If your Zodiac sign is Leo (born between July 23 and August 22), we've found your heavenly houseplant. Since Leo is such a huge personality, everyone knows that their symbol is the Lion, the king of the beasts, and, frankly, Leos wouldn't accept anything less. A natural leader and always the center of attention, Leos are also bold, intelligent, warm, and courageous, if a tad self-centered. Given that eclectic mix, there is no better houseplant match for Leos than the Croton 'Magnificent,' among the most striking houseplants in existence — and we know every true Leo will love the name.
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Like those astrological Lions, dramatically gorgeous Croton 'Magnificent' is often surrounded by admiring fans. This evergreen lights up the room with its oversize, striking leaves that are splashed with vivid dashes of crimson, orange, pink, yellow, and bronze. And if, like Leo, this marvel is a bit picky about its surroundings, who can blame it?
About Croton 'Magnificent'
Here's a tropical foliage plant that will stop traffic. Croton 'Magnificent' (Codiaeum variegatum) wows with its large broad leaves and fabulous splashes of all the tropical croton colors. Young leaves tend to have lemon-lime coloration but they change as they mature. Many finish with a dazzling deep maroon, but, like the typical Leo, the plants are totally unpredictable. They do what they feel like when it comes to color and pattern, each one differently dramatic, each one fabulous.
Leos place an extremely high value on outward appearances. That's why the Croton 'Magnificent' will provide a real thrill as the jewel tone change and redesign themselves like a kaleidoscope. The bold coloration is sure to please the Lion, as will the quick, easy way the plant can be propagated from cuttings. If one of these gorgeous plants is a delight, Leo may well wish to fill the house with them! Or even offer one or two to their most loyal admirers.
How to Care for Croton 'Magnificent'
Like Leos, a Croton 'Magnificent' loves to share its wonder with circles of fans but it does so on its own terms and won't accept just any old living conditions. Crotons have certain demands that must be met if you want them to be at their most glorious. Fortunately, these demands do not involve wildly weird or difficult growing requirements. These bright foliage plants need a good supply of sunshine on a regular basis to keep the brilliant colors coming. Plants left in shade will grow dull and leggy. They also need enough water to keep their soil moist — and that same soil should drain well. If this beauty's soil is too dry or too wet, it may well throw a Leo-style fit and drop its leaves.
Leo's won't mind trading this minimal effort for a stunning display. Despite their self-involved reputation, the typical Leo has a boundless capacity for love, affection, and generosity. There is no reason this goodwill won't extend to a houseplant, especially one sure to elicit regular "wows" and gasps of amazement from guests and friends.
Shopping for Croton 'Magnificent'
Crotons are extremely popular houseplants and easy to find, but it may take a little longer to find a Croton 'Magnificent.' Given the vast range of stunning coloration, it would be a good idea to shop local first so you can pick the stunner that best matches your mood and reflects your personality. Leos are gifted with high self-esteem and very aware of their own strong characters, so picking out the most appropriate of the stunning specimens should be a blast. The key for a Leo will be to focus on which plant specimens you are attracted to rather than which ones you think will make the most powerful impression on others.
But Leos are also busy leaders with many irons in the fire, so shopping online may work out better for this Fire sign. Our current favorite is a big blazing beauty offered on Etsy by Plants and More. It's pricey at nearly $60, but as a Leo, you are likely to want only the best. But Etsy, as usual, is ready with plenty of options, from a 6-inch houseplant from Easy Breeze Botanicals for under $40 to an entire range of Croton 'Magnificents' from Eureka Farms. Or try Groovy Plants for a 4-inch specimen for under $10.
From Alaska to California, from France's Basque Country to Mexico's Pacific Coast, Teo Spengler has dug the soil, planted seeds and helped trees, flowers and veggies thrive. A professional writer and consummate gardener, Spengler has written about home and garden for Gardening Know How, San Francisco Chronicle, Gardening Guide and Go Banking Rates. She earned a BA from U.C. Santa Cruz, a law degree from U.C. Berkeley's Boalt Hall, and an MA and MFA from San Francisco State. She currently divides her life between San Francisco and southwestern France.