Fir monochrome (photo) varieties, planting and care

Cotinus Coggygria: Planting and Care, Varieties and Applications

Fir monochrome (photo) varieties, planting and care

In Europe, with a temperate climate and in the East of North America grows this is not quite an ordinary shrub or small tree. In nature, most often it can be seen on the gravelly slopes, in woodlands and on the edges of oak and pine forests.

Cotinus belongs to the family Anacardiaceae. Only in the genus of 7 species, and they are all deciduous trees or shrubs.

Cotinus coggygria

The most known Cotinus coggygria, it is grown as an ornamental garden plant. In addition, it is used to produce yellow paint. For light clouds of inflorescences, the plant is also called a smoky or wig tree.

Cotinus is a shrub or low tree – no more than 5 m in height, its lush crown has a rounded shape and can be up to 3 m in diameter. It is formed by numerous bare and shiny branches, from the Sunny side acquiring a reddish hue.

The leaves of the tree are simple, elliptical in shape, size 10×7 cm, leaf blade is smooth on top, slightly pubescent below. Light green in the summer, in the autumn foliage becomes very bright color-yellow-orange, scarlet. Roots Cotinus much branched, located superficially.

But especially Cotinus transformed in the period of flowering and fruiting. By themselves, its flowers are small and nondescript, cream-colored, collected in loose paniculate inflorescences bloom in may. The inflorescence has both female and male flowers, as well as many infertile flowers. Here they do the tree is particularly ornamental.

After flowering their pedicels lengthen, they grow long hairs of reddish or light yellow, and inflorescences are air, reminiscent of fluffy clouds. Fruitlets-drupe ripen usually in August. Growing in the South Cotinus can bloom several times during the summer season.

Cotinus prefers Sunny places. In nature, it tolerates the lack of moisture, grows on dry, calcareous soils. Does not tolerate heavy, wet soil. It can rise up to 1200 m above sea level. In areas with severe winters freezes Cotinus, are particularly affected by her new growth, but the recovery is easy, and the Bush regains her beautiful form.

The breeders have selected varieties Cotinus with brightly colored leaves. But they are not as hardy as natural species and can only grow in the southern regions. Fairly stable form ‘Purpureus’ leaves with a beautiful purple color.

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The following varieties are popular among gardeners:

The most common variety is Cotinus. Grows slowly, in height and in diameter reaches no more than 1.5-3 m, takes a rounded shape.

The leaves of this variety immediately after blooming are dark red, almost black, in the summer acquire a metallic sheen and slightly less saturated color.

In autumn, the plant shows itself in all its glory, dressed in an orange-red outfit. The flowers are red with a silvery sheen.

This variety usually grows up to 2 m in the southern regions and reaches 3-5. Leaves unusually beautiful rich violet-plum color, in the autumn of their color becomes red.

Taller and taller trees-up to 3-5 m tall. The plant is very decorated with large oval leaves, the color of which in the summer of red-purple, in the autumn becomes scarlet. But the main decoration-purple-pink flowers, forming air panicles conical shape.

The average height of the plant-1.5 – 3 m. its leaves are very decorative at the beginning of its dissolution – with an orange tint on the edges of the leaves and in the center of the veins.

Autumn tree becomes even more beautiful: it gradually changes the color of the leaves from light green and orange to rich red, almost purple.

Decorate it and clouds of paniculate inflorescences of light yellow color.

Shrub no more than 2 m tall. Red-purple leaves until the autumn retain this color when their color is replaced by red. Air inflorescences have a pink tint.

It’s a dwarf form that grows slowly. For 5-10 years, the shrub reaches 1-1. 5 m in height. Forms a neat and compact Bush. Frost-resistant variety, characterized by a very early and abundant flowering, forms a lush pink inflorescence. The leaves are green in summer with a slight blue tint, in autumn they are painted in the whole range of yellow, orange, red.


Grow Cotinus in the garden is not difficult. For it you need to choose the most illuminated and open area, it is better on a hill or slope-there it is the place. In no case should it be planted in the lowland or where groundwater is close. Cotinus easily tolerates drought, but does not excessive moisture. The soil is ordinary garden, better more light and airy.

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When choosing a place, remember that most cotinus varieties grow to the sides by 3-5 m. If the area is limited, look for selling plants more compact. Planting is carried out in spring and autumn, and seedlings grown in pots can be planted throughout the summer.

