Croton, or fireworks of colors
Croton is a popular houseplant of the family Euphorbiaceae. Hence the name - euphorbiaceae. Milk juice helps the plant to heal wounds during any damage. Juice forms a special film that dries quickly and prevents the penetration of infections.
Croton, or CodiumLatin - Codieum
Kodiyum belongs to the family of euphorbiaceae. The birthplace of this plant is Melanesia (in the southwestern part of the Pacific Ocean), Polynesia (in the central part of the Pacific Ocean) and Northern Australia. Flower growers are most often called codium - a croton flower. Quite a few varieties of this plant are common in nature, but indoor croton is most often variegated codium (C. Variegatum pictum).
Croton flower is an evergreen shrub with hard leathery leaves. In vivo grows up to 1.5 meters. Indoor croton is more modest in size (35-70 cm). Croton leaves are bright, of various colors and shapes. They can be wide or narrow, most often similar to enlarged leaves of laurel, but can also be ribbon-like, twisted, fantastically carved. The croton flower looks bright and colorful, since the leaves are painted in a variety of colors.
Young croton leaves are green and yellowish located in the upper part of the bush, but as they grow they change their color, become mottled: with pink, red, orange spots. The codium blooms in yellowish-white flowers, which are most often cut off so as not to take strength away from the plant, since all the beauty of this plant is in the leaves.
Croton flower (codium) is well suited for spacious bright rooms, halls, showcases.
For a croton plant, care is not easy. This shrub is rather capricious, it does not like sudden temperature changes, it is thermophilic, its temperature should not drop below +17 degrees. It does not tolerate drafts.
Lighting should be bright, but direct sunlight is harmful. Croton is a plant that prefers rooms with windows facing the east or west side.
For a flower, croton care is, first of all, high humidity and clean leaves, therefore it is advisable to spray croton leaves daily, often wash or wipe with a damp cloth.
IN the period of plant growth in spring and summer, when warm, watering should be plentiful. Soft warm water is suitable for irrigation. At this time, codium should be regularly (once a week) fed with a 0.2% solution of complete mineral fertilizer.
In winter, for a croton plant, care should be no less thorough. When the temperature drops, watering is reduced, but the soil should never dry out. If the room is warm and dry from central heating batteries, the code should be sprayed, but much less frequently than in summer, but leaves from dust should be wiped with a damp cloth quite often. Occasionally, you can bathe a codium in the shower, but do not forget to cover the earth in the pot with foil. At this time, feed the plant no more than 1 time per month.
Croton is a houseplant that does not require frequent transplants. Young plants are replanted once a year in the spring, and old ones, if necessary, but not more than once every two years. Clay and plastic pots are suitable for planting, on the bottom of which drainage is poured, consisting of shards and charcoal, which does not allow stagnation of water and decay of the roots. The most suitable soil for the young codium is a mixture of turf and leaf land and sand in a ratio of 1: 2: 1, for adult plants the amount of leaf land is increased.
Features of growing croton
Croton is quite demanding on temperature. It should not be lower than 17 degrees. Also protect the croton from drafts and sudden changes in temperature. Croton is a heat-loving plant, it is desirable to contain it at a temperature of 20-22 degrees. The state of croton directly depends on temperature: at too low a temperature, the roots can rot.
Croton needs a well-lit place, but shaded in the summer from direct sunlight, as you can burn the leaves. In winter, put the croton on the sunniest window - western or southern, in summer - on the eastern or western. Croton must be gradually accustomed to the spring sun. With a lack of lighting, the croton leaves lose their unique color and become uniformly green.
Croton requires regular heavy watering in spring and summer. It is enough that the drying was only 1 cm deep in the soil. In autumn and winter, watering is reduced. Since at low temperatures, moisture from the earth evaporates more slowly, so excessive overmoistening can lead to decay of the roots and the plant itself.
Another interesting feature of croton is that with a lack of moisture in the soil, its leaves hang together. You don’t need to be scared - just pour or sprinkle the plant abundantly, but it is advisable that it does not reach the point of “sagging”. Be sure to defend the water for irrigation and warm it to room temperature - from watering with cold water, croton can suddenly drop leaves.
Croton comes from tropical forests, so high humidity is a prerequisite for its content. In summer and spring, spray croton daily with room temperature water, you can add liquid fertilizers in small concentrations. In winter, when radiators work in the house, the air is too dry - more often spray the plant, wipe it with a damp cloth, periodically shower, but cover the ground with a film.
I also advise you to use humidifiers in the heating season - and for your own health it is good (the skin and hair will not dry) and plants are a big plus. To increase humidity, you can also put a flat container of water near the pot.
It is advisable to wipe the leaves with a damp cloth at least once a week in any season of the year.
In summer and spring, during the period of active growth, croton is fertilized with complex fertilizer for decorative deciduous plants once a week. With the onset of cold weather in the autumn-winter period, fertilizer is reduced to once a month. Always fertilize after watering the plant.
