The croton houseplant is valued not for its flowering, which is extremely rare in culture, but for the original beauty of large, glossy leathery leaves. Their coloring covers the whole range of plants – from pale green to dark brown. The foliage of some species has a yellow-lemon, orange and bright scarlet color. A fairly characteristic feature of the croton home flower is contrasting, clearly defined veins on the leaves.
Croton or codiaeum (Codiaeum) belongs to the Euphorbiaceae family. Homeland – the islands of Southeast Asia.
For the richest painting of leaves, crotons are very much appreciated in culture. The leaves of the plant are used to decorate a variety of bouquets, compositions, baskets in combination with other ornamental plants.
The croton flower in room culture is quite capricious and requires careful care. Large tub specimens are kept in greenhouses, winter gardens, in spacious high halls, potted specimens are grown in rooms.
Beautiful in single or group plantings in the center of a spacious room on a hill. Suitable for decorating places with artificial lighting.
Croton flower: photo and description of leaves
Codiaum (croton) is an evergreen ornamental deciduous plant up to 80 cm high, has semi-lignified branches. Stem erect, branching. When damaged, white poisonous juice is released from the stems and leaves.
Of course, croton leaves deserve a special description: they are leathery, shiny, large, up to 30 cm long, of the most diverse shapes – oval, lanceolate, spirally twisted; with a bizarre outline of leaf blades that give plants original shapes.
As you can see in the photo, the foliage of the croton flower is always bright in color – from yellow, orange, red to green and variegated, yellow, pink, bronze and other spots, stripes and specks, scarlet, pink, yellow and other colors of veins:
Yellowish-white flowers are collected in racemose inflorescences. In room conditions, the plant rarely blooms.
Codium variegated (C. variegatum).
‘Gold Sun’ (‘Gold Sun’).
‘Gold Star’ (‘Gold Star’).
‘Joseph Coat’ (‘Josephs Coat’).
The following describes how to care for croton at home.
Croton care and plant propagation (with video)
The plant in the rooms is quite rare due to the high demands on care and maintenance. Croton needs moist air and high temperature, so it is better to grow it in indoor greenhouses or greenhouses. When caring for crotong at home, do not forget that this plant absolutely cannot stand drafts. The plant can not be taken out to the balcony and garden. To maintain the beauty of the multi-colored leaves, the codiaum needs a lot of sun, but sunburn must be avoided.
Accommodation. Croton prefers bright lighting, a stable temperature of at least 18 ° C and high humidity. This plant grows best in a terrarium or when grown hydroponically. Requires protection from direct sunlight. In low light, the leaves lose their variegation and the plant becomes inconspicuous.
Air humidity and watering. For good growth, the codiaum needs a lot of water, but in winter the plant consumes less of it. Watering should be carried out with warm, settled water. High humidity is desirable, croton requires constant spraying, especially in winter, in rooms with central heating. Throughout the year, the soil is moistened with water at room temperature. To avoid acidification of the earth, plants are kept in a small bowl. To take care of Croton as carefully as possible, the leaves must be kept constantly clean: spray in summer, wash with water in winter.
Topdressing. During the period of active growth, the plant should be fed with mineral fertilizers once a week, in winter – once a month. In summer, repeated watering with solutions of organic and mineral fertilizers is required.
The soil. It should be planted in a soil mixture consisting of equal parts of sod, leaf, humus, peat soil and sand.
The substrate is prepared from leaf and sod land, sand and peat (2: 1: 1: 1).
Transfer. Young plants need to be transplanted annually in March – April, old ones – in one to two years. For transplanting, an earthen mixture is taken from two parts of sheet, one part of soddy land, one part of river sand and pieces of charcoal.
Wintering. In winter, the temperature in bright rooms should not be lower than 16 – 18 ° C. In winter, it is necessary not only to maintain the desired temperature, but also to keep the leaves in constant cleanliness. You can place plants near radiators, wrapping the pots with wet moss, from which water should evaporate.
Under unfavorable living conditions, the plant quickly sheds leaves. When pruning shoots, it secretes milky juice, so it should be handled with care.
Pests and diseases. Of the insect pests on the plant, scale insects and red mites most often parasitize. With a lack of sunlight, the leaves of the plant can curl up and wither.
Reproduction. Cuttings and seeds. In February, the apical cuttings are cut off and rooted at room temperature with lower heating in water or in coarse sand.
Cuttings are cut from mature branches and planted one at a time in pots with a diameter of 7 cm, filled with a mixture of 2 parts of leafy soil, 1 part of chopped moss (sphagnum) and 1/2 part of river sand. These pots with cuttings are placed in a wiring box with a temperature not lower than +23 – 25 0C. For the stability of the cutting, a stick is stuck next to it. The cuttings are often sprayed and the soil is kept moist until the plants are fully rooted. When the cuttings take root, they are gradually accustomed to air, then planted in larger pots.
The Croton breeding video shows how this agricultural technique is performed: