Houseplant Care Tips

Various Houseplant Care Tips Including Watering and Lighting Requirements.


Houseplant Care Tips

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Croton Plant Care

Common Name: Croton
Scientific Name: Codieaum species
Lighting: Bright Light
Watering: Heavy

Croton plants are known for their bright tropical foliage, which is multi-colored and exotic in appearance. The foliage contains stiff leaves pointing upward and has a wax-like feel to them. The Croton plant requires moderate to bright light, so keep the plant within 3 - 5 feet of a window receiving sunlight.

Croton plant varieties require heavy watering as well as high humidity. Misting the plant once or twice a week appears to be sufficient for accommodating the Croton's humidity needs if you live in an area with low humidity levels. Keep the plants soil moist at all times. If leaves begin to fall off or slope downward, you are probably not providing the plant with enough water. If the leaves edges become wilted, this may be an indication that you are over watering the plant. Try cutting down on how often you water and see if that improves the leaves appearance. The Croton also prefers warm temperatures up to 80 degrees F.

Overall, I have found that Croton's are a medium to high maintenance house plant. They are extremely touchy in terms of how much water they are given or not given.

Crotons are one of the many poisonous houseplants. Please keep these houseplants up and away from pets and children.

Popular Croton plant varieties include: Codieaum petra and Codieaum variegatum.

A collection of comments and tips have been combined over on the Croton Plant FAQ page.



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146 Comments:

Blogger luck on my side said...

My indoor croton has grown long and spindly and lost leaves on the lower part. Can I cut the stalk below the leaf line and have it survive, grow, and possibly create new shoots?

1:04 PM  
Blogger drayas said...

Hello,

Typically when a plant becomes long and spindly it is not receiving enough light.

Are you asking if you cut the entire plant pretty much off so all that left is a stalk? If yes, I can't say for sure. I have never tried that.

Thank you,
drayas

3:45 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I cut the plant below the leaf line and it looks like new sprouts are starting to bud out. I keep it in a sunny window & keep it watered! so we'll see what happens1

11:55 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am caring for two crotons in a business. They have flouresent light all day but no way to get direct light.
anonymous

6:16 PM  
Blogger drayas said...

Hello,

How long have the Croton's been without direct light? Do they look healthy?? If everything seems to be fine I wouldn't worry, however if they have only been there a short while and are degrading in health I would move them to a spot where they can receive some bright sunlight.

Thanks,
drayas

10:09 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My leaves on my croton are starting
to drop off.

11:56 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The crotons have been in this business about three weeks. The place is all windows and flourescent light from 6am to 11pm.
Also, how and when do I fertilize
Anonymous

8:28 AM  
Blogger drayas said...

Hello,

Usually when the leaves begin to drop the plant is not receiving enough water. Water the plant more often and it should improve.

Please keep me posted.

Thanks,
drayas

10:48 PM  
Blogger drayas said...

Hello,

If the office is all windows, the plants are receiving some indirect sunlight correct?

I usually fertilize once a month with a general houseplant food.

Thanks,
drayas

10:50 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks drayas I now have all the info I need

8:48 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I water my croton often and the window that i use have nothin but direct light, but my leaves are still falling. What am I doing wrong?

1:15 PM  
Blogger drayas said...

Hello,

Are the leaves on your Croton yellowing or browning before falling off? Are there any signs of pests on the plant? You may be overwatering the plant. Give me a few more details and I will try and help more.

Thanks,
drayas

8:26 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hello,
I have done a boo boo withe my Croton Petra and left it outside for a day on a cold windy day. All the leaves have fallen off save few new leaves. They have not browned or drooped before falling and all of them just dropped in one day. All that is left of my poor plant is stalk and few new leaves on the tp. Is there any way I can revive it. Please help
-Distressed Mom

3:52 PM  
Blogger Marie said...

When I bought my plant, it had brightly colored leaves - reds, oranges, and yellows. Now all the leaves are simply green. Still healthy looking. Any idea how to get the colors back?

10:08 AM  
Blogger drayas said...

Don't fret, distressed mom,

Croton plants are pretty hardy. Croton plants can also be very tempermental. Keep providing it with the basic care needs, bright light, water and even a little houseplant food.

Typically new leaves will start forming again. The plant probably just went into shock.

Please keep me posted.

Thanks,
drayas

8:33 AM  
Blogger drayas said...

Marie,

Typically when the leaves begin to lose their multi-colors it means the plant is not receiving enough light. Try moving it closer to a bright light source.

Let me know how things work out.

Thanks,
drayas

8:34 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My crotons seem healthy, but no new growth what so ever. I am caring for two mature crotons at work. They get plenty of good sunlight, I water frequently but I don't think I water too much. I have had the plants for roughly two months. A week after I got them, I put them in bigger pots, the ones they were in were tiney and made of wicker. I have fertilized twice. They look great, but no new growth. What am I doing wrong.

9:32 AM  
Blogger drayas said...

Hello,

If they look healthy, you aren't doing anything wrong. The plant just isn't ready for new growth.

Keep the same schedule you are on and you will begin to see new growth. Be patient!

Thanks,
drayas

2:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Update after boo boo:
My plant fought it through... Thanks for the solace drayas. New leaf buds started popping up even below the leaf line. not distressed anymore
-Distressed Mom

12:21 PM  
Blogger Natalie said...

I have a croton that is pretty healthy, except for a problem with it's leaves. They are drying up and turning brown at the ends.

6:00 PM  
Blogger drayas said...

Natalie,

Could you be overwatering the plant? Sometimes that is a sign of overwatering.

Thanks,
drayas

10:05 AM  
Blogger Natalie said...

Maybe. I'll try watering it less and let you know.

12:56 PM  
Blogger Natalie said...