The pit is dug depending on the size of the root system of the young plant, it is very desirable to make lime. Fall asleep roots land with the addition of organic matter-compost or humus, although Cotinus can grow on a fairly poor land.


Early in the spring, immediately after the snow Cotinus is very useful to feed a complex mineral fertilizer. This will help the plant to regain strength and grow faster after the winter. In June, it is also worth to feed the tree, but now organic, for example, cow or bird droppings. Further Cotinus not require fertilization.

Watering should only recently planted plants and in the case of prolonged drought – then watering is necessary about once a week. Adult Cotinus do not need watering even in dry summer.

In the first time after planting Cotinus should be regularly cut. This contributes to the rapid and abundant growth of branches, and the leaves become larger. In the future, to get involved in pruning is not necessary, so as not to reduce the decorative flowering.

Sometimes Cotinus can be subjected to fungal diseases, which primarily affect the leaves – they begin to wither, shoots die. With this scourge should immediately cut off the affected parts of the plant.


Cotinus coggygria can be propagated by seed. Varietal plants is preferably dilute vegetative cuttings, layering and division of the bushes. It should also be borne in mind that the plant gives abundant root shoots.

The easiest way is to bend the lower branches and fix them with studs, sprinkled with earth. In places of contact of the shoots with earth’s crust should be slightly undercut – this will speed up the emergence of roots. After rooting, the branch is cut off from the parent plant, and the next year the seedling is transplanted to a permanent place.

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Propagated Cotinus and green cuttings, which are cut and soaked in a root stimulator for 12 hours. Then planted in a cold greenhouse with wet loose soil or in the cuttings, which is necessarily covered with lutrasil.

To rooting was successful, you need to spray the cuttings as often as possible, and the soil is kept constantly wet. Species Cotinus propagated by seeds, which are harvested in August. Sowing is carried out next spring.


Cotinus also has a certain economic value. In her shoots and leaves contain a dye of fisetin, which is used to give the fabrics and the skin of yellow and orange.

The plant is soft and light, but at the same time very durable wood, it can be used for the production of decorative wooden products and even musical instruments. Also, all parts of the plant are used in folk medicine for the preparation of infusions. They are mainly used externally for inflammation and skin diseases

Smoke tree as a garden decoration

But the main advantage of Cotinus is its incredible attractiveness. The plant will be a great decoration of the garden.

Especially decorative varietal forms with colorful foliage, shrouded in a haze of air, clouds of inflorescences – they will make your garden a unique flavor.

Very good to be Cotinus in a single landing on a green lawn background, as well as in conjunction with coniferous and other ornamental shrubs.

The main thing is that they do not obscure Cotinus. On a large area of this plant can be used to secure the slopes, it will be appropriate in a large rocky garden or rockery. Plant this magnificent shrub, it will undoubtedly decorate and diversify the look of your garden.


Croton Plants – Codiaeum variegatum Pictures, Care Tips

Fir monochrome (photo) varieties, planting and care

Botanical Name: Codiaeum variegatum pictum 

Croton plants stiff, leathery leaves in bold colors of yellow, pink, red, orange and green make it a beautiful and popular house plant. Its varied colors give it another common name, Joseph's Coat.

The croton plant (shown at left) is one of the most dramatic we've seen. Warm tropical colors and exotic patterned leaves make 'Petra' a knockout in any brightly lit room.

I don't know of any houseplant that will give you more bang for your buck than this one. Those vibrant colors will rival just about any flower you could name.

Crotons are not easy to please. The keys to success are plenty of sunshine, a warm, draft-free environment, moist soil, and humid air. Dry air and soil will cause croton leaves to fall off. Give croton what it wants and you'll enjoy this tropical beauty a long time.

Croton Problems, Solutions and Special Care

Clean 'em up. Keep leaves dust-free and shiny by gently wiping them with a damp cloth. Don't use leaf-shine products, mayo, or any other shine solution you may have heard about. Croton leaves are naturally slick and shiny.

Give them space. If you bought a container that has 2 or 3 plants in it (which is fairly common), keep them together for the first year or so. When the plants seem crowded, give them the space they need by separating them. Divide croton plants by carefully cutting through their roots with a serrated knife, then pot each plant in its own container.

Too tall? Top them. Croton plants are naturally bushy, so they shouldn't need pruning. If they get too big, you can cut them back in spring and propagate the stem cuttings.

