Codia motley (second name of Croton ) grows as a small tree. Its leaves are unusual. They are different: sharp, ribbon-like, notched, cut by bright streaks, etc. But most of all they are attracted by their color. On one plant can be leaves of different colors: golden, green, maroon. In the lower part of the croton leaves are darker. If the plant is young, the color of the crown is light. Growing up, Croton changes color - leaves turn pink and red. Such a riot of colors can not leave anyone indifferent.
Growing croton plants is a rather troublesome business. Ornamental plant year-round needs a lot of light, otherwise, the leaves grow dim and lose color. In the summer there are no problems with this, but in the winter additional lighting is needed, for example, a fluorescent lamp. Only in this way can the plant be provided with light 12 hours a day.
Croton does not tolerate direct sunlight. In winter, the temperature should not fall below 17 degrees, but the plant should not be placed near heating devices and even on the windowsill. Dry air will cause leaves to fall. We must try to prevent this, as new leaves will not grow. Spraying, in this case, will not help. Sharp temperature jumps the plant also does not accept.
Croton can grow in almost any soil. In the soil of a large plant, it is recommended to add 1/5 of the heavy garden soil - this will increase resistance.
Croton must be transplanted. This is best done in the spring (March, April). The young plant is transplanted every year, the adult - 1 time in three years. When transplanting it is important not to damage the root system.
Croton prefers moist soil, so the soil in the pot should not be dry. Water the houseplants should be regularly and abundantly, preventing the drying of the topsoil. Weekly washing of the leaves and frequent spraying are necessary procedures.
The most important is plant nutrition. It is believed that any fertilizer is contraindicated to croton, since their use leads to the active growth of the top, with the result that the plant loses its bizarre shape and beauty. Fertilizers containing nitrogen degrade leaf color. Only microelements are suitable for croton, but in any case, it is necessary to closely monitor how the plant reacts to top dressing.
Choosing croton is also needed correctly. Leaves should look 100% full. It is necessary to carefully examine the trunk to make sure that there are no depressions from fallen leaves. If any, then the plant did not receive full care.
Bad conditions of detention will immediately affect the appearance of the Croton.
If the new leaves do not change color, the plant does not have enough light. The appearance of spider mites leads to the fall of all leaves except the apical. The reason for the fall of the leaves can be improper watering.
Often croton loses leaves during the first wintering, as it does not have time to get used to a new place. If a plant loses its attractiveness, it is necessary to carefully feel its trunk, starting from the root collar. When the inspection did not cause anything suspicious, it is necessary to change the conditions of the plant. Faded leaves should be removed.
If there are soft spots on the trunk, you will have to separate the part of the plant that is higher than the diseased part. It should be carefully cut with a sharp knife. If there is a darkening on the cut, they should be removed by thin incisions. Then the lower part of the plant should be lowered into the warm water for 10 minutes, and the leaves removed, leaving only the topmost ones. After that, Croton is planted in a mixture of river sand and peat 1: 1, but he needs to create greenhouse conditions.
Croton is a demanding plant. But he gives a variety of colors that please the eye and soul all year round. In addition, Croton also blooms with small original flowers.