I've been watering it less often, and it seems to be improving a little bit. I have an additional problem, though - there is some white, fluffy mold growing on the dirt in the plant. I've been removing the mold itself and sat the plant outside in the sun (it's in the high 70s here) to dry it out a bit and perhaps kill some of the mold. Should I get some sort of anti-mold treatment for it and, if so, what kind? I'm hesitant to just repot it because it's not doing so well right now.

5:18 PM  
Blogger drayas said...

Natalie,

Is the mold just on the dirt or the plant as well? Continue to remove the molded dirt. Also spray the plant and soil with a soapy dishwater mixture just in case it is a pest.

My assumption is the mold is from the overwatering previously done to the plant.

Keep me posted.

Thanks,
drayas

2:43 PM  
Anonymous Natalie said...

Well, some of the plants roots poke through the surface of the dirt (this is how I bought it at a conservatory, so I hope it's okay like that). There is a little bit of mold on top of those roots, but it isn't on the leaves or trunk or anything. Mostly, it's on the dirt. Setting it in the sun seemed to help a lot, mold-wise, and also dried the dirt out a good bit. I'll let you know how it does.

Thanks for your help!

9:23 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I live in Missouri and we have hot and humid summers. Can I leave my croton in the mornig sun if it has afternoon shade?

3:34 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hello,

I have just been growing plants in my new house for a few months so I'm still a bit green on certain plants. I leave my croton outside in the shade- now it has just grew 2 stems with very small balls on them from the middle. Can u pls tell me what they are and if i should cut them? Thank u very much

6:21 AM  
Blogger drayas said...

Hello,

I can't say for sure how your Croton will handle the outdoors. I would think it is fine, but I have never tried it.

Any other readers able to chime in?

Thanks,
drayas

1:40 PM  
Blogger drayas said...

Hello,

I think your Croton may be flowering!!! Go to Google Images and search "Croton flower". Does it look like those photos?

Let me know. If yes, I'd love some pictures if you'd be willing to email them.

Thanks,
drayas

1:41 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi All,

I have a croton potted plant in the house. I have
had this plant for 10 years. When I have gone away on vacation for 8-10 days in the past, it is sometimes wilted when I get back; but when I water it and give it sunlight, it perks right up again the next morning.



However, this past week I was away for 8 days while it was over 100 degrees here in California. The plant was all wilted when I came back. However, I have been

watering it and giving it plant food (and talking lovingly to it) for the past
3 days and it is still wilted. The leaves are not
responding to sunlight, though they are still green.
Some leaves did drop off but the the top ones are still there.

Can you help ? What has happened ? Has the root system dried out too much to recover from the heat ? How can I save my plant ?

I appreciate all your good advice. Thanks !


- Mo

5:59 PM  
Blogger drayas said...

Mo,

All I can say is keep doing as you have been. It should spring back.

Keep us posted.

Thanks,
drayas

8:50 PM  
Anonymous CatB said...

I have noticed my indoor croton has mealybugs. Can I use a systemic houseplant insecticide on it? I have some by Bonide and wanted to give it a try. There are too many mealybugs to handwipe them all off and I am not sure what I can use to kill them on a crotons plant.

3:27 PM  
Blogger drayas said...

catb,

Try a soapy dishwater mixture first. Spray it on the plant twice a day. If after a few days, you don't see any results, try the insecticide as long as it's safe for your environment (kids, pets, etc.)

Thanks,
drayas

5:17 PM  
Blogger Gary said...

My corkscrew crotons are outside under an overhang. They keep getting a white scale on the leaves and I've tried insecticides and soap and water, it just keeps returning. Any ideas?

They are 4-1/2 feet high and I would like to reduce the their height to 2-1/2 feet, any idea how I can trim them without hurting them?
Thank you.

1:30 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hello, I recently aquired two Croton plants. A week after I got them I repotted them in bigger pots. I've had them for about 3 weeks. I have them inside my apt near a window where they receive sufficient sunlight. Since I am not at home all day I leave the A/C off and turn it on in the evening when I get home. What is a good watering frequency for them? I ask this because I watered them when I repotted them about two weeks ago and the soild was some what still damp. I sprayed the leaves down a week ago as I did not want it to develop root rot because the soil is not drying out etirely. I figure it would take a longer time for the soil to dry as it is in the apartment. I have not fertilized yet. The tips of a few of the leaves are browning. Do I have to fertilize and if so what is a good fertilizer to use? I have some plant food called Colorburst Flowering Plant Food 15-30-15 is that good? I appreciate your feedback.

Thanks

Ced

6:06 PM  
OpenID agent-honeywell said...

I realize this is a very old post, but perhaps you could help me?

I left my very healthy croton in the care of a friend of mine while I was studying abroad for five weeks. When I asked about its status she said it was a little "crunchy" but it turns out crunchy means mostly dry. All of the leaves are pale and dry though still hanging on to the stem. Is there any possible way to save it, or should I kiss "goodbye" to my late mother's plant?

8:21 PM  
Blogger drayas said...

Ced,

Usually Croton plants need a lot of water. Does the pot they are in, not allow the water to drain out?

In terms of fertilizer, I simply use a general Miracle Gro houseplant food.

Thanks,
drayas

12:43 PM  
Blogger drayas said...

agent-honeywell,

Never say never. Get your Croton back on its normal watering schedule. Give it a service of houseplant food as well.

Keep us posted.

Thanks,
drayas

12:44 PM  
Anonymous Ced said...

Drayas

Thank you for responding. I thought maybe this was an outdated post. The pots that the Crotons are in have a few holes at the bottom and also has a bottom cover that the pot sits on. So it like a little compartment. When I feel the soil, it is damp/moist. So I am just afraid to keep watering them if the soild is moist. I am not sure what to do. I have never grew crotons before and I am afraid that I am doing a terrible job at it. Any suggestions? I have them in my apt 100% of the time in an area with lots of sun. And in the afternoons they get direct sun through that window. The soil is moist so I would think that it has enough water but I am not sure. For now my watering frequency is once a week. Is that too little?

