The Q&A Archives: Croton

Question: How do I keep cobwebs from forming throughout the plant. ?
What remedy can I use to keep this from happening?
And how do I keep leaves from falling daily?


Answer: The webs are most likely caused by spider mites, tiny little insects that colonize on the undersides of leaves and where the leaves join the stems. They especially like warm, dry places and they are extremely difficult to control. I suspect their feeding is what is causing the leaf drop on your plant. Try applying an insecticide made strickly for houseplants (use as directed on the label). Repeat sprays may be necessary to control the population. If you mist your plant regularly, spider mites won't return. To help your plant regain its health, follow these guidelines:

Crotons need a fairly constant temperature, never below 60F degrees, and it needs high air humidity. The potting soil needs to be kept moist at all times, and you should use tepid, rather than cold water. It doesn't like drafts, and it thrives on bright light, but not direct sunlight. Since your plant is losing leaves at an alarming rate, it's obvious not all of its needs are being met. Try placing it near an east or west facing window, misting the leaves daily, keeping the room temperature above 60F (even at night), and keeping the soil moist, but not soggy wet. Don't fertilize until it recovers and begins to produce new leaves. Good luck with your plant!

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