The Q&A Archives: croton petra - falling leaves

Question: We bought croton petra 2 weeks ago. I repotted it the same day we bought. The plant was nice and beautiful for a week or so. We were gone for last week end. Last week end leaves started going down. They are falling. The plant looks sad. There is no improvement over the week. Leaves are still falling. The plant has enough sun. It is warm - 80F. Is there anything I can do to save the plant?

Answer: Codiaeum variegatum 'Petra', also called Autumn Plant because of its colorful foliage, is relatively easy to grow but I think yours is showing some signs of transplant shock. As soon as it becomes acclimated to its new growing site it should perk up. Sounds like the temperature and light is exposure is right so perhaps you are over watering. In general, your "Autumn Plant" will also react adversely to cold drafts such as from an air conditioner or an open window. Cold air will cause lower leaf drop as will watering with cold water. Use tepid water and allow the soils' surface to dry down about one inch on 6" and 8" plants, or about three or four inches from the surface on larger plants; let the top of the soil feel dry to the touch on very small plants. Feed every 3-4 weeks with a half strength dilution of a balanced liquid fertilizer. Hope your plant perks up soon!

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