Croton flower: home care
Croton (or Codiaeum) creates a favorable atmosphere in the house not only because it is a rather beautiful plant with large colored leaves, but also because it protects the house from the negative impact of people with poor energy. But only thorough care of flowers (croton is quite whimsical) will contribute to their good growth and attractive appearance.
Originally from southern countries
India, Southeast Asia, Australia, the islands of the Malay Archipelago - it is from there Croton. This ornamental leafy plant belongs to the euphorbia family. Many of its species grow in tropical and subtropical regions of the globe. Some of them can reach a height of three meters.
However, only one of them - the motley codiame - began to be grown as a houseplant and served as the basis for the breeding of various hybrids.
Croton was introduced to Europe at the beginning of the XIX century and became widespread, because, thanks to the beauty of its leaves, it can become a good decorative ornament for both home and office.
Large fleshy leaves cover the trunk of a croton really like a raincoat. It is they who give the plant originality.
Croton flowering at home is very difficult. And it is not worth the effort, because its flowers are inconspicuous, white in color with a yellowish tinge. It is best to cut them immediately so that the plant directs its forces to the development of the leaves. Croton is famous for them. Plant care is aimed at maintaining the beauty of its leaves.
Different forms (ovoid or elongated, fancifully carved or twisted) and various colors (mostly motley because of color spots: yellow, red, orange) - these leaves cause only positive emotions and create a good mood.
Up to 1 meter high and even a little higher, croton grows at home, and care is provided for it properly.
Indoor Croton Grades
Breeders deduced many varieties of Croton, or Codiaeum. Of course, the main difference between the two is the color and shape of the leaves.
The most common are large-leaved varieties: “Adreanum” (wide yellow leaves), “Angustissimum” (narrow leaves and yellow veins), “J.deRotscild "(red or orange veins)," Spirale "(spirally twisted leaves)," Norma "(green leaves with red veins and yellow spots)" Excellent "(narrowed at the end of the leaves, some of them are reddish-dark green, others , appearing later, is yellow-green), “Petra” (spotty leaves, having spots of green, yellow, orange, red, purple color that are unevenly scattered on the leaves) and many others.
Small-leaved varieties of the codewell, for example, GoldFinger, GoldenRing, Pictum and others, have also been developed. They look great in the form of standard trees.
Croton: home care
This plant is not so easy to grow, it requires constant care and a certain attention.
First of all, you should know that Croton does not like dry air, significant temperature drops, irrigation with cold water, drafts, frequent changes from place to place. He will react to these negative conditions for him by lowering or dropping leaves, changing their color and even illnesses.
Before delving into the details of what particular croton flower exactly cares for, we must remember that it is a warm, light and moisture-loving plant. The principles of caring for them are built on these three postulates.
Where to place croton?
Of course, wide window sills are most popular with houseplants. Croton, the care for which must be exercised especially carefully, is no exception. He needs a lot of light in order to maintain his diverse and bright coloring. However, direct sunlight croton is contraindicated. So, it is best to place it on the western or eastern window sills. Sometimes a flower can be carried out on a sunny balcony for several hours.
You must ensure that the plant was not in the draft. And, of course, so that the temperature does not fall below + 16-17 ° C. This, of course, in the winter. In summer, the optimum will be + 20-22 degrees. But if it is hotter, it is necessary to provide the plant with increased air humidity.
Croton loves moisture
Since these are moisture-loving home flowers (Croton), their care will be expressed primarily in regular watering.
In the warm season, it should be abundant and frequent, so that the soil does not dry out more than 1 centimeter. It is best to water three or even more times a week. Water must be defended in advance so that it is at room temperature.
In the autumn and winter, of course, watering should be reduced.Water the plant should be as the soil dries.
As for spraying from a spray gun, this should be done both in winter and in summer. Croton loves this procedure very much. Care of him will also consist in wiping his leaves with a damp cloth at least one, and preferably twice a week.
To increase the humidity of the air, you can put a humidifier near the plant or a tray with wet stones.
Feed or not?
On this account there are differences in florists. However, the majority is inclined to believe that during the growing season the plant needs complex fertilizers. Since April, they are introduced into the soil after watering every one to two weeks.
But in winter, fertilizing is reduced to once a month or even stopped altogether. Some indoor plant lovers are convinced that fertilizer enhances the development of the upper part of the croton, while the lower leaves die and fall off. By the way, in their place new ones do not grow. What does croton really like? Care at home should be carried out carefully, it is better not to overdo it with fertilizers.