To repot…or not? Repot in spring, moving to a pot only 1 size larger. You can control croton plant's size by keeping it in the same container, so that its roots are confined. When the plant reaches the size you want, top-dress annually instead.

How to Top Dress: Remove the top 2-3 inches of soil and replace with fresh soil every couple years. Take care not to harm any roots that may be near the surface.

Why are croton leaves falling off? Croton may drop a couple leaves when you bring it home — it's adjusting to its new environment.

If your plant continues to drop leaves, it's ly caused by a lack of sunlight or dry soil. See “Light” and “Water” tips below. Keep the plant drafts and away from heat/AC vents.

Raising the humidity can help. For best results, use a cool-mist humidifier near the plant.

Something bugging your plant? Mealybugs are white and fuzzy, looking specks of cotton along the leaf axils or stems. Red spider mites are so tiny, all you'll see is the fine webbing between leaves and stems. These sap-sucking pests may cause yellow, dry spots on leaves. Treat any infestation right away to prevent these pests from moving to your other indoor plants.

Are croton plants poisonous? Oh, yes. A member of the Euphorbia family, this plant has poisonous sap. Don't be afraid of crotons, but take some precautions. Keep croton away from children and pets and wear gloves while handling it.

Types of Croton Varieties

Many cultivars are available, and their colors and shapes vary enormously. 'Golden Bell' is a newer hybrid, featuring long, narrow leaves that are mostly green and yellow. 'Bravo' has lobed leaves with yellow veins. The most common variety is 'Petra' splashed with vibrant colors.

New varieties are being introduced, including some with curved, twisted and even corkscrew leaves. Some are spotted, speckled or streaked. 'Gold Dust' has small leaves, heavily spotted with yellow. Banana croton sports twisted, yellow-and-green leaves.

Arrowhead croton (shown above) has unusual leaves that add contrast to a group of plants.

Caring for Croton Plants

Origin: Pacific Islands, Malaysia, Northern Australia

Height: Up to 3 ft (90 cm), depending on variety. When allowed to grow tall, crotons have a tree- form with thick trunks.

Light: Bright light and at least 3 hours of direct sun each day. Leaf color is most vibrant when the plant is getting lots of light. If new leaves are mostly green, move the plant to a brighter location. A lack of sunlight can cause croton to drop its leaves. Don't test it on this — I had one that dropped all of its leaves when I left it in a less-than-sunny location.

Water: Keep soil mix evenly moist with tepid water. It's a good idea to use a pot with drainage holes. Water thoroughly, then empty the drainage saucer. Water less in winter, when growth is slower, but don't allow the potting mix to dry out.

Humidity: Aim to maintain relative humidity around 60% or higher around plant. Stand pot on a tray of wet pebbles or use a cool-mist room humidifier.

Temperature: Average to warm room temperature (65-85°F/18-29°C) year-round. Don't expose this tropical native to temperatures below 60°F/16°C.

Soil: Peat moss-based mix, such as African violet potting mix.

Fertilizer: Feed every 2 weeks from early spring through summer with a balanced liquid or water-soluble fertilizer, diluted by half.

Propagation: Take stem cuttings in spring and dip in rooting hormone before inserting in a half-half mix of sand and peat moss-based potting mix. Croton cuttings root in about a month.


Euphorbia Plant Care & Varieties

Fir monochrome (photo) varieties, planting and care
Euphorbia spp.

Efanthia wood spurge (Euphorbia amygdaloides hybrid). Photo by Proven Winners.

  • Common name: Spurge
  • Type: Perennial
  • Zones: Ranging 4-10; evergreen in southerly zones
  • Exposure: Full sun to partial shade
  • Soil: Well-draining
  • Warning: Sap is a strong irritant

Euphorbias are easy to grow perennial plants that are tough and have few problems. Popular for their richly colored leaves and unusual flowers, euphorbias are an excellent addition to borders, rock gardens, meadows and more. With over 2,000 types, you’re sure to find one that will thrive in your garden, no matter your zone.

Euphorbia Care:

Some are short-lived (even so, totally worth growing) and should be divided or propagated every two to three years, either in early fall or spring.

Many benefit from being cut back hard, at least by one-third, after flowering is finished. This keeps any free-seeders from gaining the upper hand and encourages a flush of new fresh foliage.

