Houseplants forum: Dieffenbachia/Dumb Cane + Croton

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Los Angeles
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krystenr1
Aug 13, 2017 12:31 PM CST
Can you guys tell me the ideal soil for this Dumb Cane plant and for the Croton plant? And ideal light/watering? I've been reading conflicting information online.


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Name: Will Creed
NYC
Professional indoor plant consultan
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WillC
Aug 13, 2017 3:40 PM CST
The best soil for each of them is the soil they are grown in at the nurseries. The nurseries know what they are doing and the roots have adapted to whatever mix they were grown in. I don't think either needs to be repotted at this time.

The Dieffenbachia likes bright indirect sunlight with little or no direct sun. Allow the top half-inch of soil to dry in between thorough waterings. Watch for spider mites. This plant inevitable grows very tall and with its heavy leaves becomes top heavy. The solution is not an ever larger pot; it is to prune it. Pruned stems readily put out new growth and tip cuttings easily root in water or damp soil. Some people get mild skin irritations from the sap. Keep it away from toddlers or pets that might be inclined to sample it!

Your Croton likes a couple of hours of direct sun every day. An east window is great. It tolerates cool temps more than warm temps. Water as soon as the surface of the soil feels dry as Crotons do not tolerate dryness very well. It, too, may become leggy over time and will do best if pruned periodically.
Will Creed
Horticultural Help, NYC
www.HorticulturalHelp.com
Contact me directly at [email protected]
I now have a book available on indoor plant care
Los Angeles
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krystenr1
Aug 13, 2017 10:22 PM CST
Thanks again, Will! I do like to repot them when I bring them home simply because I don't like the plastic pots as I find I tend to drown plants in plastic pots on accident. I usually switch them over to terra-cotta pots that are as close to size as I can find, but often have to add a little extra soil when repotting.

I have an eastern window for the Croton, but I'm afraid it might get too hot (it can get up to the low 80s inside my kitchen when I'm not home and the thermostat is off. I typically set it to 78 in order to be use-conscious!). Will these temps be problematic? If so, what location might prove better? (My rooms with south and north facing windows stay much cooler.)
Name: Will Creed
NYC
Professional indoor plant consultan
Image
WillC
Aug 18, 2017 1:37 PM CST
Hi, Krysten - I understand your thinking on the repotting and it is certainly reasonable. Just be aware that as you add more soil, you are also expanding the water retention capacity and that can also lead to inadvertent overwatering - even in a terra cotta pot.

I would recommend the north window for your Croton assuming the window is completely uncovered during the day. The biggest problem with high temps is that it encourages the development and reproduction of spider mites, which favor Crotons as a host.
Will Creed
Horticultural Help, NYC
www.HorticulturalHelp.com
Contact me directly at [email protected]
I now have a book available on indoor plant care

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