How often to croton?
The young plant must be replanted annually for at least the first 3 years. This should be done in the spring.
A ceramic or plastic pot should be slightly larger than the capacity in which Croton grew before transplanting. The soil is made compound: peat, sod and leaf earth are mixed in equal amounts. It should be added a little sand and coal. At the bottom of the pot should be laid drainage.
Croton should be transplanted with an earthy clod, without touching the roots, very carefully. If the plant is sick, then this should not be done at all. Stress after transplantation can finally destroy the flower.
Adult plants are transplanted no more than once every three to four years, as needed.
Croton: care and reproduction
This plant, like many others, can be propagated in various ways: by seeds, cuttings, layering. A more productive way - reproduction by cuttings.
This procedure is best done in the spring. But preparation should begin in the winter, as a last resort, in the beginning of spring. To do this, cut the apical or lateral stem (size 12-15 cm) and lowered briefly in warm water (to remove the milky juice in the cut), then it is placed in a prepared cup with plain water and left for rooting. You can put the stalk in the wet sand.In about a month, he will take roots, and he should be transplanted to a permanent place in a prepared pot.
It may well be crowned with success and an attempt to immediately plant a freshly cut stalk in a pot. To do this, firstly, the earth must be heated and moistened. Secondly, the leaves on the handle should be bundled (to reduce the evaporation of moisture). Third, cover the pot with plastic wrap. Having done all these manipulations, the pot with the handle is placed in a bright and warm place. Then periodically it is ventilated, moistened, and the condensate that has accumulated under the film is wiped. Rooting should happen somewhere in a month.
And then you will have a new plant Croton (codiaum), care for which will need to be carried out in the usual manner.
If the plant is sick
Already above, it was said that Croton is a very fastidious plant. Therefore, if you care for him badly, nothing surprising will happen when the plant starts to ache.
Draft can cause dropping of leaves, stagnation of water - rotting of roots, lack of light - paleness of leaf color. In addition, some pests affect croton, which is not properly cared for.
For example, if the air in the apartment is dry and the croton leaves are rarely washed, the damage with a shield or spider mite cannot be avoided. The latter is a red spider, very small. It envelops the underside of croton leaves with white cobwebs. Over time, the leaves dry out and fall off. You can fight spider mites by spraying or washing the leaves with special solutions. For spraying, you can use ground sulfur or ready-made systemic insecticides. For washing - weak tobacco infusion with soap. After two hours, the leaves need to be washed again, but only with plain warm water.
Spraying a soap-and-tobacco solution with a small amount of denatured alcohol or kerosene will help against the shitovki, which covers the leaves and stalks of croton with dark spots. However, this solution will only help against larvae of the scytum, and adults should be removed with wet tampons soaked in vegetable oil. Of course, insecticides can be used.
White wax-like secretions may also appear on the petioles or leaf veins of the plant. This is a sign that the mealybug has struck Croton.Care at home and the fight against this pest will consist primarily in isolating the plant and spraying it with mineral oil. Pests simply suffocate under the oil film.
Another interesting fact: Croton is able to excrete milky sap. If the plant is wounded, a liquid is released that helps the wounds heal.
In order to please Croton with its thick ornamental foliage, home care for this plant should not only be in compliance with the basic rules of watering, feeding and transplanting.
You can create a beautiful lush crown of the flower by pinching or cutting. Places pruning recommended sprinkle charcoal or sulfur powder. Clipped shoots, by the way, can be used for propagation as cuttings.
Still, pinching is easier. This should be done in the spring. First, you should pinch the tops of the upper small leaves. This procedure will stimulate the growth of lateral shoots. When these side branches grow, they can also be pinched. In this way, a bushy fluffy croton can be formed.
You also need to remember to periodically turn the plant so that its leaves are evenly stretched towards the light. Otherwise, Croton will lose its appeal.
During pinching, experienced growers are advised to feed the plant with special fertilizers such as "Uniflor-Micro" or "Planta Miracle Growth."
There is no doubt that any bright and spacious room will be decorated with indoor flowers. Croton, caring for which is carried out correctly and with care, will please the eyes of all households. In addition, the flowers bring a joyful touch to any, even the most strict atmosphere and save the room from negative energy.