2:58 PM  
OpenID missterious518 said...

Travelers, when going away, poke a few holes in the bottom of an empty water bottle(.5L should be sufficient). Fill bottle leaving a small amount of space for expansion. Turn bottle upside down in freezer. The next morning, put bottle right side up in plant for watering purposes while away.

10:56 AM  
Blogger MonGuz said...

About Crotons outdoors in Missouri... Never been, but I'm living in Hong Kong, where there's 10 months of temperature in the 30's (deg C)/90's (deg F) with about 90% humidity; winter stays humid, but temp varies 15->20 deg C or 55->70 (night->day). The native soil is POOR. There are ornamental crotons outside our housing complex that get pounded by near-equatorial sun all day and they're fine... maybe lost some bottom leaves when it was a little dry. But there's no doubt: this plant is tough.

11:31 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i got a curly boy croton about 6 weeks ago, 3 weeks ago the leaves started dropping off so i moved the plant to get more light, well about 7 days ago i notice webs in the plant so i took it out side and washed it good with soap and water to get the red spider mites off of it well the leaves still are dropping and i have only 1 leaf left on the plant now i have sticks the branches are still green on the tips will the leaves come back? or should i toss the plant?

9:47 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi all,

I recently purchased a croton plant. It has three stalks; two of these are growing very well and look healthy but the other has leaves which are half normal but the tip half is brown and dried up. What should I do? Am I not watering enough? Or perhaps since this stalk is closest to the window, maybe it's too cold? Should I pull these half dried leaves off or leave them on? Please help!

Thanks,
Jane

1:59 PM  
Blogger drayas said...

Hello,

Glad you got rid of the spider mites. Typically on Croton's when the leaves drop it means the plant is not receiving enough water. How often are you watering the plant?

Thanks,
drayas

9:23 AM  
Blogger drayas said...

Jane,

Seeing as it is only the one stalk with the wilted ends, I wouldn't say it's a watering issue. I would think if you weren't watering it enough, all the foliage would be doing the same thing. Try turning the plant slightly. See if the leaves on another stalk start doing the same, if so, it's a lighting issue.

Thanks,
drayas

9:27 AM  
Anonymous Natalie said...

Jane, I had the same problem, and the leaves that were drying up fell off, but the new leaves are fine. I'm not sure if it was stressed or sick or what, but keeping it on a regular watering schedule and misting the leaves seemed to fix the problem. I just recently set up a humidity tray for it (just rocks in a plate, with the pot on the top of the rocks) and it seems happy.

My question is about the flowers. My boyfriend thinks he might be allergic to them, so I'm wondering if I can cut them off without hurting the plant.

3:19 PM  
Blogger drayas said...

Natalie,

Mine has never flowered, but I think you should be fine cutting the flowers off the plant. It shouldn't hurt it.

Thanks,
drayas

4:24 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi, I have a Croton plant that I've had for years. I recently moved into a basement apartment and the plant does not get much light. I have it in the optimal place for sunlight, but not directly in the window because it gets quite cold here in Canada. Unfortunately since I moved, the plant has begun dropping leaves. Should I invest in a UV lamp? Thanks
Kalynn

8:32 PM  
Blogger drayas said...

Kaylnn,

Yes, I would invest in a UV lamp. Croton's require high light levels. It will probably keep dropping leaves until you do.

Keep us posted on what kind of lamp you get and if that works.

Thanks,
drayas

6:09 AM  
Anonymous Jason said...

Hey..my corotn plant is all bare at the bottom..how do i get leaves to grow down there..??
ive tried pinching the plant on the top..but just new branches came out from there..please help!

8:05 AM  
Blogger Margaret said...

Any advice for the best way to deal with a serious spider mite infestation on my otherwise healthy office croton?

I've already washed it 3 times with water. But the bugs remain.

Thanks,
Margaret

6:31 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Do many people seem to allergic to these? I just got one and I am having severe allergies ;however, I am not sure if it is the plant or hot weather we are experiencing.

12:05 PM  
Blogger drayas said...

Margaret,

Did you just use water or a soapy dishwater mixture? If the latter than I would go to your local garden store and purchase an insecticide. That should do the trick.

Thanks,
drayas

1:42 PM  
Blogger drayas said...

I've never heard of any allergic reactions to Crotons. Has any of my other readers??

--drayas

1:43 PM  
Blogger E_blogger said...

my crotons are shedding their leaves..one of them is a bare stem now and the other one has drooping leaves. It seems that this one would also shed all its leaves eventually- both these plants were re-potted after i got them from the nursery.
Both these plants are receive enough sunlight.
My question is that will they recover gradually once they adjust to this new location??:-(

12:50 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am new to crotons but we are getting acquainted. Had to leave the two when I was away for 3 weeks. On advice from friend, put them, after watering, in a transparent dry cleaner's bag, tied a knot in the top, and left them. They didn't miss me at all and had a lot of new growth when I returned. What's with the new little things like flower buds that just appeared?

3:23 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

we live in northern florida we have a outdoor croton during the freeze we put it under cover but the leaves fell off will it come back or is it a lost

5:21 PM  
Anonymous plant loving kid said...

I think my 8 year old sister has one but I'm not sure. Can I have a detailed description or a pic?

3:15 PM  
Anonymous Welton said...

I have a small broad leafed croton that I've had for about four years. It has only gotten about two or three new leaves during that time, but has not really lost any leaves.

It has been placed in an eastern facing window in my house during the winters, and moved to my western facing porch during the summers.

This past winter I brought it into my office, where it sits in a northern facing window.

Earlier this week I was watering it and found that it is blooming. It has a small shoot coming out from the tip of the plant with about eight little pink buds on it, and one of the buds has opened into a delicate little waxy flower.

I didn't even know these plants bloomed, but I guess the have to procreate somehow. =)

3:58 PM  
Blogger drayas said...

plant loving kid,

I don't have a pic of mine but click the below link to see pics.