With proper care and regular feeding croton blooms regularly. But its flowers are white or yellow, small and inconspicuous, take away a lot of vitality and nutrients from the plant, so they are cut off.
The most suitable soil for a young croton is a mixture of turf and leaf soil and sand in a ratio of 1: 2: 1, for adult plants the amount of leaf soil is increased.
Young crotons are transplanted annually in the spring in a larger pot 2-3 cm in size. At the same time, it is recommended to carry out transshipment while preserving the old earthen coma, since its destruction can damage the roots. Croton does not like too deep and large pots. The material is clay or plastic. A layer of expanded clay, clay shards and charcoal must be laid on the bottom of the pot at a quarter of the depth of the pot to prevent stagnation of water and, as a result, root decay.
It is advisable to transplant older crotons no more often than every 2-3 years.
Croton is propagated mainly by apical cuttings.. Cut lignified stalk 10-15 cm long in spring with a sharp knife. Immerse in warm water with the addition of charcoal or activated carbon until the milky juice is washed off. Then it is slightly dried. The leaves on the handle are tied into a tube to reduce the evaporation of moisture from the plant. The prepared cuttings are planted in a mini-greenhouse: peat + sphagnum moss and sand, covered with a film. Every day, the stalk is sprayed and aired in a greenhouse. Rooting occurs within a month.
To speed up rooting, before placing in a greenhouse, immerse the stalk in phytohormones such as Kornevin or Fitoverm. The lower heating of the greenhouse also speeds up the process.
Croton can also be propagated by air layers and seeds.. When propagated by air lay, a branch with a bare stalk is tilted to the ground, crushed by the ground, and when it takes root, cut off from the mother plant and planted in a new pot.
Seeds are planted in the same mini-greenhouse as the cuttings in January-February, after soaking in phytohormones for several hours. They germinate after 3-4 weeks.
Diseases and pests of croton
Any errors in care adversely affect the croton flower. Illnesses may occur in poor lighting. So, direct sunlight can cause a burn of leaves, and a lack of lighting affects the color of the leaves: they lose their bright color, turn pale.
Increased watering and stagnation of water in the pan cause root decay, and if the watering is insufficient and the air is too dry, at the croton the tips of the leaves first turn brown and then dry. Too low a temperature changes the color of the leaves - their edges turn brown, and the plant slows down growth.
Drafts and sudden changes in temperature can cause croton to drop leaves.
Codium juice is poisonous and therefore it is not very fond of pests, but if the leaves are rarely washed, and the air is very dry, then the croton flower is affected by a spider mite and a scab.
The spider mite is a very small red spider. Appears on the underside of the leaves and envelops them with thin white cobwebs. It is destroyed by spraying and washing the leaves, especially from the underside, with water, a weak tobacco infusion with soap, dusting (in the fresh air, outside the rooms) with ground sulfur, or the plant is treated with ready-made systemic insecticides. When washing leaves with infusions of soap and water after 2-3 hours, the leaves should be washed with warm water.
The scabbard or shield aphid received the name from the waxy shield, which covers the body of an adult pest. At first, at a young age, the scabbard is hardly noticeable, but multiplies rapidly, covering the stems and leaves with dark spots. Adult individuals are motionless and sit under shields, from under which larvae crawl out and spread throughout the plant.
At this time, they are destroyed by spraying with a soap-tobacco solution, to which you can add a little kerosene or denatured alcohol. Adult pests along with the shields are removed with a wet swab, but at the same time, you still need to treat the entire plant with an insecticide or soapy solution to remove the larvae. Such procedures will have to be repeated repeatedly.
After all work with croton, you must not forget to wash your hands with soap and do not allow pets to gnaw leaves. Croton juice is toxic.
The effect of croton on the emotional state
Croton's ability to arouse eloquence in a person explains the connection in the leaves of the principles of Mercury and the Sun. Mercury gives rise to the energy of thought and word, and the Sun gives rise to happiness and joy. Croton, as noted, cures irreparable silent.
Causes a plant and a sea of positive emotions. It helps to cope with loneliness more easily, smooth out difficulties in communicating with new interlocutors, and helps to reconcile quarreling people.
Croton and Health
Protect indoor plants Croton also from the emergence of new diseases. A fierce enemy of disorder, Croton brings order to thoughts, the human body, things and events, helping to increase immunity.
Flowers Croton (codium) is assigned to a group of plants that must pass a certain period of adaptation to your conditions and possibilities of upkeep.
For some time, Croton, falling into unusual conditions of detention, very different from those where he was raised by such a handsome man, behaves like a “moody child”: plants can suddenly drop leaves or even twigs. But this is not a reason to lose hope.
Beautiful colors of this flower will delight you and your loved ones and moreover, this flower favorably affects the atmosphere in the house! We are waiting for your comments!