Croton is an indoor ornamental plant with leathery asymmetric leaves, pointed, pointed, cut, and other forms. The leaves of a young flower are usually light green, but as they grow they acquire a rich burgundy color.
Many housewives decorate their home with Croton, as it is radically different in color from other indoor plants. Bright leaves turn this flower into a kind of elegant autumn forest.
A distinctive feature of the leaves of croton - a pronounced venation. Flowering usually does not cause delight in hostesses, since it represents the inflorescences of the vishlo axillary carpal form of an ordinary-looking cream color.
According to florists, Croton is a rather capricious plant. The sap of the plant is poisonous, so gloves must be worn during the process of taking care of it. Minor amounts of croton juice can cause contact dermatitis and vomiting.
In addition to simply spraying, croton needs periodic rubbing of leaves with a damp sponge. In hot weather, perform this procedure 1 in two weeks. Watering should be carried out with water at room temperature and even slightly higher.
Croton does not like drafts and walk-through rooms. When flowering, it loses a lot of strength, so if you want to see a beautiful and healthy plant, then the color buds and flower stalks should be removed.
Proper Croton Care
In order for your flower to always be pleased with a magnificent view, take note of a few basic croton care rules presented below.
Croton is a light-loving plant, but most of all it prefers direct sunlight. The best place for a flower is the northern window, where bright light prevails in the morning and before sunset.
If you have the opportunity in the summer to bring the plant to fresh air and diffused sunlight, then be sure to use it. The optimum temperature for a flower is 20-22 degrees in summer and not lower than 16 in winter.
Watering Croton is carried out directly in the earthen room. The soil should be constantly slightly wet, but it should not be allowed to stagnate water in the roots, which can cause rot. Water for irrigation must first be filtered or settled.
In addition to timely watering, pay special attention to spraying and wiping the leaves with a damp sponge. In hot weather, arrange a warm shower for the plant, but be careful not to get too much moisture in the pot.
Croton fertilizer and dressing
Feed the flower in the period from April to November. To do this, use complex mineral fertilizers, which are placed on a pre-moistened soil. The procedure is performed twice a month, in winter - 1 time per month.
The formation of a beautiful crown of a plant is achieved by trimming an adult flower and pinching a young one.
Young Croton pinch, when its height reached 15 cm, then as the shoots grow. It is desirable to remove the formed peduncles or buds, since an inferior flowering is exhausting the plant.
Young crotons need to be transplanted 2 times a year. Mature plants - 1 time in two years. Repotting a flower, choose a capacity of 2 cm wider than the previous one. When he takes a pot with a diameter of 25 cm, then in the future transplanting is no longer required. However, it is necessary to remove the top layer of soil every year and replace it with a fresh substrate.
You can purchase ready-made mail for Croton or create the perfect soil on your own. To do this, shift in equal parts sod, peat, sheet ground and river sand.
In the process of transplantation, try not to damage the earthen room, but simply transfer it from the old pot to the new one. Do not forget to cover the bottom of the tank with a drainage layer occupying a quarter of its volume.
Croton breeding characteristics
If you are the owner of a beautiful adult Croton, then it's time to think about reproduction, especially since you have everything you need for this. At home, the plant multiplies seeds, which are formed during flowering. Therefore, if you are focused on getting young Crotons, then when the flower stalks appear, do not tear them off.
A croton grown from seed at home will not have specific varietal characteristics. To obtain hybrids, propagation by stem or leaf cuttings is used.
After harvesting seeds, do not overtighten with planting. Immediately place them in a solution with growth stimulants for swelling. The dishes with the seeds are covered with polyethylene, thereby creating a semblance of a water bath, and the first “eyes” appear.
After that, you can proceed directly to the landing. To do this, prepare pots with a diameter of 8 cm, fill them with soil and place the seeds in them to a depth of no more than 1 cm. Successful growth of seeds is possible while maintaining a constant temperature not lower than 22 degrees.
Before the appearance of the first shoots, seedlings are moistened by means of lower watering When the third leaf appears on the sprouts, they should be seated in separate pots with a diameter of 10 cm and looked after as an adult plant.
Croton diseases and pests
Since croton is a poisonous plant, it is rarely attacked by pests and parasites. However, improper care and location of the flower in the room can lead to the appearance of various diseases.
The main diseases of Croton:
- dry leaves - the cause of this "disease" - poor watering or flower arrangement under direct sunlight in the summer
- Insects appear - most often these are mealybugs, scale insects, mites, etc. The main reason for the appearance of pests - improper care of the plant. Ticks most often affect croton, which is rarely wiped with a damp sponge and not sprayed with a spray bottle.
To get rid of this "misfortune", treat the leaves with a mixture of tobacco dust and soap diluted in water. After half an hour, rinse the solution, trying not to fall on the ground.
- Croton lowered leaves - this is the first sign that the plant is cold. Transfer the pot to a warm, bright place and moisten the soil a few centimeters deep into the earthy coma. Spray the leaves regularly, and to achieve greater moisture, put a transparent plastic bag over the croton, which will create an additional influx of moisture.
- the flower dries - if the lower leaves turn yellow and dry, then there is nothing to worry about. This is a natural barreling. Dry leaf tips indicate low humidity. The appearance of brown spots indicates that the room is cold and Croton simply freezes.
Croton, at first glance, is a very strong and tenacious plant, however, it is one of the most fastidious to care for. Hassle with him no less than with pets. However, if you are not afraid of difficulties, then you will be rewarded with a beautiful plant that will bring variety to the atmosphere of your home and will delight you with the magnificent brightness of burgundy leaves throughout the year.