Codiaeum 'Mammy'

Overall plant
Common Name: croton 
Type: Broadleaf evergreen
Family: Euphorbiaceae
Zone: 9 to 12
Height: 2.00 to 3.50 feet
Spread: 1.50 to 2.00 feet
Bloom Time: Seasonal bloomer
Bloom Description: Blooms insignificant
Sun: Full sun to part shade
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Medium
Suggested Use: Annual
Flower: Insignificant
Leaf: Colorful, Evergreen


Easily grown as an indoor houseplant or outdoor accent plant in well-drained, humusy soil. Winter hardy in Zones 11-12. Plants need bright light for best leaf color, with some direct sun. May lose lower leaves in too much shade. Plants also prefer high humidity. Consider standing plant on bed of wet pebbles to increase humidity when indoors. Water regularly to keep soils moist, but not wet, during the growing season. Does not require winter dormancy, but appreciates a resting period with reduced watering from fall to late winter.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Codiaeum is a relatively small genus of around 17 species of evergreen shrubs and small trees native to Southeast Asia and northwestern Oceania. Many cultivars are available for indoor and outdoor landscape use, and are prized for their colorful foliage.

Genus name comes from the Latinized version of the Ternate vernacular name, kodiho.

‘Mammy’ is characterized by curling, twisting, upright foliage, 1” wide by 8” long, forming a kaleidoscope of reds, yellows, and greens. When grown outdoors, the best color is achieved in an area with full sun. If the leaves start to show signs of sun scorch, relocate to an area with some afternoon shade. 'Mammy' is one of the smallest croton cultivars for the landscape, only reaching 3.5' tall.


No serious insect or disease problems. Watch for scale, spider mites and mealybugs.

Garden Uses

Use as a tropical accent in containers and border gardens. This plant is not hardy in the St. Louis area, so bring indoors before night temperatures reach 50°F or use as an annual. Can also be kept indoors year-round, with the best color and overall vigor being achieved with plenty of bright light and even moisture.