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Question from Rena Powell


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I just acquired a rather large croton, it is simply beautiful (vivid color) . I just noticed that a few leaves have fallen off and brown wrinkly spots on the leaves have appeared. I water it weekly, mist regularly and it is getting filtered sun. What am I doing wrong?

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  • Replies: 1
  • Posted: Tue. 5th May 2009 16:02

Croton troubles

Reply from Kathy C

Hi, Rena,
It sounds like you are doing everything right, but the spots should give a clue as to what is going on. Are the spots on the tips, edges, or in the middle of the leaf? If the tips are brown, it is usually a sign of too low humidity. If the leaf edges are brown, if could be overwatering, underwatering (I don't think that is the case with your plant), too little light, too much light, dry air, too hot or too cold (I know, lots of reasons for brown edges!!). If there are brown spots or patches on the leaf surface, that makes it a little easier to determine what is wrong. If the spots are crisp and brown, underwatering is the problem. If the areas are soft and brown, overwatering is probably the reason. If the spots are white or straw-coloured, they could be caused by watering with cold water, water splashes on the leaves, or too much sun. If the spots are blister-like and moist, the cause is disease (again, not likely with your plant).
Having said all that, having just asquired the plant, it might show some stress for a while as it adjusts to its new surroundings.
Finally, years ago I used to work for a company tending plants in office buildings in London. Several clients had Crotons in their buildings and though we were 'experts', time and money didn't allow us to tend them as often as we would have liked. Some Crotons got water every two weeks and were in dry office air so were only misted every two weeks. Surprisingly enough, most of them did quite well with less water than I thought they would want. If your plant is still looking unhappy in a few weeks (after making adjusts based on the symptoms described above), maybe try watering a little less frequently to see if that makes a difference.
I hope this has been useful and please let me know how you get on.
Kathy C.

  • Posted: Tue. 5th May 2009 19:28