Come to our homes from North Australia and fromthe core of the Pacific, Croton very quickly became a very common and popular indoor plant. Like many people from the hot tropics, he is quite capricious. Nevertheless, the Croton flower care of self requires not very burdensome, therefore it is present in many collections of indoor flowers. Let's get acquainted with this representative of the family of euphorbia and learn how to take care of it and under what conditions it should be kept.
Croton flower in nature and at home
The Latin name of the croton is "Codieum". This is an evergreen euphorbia with stiff leathery leaves. In nature, the kodaeum is represented by a variety of different varieties, but the indoor croton is, as a rule, a cuneum variegated, a shrub with a lignified trunk and large leaves. In the natural conditions of hot and humid tropics, the croton grows up to 1.5-meter shrubs and even two- and three-meter trees. The size of an indoor croton is more modest. Usually they do not exceed one meter, and most often at home croton reaches 30-70 cm. Its decorativeness is due to bright leaves of different colors and shapes. The leaves of the croton can be wide and narrow, straight, twisted and fancifully cut at the edges. The color of the leaves of the croton is very diverse - from green to purple. Young leaves, located at the top of the plant, have a green or yellowish color. However, as they grow, they become mottled, changing color and covering with red, orange and pink spots. All the beauty of the croton lies precisely in its brightly colored leaves. Therefore, the plain yellowish-white flowers with which it blossoms are usually torn off, so that all the force of growth goes to its leaves.
Requirements for the content of a croton
As already mentioned, the croton is quite capricious andrequires constant attention from its owner. However, favorable conditions for its content can be created in the space of human habitation. The plant is thermophilic, so a suitable temperature in the room is one of the conditions for keeping the croton. It directly affects the health and condition of the plant. At too low a temperature, the roots of the croton may begin to rot. The optimal temperature for keeping the croton is twenty, twenty-two degrees (but not below seventeen!). In addition, Croton is very sensitive to temperature changes and drafts. The next condition of the croton is lighting. This flower is photophilic, so it should grow in a well-lit place. In addition, lighting affects the color of the leaves. With a lack of light, the leaves of the croton lose their decorativeness and become prosaically green. Destructive to leaves and direct sunlight, which can cause their burns. Therefore, from the direct sun, the flower needs to be shaded, and to the bright summer light, after autumn-winter dormancy, to accustom the plant gradually. Watering. In summer and spring the croton is watered regularly and abundantly, preventing the drying of the soil deeper than a centimeter. Winter and autumn watering is reduced. This is due to the slow evaporation of moisture at a lower air temperature. If you water the croton in cold weather as well as in summer, it will lead to decay of the roots and death of the plant. Water for irrigation should be stable and warm, since when watering with cold water, the croton can discard the leaves. By the way, the leaves of the croton are an excellent indicator of the adequacy of watering. As soon as the plant lacks moisture, its leaves dangle together. In this case, the croton must be watered and watered abundantly. But it is better, of course, not to wait for such a signal. High humidity is a must for keeping croton. To maintain sufficient moisture, the plant should be sprayed daily with water at room temperature, and to keep the leaves clean, wipe them with a damp cloth or sponge. In summer and spring, this is necessary because of the high temperature, and in winter due to the dryness of the air. In addition, during the heating season, you can use special humidifiers or increase the humidity by placing a container with water near the flower pot.
Reproduction and transplantation of a croton
For the planting of a croton any clay orA plastic pot with a drainage layer poured onto the bottom. For the drainage use claydite, as well as a mixture of ceramic shards and charcoal. Suitable soil for a young croton is a mixture of one part of a soddy land, two parts of leaf land and one part of sand. For adults and large plants, more sod land is added to the soil mix. The Croton is propagated by apical cuttings (the main method), air layers and seeds. For the propagation of cuttings by a straight cut, separate the top of the lignified shoot with two leaves and one kidney. Cut the mother plant sprinkled with crushed coal. The stalk is briefly placed in water to wash off the milky juice, and then the cutoff place is dried. After this, the cutting is planted in a pot, which is covered with a jar or plastic bottle, creating a microclimate for rooting the cuttings. As a substrate for rooting, sand or a mixture of sand and peat is used. Within a month, the resulting mini-greenhouse is aired, sprinkled and watered by a young plant, and after that, the entrenched stalk is planted in a permanent place with suitable soil. Reproduction by air layers is used when the barrel of an adult croton is strongly bare. In this case, the bared branch is tilted to the ground, fixed and sprinkled with soil. After it takes root, it is cut off from the mother plant and planted in a new pot. For the reproduction of the croton with seeds, they are planted in the same greenhouse as the cuttings. Do this in winter, in January or February. Seeds are not buried in the ground, since they come into the light. Germinate the seeds in three to four weeks. Frequent transplantation for a croton is not required, but nevertheless it is necessary to transplant it if necessary. True, not more than twice a year. But young growing specimens (up to three years old) - every year and necessary! Transplant the croton in early spring in a small pot, as the croton does not like spacious dishes and in a cramped space it better learns a new earth mixture. The transplanted plant should be watered abundantly and in the future to take care of it according to the usual pattern.
Croton Crown Formation
For a beautiful croton crown, adult specimensmust be cut off regularly and regularly, and young plants should be plucked. The first prishvipku spend on a plant reached a height of ten to fifteen centimeters. The next - as the shoot grows, every twenty centimeters. Pruning is carried out as the branches grow, removing excess branches and forming a beautiful and even crown. Places of cut necessarily sprinkled with charcoal. By the way, cropped shoots can be used as cuttings for reproduction. All the work on pruning and pinching croton spend in gloves, as the milky juice of this plant is poisonous! Proper care for croton will provide you with just an enchanting plant that is not only very beautiful, but has very interesting properties. It is believed that the Croton is able to awaken in the person eloquence, to put things in order in thoughts, to protect from illnesses, to cause positive emotions and to promote immunity. Do not believe me? Then make sure of this yourself, having planted in your house this extraordinary tropical flower croton. We advise you to read: