Croton Leaf Drop – Why Is My Croton Dropping Leaves

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Your brilliant indoor croton plant, the one you admire and prize, is now dropping leaves like crazy. Don’t panic. Leaf drop on croton plants can be expected any time the plant is stressed or out of balance. You just need to get to know your croton and how to give croton what it needs to thrive. Read on to learn more about why croton leaves fall off.

Why is My Croton Dropping Leaves?

Change can be difficult for a croton plant. A croton plant dropping leaves is often a new plant’s response to being transplanted or transported from the greenhouse to your home. It’s natural for a croton to drop leaves as it adjusts to environmental changes. Once settled, in three or four weeks, your plant will begin to produce new growth.

If you haven’t changed the plant’s location recently and your croton leaves fall off, then it’s time to look at other possibilities.

Heat and humidity – Croton plants are tropicals, meaning they thrive in warm and humid conditions. If your croton’s leaves fall off, it could be that it’s exposed to cold or hot extremes such as open doors or air ducts. A humidifier or a regular misting with distilled water will help your croton feel at home.

Light – Croton leaf drop and a lack of fiery color can be caused by insufficient sunlight. There are more than 750 varieties of croton plant, some needing more light than others. In general, the more variegated the plant, the more light it craves.

Water – The watering schedule for your other houseplants may not be suitable for your croton.

  • Overwatering can damage the roots and cause croton leaf drop. When the soil on top feels dry, water until the overflow begins to pool in the tray. To prevent root rot, use a pebbled tray or pour off any pooled water after 30 minutes.
  • Underwatering can also cause leaf drop on croton plants. If you’re watering and misting consistently and your croton still seems dry, consider transplanting it in fresh, high-quality potting soil that includes peat moss to help retain moisture.

Diseases and pests – If you think you’ve taken care of every possible environmental reason your croton plant is dropping leaves, look again. Inspect underneath the leaves for signs of disease or insect pests and treat accordingly.

Here’s the best news: crotons are tough. Even if your croton is brown and leafless, it doesn’t mean that your lovely plant is gone forever. Gently scratch the main stem. If the tissue underneath is still green, your plant is alive and may recover. Continue to care for your plant’s watering and environmental needs. In several weeks, it’s quite likely that your patience and care will be rewarded with the first of new, bright leaves.

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Why Is My Croton Plant Losing Its Leaves?

Did you just bring home your new Croton plant only to find it acting in dramatic defiance and dropping its leaves? Or, is it losing its leaves after years of thriving in your care?

Whichever it is, I’ll help you identify the reason for this undesired attitude and will help you to get your luscious plant back.

At one point, “Why is my croton plant losing its leaves?” was the only persisting question in my mind.

After long research (trial and error) and an even longer journey with croton plants, I’m here to share with you what I’ve experienced in growing these tropical plants.

What is a Croton Plant?

Croton Plants are astonishing bush that can grow up to 5-6 feet tall. It adds an exquisite look to your house or garden. Most people are excited and bring home croton plant to enhance the beauty of their houses, however just in a few days, the leaves begin to drop and the plant start rotting. This guide will help you understand how to prevent this from happening in the first place.

Note: Croton plants are poisonous, specifically the seeds. Hence the plant is not recommended for houses which have pets or children living.

Physical Features of Crotons

One of the most stunning parts of crotons is that they come in a large variety of colors. Commonly found in leaves of greens, yellows, reds, blacks, purples and oranges. Leaf shapes varies from long narrow to curvy curled. Croton petra are great to be potted as indoor plants if cared for and looked after on a daily basis.

Normally, they grow up to 10 feet tall. Some of the factors that contribute to successful growth include the type of Croton you’re growing, whether you are growing them inside or outside or what pots you select for these aesthetic leaf plants.

Taking care of Croton Petra include a variety of things that need to be looked after every day. Some of these components are listed below:

Houseplants forum→Croton plant drooping! HELP!

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So, I recieved this Croton plant about one month ago from an online plant nursery.
It has been very healthy until I left the house for a few days and when I came back two days ago the plant was very droopy. I checked the soil and it was still moist but not too much( I only watered twice since I got it). So I thought it was about the dry air in the room, so I moved in the bathroom (it's the only place my fittonias won't die, so it's pretty humid) but nothing happened.
This morning I woke up and the plant was still drooping. I decided to check the roots to see if any root rot was happening but they looked white and healthy, so I moved the plant to a terracotta pot and I realised that the soil it was sitting in earlier was full of other plants dead leaves so maybe they were retaining too much moisture, so i replanted it in new and drier soil. I moved it back in my room where it receives a good amount of bright light, next to my tiny humidifier and even misted it a little but when I came back home this evening it looked even worse.
What would it be about?
I don't know what else to do, and I really like this plant and want to save it so much.. please help me!!

