S & J Nursery’s Guide to
Croton ‘Mammy’ Plants
for the Northeast Florida Landscape
( Codiaeum variegatum ‘Mammy’ )
Croton Mammy / Codiaeum variegatum ‘Mammy’ Ginger Origins:
– Croton plants are native to India and Malaysia and come in a variety of leaf
colors, shapes and sizes.
Croton Mammy / Codiaeum variegatum ‘Mammy’ Preferred Exposure:
– Croton ‘Mammy’ / Codiaeum variegatum ‘Mammy’ can be planted in a full sun to
partially shaded location in the North Florida | Jacksonville | St. Augustine area landscape. Best or brightest
foliage color will be achieved in a full sun location.
Croton Mammy / Codiaeum variegatum ‘Mammy’ Foliage:
– Mammy is one of my favorite Croton selections, not only does it add great dramatic
foliage color but you get a big bang in the garden’s perennial bed of added texture when you plant mammy
crotons, the strong upright habit with narrow strap like leaves that are heavily curled add an architectural
element to the landscape that is hard to overlook!
– Foliage may remain evergreen during the winter in our North Florida area
gardens, but can go dormant and regrow from undamaged stems or from the roots the following spring depending on
winter conditions and temperature exposure. This is much debated among gardeners as they are particularly
responsive to their individual planting location. When planted on the south side of the house away from north
winds, or where receiving some frost protection form larger trees or nearby buildings, croton plants have been
known to remain evergreen in the roughest of winters here in North Florida.
The same plant planted and purchased at the same time even 30 feet away may behave
differently over the winter. For every customer that tells me their crotons burnt over the winter, there is a
customer that tells me theirs faired the winter just fine. I also get allot of, well why did mine burn when my
neighbor right across the streets still look fine?
Croton Mammy / Codiaeum variegatum ‘Mammy’ Soil Preference / Salt tolerance:
– Petra Mammy plants prefer well drained soils but are not particular about the soil
components. Do not plant into poorly drained soils or areas where water pools even for brief periods after heavy
– Crotons are only slightly salt tolerant. They can be planted where buildings
or other vegetation will block the salt spray from reaching the foliage.
Croton Mammy / Codiaeum variegatum ‘Mammy’ Size Variance:
– The foliage on the croton Mammy plant may reach heights of 4 ft or more in the
tropics, but are normally seen at around 2-3 ft here in the Jacksonville and St. Augustine area landscapes.
Croton Mammy / Codiaeum variegatum ‘Mammy’ Growth Habit:
– Mammy crotons will form an upright shrub with dense highly colored foliage.
Croton Mammy / Codiaeum variegatum ‘Mammy’ Growth Rate:
– Mammy crotons are slow growing.
Croton Mammy / Codiaeum variegatum ‘Mammy’ Bloom:
– Have you ever heard the old saying that someone has a face that only a mother
could love? Well crotons just may have a bloom that only a gardener could appreciate. Croton blooms are born on
a short stem and are small creamy white starburst that look similar to a firework when it explodes in the sky.
Quite unusual looking for a bloom, definitely not an eye catcher, but still a little added something to look at
for the avid gardener.
Croton Mammy / Codiaeum variegatum ‘Mammy’ Water Requirements:
– Although much more durable once established in the landscape, regular water is
necessary to get the plant rooted and growing on its own after being planted in the ground from an S & J
Nursery container. Water every day for the first week then every other day for the next week, and continue to
taper watering black to a minimum of once a week.
– Use supplemental irrigation once to twice a week after the plant is
established and growing in the landscape especially during the hot summer months.
Best Uses For Croton Mammy / Codiaeum variegatum ‘Mammy’ in the Jacksonville | St.
Augustine Area Landscapes :
– Croton Mammy / Codiaeum variegatum ‘Mammy’ is a great easy care low maintenance
addition to just about any landscape.
– Long narrow scrappy leaves are boldly colored and slightly curled, they grab
attention anywhere you put them.
– Easy care plant for containers on pool decks, patio areas, walkways, home
entry accents etc.
Care of Croton Mammy / Codiaeum variegatum ‘Mammy’ in the North Florida
– Water every day during the establishment period after planting in the garden from
an S & J Nursery container.
-Trim off cold damaged foliage in spring after all danger of frost has passed.
Fertilize with a slow release garden food like Osmocote directly after spring pruning and again in summer.