How to prune euphorbia:

  • Trim back any damaged stems in early spring to keep the plant tidy and heathy
  • Cut back euphorbia stems at the base immediately after bloom
  • Clip carefully, new shoots will ly be emerging that you want to keep in tact

Wear gloves when handling euphorbias, and quickly wash off any milky sap that gets on your skin, as it’s a strong irritant. The sap also makes spurges poisonous, so be aware if you have children and pets, though I’ve had euphorbias and garden cats coexist for years without incident — perhaps the plants’ skunky smell keeps them from seeming a tasty treat.


Perennial euphorbias vary in hardiness, particularly as concerns their northern edges, so check individual entries for the plants covered here. Some types are evergreen in southerly zones but are only root hardy farther north. Other types are best grown as annuals.

Exposure: Sun or Shade?

Euphorbias in general are sun lovers, though some will tolerate partial shade. Those with deep-purple or reddish foliage will have more-intense coloring if planted in full sun.

A very few types actually prefer at least dappled shade, while others can thrive in bright sun in the North but need part shade in the blinding light of the South. Euphorbia amygdaloides var.

robbiae is a popular choice that grows well in shade.


One of the main benefits of growing spurges is their drought tolerance, so good drainage is key, though a few, such as E. griffithii ‘Dixter’ and E. dulcis ‘Chameleon’, do prefer more moisture than others.

Euphorbias are also not picky about soils, and most can handle sandy and average situations. For those types that tend to run and spread, fertile soils could encourage them to expand beyond their boundaries, so keeping things lean lends control. But if you want your E. amygdaloides var.

robbiae to cover more ground faster, rich organic soil will kick things off.

Euphorbia Plant Varieties

Their lyrical Latin name (euphorbia) and guttural common name (spurge) are indicative of the dual nature of euphorbias — elegant yet tough. The ones discussed here are the hardy perennial types, but the genus also includes succulents pencil cactus, tropicals poinsettia and shrubs with wicked-sharp spines.

Swipe to view slides

Photo by: Rob Cardillo.


Compact mounds of deep-purple leaves on reddish stems with bright-yellow heads of flowers — talk about a dramatic color combo! Euphorbia ‘Blackbird’ keeps to a neat 1 to 2 feet tall and wide, making it a fit for small borders and containers. The rich foliage color is darker (almost black) in full sun and stays strong all season; in warmer zones it can even be evergreen. Clusters of densely packed blooms appear in spring. Zones 6-9.

Photo by: Andrea Jones.


We have noted British garden writer Christopher Lloyd to thank for this fiery spurge. There’s never a dull moment with Euphorbia griffithii ‘Dixter’ (named for Lloyd’s home Great Dixter).

Coral shoots emerge in spring and segue into reddish-bronze stems and dark-green foliage flushed with coppery red. Burnt-orange heads of flowers sizzle all summer. This spurge s a bit of shade and moist soil.

Zones 5-9.

Photo by: Andrea Jones.


Maroon-purple leaves form a mound 1 to 2 feet tall, making a snappy backdrop for the yellow-green flowers.

Euphorbia dulcis ‘Chameleon’ can seed itself about the garden, so as a preventive it can be cut back hard after flowering, which also promotes a flush of new foliage.

Older plants can get leggy, but division is easy in early fall or spring. Sometimes called swamp spurge, ‘Chameleon’ is partial to moist, rich soil. Zones 4-9.

Photo by: Andrea Jones.


A shrubby species found in the Mediterranean region on rocky hillsides, open woods and along roadsides, Euphorbia characias comes by its drought and heat tolerance naturally. Blue-green leaves spiral up reddish, downy stems.

The foliage is denser toward the tops of the stems, leaving the bases bare, giving the plant an architectural vibe. Big clusters of chartreuse flower heads last from spring to summer. This is a short-lived perennial, but it reseeds.

Zones 7-10.

Photo by: Rob Cardillo.


Aptly named, Euphorbia polychroma ‘Bonfire’ bursts onto the scene in spring with foliage that mixes green, yellow and orange, changing to crimson, burgundy and mahogany for the summer-through-fall show — a great contrast for the chartreuse-gold blooms. Its neat, mounded form lends itself to the front of the border or a container. Takes full sun in the North, part shade in the South. Cushion spurge benefits from a late-summer cutback and from division every few years. Zones 5-9.

Photo by: Proven Winners.


A cultivar of wood spurge, Efanthia (Euphorbia amygdaloides) sports yellow-green flowers in spring with burgundy foliage in cold weather. This improved variety has a bushy, compact habit with a mature height of 14 to 20 inches. Zones 6-9.

