Identify Mystery HousePlants

Hi there, I’ve just relocated to Northern Thailand and have inherited some mystery plants. Was hoping you could help me ID them so I can have a go at propagating them.


Hi Chris,

This first plant is a Gold Dust Croton. Crotons are very poisonousPlants are a great addition to homes and offices, but it’s important to know whether your plants are dangerous to children, pets, or even adults. Some plants contain chemicals such as oxalates, solanine, glycosides, or alkaloid lycorine that may cause vomiting, nausea, diarrhea, swelling and redness of the mouth, throat, and lips, and trouble breathing. Touching parts of certain plants, especially the sap, may cause various skin irritations. The weight and age of the human or pet involved, and the part and amount of plant eaten determine how severe the reaction to the toxins will be. Although plants may be listed as non-toxic, they can still cause individual allergic reactions. If there is any question after a houseplant has been ingested or touched, immediately call the Poison Control Center 1-800-222-1222.  More poisonous houseplant information and pictures of common plants that are dangerous to children and pets can be found in my book Don’t Feed Me to Your Cat: A Guide to Poisonous Houseplants so please keep it away from small children and pets. These plants like bright indirect sun. Allow the top 25%-30% of the soil to dry out before watering. Crunchy leaves indicate over-watering. Leaves become soft and droop when your plant needs water. When a croton is severely over or under-watered leaves drop off. Stem CuttingsLearn how to propagate plants using stem cuttings, leaf cuttings, cane cuttings, and branch cuttings. and air layeringLearn how to use Air Layering to propagate houseplants. are the best ways to propagate a croton plant. You can red about both of these propagationLearn how to propagate plants by plant division at techniques in the Glossary of the website.

You can read all my care tips for a croton plant in the Popular Houseplant section of the website.

Yellow and green Croton Gold Dust

This houseplant looks like a type of Calathea “crocata. ”