Croton Images from Google.

Thanks,
drayas

10:28 PM  
Blogger drayas said...

Welton and others,

That is great that your Croton is blooming!! This is something mine never did. It'd be great it anyone could send me some pics of theirs blooming to post on the site.

Thanks,
drayas

10:29 PM  
Blogger drayas said...

Hello,

It's hard to say how much the freeze hurt your Croton. Anyone have experience with outdoor Crotons that could help us out??

Thanks,
drayas

10:30 PM  
Blogger ~<3 animal support ΞΎ>~ said...

I've had an indoor croton for 3 years. Within the last 3 weeks have seen little bumps on some of highest leaves. It looks like a salt granule, and will brown the leaf right around the bump. Could this be a pest or possibly something in my tap water (I spritz the plant 2x a week)?

Also, is it normal for the oldest stalk to lean to the side while new stalks start to grow from the base? And do you know how long the plant will continue to flower, or if there is any way to make it stop? I've tried cutting it off, but new ones will grow in it's place.

Any help would be much appreciated!

10:58 AM  
Blogger drayas said...

animal support,

The bumps sound like some sort of pest. I don't have much experience with pests as I've been very fortunate not to get many. Spray the plant twice a day with a soapy dishwater mixture.

In terms of your water. You want to use distilled or non-treated water. So no water softener or city water.

Mine has never flowered so I'm not much help in that department. Any of my readers give us hand?

Thanks,
drayas

9:43 PM  
Blogger Ella said...

k, so my croton is sick and good thing you told me it's harmful to pets and it's standing away from my dog's bed! The second thing is mites are surrounding the thing. I've watered it, i've given it food it's got sufficient sunlight. It's not direct and my room temperature is just right, nor cold nor hot! I have the door open and it's about 74 degrees. What now?

12:36 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I bought a croton plant a few months ago. It sits next to a window in my living room and gets plenty of direct sunlight, and I water it twice a week. It seemed to be healthy, however lately I have noticed that its newest leaves have been turning a deep maroon color on the underside of the leaf and some of them have fallen off. They don't look very healthy. Is there something that I should do to prevent this? Why is it only happening to the newly grown leaves?

1:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just got a croton for mothers day. I live in South Florida and it is now summer, at what temperature is too hot for them? I like to put my plants on my balcony, but I have to take them inside midday because I don't want to scorch them. Is croton more resilient?

9:26 AM  
Blogger erica61305 said...

i am new to gardening and was buying flowers to go in my 1st flower bed. i bought a croton and planted it outside w/ my marigolds and liriope and have had it out there for a lil over a month. it is almost june in southern georgia and very very humid and warm. i just realized about a week ago that it was a houseplant. so i am probably going to attempt to transplant it to a pot and bring it inside. my question is, since it is still got it's color and size and still looks healty, should i just leave it where it is outside or should i bring it in? it hasn't grown like the other plants around it which is what initially flagged me to do some more research on the plant. i know that sounds very very ignorant on my part, but i have learned so much in the 2 months i have been gardening and now have done 5 flower beds, and 2 veggie/ fruit gardens and 2 tomato plants which already in 2 months have 19 tomatoes. thank you for any info!

10:22 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have had a Croton large wonderful plant for about 3 years! I take very good care of it and if the leaves ever get droopy I water it and they spring back up within hours. Recently one stalk on the plant (there are three) has remained droopy and won't come back to life, I've never overwatered a plant before but I think I might have...what should I do? Wait it out?

1:59 PM  
Blogger Marisa said...

I have a croton with small brown bumps on the stalks and a sticky ooze on the leaves. I've had it for well over a year, and this just started. It looks otherwise very healthy. I have it segregated from my other houseplants, and I'm wondering if this is a common problem, and whether there is a cure. Any info, please e-mail. Marisa.lynn @ gmail.com. Thanks so mucH!

4:12 PM  
Blogger Hiba said...

Hi,

Just wanted to say thank you very much for this post! Drayas, your troubleshooting help has been very helpful. My croton has been doing poorly lately and your tips showed me what I've been doing wrong. Thanks once more!

Hiba A.

5:40 PM  
Anonymous Ren Shambley said...

I have a Croton purchased last fall in a 2 gallon black nursery pot. We managed to keep it fairly healthy (loss of only a few lower leaves) during the winter with daylight light bulbs and plenty of water in the original pot.

In spring it was moved onto a NNE facing balcony. Since then it is growing very well with lots of new leaves at the crown and some branching buds forming on the lower stems that lost leaves during the winter.

My questions are:

This plant should be repotted into a permanent pot that can be moved inside during winter and placed on the balcony during warm months. Since it seems to NEED lots of fast draining water . . . .

Will it be healthiest if re-potted into a plastic or ceramic glazed pot as opposed to a clay pot?

What type of potting soil will support the plant best?

Does it need acid or alkaline conditions?

Should I add moisture retention crystals to the mix?

To retain moisture in a fast draining pot will the Croton benefit from a ground cover of transplanted mature sheets of moss. I have harvested two types of moss from western North Carolina in hopes of establishing it as a ground cover and moisture retainer for the Croton. It seems they may have similar requirements in moisture and light. Is this a good supposition or a poor match?

If this is a good idea can you recommend a link to information on the best way to prepare the soil surface for the transplants of moss?

One genus of moss that I have appears to be Haircap Moss (genus Polytrichum) if I am correct.

I live in Denton, Texas which is on the far north edge of Dallas. This is not an area where mosses grow naturally but I am in hopes that my NNE facing balcony, frequent watering and misting can create a healthy place for the moss especially if the moss can help keep the Croton happy and healthy.

Thanks for any input!

