The Q&A Archives: Croton Leaves Turn Brown

Question: I have a croton houseplant that is quickly losing its leaves. Can you advise me on the proper care for this plant, including fertilizers, light requirements, and potential reasons why the leaves are turning brown on the edges and then dropping?

Answer: Codiaeum, or croton, is a popular houseplant because of its vivid foliage and varied leaf shapes. Some of the hybrids are rather fussy, but here are some general guidelines:

Provide a fairly constant temperature (average household temperatures are fine from spring through autumn; keep the temperature above 60F in the winter), high air humidity, and moist soil. It's best to use tepid water when watering and water as often as necessary to keep the soil moist spring through autumn. Water sparingly in the winter when plant growth slows. Provide bright, indirect light (an east- or west-facing windowsill is ideal). Feed every month during the growing season with a diluted liquid fertilzer. Once you adjust the growing environment your croton should regain its health.

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