Learn more and find a local Proven Winners retailer

Photo by: Rob Cardillo.


Ask any gardener to name the toughest site, and the answer will be dry shade. But Euphorbia amygdaloides var. robbiae can solve the problem. Slow to spread, it forms an evergreen groundcover 1 to 2 feet tall of deep green, lustrous leaves. Chartreuse flower heads appear in late spring and last for months. In moist, rich soil it spreads faster. Zones 5-7.

Photo by: Chelsea Stickel.


With the tongue-twisting official name of Euphorbia martini ‘Waleutiny’, it’s no wonder this cushion spurge has acquired a much cuter appellation.

Looking a Koosh Ball, ‘Tiny Tim’ forms a perfect 1-foot dome of narrow blue-green leaves and a cloud of greenish-yellow bracts cupped under little red flowers.

Un many spurges, this one continues to bloom throughout the season. Zones 6-8.

Photo by: Chelsea Stickel.


Discovered as a seedling of Euphorbia characias in a garden in Tasmania, this phenomenal spurge has both variegated leaves and flowers, combining blue-green with creamy white.

Upright stems are a forest of linear leaves, forming a dense shrubby mound. In spring through early summer, large heads of flowers hover on 2- to 3-foot stems, pale yellow and cream, with small green bow-tie centers.

Evergreen where winters are mild. Zones 6-9.

Hardy spurges have become hugely popular in perennial borders across the continent and in Europe, their stout mounds of leafy stems, so many oversize bottlebrushes, filling a shrubby role, though with predictable sizes and tidy forms. Newer varieties have richly colored leaves and flower heads, in burgundy, copper, creamy-white striped, eggplant purple and icy blue-green.

The flowers are an unusual arrangement and one of the commonalities of the euphorbia family. Most obvious in the flashy display of poinsettias, the showy parts are actually not flowers but modified leaves called bracts. The real blooms are tiny and distinctly non-flowery looking.

One benefit of having bracts is that the floral heads continue to be showy long after the flowers themselves have done their thing. Another common factor among euphorbias is the milky sap that runs through their veins, which is poisonous and a skin irritant. But what makes them toxic also makes them deer resistant—a big bonus.

Add to that drought and heat tolerant, long blooming and low maintenance, and you’ve got a nonpareil perennial.

Foliage Plants
Poisonous Plants


Croton Plant: Varieties, Care and Maintenance

Fir monochrome (photo) varieties, planting and care

Croton is a striking tropical plant, ideal for growing in warm regions where the temperature ranges between 60°F (15°C) and 70°F (21°C). Suitable for growing both inside your house and outside, many believe it to be a high-maintenance plant. But, it only requires extreme care during the first few years of growing; once settled, crotons are quite hardy.

Croton Plant

There are several species and cultivars that can have different leaf shapes and colors. However, they more or less require the same growth conditions and caring methods.

Croton Petra Plant – Large and bright foliageCroton Petra Plant
Croton Mammy Plant – Corkscrew- foliageCroton Mammy Plant
Croton Magnificent Plant – Mottled yellow and green foliageCroton Magnificent Plant
Croton Zanzibar Plant – Narrow and multicolored foliageCroton Zanzibar Plant
Eleanor Roosevelt Croton Plant – Dense and compact foliageEleanor Roosevelt Croton Plant
Gold Dust Croton Plant – Medium green/yellow and variegated/spotted foliageGold Dust Croton Plant
Andrew Croton Plant – Long, narrow and creamy white foliageAndrew Croton Plant
Banana Croton Plant– Lance-shaped and green foliage with banana yellow spotsBanana Croton Plant
Bush Fire Croton Plant – Long and red/orange/purple/gold foliage characterized by long thin leavesBush Fire Croton Plant
Florida Select Croton – Medium-sized and green foliage with yellow, red, and orange veinsFlorida Select Croton
Gold Star Croton Plant – Green foliage with bright gold spotsGold Star Croton Plant
Lauren’s Rainbow Croton Plant – Long and narrow foliageLauren’s Rainbow Croton Plant
Mother and Daughter Croton Plant – Dark green/purplish green foliage with red and yellow streaks/spotsMother and Daughter Croton Plant
Mrs. Iceton Croton Plant – Medium-green foliage shaded with yellow, red, and orangeMrs. Iceton Croton Plant
Oakleaf Croton Plant – Lobed and dark green foliage with red, yellow, orange veins and stripsOakleaf Croton Plant
Red Iceton Croton Plant – Yellow foliage with shades of red and pinkRed Iceton Croton Plant
Sunny Star Croton Plant – Light green foliage with gold dotsSunny Star Croton Plant
Superstar Croton Plant – Bright green foliage with splashes of yellowSuperstar Croton Plant
Victoria Gold Bell Plant – Grassy foliage variegated with yellow, purple, and orangeVictoria Gold Bell Plant
Yellow Iceton Croton Plant – Mid-green and lush yellow foliageYellow Iceton Croton Plant

