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Bright and variegated crotons, or as it is more correct to call these plants, the codiaums fell into the room collections of gardeners from the east of India, from other countries of South-East Asia, as well as from the Americas and from Australia. Fans of bright exotic plants, who decided to “tame” the croton, should take into account its habits and preferences while caring for this crop.
In the wild, existing Croton species can grow up to 3–4 meters in height. Indoor species are hybrid plants. They are not so tall, but they amaze with the variety of forms and colors of dense leaves that grow densely on erect stems.
Depending on the variety, the leaf plates can be elongated, elliptical, three-fingered or have other outlines. There are ornamental plants with oddly twisted and wavy foliage. The color of croton leaves is no less diverse. Here, all shades of green, yellow, pink and purple, burgundy and brown are wonderfully combined. On leaves scattered large and small specks, stripes and stains.
It was the beauty of the foliage, not the inconspicuous racemose of the culture that attracted attention to the codiame.
Care of the croton aims to ensure that the plant feels good, and its leaves remain dense, juicy and multicolored for a long time.
How to care for the croton at home? What are the conditions for growth that this native of the fertile tropics needs?
Features of the maintenance and care of the croton
Like other decorative and deciduous crops from tropical regions, crotons grown indoors are extremely demanding and capricious pets. Even with proper care for the croton at home, these plants:
- long acclimatize after purchase or transplant;
- when changing seasons need to maintain a certain humidity and temperature.
Most variegated species feel good with a long daylight and a bright enough, but not scorching sun. In such conditions, the home Croton is healthy and beautiful, its foliage retains the pattern and brightness inherent in the variety.
In order for the rays of the sun not to harm the plant, it is better for Croton to find a place on the eastern or western windows, on the deep southern loggia. If the place is only on the south window, it is necessary to provide shading. On the north side, the croton will actively grow and retain its decorative effect only in the presence of artificial lighting.
Home care is not limited to choosing a croton home location. For croton, it is important to keep warm and observe seasonal variations in temperature.
On summer days, the plant feels good at normal room temperature. Pot culture can and should even be carried out on the balcony, in the garden or on the veranda closed from the wind. The main thing is that when the weather worsens or at night the thermometer does not fall below 13-14 ° C.
In winter, the care of the croton, as in the photo, at home suggests keeping at 18–20 ° C in a bright room without drafts and excessive dryness of the air.
If the air is cooled to 14 ° C and below, or when the temperature is above 20 ° C, the plant suffers from a lack of lighting, croton will surely let itself be felt by pulling out the shoots, withering and loss of the lower leaves.
The optimum humidity of room air for croton is at least 45%.Excessive dryness of the atmosphere causes the grower to intensively care for the croton flower, in the photo to prevent the loss of foliage and even the death of the plant. First of all, this danger is connected with heating, which works in winter.
Simplify the life of the tropics by using a household humidifier and spraying croton periodically with warm boiled water. Shower that does not affect the ground:
- increases the humidity of the air near the flower;
- helps to establish exchange processes;
- improves the appearance of the plant.
In the spring or summer, frequent spraying is not required. As part of regular care, croton is only gently wiped with a damp cloth.
How to care for croton at home?
From the beginning of spring until the autumn, the Croton should not remain in conditions of lack of moisture. During this period, care for the croton flower, as in the photo, includes abundant watering, which is carried out when the surface of the soil dries.
In winter, plant activity decreases, as does its need for moisture and nutrition. Therefore, Croton has to be watered less often and less. After the topsoil has dried, you can wait a couple more days and only then moisten the substrate. Usually motley foliage signals the lack of moisture, it loses its turgor and noticeably wilts.
Veste with summer waterings Croton receives complex supplements, which include the main macro and microelements. Fertilize decorative culture need every 2 weeks. And by the winter this procedure is stopped.
How to care for a croton flower, in the photo, if the plant has already fully occupied the pot volume and has become reluctant to give new shoots? Obviously, in such a situation can not do without a transplant.
Although decorative culture does not favor this procedure too much, it is necessary to do it for young crotons once every 1-2 years, and for adult specimens with an interval of 2-4 years, depending on the growth rate of the bush.
When there is no urgent need for transplantation, but the surface of the soil is covered with salts or too compacted, it is better to carefully remove the top layer and, without disturbing the roots, fill the new nutrient substrate.
As a soil mixture, you can use ready-made soil for large ornamental crops or for garden seedlings. Before planting, the substrate is steamed or sterilized in some other way, then fine expanded clay and crushed charcoal are added to it.
In order to simplify the care of the croton at home, the pots for the crop are medium sized with a mandatory drain hole to drain excess moisture.