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Croton planting and growing

Croton. - Under this name many varieties and so-called species of Codi├Žum are grown for conservatory decoration, and latterly for foliage bedding in the open. The colors and shapes of the leaves are very various and attractive. The crotons make good window-garden subjects, although they are very liable to the attack of the mealy bug.

The plants should be given an abundance of light in order to bring out their fine colors; but it is usually advisable to screen them from the direct rays of the sun when they are grown under glass. If the red spider or the mealy bug attack them, they may be syringed with tobacco water. Plants that are propagated indoors in winter may be massed in beds out of doors in summer, where they make very striking effects. Give them strong deep soil, and be sure that they are syringed frequently enough on the underside of the leaves to keep down the red spider. If the plants have been gradually subjected to strong light before they are taken out of doors, they will stand the full sunlight and will develop their rich colors to perfection. In the fall they may be taken up, cut back, and used for window-garden or conservatory subjects.

Crotons are shrubs or small trees, and they may be transferred into large pots or tubs and grown into large tree-like specimens. Old and scraggly specimens should be thrown away.

Crotons are propagated readily by cuttings of half-ripened wood any time in winter or spring.