How to Grow and Care for Gold Dust Plant

Written by Ivy

Jan 11 2023

How to Grow and Care for Gold Dust Plant

In complete shade, gold dust plants flourish. It can withstand a few hours of morning sunlight, but prolonged exposure to full sun will cause its leaves to smolder. It is a woodland plant that prefers rich, deep, moist soil that is also well-drained. Add some compost that has been properly decomposed to the soil before planting.

Gold Dust Plant Overview

DESCRIPTION With aucuba, also known as gold dust plant, illuminate a border of shade. Depending on the cultivar, the evergreen shrub's slow-growing foliage can be glossy green or yellow-speckled. As opposed to other plants that go dormant for the winter, it keeps its leaves all year long, adding color and texture. Both the leaves and the berries of the gold dust plant are grown. In the fall, when a male pollinator is present, female plants produce bright red berries.
COMMON NAME Gold Dust Plant
LIGHT Part Sun, Shade
HEIGHT 3 to 8 feet
WIDTH 3 to 6 feet
SEASON FEATURES Spring Bloom, Summer Bloom, Winter Interest
SPECIAL FEATURES Good for Containers, Low Maintenance
ZONES 10, 6, 7, 8, 9
PROBLEM SOLVERS Drought Tolerant

How to Care for Gold Dust Plant



For this lovely plant to thrive, it requires a room temperature that is a little bit cooler than normal and bright but filtered light. When I once placed my plant outside in direct sunlight, every leaf fell off!

The good news is that this is the only significant error you could possibly make in your routine for caring for gold dust plants. You'll be in luck if you keep it out of the sun!


Depending on temperature and soil dryness, the Aucuba japonica should be kept in slightly moist soil and watered once or twice per week during the growing season. Check out our guide on the best watering times, tips, and tricks if you are a beginner gardener and the hassle of watering plants is keeping you from creating a lovely indoor garden.

Gold dust plant care guide - propagationBest Soil for Aucuba Japonica
Care for gold dust plants should be done in an organic, well-draining potting soil.


Rich, well-draining soil with a pH of 5.0 to 7.5 is needed for Gold Dust Crotons. Through the addition of materials like gravel, soil drainage can be improved. Purchase a rich, slightly acidic, free-draining soil alternatively.

The use of a good soil type is crucial to the growth of this plant. In fertile soil, Gold Dust Crotons thrive. It's best to have soil that has a pH that is just barely acidic. The pH range for soil is 5.0 to 7.5.

The ability of the soil to drain water is one of the Gold Dust Croton's most important properties. Well-draining soil is necessary for these subtropical shrubs. Simple adjustments can be made to improve soil drainage if it is lacking. You can improve the drainage of your plant's soil by adding ingredients like gravel to it.

As an alternative, you can get ready-mixed soil from your neighborhood nursery. A rich, well-draining, slightly acidic soil mixture is what you should look for.



During the growing season, you can fertilize the gold dust plant once a month with a water-soluble fertilizer.


Zones 10 and 11 are suitable for Gold Dust Crotons' hardiness. Avoid being outside when the temperature is below 50°F (10°C). Avoid drafts that are either hot or cold on your plant. 60°F to 85°F (15°C to 29°C) is the ideal temperature range for this shrub.

The Gold Dust Croton prefers to be kept in warmer climates because it is a native of subtropical regions. Zones 10 and 11 are the preferred USDA zones for this plant. Gold Dust Croton is thought to be hardy in these regions.

Between 60°F and 85°F (15°C and 29°C) is the ideal temperature range for this shrub. Low temperatures, which are undesirable, should be avoided by your plant. 50°F (10°C). Additionally, it is advised to keep your Gold Dust Croton away from drafty areas that are either cold or hot.


The humidity level where these shrubs should be kept should be between 40% and 60%. To increase the humidity around your Gold Dust Croton, mist it every day. Put your shrub on a pebble trap if daily misting is not feasible. The humidity around the plant rises as the water in the pebble tray evaporates.

Humidity is ideal for Gold Dust Croton shrubs. They need a lot of humidity to survive and grow. This plant prefers humidity levels between 40% and 60%.

It is advised that you mist your Gold Dust Croton every day to meet this plant's humidity needs. It is advised to set your shrub on a pebble tray if misting it daily is not feasible.

The humidity levels around the plant placed on pebble trays can be increased, and they are simple to make. It's easy to construct a pebble tray. Locate a tray that is large enough to support your plant.

Place your plant on top after adding some water and pebbles to it. Your plant will be surrounded by more humidity as the water evaporation increases it.


The brightly hued green and yellow speckled foliage of gold dust crotons makes them popular. These shrubs can reach heights of up to ten feet (3 meters) in their natural habitat. Only two feet tall (0.61 meters) are the maximum height for cultivate types, which are grown as common houseplants.

