Useful information

Variegated codiaum: care, reproduction, pests and diseases

When looking at the colorful glossy leaves of the variegated codiaum (croton), you may get the impression that the plant is unpretentious. But if the conditions of detention are not observed, the plant quickly loses its decorative effect and may die.

Read about the varieties of codiaeum on the page Codiaum.

Motley codiaum

Lighting. Codiaum prefers bright lighting, up to 2-3 hours a day, he should receive oblique sunlight. Only in this case will all the varietal features of the rich color of the leaves appear, otherwise they become green. The plant should be protected from the midday summer sun, the eastern and western windows are the optimal place for it. In winter, the southern windows will be the best. With a lack of light, a rapid shedding of the lower leaves and a rapid exposure of the stem are observed. With warm winter content, additional lighting is required.

Temperature. In summer, codiaum grows well at normal room temperature, which is comfortable for humans. It is necessary to protect it from sudden changes in temperature, never allow the temperature to drop below + 13 ° C, and strong cold drafts, which can cause leaf fall. It is undesirable for the temperature to rise above + 30 ° C. As a tropical plant, codiaum does not require mandatory winter dormancy in the cool, it may well be kept at room temperature with mandatory supplementary lighting, but with a lack of light, the optimal temperature in winter will be + 16 ... + 18оС. A drop in room temperature below + 10 ° C for a long time will cause the death of the plant.

In summer, codiaum can be taken out into the garden in the light shade of trees, observing the temperature regime.

Motley codiaum

Watering. During active growth, from spring to autumn, watering is abundant - enough to keep the soil moist, but not bring the potted water to stagnation. Drying out of the coma can lead to the loss of all the leaves, with waterlogging, the roots will begin to rot. In winter, in cool conditions, watering is reduced, but the soil does not completely dry out. With a warm winter content, with additional lighting, the irrigation regime is similar to the summer one.

In case of non-compliance with the watering regime, brown spots appear on the leaves, they lose their turgor and can crumble. Irrigation water should be settled during the day, have the temperature of the air surrounding the plant, or be several degrees warmer. To avoid waterlogging, add perlite to the soil and do not plant the plant in an oversized pot.

Read more in the article Watering rules for indoor plants.

Air humidity high is necessary, spray the leaves or air near the plant at temperatures above + 18 ° C, and especially during the heat. Do not place the plant next to heating appliances. Often it is the low air humidity in the room that does not allow growing a beautiful plant. Dry air leads to severe damage by spider mites, which sharply reduces the decorative effect of the leaves, they acquire a whitish color and lose their gloss, the tips of the leaves begin to dry out, and leaf fall may begin. It is useful to arrange a warm shower for the plant once a week, this will reduce the number of ticks.

Top dressing carried out from spring to autumn with universal complex fertilizers with microelements, according to the instructions. At the beginning and end of the spring-summer season, the dosage is halved. If there is additional lighting in the winter, and the conditions of detention are warm, then they continue to feed the whole winter with a half dose of fertilizers.

Variegated codiaum - bonsai

Soil and transplant. For codiaum, a ready-made peat universal soil is quite suitable. Stir in ¼ volume of perlite for good drainage.Young plants are transplanted in spring if the roots have mastered the previous volume well. The size of the pot is increased by one size (2-3 cm in diameter). The transplant is carried out only by careful transshipment so as not to damage the roots. When the size of the pot becomes large, they are limited to replacing the top layer of soil with a fresh one every few months.

Read more in the article Transplanting indoor plants.

Pruning and shaping. As it grows, with age, the codiaum itself begins to branch. Pruning is not required until the plant has taken up all of the space allocated to it. It is best to prune long branches in early spring, before active growth begins. The slices are sprinkled with crushed charcoal to stop the release of toxic milky juice.

Reproduction varieties occurs in a vegetative way, by rooting cuttings using the standard method. To do this, take in spring or summer the apical semi-lignified parts of the shoots about 10 cm long. Until the release of milky juice stops, the cutting is kept under running cold water. Then they are treated with root formation stimulants, planted in the ground or peat (or coconut) tablets and placed in a greenhouse with high air humidity at a temperature of about + 24 ° C under bright artificial light.

Read more in the article Cutting indoor plants at home.

Bloom codiaum falls on summer time. It was believed that flowering portends the imminent death of the plant, but this is not so. Codiaum does not bloom often at home, but in good conditions, small panicles with flower balls can appear on the top of the plant every year. Do not rush to cut off the peduncle - the flowering is not very lush, but interesting, for a healthy plant this is a natural process that will not deplete it. Often, it is after the next flowering that the branching of the plant begins. The setting of seeds does not occur at home, since the codiaum is a dioecious plant, on one copy there are only female or only male flowers.

Variegated codiaum, flowering


Pests and diseases of codiaum

The codiaum is affected by spider mites, scale insects, mealybugs.

A mite can be identified by the loss of brightness and gloss by leaves. On the underside of the leaves, a mealy bloom is possible, and between the leaf petioles and branches - a thin cobweb (not always). Wash the plant in a warm shower and do this once a week. Do not place the plant close to radiators, increase the air humidity, do not overdry. In case of severe damage, treat with acaricides (Neoron, Fitoverm, Akarin, etc.).

Spider mite infestation

The mealybug is noticeable in cotton-like lumps in the axils, on the branches and, less often, on the leaves of the plant. When pressed, an orange liquid is released on them, and when removed, a thin cobweb stretches. The scabbard forms cakes on the leaves, similar to droplets of dark wax, which can be easily removed with a fingernail without damaging the leaf. If a mealybug is found, try to first remove all visible pests with a cotton swab dipped in a water-oil emulsion, and then treat with Aktara 4 times with an interval of 7-10 days.

About control measures - in the article Houseplant pests and control measures.

Possible problems during cultivation and methods of their elimination

  • Loss of turgor by leaves... Sprinkle the leaves with warm water and analyze the conditions. The reason may be insufficient watering - soak a lump; in waterlogging, because without air access, the roots cannot consume water - carefully remove the whole lump from the pot, wrap it in paper to remove excess moisture, and let it dry; in strong cooling of the coma, for example, in winter on a cold windowsill or after watering with cold water, the roots cannot consume cold water - move the plant to a warm place, pour with warm water.
  • The appearance of brown spots on the leaves... The reason often lies in non-compliance with the watering regime.With a strong drying out of the coma or with systematic waterlogging, the roots suffer, as a result necrotic spots form on the leaves. Such spots will no longer disappear, they should be carefully cut out so as not to spoil the decorative effect, and be sure to adjust the watering. With a slight damage to the roots, these measures are enough, the roots will gradually recover. It is better to avoid replacing the soil, do it in extreme cases, after such a transplant, the plant needs resuscitation.
  • The leaves have lost their gloss, acquired a whitish color... The reason may be a strong spider mite infestation, which is observed with dry air, overdrying or overheating of the plant. Normalize conditions, arrange weekly warm showers, treat with acaricides if severely affected.
  • Falling leaves... Typically, leaf fall is a consequence of plant hypothermia, strong drafts, dry coma, severe tick damage. Normally, with age, the lower leaves naturally fall off from old age, this process proceeds intensively with a lack of light.
  • Dry leaf tips... The reason is too dry air. Increase the humidity in the air.
  • Light dry spots on the leaves... These are sunburns. Such spots will not recover; remove the plant from direct sun.
  • Loss of variegation... Occurs due to lack of light. Move the plant closer to the light.

Photo by Rita Brilliantova and from the forum