The Q&A Archives: Indoor plants

Question: I recently purchased a Croton(codiaeum sp) and it keeps losing it's leaves, am I doing something wrong. It gets medium light,watered once a week.Please tell me what I can do to make it stop losing it's leaves

Answer: Your new plant was probably grown in a greenhouse under perfect conditions. Now that you have it in your home, I suspect the conditions are a little different. Crotons will adjust to average growing conditions, but it may take 4-6 weeks. They like bright light (medium should be okay) and they appreciate high humdity. You can set your plant on a pebble filled tray in which you keep a little water. As the water evaporates it will release humidity around the plant. Watering on a schedule (once a week, for instance) probably isn't the best approach for houseplants. Depending upon growth rate and temperature, they may use more water at some times of the year and less water during other times. The best approach is to water your plant thoroughly, then wait until the top inch of potting soil begins to dry out. I pick my plants up - if they feel light, it's time to water; if they feel heavy, the soil is plenty moist. Or, you can poke your finger down into the soil. If it is dry past your fingernail, it's time to water.

Be sure to keep your plant out of drafts (heater/AC vents, doors, open windows, etc.)

Hope this information helps and your croton regains its health!

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