How to Plant Your New Croton

When you are growing the plant in a pot, either indoor or outdoor, select a large container with good drainage so the soil remains aerated, and do not flood after watering.

You may pierce a few more holes as well if needed. You may use a commercial quick-draining potting soil as greater the soil porosity, the better is the drainage.

Once the pot is filled with soil, place the plant carefully, and water thoroughly.

To increase the richness of the soil, you can add some finished compost. A combination of organic compost and peat moss/coco coir can also be used as a replacement for soil for potted plants.

If you want to plant it directly into your garden, make sure the soil is loamy and fertile, allowing adequate drainage and moisture retention.

Why does a croton lose its leaves after planting

Losing of leaves might be a natural response of the new plant to change of place and other environmental factors. Crotons do not take well to moving and transplanting. With proper care though, there will be new leaves growing within 3 to 4 weeks.

Following a Proper Fertilizing Schedule

Use a granular fertilizer with a high nitrogen and potassium content (8-2-10 mix) to feed the plants twice in spring, once early in the season (late February or early March) and once in the latter part (late May). However, young plants may require a third application around mid-summer (July).

As croton hardens up its leaves in autumn, stopping to produce any new leaves in preparation for winter, the plant does not need fertilizing during this time of the year.

Watering Regularly

Houseplants growing in containers need to be watered regularly to keep their soil moist and promote proper growth. When you find the top layer of the soil to be dry, apply a lot of water so it drains out through the bottom of the container. This will make sure that the water has moistened the soil thoroughly.

Outdoor plants may not need frequent watering if there is sufficient rain.

But, if they receive less than an inch of rainfall in seven days during the growing season, apply 1 inch of water for it to penetrate 6 inches deep into the soil to keep it damp.

Water the ground underneath the plant’s canopy, and approximately 12 inches beyond its outer perimeter to keep it properly moist.

In both cases, overwatering should be avoidedto prevent wilting of the leaves. On the other hand, if the plant gets less water than it needs, it may cause the lower leaves to dry and fall off.

Providing Sufficient Sunlight

When exposed to 6 to 8 hours of direct sunlight daily, the plant would be able to display its natural bright colors. Although most varieties can tolerate partial shade, adequate exposure to sunlight is necessary for the leaves to develop their characteristic coloration.

Croton Plants in Sunlight

When indoors, place it near an east- or west-facing window for maximum exposure to the sun. Take help of artificial lights if your plant is not getting enough sunlight.

Your outdoor plants should be grown in those areas of your garden, having maximum exposure to the sun for the most part of the day, but providing ample shade when it gets too hot, especially in the afternoon. Alternately, you can cover the plant with a shade cloth if it’s too sunny.

Pruning the Leaves and Branches

Yellow or wilted leaves should be trimmed off with a clean pruning shear as close to the base of the plant as possible. Cut off 1/3rd of the long and overgrown branches near the base. Then, after about a month, when the plant has new leaf growth up to an inch long, again cut back about 1/3rd of the longest branches.

Repotting an Overgrown Plant

If your plant has outgrown its container, transfer it to another pot that should be no more than 1 to 3 inches larger. Take the plant its old container carefully, as the root ball often gets quite tightly bound. Patiently separate the roots with your fingers, or use a potting knife if they are too firm.

When you place the plant into the new pot, make sure there is sufficient potting soil below so that the plant sits about an inch below the rim of the pot. Fill the sides with some more soil and water thoroughly until it flows out from the bottom, helping the soil to moisten and settle well into the new container.

Since Croton does not to change its place, it is better to use as large a pot you can, so it can grow in it for longer.

