Mystery plant

Judy,
Can you identify this plant for me? Thank you,
Rabbi Avi

Dear Rabbi Avi,

Your plant is a type of Croton. I believe it is the “Mammey” variety, but there are hundreds of varieties of crotons and many look quite similar. The good news is that the care is the same for all of them.

Croton houseplants need bright light to maintain their colorful leaves. If there is insufficient light, new leaves are green not predominantly yellow, red, or orange. Too much direct sun causes phototoridation, a condition that makes Croton leaves gray and dull looking.

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.

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

https://www.houseplant411.com/houseplant/croton-how-to-grow-care-for-croton-plant

These plants are considered 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 and should be kept away from pets and children. Read more about common houseplants that are 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 in Don’t Feed Me To Your Cat! A Guide to poisonous houseplantsIn her new book, Don’t Feed Me to Your Cat!, plant care professional Judy Feldstein shares information about twenty-five common houseplants, each with various levels of toxicity, and the possible consequences if your pet or child snacks on them..