Why Does My Croton Mammy Losing Leaves?

The Croton Mammy, also called Mammy Croton, is among one of the most colorful houseplants. Mammy shares the characteristic colorful leaves of bold yellows, oranges, reds, and black like other Croton plants.

Beautiful foliage of Croton MammyPin
Attractive foliage of Croton Mammy | PlantCareToday

The Croton Mammy is botanically known as Codiaeum variegatum. The term ‘variegatum’ references the multitude of colors in the plant’s leaves. 

While the Croton Mammy plant is hardy, it does struggle with leaf drop for a few reasons. With proper knowledge, the condition is taken care of quickly. 

Most Common Reason For Losing Leaves

The most common reason for a Croton plant losing its leaves is due to over or underwatering. Keep the soil of Mammy Croton house plant moist. If the soil is too dry, the plant’s leaves will wither and start to drop off.

It can be challenging to find a proper watering schedule that will not harm your plant. 

A good rule of thumb is:

  • Make sure the pot has drainage holes
  • Water the plant thoroughly when the top two to three inches of soil is dry
  • Be cautious as overwatering can cause root rot and additional falling leaves.

Why Is Temperature Important?

Temperature is another common reason for the Croton Mammy plant losing leaves. Croton plants enjoy sunny spots near windows with plenty of light. To be sure Croton is getting enough light, check the vibrancy of the plant’s colors.

If the leaves of your Croton are mostly green, the plant requires more light. Croton Mammy should have lots of sunlight each day. They prefer warm and humid environment with plenty of sun.

Keep mammy away from heating or cooling vents. Ensure that the plant’s temperatures remain around 65° or higher to preserve the plant’s longevity.

What Damage Does Stress Cause My Plant?

Mammy Crotons are hypersensitive and prone to stress. They don’t like their environment to change quickly, if at all.

Some stressors causing mammy to lose leaves are:

  • Moving the plant from one window to another
  • Moving the plant inside or outside
  • Too much or not enough water
  • Too much sun
  • Not enough humidity

Croton Mammy is temperamental and reacts poorly to change. The best way to help a plant to heal is to give the plant time. The mammy is slow-growing and will need time to adjust to any changes in the environment.

Controlling Change in Soil

At some point, your Croton will need repotting once it outgrows its current home.

Repotting is one of the most significant stressors for all plants. The Croton mammy is no exception. To reduce repotting stress, take your time, and don’t switch up the soil type when moving.

Use fertilizer sparing. Fertilize croton mammy once in the spring and once in the fall with time-release plant food for best results.

Other Popular Croton Plant Varieties

How To Control Croton Mammy Stress?

Controlling your Croton Mammy’s stress is far easier than imagined. Stop mammy from losing leaves by making a few changes to its care.


The University of Florida recommends routinely dusting mammy leaves to allow for proper circulation and flow of gases. Dampen a cloth and wipe the leaves gently to clean off any dust. [source]

Using a moist cloth on the Croton’s leaves is also a great way to increase humidity. The moisture on the leaves will be adequate for the plant and will encourage steady growth.

Another natural tip to prevent stress is to ensure that your Croton has a strict watering routine. This helps the plant stay balanced and at home. Try not to move the plant to eliminate the stress of acclimation.

Of course, the best natural solution for helping your Mammy Croton is giving the plant time to heal. Maintain a routine for your plant to offer it the least amount of stress possible.


These Crotons are prone to mealybugs and fungal problems. 

If your plant is infected, handle the pests or diseases fast. 

Learn more about the most common Croton Pests and Croton Diseases

It might be best to opt for an insecticide. Moving the plant or changing its watering schedule will only add to your plant’s stress.

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