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Weekly planter: Mrs. Iceton shows her colors

The yellow form of the croton called Mrs. Iceton is wonderful for lighting up shadowy areas of the garden.
The yellow form of the croton called Mrs. Iceton is wonderful for lighting up shadowy areas of the garden. Miami Herald file

The beautiful yellow form of the pink/rose-colored Mrs. Iceton (Codiaeum variegatum), this small croton is perfect for the shadowy corners of your garden, where it shines like moonlight.

Small, simple leaves start out yellow with a central black vein, then fade to cream with green markings. Mrs. Iceton has pink new leaves that gradually turn deep rose with dark green markings.

Like most crotons, this one likes warm, humid weather and dapppled sunlight. They do best at temperatures between 60 and 85 degrees.

Culture: Crotons like slightly acid soil and morning or afternoon sun. Too much sun will wash out the color and reduce the size of the leaves. Apply controlled-release fertilizer or an acid-forming fertilizer, oak leaves or aged cow manure three or four times a year.

Pinch the ends of new shoots in the warm months of the growing season to make the plants fuller. Water to keep the plants from wilting in the dry season, which can set back growth and cause leaves to fall in cold weather.

Crotons are easily propagated through stem cuttings, and boosted by a rooting hormone. They grow to be 3 to 6 feet tall (larger in the wild).

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