Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Croton
Codiaeum variegatum 'Curly Boy'

Family: Euphorbiaceae (yoo-for-bee-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Codiaeum (koh-dih-EE-um) (Info)
Species: variegatum (var-ee-GAY-tum) (Info)
Cultivar: Curly Boy

6 members have or want this plant for trade.


36-48 in. (90-120 cm)

36-48 in. (90-120 cm)

USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)
USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 C (30 F)
USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 C (35 F)
USDA Zone 11: above 4.5 C (40 F)

Sun Exposure:
Full Sun

Parts of plant are poisonous if ingested

Bloom Color:
Pale Yellow

Bloom Time:

Grown for foliage

Other details:
This plant is suitable for growing indoors
Requires consistently moist soil; do not let dry out between waterings

Soil pH requirements:
6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)
6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)
7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)

Patent Information:
Unknown - Tell us

Propagation Methods:
From leaf cuttings
By air layering

Seed Collecting:
Unknown - Tell us

Click thumbnail
to view:

By mystic
Thumbnail #1 of Codiaeum variegatum by mystic

By PalmBchBill
Thumbnail #2 of Codiaeum variegatum by PalmBchBill

By back2basixmom
Thumbnail #3 of Codiaeum variegatum by back2basixmom


2 positives
2 neutrals
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive back2basixmom On Dec 9, 2012, back2basixmom from Avon Park, FL (Zone 9a) wrote:

I love this plant, it thrives in full sun and I haven't had any problems with bugs or pests. I take cuttings twice a year. The pruning promotes new branching on the stock plant. New growth appears after about 3 days during the summer, about a week in the winter (FL winter). I dip cuttings into rooting hormone and place underneath a soda bottle dome. Roots within 2 weeks while showing new grows on the top as well.

Neutral BeniJ On Oct 16, 2011, BeniJ from Kentwood, MI wrote:

I bought this plant from a department store about 2 years ago. At first it lost almost all of it's leaves. After leaving it in an east window, it grew beautifully until I tried to repot it in Miracle-Gro. I am now afraid to do anything to it. Hopefully I can post a picture of it and hopefully someone can advise me on what an what not to do to it!

Neutral macybee On Sep 7, 2007, macybee from Deer Park, TX (Zone 9a) wrote:

This genus consists of about 15 species of evergreen shrubs and small trees native to southern Asia, the Malay region and Pacific Islands. One species, Codiaeum variegatum, has given rise to a large number of cultivars with highly colored and sometimes bizarrely shaped leaves. These are popular garden plants in tropical regions, and house or greenhouse plants in temperate climates. Where they can be grown outdoors, the larger-growing cultivars make good hedging plants. The small yellow flowers and tiny seed pods are quite insignificant-the plants are grown strictly for their magnificent foliage.
Cultivation: They will not withstand prolonged cold or dry conditions and prefer moist, humus-rich soil in sun or dappled shade. As indoor plants they are grown in a rich but freely draining potting mix, and watered and fed freely during the summer growing season. Propagate from tip cuttings or by air-layering.
Codiaeum variegatum:
This species occurs throughout the range of the genus, making a small tree with plain green leaves in the wild. Cultivated forms, though show enormous variation of leaf color and pattern with shades of green, red, yellow, orange and purple, sometimes on the one plant. Some cultivars can grow to 8' or more tall, with leaves up to 12" long; they must be propagated vegetatively, usually by cuttings, to maintain their floiage color. 'America' has green, red, orange, and yellow leaves, the variegation following the veins and margins; 'Petra' is similar to 'America' but has more clearly defined margins; 'Imperiale' has yellow leaves with pink margins and green midribs; 'Interruptum' has yellow, recurved leaves with green margins and red midribs; 'Mrs Iceton' (syn 'Appleleaf') has elliptic leaves, metallic purple at the edges, yellow to rose in the center.
Zones 11-12

Positive jasonc On Apr 18, 2005, jasonc from Parrish, FL (Zone 9a) wrote:

This is a great plant like most Crotons. Its hard to kill them down here in Florida but your results may vary.

Here is the information from the label:

"Brightly colored, wavy edged foliage is the hallmark of this upright tropical shrub. Broad glossy leaves display an array of colors, commanding attention in any home or patio setting."


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Avon Park, Florida
Big Pine Key, Florida
Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Gibsonton, Florida
Parrish, Florida
Pensacola, Florida
Sebring, Florida
West Palm Beach, Florida
Kapaa, Hawaii
Denton, Texas

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