Codiaeum variegatum is a tropical, evergreen, shrub and belongs to the Euphorbiaceae family of plants. They also call it the Fire Croton, Garden Croton, Variegated Croton, or its synonym Croton variegatum.
Carl Linnaeus originally described it in 1753. It is native to Pacific Ocean Islands, Australia, Indonesia, and Malaysia. It grows to about 3m or 10ft tall. The stems when cut produces a milky sap. The sap sometimes could cause eczema. The foliage which is its main attraction is thick, leathery. The leaves are alternate, oblong, lanceolate, sometimes twisted, spiral, or violin-shaped. They are colorful showing green, purple, red, orange, and yellow patterns.
The flowers grow on long racemes where male and female flowers are on separated racemes. The male flowers have white petals and the female flowers are yellow without petals.
How to grow Codiaeum variegatum:
In tropical and temperate climates Codiaeum variegatum can be grown outdoors. Where in colder climates it is a houseplant or grown in greenhouses. It is frost hardy to 10ºC or 50ºF. Grow Codiaeum variegatum in bright indirect light indoors or partial shade outdoors. Plant it in moist, fertile but well-drained soil. More light produces better colors in the foliage. However, too much sun can damage it.
Humidity helps this plant as it is tropical. Fertilize Codiaeum variegatum occasionally during the growing season. You can prune it in early spring for new growth. This is especially helpful if they grow leggy. Generally, it is pest-free and disease-free.