Why Is My Croton Plant Losing Its Leaves?

Did you just bring home your new Croton plant only to find it acting in dramatic defiance and dropping its leaves? Or, is it losing its leaves after years of thriving in your care?

Whichever it is, I’ll help you identify the reason for this undesired attitude and will help you to get your luscious plant back.

What causes croton leaves to fall off

At one point, “Why is my croton plant losing its leaves?” was the only persisting question in my mind.

After long research (trial and error) and an even longer journey with croton plants, I’m here to share with you what I’ve experienced in growing these tropical plants.

Why Is My Croton Plant Losing Its leaves?

Most types of Croton plants are generally easy to grow. However, they sometimes get stressed, which causes the loss of leaves. Stress is most likely a result of a change, but it could also be because of a disease or a pest attack.

Relieving your plant from its source of discomfort will bring its lively form back in no time.

Reasons Your Croton Plant Is Experiencing Leaf Drop

Let’s get into all the reasons your Croton’s leaves are shedding.

A New Home

When crotons move from the nursery to your home, it needs time to acclimate. It will start leaves starting to turn yellow and soon shed leaves. After a short time, leaves will begin to regrow back. 

Note that even moving it from one place to another in your home could rouse the same reaction.

Change in Humidity

Croton plants are native to Malaysia, the Pacific Islands, and northern Australia. It’s only normal that the plant flourishes in warm, humid weather.

Any extreme conditions won’t work well with your Croton. Too much heat and humidity, or not enough, will cause the plant to shed its leaves.

If you live in a dry climate, you can get the perfect humidity levels for your plant by either using a humidifier or misting your plant every morning. 

By regularly spraying the leaves, they won’t only have a constant shine, but you’ll help them carry out better photosynthesis due to their clean surface.

Lighting

Another important thing to consider is where you put your plant. Croton plants relish lots of sunlight (even direct sunlight), and it greatly affects how they prosper. Leaves work as an indicator of how much light your plant has been getting.

Too much bright sunlight will make the leaves fade on some varieties, especially the fiery colored ones. Too little sunlight will result in leggy croton plants trying to catch the sun rays. Also, it won’t allow color pigmentation to form on the leaves.

Most importantly, both extremes are reasons for your plant’s leaf-loss. I recommend placing it near a window with eastern exposure for sufficient lighting and temperature degrees.

You can go for eight hours of sunlight per day, and always check the leaves to know where to go from there.

Temperature

The ideal temperature for your plant is 70–80° F, so make sure that it’s achieved to avoid any stress on your plant. Any temperature changes should be minor, and the transition should always be smooth.

If you notice your plant’s leaves falling after a temperature change, you’ll realize immediately that that’s the reason.

Watering

Unfortunately, mastering the right amount of water to give your Croton can sometimes be tricky. Overwatering and underwatering both cause damage to the roots (root rot) and may cause the leaves to fall.

Your best bet is watering it weekly. Water it until water pools in the pot, then if the water is still there after 30 mins, pour it out. Make sure the soil is always moist but not full-on wet. 

Diseases and Pests

The croton plant is known for its resilient nature, yet that doesn’t mean it can’t fall prey to diseases and insects.

For more read our articles on: Croton Pests and Croton Diseases   

Common predators are Croton mealybugs, scales, and spider mites. Insects infestation can cause the plant itself or some parts of it to die. At the very least, it’ll make it lose its vibrant appearance. 

Pests require a close eye to notice them and could be very harmful. So, once you’re aware of their existence, get onto the treatment as soon as possible.

It’s a lucky thing that the croton plant is perennial, which means it has the power to be reborn from its ashes like a phoenix! If the roots are alive, you can cut the dead stem, and it will regrow in springtime as good as new.

NOTE: Crotons growing outdoors and experiencing leaves dropping is probably due to water issues, or pests and diseases.

Wrap Up

Many factors could cause your croton plant to lose its leaves. The source could be environmental, or it could be a disease that took hold of your plant.

Either way, just by identifying the issue, you can immediately work on eliminating it. As long as the plant is able to regrow its leaves, you have nothing to worry about. You’ll have your croton plant regaining its radiance before you realize it.

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