Croton - Codiaeum variegatum 'Petra'
Crotons come in varieties of colors and shapes. Crotons are the plants from other planets, their leaf color and shapes are simply mesmerizing.
Soil: Crotons love moderate soils, it can grow well in general pot-mixes or garden topsoil. Soil should rich in organic matter, firm, well-drained, and good water holding capacity.
Water: Crotons love low to moderate moisture in the soil. Water stagnation or very wet soils leads to chocking of roots and leaf fall. They are susceptible to over-watering.
Climate: These are tropical plants. For good foliage colors keep them in full sunlight to partial sunlight. If planted under the shade, colors turn to narrow color variations.
Garden Use: Crotons are mostly used as a pot-plant. They can be planted with other shrubs in a multilayer or single layer planting schema.
Care and Maintenance:
Nutrition: Crotons are moderate feeders. Manuring once in two months with well-decomposed farmyard manure or vermicompost does miracles to plant. In order to keep plants healthy and free from pests and diseases special care should be taken by supplying enough amount of phosphorus and potash.
Protection: Crotons are susceptible to sucking type of pests such as aphids, thrips, and jassids. White woolly aphids are the most common pest of Croton. Heavy infestation leads to deterioration of plant health, leaf fall, and blackening of the stems and twigs due to mold growing on insect pest sugary secretions.
Horticulture Operations: Croton needs occasionally cleaning of pot and plant. Repotting can be done once in a year to support good growth and development of the plant. Replace top-soil with new pot-mix. For bushy plants cut back center branch.
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