Ren

9:48 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi,

Alright so I've read through all 75 comments and most people have had whats happening to me, happen to them. I got my croton last summer and I have an attachment to this plant. One day, it was completely fine. Then the next all the leaves were falling off. So now I've cut back the dead leaf stalks and just have the main stem (which is still green on the inside). I need very very very percise instructions on what to do to keep it going.
Help!

1:50 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I originally purchased my croton way back in 1981. That puts it now right at 28 years. It has been through 2 hurricanes, leaf ripping dogs, and the occasional mismanaged watering schedule, and it continues to thrive year after year. Can anybody tell me how long I can expect this plant to live? Maybe I need to include it in my will.
Thanks,
David

2:02 AM  
Blogger Neno said...

Today I picked up a Corton. I have read all the threads and am excited to embark on a long journey of fun foliage friendship.

10:58 PM  
Blogger adidasdaze24 said...

Hi all-
i have two questions about my croton plant(s).
first, i have two plants in one pot and the roots have out grown the pot. can i either seperate the plants or should i simply repot them together in a deeper pot.
second, i've noticed that two of the leaves have sprouted a mini leaf at the end of a string...what does that mean????
thnx
Jen

11:18 AM  
Blogger Susan H said...

The Croton was too high-maintenance for me and it died, died down to three black sticks. I put it outside awaiting the time I could pitch it. Well, that was in the cool spring here in Indiana. As the weather warmed, and we had so much rain, the plant came back to life, loving the soaking rain, bright sun. Nights are down to 50 now and it has to come in. What kind of mix do I use to keep the soil rich enough yet lets water drain? I think that was my problem, drainage, earlier this year.

9:30 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Crotons are very forgiving plants! I have 3 in a pot & all of them had leaves only at the crown. I moved them out on the balcony during summer, & with plenty of rain, they've all sprouted new growth along their stems. I've also read that pinching the little growth in the centre of the crown, results in new offshoots. & it works! Hope that works for you as well, seeing my plants are about 4yrs old & thriving indoors during winter!

11:14 AM  
Blogger Hollie said...

I have had my croton plant for over 3 months. Recently, I gave it some Miracle Gro plant food and the leaves drooped and never stood strond and pretty again. Now all the leaves are falling off. I love this plant really don't want to see it die but I think it already has. Is there anything I can do to revive it?

9:23 AM  
Blogger Pat said...

How do you propagate indoor crotons? I have a Codiaeum Variegatum 'Petra' and one with skinny 6" leaves, and the one that has green leaves with many small cream-colored spots on them. No luck finding their names.

2:12 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My croton plant leaves were multi color now the leaves are turning yellow. Please advise

9:49 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

my croton plant has white powdery fluff on it. what can it be?

11:56 AM  
Anonymous ygraine said...

The leaves of my indoor croton are wilted, tilting downward, and falling off. They do not appear to be browning. The last time this happened I put it in the window on the north side of my apartment for a couple days and it perked right back up, but it's now been 9 days and it doesn't look to be getting any better. I don't think I'm over or under-watering it. Is there anything I can do to bring it back?

5:53 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have a croton some leaves are doing excellant. i live in Niagara Falls, days are getting shorter. i have the plant near a window that gets light, not enough. So i put a floor lamp over it. Water it enough. some leaves on one branch is doing well. the others are growing new leaves, but, some are not responding. At times healthy leaves fall. Some are wilted. I don't know what to do. I don't want to keep watering and get root rot.I have been using the water globe, and it keeps going through the water in 2 days. Does this meean it's not getting enough water?Help

4:17 PM  
Anonymous Alisa said...

Hi
I have a Croton It is not doing that well. At least one stalk there are two in the pot. Watered it evenly moist. let it dry. My problem is one plant is healthy the other has green droopy new leaves. underneath the leaves, the stalk is still a little green but seems like it is shriking inward Just bought a new plant light. Should i cut the top of the crown or will the plant come back after it dries a little more, with new light? Help

10:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

HELP! I have had a lovely bushy croton for about 4 months, and it's been doing great. Then, last night, it started dropping leaves all at once! As of today, it's prob. lost over half. They're coming from all over the plant, large & small, all colors. No drooping, no brown edges - just healthy-looking leaves - poof! It is between 2 windows in a large bright room. No DIRECT sun (anywhere in house), but as I said, room is very light. We are having a cold snap, and temp dropped last night. Also, I brought home another large plant last night to use as an Xmas tree, which got all the attention. Could my croton be jealous!?!?!? Also, I was just out of town for 10 days, so changed the "energy" in the house. Can I save it? (House is a little cool. If i put it somewhere warmer, it doesn't get light; if it stays near windows, it's cool.)
Anxious

12:57 PM  
Blogger judi said...

How do I rid my Croton of spider mites? Have had it 24 years and never had a problem until now. Thanks so much for your help.
J.

12:19 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I live in a dry state. My boyfried bought me a baby croton plant that has small stem and just one leaf. For some reason, it's not growing. It's been 3 months already, and the leaf is dry and brown. Is it too late? Can I still treat it and become healthy again?
What advice can you give me for caring this type of plant. This is my first time caring for a plant

cris

1:54 PM  
Anonymous Nic said...

My croton's leaves are withering. I have cut off the wrinkled parts, and monitored the water so that it's not soaking wet, just moist, and at first I moved it away from the window because I thought the wrinkling was due to sunburn, but then I read on here that it's probably due to over watering so I moved it back in front of the window. What I'm wondering is: Is there anything else I can do to help it get back in good health? I am not watering it until it's slightly dry, but I don't know if there's something else I could be doing. Thanks for your help. I love this blog.

12:07 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

o So many Croton owners with so many questions...but scrolling down, I see no answers!! Who mederats this blog - we need help! My beloved Red Crotons get infested with a very tiny white flying insect and whole branches wither and die. Help!

4:16 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have a 3 crotons outdoors, and
have had them about 4 years. This
winter was terrible with several hard freezes and even snow. All the
leaves fell off. Do you think it
will come back out, or should I
junk the big trunks?