Problems Associated with Croton Growth and Ways to Prevent Them

Unless the plant is taken care of properly, it may develop quite a few pests and diseases. Here are some problems you should be well aware of when growing the plant:

Growth Problems

While inadequate sunlight causes the leaves to remain green, too much of it causes fading of the colors. Make sure your plant receives the required amount of sunlight to prevent such problems.

Croton Plant Growth Problem Curled Leaves

Your plant may display curled leaves as a result of over-fertilization. So, stick to the normal fertilizing schedule as mentioned earlier to avoid excessive feeding.


Spider mites, causing yellow spots on the leaves, can be a common pest for plants grown indoors. They are often not easily detected due to the natural splashy markings on the leaves. Maintain high humidity levels inside your house to prevent this. Rubbing the leaves with a moist paper towel removes the spider mites as well as prevents further infestation.

Croton Plant Spider Mites

Your leaves may often be infested with mealy bugs, causing extreme damage to the plant. Dab the leaves with a cotton ball dipped in isopropyl alcohol to kill the bugs. If several leaves have been attacked, get rid of them with a heavy stream of water mixed with neem oil/insecticidal soap.

Croton Plant Mealy Bug Pest

Croton caterpillars, eating away the leaves of your plant can be a huge problem. Application of Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) insecticide liquids is effective as it contains the bacterium Bt that helps in killing those caterpillars. The method works better when applied during the spring.

As a general method of elimination and prevention of a pest attack, regularly clean the leaves with organic neem insecticide oil.

Croton Diseases

Edema is a common problem caused when the roots absorb water beyond their capacity, leading to blistering of leaves. Reduce watering until the blistering subsides, and avoid overwatering to prevent it.

Crown gall is a bacterial condition of the plant characterized by swollen growths on the veins and stems of the plant. Use a pruning sealer to cut off such growths. However, the problem may recur since the bacteria come from the soil. So, re-potting could be a more effective solution.

Crown Gall Disease in Croton Plant

Damp leaves are often subjected to powdery mildew that appears as white powdery deposits all over the leaves. Rubbing a mild solution of neem oil regularly on the leaves should keep it under control. Watering the base of the plant instead of spraying the leaves may help prevent this problem.

Can Croton be Harmful to You

They are not usually harmful or poisonous unless your skin remains in direct contact with its sap for a prolonged time, in which case, it can lead to irritation.

Additionally, if the sap gets into your mouth, it may cause vomiting, nausea, and stomach upset.

So, always wear gloves when working with the plant, avoid touching your face or mouth without washing your hands, and keep your kids, and pets away from it.

by gMandy | Updated : June 18, 2018


Fir monochrome (photo) varieties, planting and care

Fir monochrome (photo) varieties, planting and care

Coniferous plants conquered me ten years ago, when we moved from an apartment to a private house. It was necessary to equip the site, choose the plants that will decorate it. Remembering how the city parks look in the winter, I thought that I would miss the greenery on the plot in the cold, so I decided to plant several dwarf Christmas trees and pines.

Looking through the range of garden centers in search of planting material, she fell ill with fir.

It turned out that there are a huge variety of species and varieties of fir and they are all so beautiful and unusual! And although I am passionately fond of peonies, for conifers there is always a comfortable place in my garden. Today I want to tell only about one species from my collection – fir monochrome.


White fir (Abies concolor) – evergreen coniferous plant of the pine family. The tree is strong, high. Crohn dense, sharply pyramidal shape. In old trees, the crown becomes flatter.

The bark of young firs is light gray in color, smooth, without growths, but as the fir grows it becomes covered with large cracks and thickens. The distinctive characteristic of the monochrome fir bark is resistance to fire.

Cones are oval, large, up to 12 cm, width – 4 cm, with rather large scales. Their distinguishing feature is a bright purple color with a red tint. They are very decorative. Unfortunately, concolor bears fruit only once in 2 — 3 of the year.

The needles of abies concolor are larger than those of other species of fir. On average, the length of the needle is 7 cm. Needles are flat, sickle-curved, gray-green, and equally colored on both sides. It is this feature that determined the name of the variety.

Under natural conditions, the height of the tree can reach 60 m, in artificial plantations it rarely exceeds 40 m. The annual increase is 15 — see 20.

Fir – long-lived: the average lifespan of a tree is 300 years. From the other species of the Pine family, monochrome fir is distinguished by the characteristic lemon aroma and taste of pine needles. It contains many vitamins and is used in folk medicine for ulcers and inflammations of the intestines, skin diseases, etc.