Crotons do not tolerate dryness at all and wilt pathetically and quickly if allowed to get even a bit too dry. Misting and increased humidity is not an adequate substitute for watering the roots frequently. The dead leaves were not absorbing the water.

Unfortunately, moving it to drier soil was the wrong way to go and terra cotta pots absorb and deplete the moisture from the soil more readily than plastic pots.

In addition, repotting is often stressful for plants, especially if done incorrectly. I don't know if you replaced the original soil what kind of new soil you used and how much larger the new pot is. All of those are factors in determining how it should now be watered.

For now, I suggest that you water your Croton thoroughly, even letting the pot sit in several inches of water for an hour or so. Ideally, you will water it again just before the leave start to wilt.

Crotons also require a location close to a sunny window and prefer cooler temperatures. They are also very prone to spider mite infestations, especially when they are under stress.

I just put the plant under the sink to water it well, making sure that even the pot was getting a good soak, then I moved it outside my east facing window where it's getting direct sunlight for at least a few hours and where it's obviously cooler. Right now where I live the temperature outside is around 8-12 Celsius degrees and it will just rise up a little during the day and the humidity it's supposed to be around 80%.
The pot is also sitting in few inches of water as you suggested.

I knew that terracotta pots aren't very good for this aim but I thought I kind of overwatered the plant. The soil is just a general potting mix.. And I know they get stressed out from repotting but I didn't know what else to do..I hope I'll get better anyways..

I'll try the plastic bag method as soon as I get back home this afternoon.
I alredy tried the shower steam method but I'm afraid the plant doesn't get enough bright light in my bathroom.

Thank you again, I'll update you in a few weeks.

You're confusing me a little bit with temperature.. some said it likes lower temperatures and some said warm..

What I know is that the plant looks better! So thank you all for the advice!

You seem to be on the right track now. If it starts to wilt again, just give it a good soak!

Make sure you water it thoroughly when the surface of the soil feels dry.

Let’s get into all the reasons your Croton’s leaves are shedding.

A New Home

When crotons move from the nursery to your home, it needs time to acclimate. It will start leaves starting to turn yellow and soon shed leaves. After a short time, leaves will begin to regrow back.

Note that even moving it from one place to another in your home could rouse the same reaction.

Change in Humidity

Croton plants are native to Malaysia, the Pacific Islands, and northern Australia. It’s only normal that the plant flourishes in warm, humid weather.

Any extreme conditions won’t work well with your Croton. Too much heat and humidity, or not enough, will cause the plant to shed its leaves.

If you live in a dry climate, you can get the perfect humidity levels for your plant by either using a humidifier or misting your plant every morning.

By regularly spraying the leaves, they won’t only have a constant shine, but you’ll help them carry out better photosynthesis due to their clean surface.


Another important thing to consider is where you put your plant. Croton plants relish lots of sunlight (even direct sunlight), and it greatly affects how they prosper. Leaves work as an indicator of how much light your plant has been getting.

Too much bright sunlight will make the leaves fade on some varieties, especially the fiery colored ones. Too little sunlight will result in leggy croton plants trying to catch the sun rays. Also, it won’t allow color pigmentation to form on the leaves.

Most importantly, both extremes are reasons for your plant’s leaf-loss. I recommend placing it near a window with eastern exposure for sufficient lighting and temperature degrees.

You can go for eight hours of sunlight per day, and always check the leaves to know where to go from there.


The ideal temperature for your plant is 70–80° F, so make sure that it’s achieved to avoid any stress on your plant. Any temperature changes should be minor, and the transition should always be smooth.

If you notice your plant’s leaves falling after a temperature change, you’ll realize immediately that that’s the reason.


Unfortunately, mastering the right amount of water to give your Croton can sometimes be tricky. Overwatering and underwatering both cause damage to the roots (root rot) and may cause the leaves to fall.

Your best bet is watering it weekly. Water it until water pools in the pot, then if the water is still there after 30 mins, pour it out. Make sure the soil is always moist but not full-on wet.

Diseases and Pests

The croton plant is known for its resilient nature, yet that doesn’t mean it can’t fall prey to diseases and insects.

For more read our articles on: Croton Pests and Croton Diseases

Common predators are Croton mealybugs, scales, and spider mites. Insects infestation can cause the plant itself or some parts of it to die. At the very least, it’ll make it lose its vibrant appearance.

Pests require a close eye to notice them and could be very harmful. So, once you’re aware of their existence, get onto the treatment as soon as possible.

It’s a lucky thing that the croton plant is perennial, which means it has the power to be reborn from its ashes like a phoenix! If the roots are alive, you can cut the dead stem, and it will regrow in springtime as good as new.

NOTE: Crotons growing outdoors and experiencing leaves dropping is probably due to water issues, or pests and diseases.

Watch the video: 5 tips to take care of a Croton Plant. Donna Joshi

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