3:04 PM  
Blogger Susan H said...

This is just a guess: when the growing weather comes back this spring they may have new growth. My indoor one did after becoming black sticks in the pot. What a treat.

9:08 PM  
Blogger Susan H said...

We have plants growing in our office (florescent light) and doing really well. Our Poinsettia is red all summer. Perhaps that will be good enough for the croton, too.

9:12 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My croton is very new to me (only the second plant I've ever had in my life, as well) and I bought it without really knowing what it was and how to take care of it. These tips have helped me a lot, but I'm still a little fuzzy. The croton came with two pots, one plastic and one slightly larger ceramic one around it. It collects the water that drains out of the plastic one. Is it okay to leave the collected water in the ceramic pot? What exactly is the point of that system? And the plant is directly in my window, but the article says to leave it 3-5 feet away. Is it still okay??
--Potential Black Thumb

8:39 PM  
Blogger Susan H said...

The plant probably can not put up with direct sunlight; some plants can't. Second question: you might have to wait and see what the plant will do sitting in water as it will do with the outside pot. Croton roots should not be allowed to stay dry, so sitting in water just might be ok. Sorry I'm not more definite.

8:16 PM  
Blogger Psychonautalus said...

mine has white water spots all over it, some leaves do and some don't.
can i wipe that off?

7:27 PM  
Blogger Brad Olson said...

Hi Drayas,

My croton is infested with red spider mites. What is your recommendation on the best way to get rid of them.

Thank you for writing such a great blog.

10:17 AM  
Anonymous Jodi said...

When i went away for a week i told my parents to not forget to water my plant... well they forgot and now it has no leaves and im wondering if i keep watering it and stuff will it sprout more leaves or if its just to late.

Also to make up for it my dad went and bought me a new croton pretty much just like my old on but bigger. On this new one the leaves are kinda curling and getting hard and im not sure what that means... also i know they need alot of light but does it have to be direct sun light or is artificial ok... i could put them outside for a while to get direct but its like 110 outside during the day and still pretty warm in the early mornings and im not sure how they would react to that

These are my first plants and im just not really sure im taking care of them right

Thx,
Jodi

3:06 AM  
Blogger Susan H said...

Jodi, I think if you water it, and be patient, it will come back. Don't think direct sunlight is the way to go. Mine is in a north-facing window and does fine. It, too, has hard, curling leaves. That must be the kind of Croton it is. Do the leaves have a "spike" toward the outer end of the leaf? Mine do.

3:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My boyfriend's daughter chopped my little croton petra houseplant in half with pliers!! The last 3 leaves are fading & dying. Can it recover from something that extreme, or was being decapitated too much shock?

12:30 PM  
Blogger wmarye said...

I've had a croton for 30 years. It tries to croak every so often, and I get it back, it grows some more then tries to croak again. It's about 2.5 ft tall, with just 2 clumps of leaves, top and near bottom. It gets some pest in the soil that eats the roots-- little white things I can barely see. What are they, and what's good to get rid of them?

6:48 PM  
Blogger starflyr said...

my wife brought home a croton she bought from work, from a plant guy, he gave her misinformation. he said it was low maintenance required lil sun and water and did not tell her it is poisonous. we have two boys 5 and 3, what to we do? get rid of it? or can we keep it in the house??

8:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i have many species of crotons. most of it are yellow polkadots with long leaves, some are plain green long leaves, some are plain red with polkadots, most of them are rainbow.some are curly, some have irregular shapes with different colors. im from the phillipines so no worry about sunlight and watering. it growsin shady place under trees, in direct sunlight just water it always.

10:50 AM  
Anonymous christian said...

to make it bushhy, just trim your croton plants.dont worry, the leaves will grow again with plain green colors.later it will become yellow, finally red.then another will appear new green leaves.

10:52 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's very helpful to have pictures of these plants. Some of mine come without a tag to show what they are.

2:36 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I understand you can make a croton flower by putting either orange peels or apple peels into the soil. Is this true?

3:28 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi I bought a croton plant for my daughters' school classrooms for second and fourth grade. Unfortunately I dont know much about plants and now I just read that the croton is considered a poisonous plant and should be kept away from children. Should I worry that I sent two croton plants to my kids school?
Also the man at the flowershop said that all we needed to do is keep it near sunlight and water it twice a week with half a cup of water.
Help plz!

7:53 PM  
Blogger binger said...

keep it moist and find some potting soil that will actually hold some moisture---you might want to mix in some sand and not to cold good luck these can be very touchy

7:08 AM  
Anonymous Wilderness_love said...

Hello, Is there any way i can start new plant from a clipping from my plant which seems to be doing very well ?

Thanks!

8:18 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Someone put Clean&Clear face cleaner on my Croton it was there for about two days I cleaned roots and put my Croton in new soil what more can I do to save my plant of any

8:24 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

We brought home two Croton plants Saturday, it is now Thursday. One is quite larger than the other. My husband repotted them both Tuesday evening, using different soil in the pots-as it was what we had available. He watered them Tuesday after repotting, and on Wednesday evening, the leaves of the big plant were wilting, and the soil dry, so I watered it again, just enough to barely dampen the soil. Today, a few of the bottom leaves of the big plant have fallen off, and one area of it looks to have lifted the leaves slightly. There are no problem with the smaller plant, it's doing fantastically. Is it more likely that the bigger plant isn't getting enough water, or that it's got the generic soil in it? Thanks...meg.

5:09 PM  
Blogger sue rothberg productions said...

can someone help. i have grown my croton from a cutting. was doing incredible for 5 years. i went on vacation for 10 days and the day i got back and one of the cats peed in the pot. i transplated it next day with new soil and ever since the leaves are falling off and turning yellow. the plant has lost about 75% of its leaves and continues to lose. what shall i do? i am not over or under watering and it has enough light. please help!!!

7:28 PM  
Blogger gtexplains said...