Due to their ornamental foliage, people frequently keep these subtropical shrubs indoors. Their variegation is at its best when kept in ideal conditions. The Gold Dust Croton has vivid green foliage with spots that are yellow-gold when it is flourishing.

The Gold Dust Croton's growing season is regarded as lasting from spring through summer. The shrub will grow slowly during this time. These plants can develop into ten-foot (3-meter) tall plants in their natural habitat. The cultivated type, on the other hand, typically only reaches a height of 0.61 meters or about two feet.



Every spring, repot your Gold Dust Croton. Always use a pot with drainage holes. Each time, only one size should be added to the plant's pot. It is not advised to grow your shrub in a large pot.

The most important feature to keep in mind when selecting a pot for your Gold Dust Croton is drainage. It is crucial that your subtropical shrub is grown in a pot that has holes for drainage.

Normally, you will only need to repot your Gold Dust Croton once a year. To prevent shocking it with the transplant, only repot it in the spring. Keep in mind to only increase your pot size by one at a time. Your Gold Dust Croton shouldn't be planted in a large pot.


As necessary, take out any foliage that has become damaged or discolored. The spring or summer are the best times to prune your Gold Dust Croton. Keep your plant pruned to maintain a desirable shape and size. Keep the shrub from going into shock by not removing too much of it at once.

These plants are fairly low-maintenance when it comes to pruning. Only the maintenance of your plant's desirable size and shape necessitates pruning. Leaves that have deteriorated or are discolored should be taken out as needed.

Ideal times to prune your Gold Dust Croton are in the spring or summer. It may experience shock if you prune it in the autumn or winter. The plant may be shocked if you take too much of it out at once.


Water is not the best medium for the plant's propagation.

Take a cutting, remove the lower leaves, and root it in peat moss and vermiculite-enriched soil, making sure the leaves are above the soil.

To create the illusion of a greenhouse effect and protect it from direct sunlight, water the pot and put it in a plastic bag.

To keep the soil moist, mist the plant as needed.

If you need assistance, our guide to the top rooting hormones for plant propagation should help you understand what to buy and how to use it. But before you purchase any rooting hormone, be sure to thoroughly understand whether the substance is suitable for and will benefit your golden dust plant. If anything is unclear, carefully follow the instructions and even talk to the manufacturer.

Common Problems of Gold Dust Plant

Root rot is the disease-related problem that Gold Dust Crotons encounter most frequently. More often than not, overwatering your plant is to blame for this. Root rot should be avoided as it is difficult to treat once it has started.

Make sure to water your Gold Dust Croton only after the soil's top inch has dried out. Use only pots with drainage holes, and make sure the soil is well-draining before planting.

Spider mites are frequently a minor irritant for these shrubs as a result of their love of humidity. Additionally, your Gold Dust Croton may occasionally be bothered by scale insects and mealybugs.

Simply wipe their foliage with neem oil or rubbing alcohol if you notice these pests on your plant.


Gold Dust Plant Frequently Asked Questions

Let's now address some of the most frequently asked queries about the gold dust plant and its upkeep!

Is the Gold Dust Plant Toxic to Pets?

For more information, check out our guide on gorgeous but deadly flowers and plants you should not keep in the proximity of your pets. The gold dust plant, like all plants, has components that, if consumed by dogs or cats, can be poisonous and cause vomiting, nausea, lightheadedness, motor incoordination, and other unpleasant side effects. Keep all indoor plants and animals at a safe distance from one another.

Why Do the Aucuba Plant's Leaves Turn Black? is It Normal?

No, your aucuba leaves turning black is not typical. Aucuba is not a black stylish plant. However, root stress, which is frequently related to too much moisture or overwatering, is what causes the blackening of its leaves. The best course of action is to act as soon as you notice a problem with your plant because it may also exhibit some symptoms of a root disease.

How Long Does the Aucuba Plant Live?

In ideal circumstances, it may take the aucuba plant up to 20 years to reach maturity. It can also grow up to 15 feet tall under these ideal circumstances. Recreate the natural environment of the plant if you want it to grow to its full potential. It loves full shade and rich, deep, moist soil. However, as we saw above, excessive watering can result in root diseases and plant stress, so make sure the soil is well-drained before planting the gold dust plant.

Keep in mind that because the Aucuba Japonica is a woodland plant, it will suffer from the intense sun. Although the gold dust plant can tolerate some morning sun, it does better in a more shaded setting.

Bottom Line

Rich, permeable soil is required for Gold Dust Croton. Once the top inch has dried, water it to keep it moist. Pick a location where there is at least 4 hours per day of bright, indirect light. At no lower than 40%, humidity is crucial. 60°F to 85°F (15°C to 29°C) is the recommended temperature range.

We hope you've enjoyed reading our growing and care instructions for gold dust plants. Please feel free to post your queries in the comments section at the conclusion of this article if you have any additional queries about how to take care of your Aucuba Japonica. Please feel free to add any additional growing or maintenance advice you may have for this particular plant as well.