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Croton, Coontie, Copperleaf - Tropical Plants

The Croton, Coontie, and Copperleaf represent three tropical evergreen shrubs highlighting many warm climate landscapes. I like to call these plant specimens the three C's of the tropics.

Each of the plants has its own unique color and shape, and can compliment other exotic plants in a garden setting. One of the most noticeable features of the three C's are their leaf structures. Below is some basic information on all three and a couple of photos so you can see the shape and color of the plants.


Close Up Of Croton

The Croton is one of the most popular shrubs in many central and southern Florida gardens. It is native to Malaysia and also grows well in the Eastern Pacific. Notice the beautiful color tones in the leaves.

The plant will grow in the warm climate of zones ten and eleven in the United States. It can take full sun but will survive also in partial shade. This specie will mature anywhere from two and a half feet to eight feet tall and three to six feet wide. The maturity will depend on the variety. The Croton is a slow grower and will do well in different soil conditions.

The Jan Bier has variegated leaves of green and yellow. The second picture above is of the Codiaeum variegatum. The multi-color tone of the leaves really gives this plant a great look around solid evergreen shrubs or trees in a garden. Any of the varieties will do well as a hedge, border, along foundations, and even in a container. This plant specimen can be highlighted throughout many different style gardens.

Coontie And Copperleaf


The Coontie is a true native plant to Florida. This unique specimen will grow one and a half to four feet tall and two to five feet wide. It does best in the shade, but can take some sun.

The Coontie is truly a versatile shrub as it will look great in a container garden. It looks striking in mass plantings and will accent other variegated plants.

The Coontie will do well in zones eight through eleven. In zone eight, if there is a frost, the plant should be sheltered from the cold spell. This is an ideal plant to put with a variety of outdoor features.

A decorative pond would definitely be an ideal place to plant this specimen, or around a swimming pool setting. Even though the leaf structure is a little different from the fern family, it does carry a resemblance to a fern. This is a great plant for any tropical garden.

The Copperleaf is the third C and also creates a wonderful look in a landscape. The Copperleaf is native to the Pacific Islands but will survive in zones nine through eleven in the United States.

This plant specimen is a fast grower and will mature anywhere from eight to twelve feet tall and wide. It can take full sun and prefers rich and moist soil. It will grow in other soil conditions as long as it is kept watered.

The Copperleaf produces a few varieties. The picture is the Java White. The Ceylon specimen has a striking purple and ruby tone. This shrub should be pruned twice a year in the spring and fall. Pruning the Copperleaf will keep its shape and also produce a lush and full plant.

Any of the varieties of this plant will do well along a foundation as well as a screen or hedge. The Copperleaf reminds me a lot of the Aucuba family as the color of the leaf and shape are similar. The Aucuba will look dynamite with the Croton in the same defined bed. Plant some solid evergreens throughout them.

The Copperleaf is also another great plant to accent with solid green evergreens. A Sago Palm is a nice specimen to incorporate in the same garden as a Copperleaf.

Herbee's Hot Buzz Tropical Plants

Herbee Greenthumb

Each of these plants represent wonderful variegated colors for you.

Did you know if you live in a cooler climate you can have these three indoors? Herbee has had the tropical Croton as an inside plant for over a year. Our zone seven here in the southern US is too cool in the winter months for this specie to survive outdoors. He has the plant by a southern window. Keep it watered and it does wonderful.

The Croton, Coontie and Copperleaf are definitely three tropical specimens to consider in any landscape area or a specific garden. The three C's are favorites of Herbee. Whether inside or out, think about enhancing your container or ground gardens today.

Other Articles You Might Be Interested In.

Outdoor Accents --- Properly Prune Your Croton

Different Garden Styles --- More Tropical Plants

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