I am in the San Diego area and I plan to put out some crotons on the North side of our clubhouse. They will be in constant in constant shade year round but near the sun line with plenty of light. We have occasional 30F temps in winter lots of 60-80F weather. Any idea how they will do or am I wasting time and money?

4:05 PM  
Blogger Arnab said...

I live in India and its monsoon now-the weather is hot and very humid. I bought a croton about a month ago and put it at brightly lit open space and it gets direct sunlight fro 1-2 hours per day. But the plant is losing leaves, and has lost all gloss in its leaves. Some leaves are wilted. I keep the soil moist regularly but no improvement. Some branches of the plant are also dying down. How can I improve the health of the plant?

10:43 PM  
Blogger Susan H said...

Arnab, this seems extreme, but may help: dry it out! Remove plant and soil from pot, tease the roots and mix dry soil into the existing soil. When repotted, make sure the pot has good drainage. I have found that the plant really only needs bright light, not direct sun. Hope this helps!

8:04 AM  
Blogger eleanor.krall said...

Is there a particular plant food that you can recommend for Crotons?

1:27 PM  
Blogger cindy said...

my plant is 9 yrs old it has 5 shoots coming out from the mother plant that stand 3 1/2 feet tall in its pot- my question-can I cut the top of the mother plant off and root it in water or in a pot of dirt or will this kill the entire plant? It's getting too big for my house and I love the plant but need help

1:22 PM  
Blogger Ama said...

i got my croton from my bf for our 7 year anniversary. since then i've been searching for info on how to grow it properly. at first it shed most of the leafs after they dried and turned slightly brownish. but then it looked like it had settled and began to sprout new ones.
it's in my balcony, facing east, so it gets lots of sunlight, i also try to keep it moist, watering, spaying and fertilising regularly.
now, after almost one year since i got it, one of it's 2 stalks began sprouting what looked like some sort of flower (never knew crotons flowerd), but all of a sudden, all the leafs of that stalk just dropped. fell down just as they were still semi-green-yellowy, its natural color. granted those leafs were e bit soft, not as hard as the leafs on the other stalk.
now i'm in doubt, my croton's left with just one stalk of good leafs and i don't know for how long.
could you help me with some pointers. will the bald stalk ever have new leafs, should i cut it off.
i really cared for this plant, and all the others i have, but this one is closer to my heart, for obvious reasons.
please help

ama

2:13 AM  
Blogger *Jacy* said...

I've had my plant for a month and I have repotted it once about 2 weeks ago. It appeared to b doing fine but now the tips of the leaves are slightly yellowish then brown in color. I live in rochester new york in an apartment that recieves no direct sunlight threw the windows but is fairly bright during the day hours. What can I do to make my plant healthier??
~Jacynda

10:23 AM  
Blogger Susan H said...

Watering: sometimes soil gets so compacted that water cannot get to the roots. If this is the case, a small plant can be pulled, soil and all, from the pot, soil loosened, and left to soak for a while in water, then re-pot. Large plants: gently dig, probe the soil in the pot. I use a small dowel to do this. This action will let water to the roots.

8:47 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've had a croton for about 5 years. It was under florescent lights the first 3 years and survived but barely. Then I moved into a house and placed it in a North facing window and it's done very well and now 2 years later it needs to be transplanted for the 2nd time and has been putting out those long shoots with balls of flowers steady all summer! It's quite a mess actually. I cut one off and liquid came out but later it grew another one longer yet! I water it once a week with a few drops of Miracle Grow. It's getting a red and orange colors now for the first time.

5:11 PM  
Blogger Detter said...

hi
my croton lost its leaves due to lack of water, we have remedied the situation and its looking a lot better. Can some one please tell me how long until the leaves have regrown?

regards

Daniel

10:37 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My Croton is flowering and I think the flowers are quite unattractive and kinda messy as they fall off. All the flowers grown on a long shoot out of the middle of the plant. Last year this time I broke the shoot off (since there was no chance of pollination in my apartment anyway) and my plant had a really rough time health-wise all winter. I'm not sure if poor health has any correlation to breaking off the flowers or if it was more the lack of sunlight all winter (Seattle) but I'm nervous to break it off again since my plant is finally looking healthy again. Anyone know for certain if I will do any harm to the plant by removing the shoot with flowers?
-Flowering in Seattle

12:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

When should I re-pot my croton? What should I look for as a sign that it needs re-potting? I don't particularly want it to get too big, but I want it to be healthy. I can tell it needs new soil since I've had it about a year and a half and the soil is quite compact so roots are starting to show. There's some mold growth on the soil (not the plant) I just don't know if I should replace the soil in the current pot or if I need to get a new bigger pot. Suggestions?

12:04 PM  
Blogger colleen said...

I bought a beautiful croton plant for my deck, it got cool out so i brought it in, and now it is dying,the leaves are hanging low and falling off,and just dying,within a couple of days, i felt like crying, now what do i do. it has some sun near the window and i water it accordingly, i am so sad, also can i buy a fake one like this.colleen dawson fort erie ontario

10:23 AM  
Blogger colleen said...

You have a great page on plants.

10:26 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi, my croton is loosing many leafs, they just fall off, although they are not dried. Few weeks ago it looked very sad, and leafs were drying out. We started watering it more and using fertilizer. Leafs are up again, very colored, so the plant looks fine. However, we are worried because it still looses many leafs. It receives a lot of direct sunlight.

Thank you for any advice

1:04 PM  
Anonymous Marsha said...

I have a Picasso croton plant and I think maybe I haven't watered it enough, after reading these posts! I only have a couple of leaves at the top. If I cut the stems back, will it grow again?

11:45 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have a croton that I may have overwatered. There are many leaves on the inside stalks and on the outer reaches of the branches , but most of the leaves between the center and the outer edges have fallen off. I have two questions: !. Is it possible for the leaves to grow back on the inner portion of the branches? If so, how can I encourage this to happen? 2. If I cut back the plant to the center stalk, will the branches root if I put them in water?