See also: Fir for the garden – types and forms, photos and description


Fir monochrome prefers loamy soils, but it develops well on the soil with a high content of humus. She is the leader in drought tolerance among fir trees, characterized by high frost resistance, resistance to heat. Konkolor, perhaps. the most hardy of firs. Another distinctive feature that distinguishes concolor from its kind is the high need for sunlight.


Since my collection is constantly growing and already has dozens of varieties, and the journal publication does not allow to tell about all, I’ll dwell only on the most beloved ones.

Violacea (A. concolor Violacea) – slow-growing light-loving variety. He suitable loamy soil. The needles are soft, flat, bluish-blue, needles of length 5-6, see. Cones are large. Mature trees reach 11 m in height, 6 m in width. This variety is most resistant to air pollution by exhaust gases and tolerates drought well.

Winter Gold (A. concolor Winter Gold] – medium size tree (maximum height – 20 m). Crown symmetric, cone-shaped. The needles are long – about 8 cm! The name (winter gold in English means “winter gold”) A remarkable property of needles to acquire a golden-green color in winter.

This variety is very sensitive to high humidity and stagnant water, which can even lead to the death of the plant. Therefore, it is important to provide him a place with good drainage, where water does not stagnate.

Island nad Ohri (A concolor Ostrov nad Ohfi) – absolutely amazing variety. Unusual prostrate form of the plant, strange twisted needles. He always attracts attention! The annual increment is only 5 — 7 cm, and this allows the adult plant to maintain fairly small size at the age of ten (60-90 cm wide and 30 — 45 high).

The variety originated from a witch's broom found near the town of Ostrov in the Czech Republic. Sometimes it is called and simply Abies concolor Island.

Masonic broom (A. concolor Masonic broom) – a very rare and extremely refined variety of fir, which forms a dense compact bush with densely located sprigs covered with gray-blue needles of 3 — 4 length, see.

The annual growth is so insignificant that a ten-year plant can measure 15 × 30. It is an ideal plant for stony garden. It also looks very impressively grafted on low stock. Loves moderately wet soil, sunny location. Resistant to low temperatures.

However, young plants can be damaged by frost, it is desirable to cover them.

Slama (A. concolor Slama) – a very beautiful witch's broom, found on fir conkolor by Jan Slama in Ostrava (Czech Republic).

In severe winters, it can freeze, but with the right choice of place it preserves decorative qualities. Relatively resistant to drought.

Nova Gentlemen (A. concolor Nova Hospoda) – a beautifully colored dwarf variety of one-color fir obtained from a witch's broom found in 2004 by Ladislav Kreici in Rudawa (Czech Republic). Plant spherical shape, with a fairly long needles.

The annual increase is only 4 — 5; therefore, such a little girl will find a place even in the smallest garden or on the hill. It can also be grown in containers for decorating patios, terraces and balconies. The plant is practically “maintenance free”, resistant to diseases, almost not damaged by pests.

Unpretentious to the soil. For bright coloring needs a sunny location.

Blue Sapphire (A. concolor Blue Saphir) – This is a miniature variety of single-colored fir with short (only 1 cm long) bright blue needles, which at the tips are brightened to a silver color.

An adult 10-year-old plant reaches a height of 30 cm and a width of 40 cm, because the average annual growth is 2,5 cm. This variety was obtained from a witch broom found in 1998 on A.

concolor Violaceae Miroslav Malik in his Chesky cattery Budejovice (Czech Republic).

Bryce Canyon (A. Concolor Bryce Canyon) – a miniature variety created from a witch's broom found in 2000 near the Bryce Canyon (USA). The krone is very dense. smooth, nesting. The needles are silver and gray-green. Well done in dry places. Annual growth of all 3 — see 4. So 10 summer plant reaches the size of 20 × 40, see. Feels good in the sun or in light penumbra.

If you think that coniferous plants “in the winter and in the summer in one color” and it is boring to watch them, then you are deeply mistaken.

Even those conifers, which are distinguished by very slow growth, are constantly changing: they release new soft needles on growths in spring, bear fruit, forming cones that change color depending on the degree of maturity …

And also, they exude such a delicate scent, which is always festive in my garden atmosphere. That is why they deserve attention and love!

Reference by topic: Growing fir on the site: planting, care and beautiful varieties and species


Fir monochrome. A brief overview, a description of the characteristics of where to buy abies concolor krupnomer



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