Ask a Question forum: Croton Petra losing most of its leaves

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Virginia (Zone 7a)
Rez
Feb 8, 2017 10:06 AM CST
I got it about a year ago and then it started loosing its leaves. I then started wateering it more (twice a week) so it started growing new leaves. But it's been a few months that (I've been watering once a week and ) it's been loosing most of its leaves. They just dry up. I don't know if I'm watering too much or too little. It's in a pretty large pot.

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Name: Cheryl
Kingwood, Texas (Zone 9a)
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ShadyGreenThumb
Feb 8, 2017 10:26 AM CST
How much sun is it getting? Mine does particularity well in the winter because it is in the greenhouse getting more winter sun than it does in the summer when my yard is shady. But yes, it likes regular water but not constantly wet.
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Name: tarev
San Joaquin County, CA (Zone 9b)
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tarev
Feb 8, 2017 10:34 AM CST
I failed with Croton too, we lacked the humidity it needs. Can't bring it out in winter when we have the rains and we get the better humidity levels because temps are too cold for it. Can't stand our super dry summers due to the dismal humidity. Not happy indoors, needs more light..just can't win with it.
Name: Elaine
South Sarasota, Florida (Zone 9b)
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dyzzypyxxy
Feb 8, 2017 11:08 AM CST
As long as your pot has good drainage, overwatering a croton shouldn't be much of a problem. They like water. Down here in FL where crotons are a common large landscape shrub, they get water from rain every day - sometimes an inch or two at a time - and just thrive on it as long as the drainage is good. You don't want it to sit in a saucer of water but keeping the soil moist should be your goal.

I would advise you start watering more. The edges of the soil in your picture are dry. You should water until all the soil in the pot is evenly moist and some water runs through into the saucer or drainage under the pot. For your first go at it, I would take the whole plant to the kitchen sink or into your shower and douse the plant and pot and all until everything is wet and heavy. Let it sit and completely drain them put it back and try watering as often as you see the top inch or so of soil is dry. Use your finger to test.

You can't go by a "formula" such as once a week. You need to water all plants differently, according to their individual needs. These include how much sun they are getting, and the humidity of the air, which indoors is generally very low in winter. If this croton survives and grows all summer, it will be twice as big next winter and you will certainly need to water it more than once a week then. Keep it happy. Btw, don't use cold water on it either. Lukewarm or room temperature water is better for tropical plants.
Elaine

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Name: tarev
San Joaquin County, CA (Zone 9b)
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tarev
Feb 8, 2017 11:24 AM CST
Well, tropicals do like rainwater but depends on the ambient temperature. These plants grow like weeds in tropical areas, because temps are sustainably warm so it actually loves the combination of humidity and warm temps.

Unfortunately, in our varying micro climates, this plant as with other tropicals will slow down in winter while being grown indoors, so it really gets dicey in how to water. And most of the time during winter, most areas will be using tap water, since it maybe snowing instead of raining. But I think this plant prefers to be on the moist side, similar to growing Peace Lilies, but loves much more light than Peace Lilies.

Sometimes there are no quick solutions, got to really understand the nature of the plant and adjust watering methods and positioning indoors so the plant can hold on till the better conditions of mid Spring returns.
Virginia (Zone 7a)
Rez
Feb 17, 2017 9:52 AM CST
dyzzypyxxy said:As long as your pot has good drainage, overwatering a croton shouldn't be much of a problem. They like water. Down here in FL where crotons are a common large landscape shrub, they get water from rain every day - sometimes an inch or two at a time - and just thrive on it as long as the drainage is good. You don't want it to sit in a saucer of water but keeping the soil moist should be your goal.

I would advise you start watering more. The edges of the soil in your picture are dry. You should water until all the soil in the pot is evenly moist and some water runs through into the saucer or drainage under the pot. For your first go at it, I would take the whole plant to the kitchen sink or into your shower and douse the plant and pot and all until everything is wet and heavy. Let it sit and completely drain them put it back and try watering as often as you see the top inch or so of soil is dry. Use your finger to test.

You can't go by a "formula" such as once a week. You need to water all plants differently, according to their individual needs. These include how much sun they are getting, and the humidity of the air, which indoors is generally very low in winter. If this croton survives and grows all summer, it will be twice as big next winter and you will certainly need to water it more than once a week then. Keep it happy. Btw, don't use cold water on it either. Lukewarm or room temperature water is better for tropical plants.


Thanks. I'm watering it more now but it's not so easy to see what regimen keeps a plant happy. For example the leaves of my aloe and my kalanchoe luciae are dying up but I don't know if this is because of overwatering or under watering.
Name: tarev
San Joaquin County, CA (Zone 9b)
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tarev
Feb 17, 2017 10:49 AM CST
Rez, aloe and kalanchoe luciae, they would prefer to be on the dry side right now when it is colder. Dry side but with lots of light and kept nicely warm, especially aloes. I don't know how often you are watering, or how big containers you have them in and what type of soil you have them, so those can be added factors contributing to their demise.

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