5:41 PM  
Anonymous charm_quark said...

I have a croton for.... 5 years or more... I can't really remember. It was given to me as a little plant. I never trimmed it just, cut the leaves that were dried once in a while (1-2 times per year). It has become a really long and spindly plant and has just 4-5 leaves on the top. I just repositioned it to have more sunlight.
Could I do anything to create new branches/leaves at the lower part of the plant?

8:29 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hello!

Pleeease heelp. I have a croton for a year and it has lost most of its leaves from the lower part. At the beginning it was a very nice, coloured plant, with big colourful leaves. Now, what is left of it, it's a long stick with 8 leaves at the top.

Is there anything i can do so that it could regain its leaves? Are they ever going to grow again at the bottom? Or is it going to continue to grow, its leaves will continue to fall so that i'll always have a long stick plant?

I care very much for it. So i'd appreciate if you could give me an advice.
Thanx alot!

8:28 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi,
I just got a Croton from Wal-Mart today. I was wondering if it is healthy, and just wondering if I could keep it in my north-facing bedroom(I have a white house nextdoor, so I get light reflection almost all day, and it's pretty bright). Here is a picture: http://tinypic.com/r/23ts1v7/5

1:26 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My croton is now 20 years old. The first 15 years it grew 24 inches.We moved to a different place and put it next to a sunny window. It is now over 6 feet tall and still growing vigorously. It is very colorful and beautiful. Please tell me how I may propagate it.

2:46 PM  
Blogger Andrea Hogan said...

I live in Southern IL. very humid in summer, cool and snow in winter, spring, and fall. I have seen people on line that have put their crotons outside, but after reading here, I dont think where I live is a good place for them to live outside. Am I correct in my thinking, and should only keep it inside?

8:36 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have a croton that was about four feet tall and beautiful. It started losing leaves untill they all fell of. now it will grow some new little leaves and just when I think it is going to come out of it they fall off again. I haven't changed anything. It was fine for about 5 years then this started happening. What happened?

11:10 PM  
Blogger That 70's Chick said...

Hi

When I first got my plant it was very vibrant. After a week or so it began to drop leaves; dried ones, new green ones, and new buds. Then the summer came and I put it outside. It thrived like no other houseplant could do in the heat. I live in MD so when it began to get chilly I brought it inside and now I'm losing at least 5 leaves per day. It's kept in a room upstairs where the house is warmer and right in front of a window. I water it weekly on Wednesday. What could be going wrong? I'm afraid that in a few weeks I won't have a plant...

Thanks

7:30 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

1 - some crotons flower some dont. Usually after flowering they begin to die off. How to retrieve?
2- when a croton plant begin to shed leaves and not making new leaves I find it is always difficult to bring them to life. Any advice?
3- I have one very beautiful croton plant, name not known, it is now four years old. I tried many times to multiply by cuttings but always failed, though cutting of other crotons to make roots. Any advice?

7:34 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

As for propagation - the only practical way I can think of is air-layering... you can get on google and find lots of how-to info on that... though be care of the ones that aren't very specific... there's the right way to air-layer a monocot and a right way to air-layer a diacot... and they're not the same... I don't know which a croton is right off the top of my head but you'd be well-advised to make sure you do before you start cutting into it.

5:24 PM  
Blogger Maggie B. said...

I have had my plant for about 3-4 months now and it appears to be pretty healthy and continues to spurt. However it is located in my terrarium with my green anoles. It gets very little indirect sunlight but has a cage light going all day and turned off a night. I water it very often sometimes 2-3 times per day and it seemed to enjoy it. But now it is turning mostly green and even getting dry spots and so far one leaf has fallen off. The leaves down below with less light exposure are great its the longer ones. During the last few days I have watered less discovering water too much was unhealthy. Basically, my question is do you think based on my description it is the lack of sun exposure or the over watering. I would hate to have to move my tank, it is in the perfect spot and the cats area is by the window unfortunately... Thanks

11:58 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My big croton plant has leaves drooping, its very hot here in this reagion hence the plant is in shade with very little sunshine and enough water. The drooping happened soon after I put it in a new pot. Any idea what should I try to help it regain the health?
Thanks

9:57 AM  
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12:47 PM  
Anonymous kandis said...

Help! I have never had one of these plants before and my husband and I got one when his grandfather passed away. When we got it the leaves were green and some red. Now most of the leaves on the bottom are a redish/black color and the top ones are greenish. The bottom ones are starting to wilt downward. Some people say not enough water, some say too much! Any suggestions?

8:05 PM  
Blogger Susan H said...

I"ve noticed posts about how poorly some Crotons are doing. It is a tropical plant. When I had mine, it absolutely loved being outdoors in the hot, humid weather. Winter is really hard on these plants. Don't know of anywhere that indoors is a good habitat. Sorry!

12:45 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have had my Croton for 25 years. It was sent to my son's funeral and was just a small plant. It has tried to die several times but we have managed to save it each time. I keep it in our sun room year round. How long does this plant usually live? I would love to keep it since it was the only plant that I still have from his funeral. People cannot believe that we have had it for so long.

4:10 PM  
Anonymous mary said...

I have had my plant going on 30 years, is there any way I can cut a branch off and get it to root, I'm scared that a branch may break off, because there are so many leaves. And are the plants suppose to almost be like a tree/ bush?

5:05 PM  
Blogger Jody Keim said...

A lady in my office has a Croton sitting beside her desk. She's had is for a number of years and it has been re-potted in the last year. It has continued to grow and has gotten so long it is now starting to curve. Is there a way to trim it? Or would it be beneficial to re-pot the plant again? Every time I walk by her desk she tries to pawn this giant drooping plant off on me. I'd love to have some good news for her on how we can make it look better. :)

8:36 PM  

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