Houseplants forum: What plant is this and why have all the leaves fallen off?

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Loubs
Feb 18, 2019 11:03 AM CST
What plant is this and why have all the leaves fallen off?

Thumb of 2019-02-18/Loubs/4e4032

The man at the plant shop said it was because of the cold (but it's getting warmer now and the leaves were all on the plant when I bought it from him when it was colder) and my friend said it has something to do with soil pH (again, it was fine before).

Will they leaves grow back if I change whatever it is that made them fall off?

Thank you.
Name: Sue Taylor
Northumberland, UK
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kniphofia
Feb 18, 2019 11:06 AM CST
It's a Croton. You don't say where you are located or how long you've had it.

They are cold sensitive so even if it was exposed to low temperatures on the ride home that could be enough to send it into shock and drop its leaves suddenly like that.

Unless you've repotted it I doubt soil PH has anything to do with it.

Loubs
Feb 18, 2019 11:10 AM CST
Thank you,

That's good to know. I live in Glasgow and I've had it for maybe a week and a half. The leaves fell off almost immediately after taking it home, which makes sense as it was fairly windy, plus the leaves of the other one came off in the shop itself so I was given it for free.

When will it come back and is there anything I can do?
Name: Sue Taylor
Northumberland, UK
Charter ATP Member Bulbs Bookworm Amaryllis Houseplants Annuals
Garden Photography Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Foliage Fan Birds I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Frogs and Toads
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kniphofia
Feb 18, 2019 10:43 PM CST
I'd take it back to the shop.
Name: Lin
Sebastian, Florida (Zone 10a)

Region: United States of America Deer Region: Florida Charter ATP Member Million Pollinator Garden Challenge I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
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plantladylin
Feb 19, 2019 7:31 AM CST
I agree, it's a variety of Croton (Codiaeum variegatum) The photo is kind of dark for my old eyes and I can't see the stem clearly but it appears to be a single stem in the pot and leaf drop is possibly due to soil/water issues. Is the stem soft? If so, rot could have taken place at root level, traveling upwards and the plant is a goner.

Codiaeum are grown as landscape shrubs here in Florida and even when I lived farther north in the state (zone 9a), during cold weather they would drop most or all of their leaves but as long as the ground didn't freeze, they'd sprout new leaves once warm weather returned. I don't think cold weather is the issue your small plant is experiencing though ... more likely it has to do with water retentive soil.
~ Playing in the dirt is my therapy ... and I'm in therapy a lot! ~


Name: Will Creed
NYC
Professional indoor plant consultan
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WillC
Feb 19, 2019 2:34 PM CST
What a great display of fallen leaves! Like Sue, I do wonder about the source but also surmise that sudden exposure to much colder temps will cause rapid leaf loss.

Keep it in a warm, sunny location and water it as soon as the surface of the soil is dry. If the roots are still viable, and they probably are, then you should soon see some healthy new shoots.
Will Creed
Horticultural Help, NYC
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Roarstor
Feb 20, 2019 3:02 AM CST
My Croton lost a few leaves during the winter because it was placed near the door we usually let the cat in/out (this coupled with low light during winter). Moved it to another window away from the door (a window which actually have less light), and the leaves stopped dropping shortly after. So those few seconds of cold every day was enough for the plant to drop leaves.
[Last edited by Roarstor - Feb 20, 2019 3:03 AM (+)]
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Name: Gina
Florida (Zone 9a)
Tropical plant collector 35 years
Region: Florida Tropicals Aroids
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Gina1960
Feb 20, 2019 6:00 AM CST
The crotons we grow outdoors here always jettison old leaves at this time of the season right before the new flushes come out. Some leaf drop in spring is completely normal, but yours looks a little extreme.
Crotons are hardy to about 25-26F. They will totally defoliate at those temps, but if the stem is still intact and did not freeze the plant will regrow.
Happy to consider trading plants, but ONLY with other people who also live in FLORIDA due to Federal Agriculture Laws

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