Fertilizer for Crotons?


Active Member
What do people normally fertilize their crotons with? Since I am "up north" (in Delaware) mine are all potted. So, what can I safely use in pots? I put some Osmocote in my potted crotons when I planted them already. Is that enough or can I use something else in addition to get them going?

Do crotons like acidic fertilizer?

Jeff Searle

Well-Known Member

Crotons do like an acidic soil. As far as keeping your crotons in pots, osmocote should be fine. I'm big on using nutricote for all my potted stuff here in the nursery. It's sold as Dynomite at Home Depot. I use a nine month feed. And crotons really enjoy a well drain soil.

Phil Stager

Esteemed Member
After reading an explanation of how Osmocote works vs. Nutricote, I'd go with Nutricote. Osmocote works by osmosis - or more rain or watering, more fertilizer. Not real good here in Fl where we get occasional torrential rains.
Everything in the ground gets an 8-2-12+4Mg (or something close to that) controlled release palm blend.
As Jeff and Dr. Brown's book all note, crotons prefer an acidic soil.


Active Member
In my experience, any fertilizer is better than no fertilizer...
and the biggest trick is to not overdose your plants.
Beyond that, everyone seems to find their favorite whatever that may be.

Osmocote is a favorite of many due to the little known release curve under hot moist conditions which releases most of the nitrogen in a big surge on the front end of whatever time period was purchased; i.e a 3 month formulation dumps most of its load in the first few weeks with very little fertilizer left for the last 2.5 months, again this is only under hot moist conditions. The resulting surge of growth wows most people and then they swear by it... occasionally plants can even be burnt by osmocote, though usually the excessive amount of fertilizer released in the first two weeks is mostly flushed out the bottom of the pot through the normal watering process in hot weather, which also means a sizable waste of money as osmocote is not cheap.
Under drier cooler conditions the osmocote release rate will be closer to what is stated on the label.

I need to qualify my above statement by saying that my information is about 20 years old from university research, so if the osmocote resin capsule has been improved since then maybe this is no longer true, but a little bit of googling could probably find some more recent studies.
Nutricote actually releases its fertilizer load over the stated time period in hot moist conditions.

I usually buy the cheapest time release at a bigboxstore and always get good results as long as I don't overdose a plant, though I actually prefer using a constant liquid feed at anywhere from 50 to 200 ppm N depending on the plant type and time of year - once I get my old injector set up at this new house I'll switch back to liquid feed, and also be able to adjust the pH of my city water down to where crotons like it. :)


Esteemed Member
I follow Judy Glock's fertilizer regimen. It has done very well for me and if you have visited her & Jim's garden, you have witnessed the results yourself. :rolleyes:


Esteemed Member
Since it is Judy's methodology I will let her reply. Judy Glock where are you? :rolleyes: