Houseplants forum: Croton plant drooping! HELP!

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ellisix
Mar 27, 2018 12:53 PM CST
Hi! I'm new to this forum, and I'm Italian so I'm sorry if I'm making mistakes in English while writing.

So, I recieved this Croton plant about one month ago from an online plant nursery.
It has been very healthy until I left the house for a few days and when I came back two days ago the plant was very droopy. I checked the soil and it was still moist but not too much( I only watered twice since I got it). So I thought it was about the dry air in the room, so I moved in the bathroom (it's the only place my fittonias won't die, so it's pretty humid) but nothing happened.
This morning I woke up and the plant was still drooping. I decided to check the roots to see if any root rot was happening but they looked white and healthy, so I moved the plant to a terracotta pot and I realised that the soil it was sitting in earlier was full of other plants dead leaves so maybe they were retaining too much moisture, so i replanted it in new and drier soil. I moved it back in my room where it receives a good amount of bright light, next to my tiny humidifier and even misted it a little but when I came back home this evening it looked even worse.
What would it be about?
I don't know what else to do, and I really like this plant and want to save it so much.. please help me!!
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Name: Will Creed
NYC
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WillC
Mar 27, 2018 2:11 PM CST
Your English is fine - better than many native English speakers!

Crotons do not tolerate dryness at all and wilt pathetically and quickly if allowed to get even a bit too dry. Misting and increased humidity is not an adequate substitute for watering the roots frequently. The dead leaves were not absorbing the water.

Unfortunately, moving it to drier soil was the wrong way to go and terra cotta pots absorb and deplete the moisture from the soil more readily than plastic pots.

In addition, repotting is often stressful for plants, especially if done incorrectly. I don't know if you replaced the original soil; what kind of new soil you used; and how much larger the new pot is. All of those are factors in determining how it should now be watered.

For now, I suggest that you water your Croton thoroughly, even letting the pot sit in several inches of water for an hour or so. Ideally, you will water it again just before the leave start to wilt.

Crotons also require a location close to a sunny window and prefer cooler temperatures. They are also very prone to spider mite infestations, especially when they are under stress.
Will Creed
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skylark
Mar 27, 2018 3:26 PM CST
I agree with all of the above.
just want to add that it will help to tent it immediately (put a large transparent plastic bag over it) to increase humidity and keep it this way until leaves bounce back, may be even longer (2-3 weeks).
you can also run hot water in a shower until it steams up, shut it down, draw the curtain/door closed and leave the plant sitting their warm and humid overnight. If it's not a bother - do it every night for sev days.
Unfortunately, once the leaves droop to such extent for several days they will drop soon. may be half of them. even if they recover somewhat, it will shorten their lifespan.
[Last edited by skylark - Mar 27, 2018 3:27 PM (+)]
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ellisix
Mar 28, 2018 2:10 AM CST
Thank you for your advice!

I just put the plant under the sink to water it well, making sure that even the pot was getting a good soak, then I moved it outside my east facing window where it's getting direct sunlight for at least a few hours and where it's obviously cooler. Right now where I live the temperature outside is around 8-12 Celsius degrees and it will just rise up a little during the day and the humidity it's supposed to be around 80%.
The pot is also sitting in few inches of water as you suggested.

I knew that terracotta pots aren't very good for this aim but I thought I kind of overwatered the plant. The soil is just a general potting mix.. And I know they get stressed out from repotting but I didn't know what else to do..I hope I'll get better anyways..

I'll try the plastic bag method as soon as I get back home this afternoon.
I alredy tried the shower steam method but I'm afraid the plant doesn't get enough bright light in my bathroom.

Thank you again, I'll update you in a few weeks.
Name: Christine
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Christine
Mar 28, 2018 6:29 AM CST
For future reference, water with room temp water, never directly from the tap Smiling
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skylark
Mar 28, 2018 10:50 AM CST
8C is too low for crotons - when it gets below 11C they drop leaves, even if it's just for several hours. This type of low temperatures are tropical winter for them :).
So NOT a good idea at all to put it outside until it warms up at night to above 12C. and since it's been soaked and is very wet - that makes matters even worse. Bring it indoors if you don't want to kill it!

ellisix
Mar 29, 2018 3:17 AM CST
It has been outside my window since yesterday morning and it looks definitely better!the leaves are becoming a little crispier and pointing up!

You're confusing me a little bit with temperature.. some said it likes lower temperatures and some said warm..

What I know is that the plant looks better! So thank you all for the advice! Thumbs up
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[Last edited by ellisix - Mar 29, 2018 3:32 AM (+)]
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skylark
Mar 29, 2018 8:39 AM CST
i'm glad it's doing better. if your window sill is sunny and warms up during the day above 65F that would be good. Perhaps you get a warming effect at night from the stone walls too. But i'd say it's chancy.
cooler and warmer are relative terms. their best temp is 75-80F with part sun, not hot afternoon sun which bleaches color out of the leaves. 75F is cooler for tropics for sure ;).
Dropping below 65F stops their growth. 55F is deep winter for them. below 51F leaves drop. They are notorious for that.
https://floridata.com/Plants/E...
[Last edited by skylark - Mar 29, 2018 9:09 AM (+)]
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Name: Will Creed
NYC
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WillC
Mar 29, 2018 2:24 PM CST
Your Croton looks great. It just needed more moisture around its roots. It is a tropical plant so it certainly won't tolerate temps close to or below freezing. However, it also does not do well in warm, dry air indoors. A terra coot pot is fine; it just will need to be watered a bit more than if it were in a plastic pot. Tap water is fine as long as it is not unusually hard.

You seem to be on the right track now. If it starts to wilt again, just give it a good soak!
Will Creed
Horticultural Help, NYC
www.HorticulturalHelp.com
I now have a book available on indoor plant care

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