture than required. Because of that, the cuttings will get rot and die.
Put the cuttings in water.
First, choose a container with a thin neck and fill it with water.
If the plant is imbalanced, you can use a plastic stopper for support. For using a plastic stopper, make a hole in between and then place the plant in the hole carefully.
After 4 weeks, you should see new roots under the water. After that, you can decide whether you want to keep the croton in water permanently or you want to transplant it into the soil.
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How to take care of your crotons in water?
Crotons can thrive in water for as long as you want. But you need to take care of them properly. You have to provide them with the proper growing conditions.
Taking care of crotons in water is not difficult. Let us discuss the requirements crotons need while they are growing in water.
Determining the water quality for crotons is necessary as they are sensitive to certain minerals. Make sure the water you use is not chlorinated.
Try to use distilled or rainwater as it does not contain any toxic chemicals.
If you don’t have distilled or rainwater, you can use filtered tap water.
For filtration, let the tap water sit for at least 24 hours to remove all the toxic chemicals and then use it.
Change water frequently
You need to change the water frequently to keep the Croton fresh and healthy. For days, the same water can invite algae, which creates an unsuitable environment for crotons.
You can change the water every 3-4 days to keep crotons healthy and keep algae away from the container.
During the first two months, provide your crotons with bright indirect sunlight and choose a spot where they will get at least 2 to 3 hours of morning indirect sunlight.
But as time passes, croton will need more sunlight than before, and a little bit of direct sunlight too.
After four months, you should change the position of the croton and place them in a location where they will get 6-8 hours of bright sunlight.
Sometimes, the plant can lean towards the light, tilt permanently. If you want your Croton to grow evenly, you should keep rotating the container to sunlight in each part.
But in case the crotons are not getting proper indirect sunlight, you can provide them with 2-3 hours of direct sunlight on alternative days.
Ensure you don’t give too much direct sunlight to crotons, as it can hamper them and cause discoloration in the leaves.
Crotons mainly thrive in tropical climates, so they love to stay in warmer temperatures. Crotons prefer temperatures between 60 to 70°F.
Try to maintain this temperature for crotons if you want your plant to thrive beautifully. Otherwise, this plant has a high tolerance level and can even survive at 25°F but not below that.
If the temperature is too warm, try to change the water often because of the rise in evaporation.
Although crotons can survive till 25°F but still try to protect them in low temperatures, otherwise, crotons will take too much time to grow.
As water does not contain all the nutrients that plants need, it is necessary to fertilize your croton, even in water.
Use a fertilizer that contains nitrogen at a higher level. Feed your plant with a liquid fertilizer in the NPK ratio of 3-1-2.
You can add nutrients while changing the water. Take 1/4th of fertilizer and mix with the water well.
Always add fertilizer during spring or summer and avoid using them during the winter months as it is the dormancy period for crotons.
Avoid over-fertilizing your crotons and add fertilizer in a minimal quantity; otherwise, it can restrict your plant’s growth.
Crotons thrive in high humidity levels, but since crotons are already in the water, the problem of low humidity is not probable. But still, you should not be casual about it and try to maintain the correct humidity level.
As crotons are tropical plants, they require humidity between 40% and 60%. 40% is the minimum humidity you can provide to your crotons; otherwise, they mostly need humidity at least higher than 60%.
You can mist your plant frequently with a water spray to increase humidity levels. You can also use a humidifier device, but only when the humidity is extremely low.
Pruning is always essential for your plant, whether in water or soil. Check your croton plant frequently and cut back all the damaged and old leaves for encouraging growth.
Prune only the old and damaged leaves. Excess pruning at once can cause stress to your croton.
It is unnecessary to repot your crotons if they are growing in water.
Crotons can survive in the same jar as long as you want until and unless the container is too small for further growth of roots. A small container can cause root-bound, so you should replace the jar with the new one.
But if there is no problem with the jar, then frequent pruning and changing of water are enough for your crotons to stay healthy, and there is no need for repotting.
Pros and cons of growing croton in water
- The risk of pest infections is low.
- There is no need to water your crotons, so there is no risk of overwatering and underwatering.
- The plant grows at a faster rate than usual.
- Fertilizing the plant becomes easy.
- With the help of a glass container, you can easily see the roots and identify the problems with root growth.
- Waterborne diseases can arise, which can hamper your Croton.
- Soil protects the plant from extreme temperatures and provides more nutrients by absorbing quickly. So, this can cause some issues to your Croton.
- The Croton might not survive as long as they survive in the soil.
- Constant checking is required for your crotons growing in water.
Why is my croton plant not growing roots in water?
There can be many reasons behind your Croton not growing in water. Let us find out what they are:
- You must have chosen diseased or unhealthy stems or leaves.
- The stems or leaves are too young or too old.
- The quality of water is poor.
- The humidity and temperature are not what crotons need. Maybe it is too high or too low.
- You must have made blunt cuts on the stems or leaves.
- Maybe crotons are not getting the sufficient light that they need.
- You did not cut the stems with a node.
- The time for propagating your crotons was wrong.
Don’t worry if your crotons are not growing correctly. Try to identify the problem with a calm mind and treat it accordingly.