What Causes Drooping Leaves On Croton?

Last Updated on November 20, 2022 by Stephanie

Im a huge fan of crotons and their gorgeously vibrant foliage, but I have admitted that they are a little sensitive.

Its not a good idea to turn a blind eye to the drooping of leaves as its nearly always a sign that somethings not right. Dont be afraid Ill go over the most common reasons for a croton that is drooping and guide you through the steps to correct every issue.

Croton leaves are likely to become limp and lose their shape because of extremely dry soil or excessive watering. Other possible causes are the presence of low moisture, mild problems such as cold drafts, temperature stress and pests, as well as transplant shock. It is essential to not move your croton as much as it is possible.

Lets first discover if its normal for the crotons leaves to drop.

Is It Normal for A Croton to Droop?

The quick answer is yes. Its not uncommon for the your crotons leaves to begin to droop, particularly when you take it home.

Crotons can be quite fussy in the house because they hate changes. They arent happy when theyre moved, shaken and moved around from one place to another. They respond by drooping , and could even begin dropping leaves.

This reaction can be extremely intense if the change in location can affect the light supply. However, its normal. The foliage will return once your croton is accustomed to the new location.

To prevent stress from forming to avoid stress, you should make it a habit of not causing stress to your croton. Avoid sudden movements or changes to the extent that is possible. Make sure it is in an even, stable and humid, near-tropical climate.

Croton in front of purple wall

Reasons for Croton Dropping

The multi-colored, thick and shiny leaf of the Croton is beautiful to look at. However, you might be a bit concerned when you notice them beginning to drop abruptly. In this article, Ill discuss the most likely causes for leaf drop and the best way to handle each problem.

[1] Underwatering (Extremely Dry Soil)

Crotons have been given an unpopular reputation for being difficult to cultivate. This is due to the fact that it isnt easy to set an effective watering schedule. In reality that your croton will reward you with stunningly vibrant plants if you maintain a steady moisture level but not soggy or wet.

If the leaves of your croton are beginning to fall it is likely that youve allowed the soil completely dry. Its likely that the leaves are dry, crisp and turning wilting.

Crispy, brown edges as well as tips can be another indication of submerged. The leaves curl and then fall off because of chronic dehydration.

Solution

The first step is to must determine the factors that contribute to the extreme drying of soil. It is important to address problems like insufficient humidity or a poor irrigation practices. The plant could be exposed to excessive light or been rooted out.

In the event that your soil appears totally dry, water-soaking can fix the problem:

  1. Place your croton in a bathtub or sink, or in a large container. It should be filled with water that is room temperature up to 3-to-4-inch mark.
  2. Give your croton about 45 minutes to allow the soil to be filled with water and drained through drain holes.
  3. When the soil is evenly moist, drain the basin and then tilt the pot to let the soil drain completely.
  4. Q-tips can be inserted into drain holes. This will aid in draining as the perched water as you can. Remember that crotons do not want stagnant water to remain in soil.

To stop the soil from becoming dry, maintain an even watering routine. Re-water after the top 2 to 3 inches of the soil are dry.

[2] Overwatering

Too little or excessive water could cause your croton to droop. But, overwatering can be an increasingly common and dangerous issue to your plants. Actually your croton is more likely to bite dust when the soil is saturated with water.

Heres how you can tell whether drooping is caused by an overwatered croton

  • Leaf edema is one of the first signs of excessive water loss. Edema can occur when your croton is able to absorb much more fluid than it is able to utilize. This causes water-soaked blisters that appear on leaves.
  • Leaf yellowing - Leaves change to yellow, beginning with the older or lower ones. If your leaves are becoming yellow and wiping out in a random manner, excessive watering could cause root rot.
  • Soggy soil: The first indication of excessive watering is that the soil remains wet or soggy for five to seven days following the watering. Soggy soil can choke the roots as well as cause the croton to be unhappy and to droop.
  • Rotting smell - If you notice a stink of rotting emanates out of the ground or at the base of the tree, its likely that root decay has erupted into an awning due to excessive watering. It is likely to find rusty brown or black and soft roots.
  • Brown spots with watery flecks A croton that is overwatered is susceptible to bacterial leaf spot infections. They appear as wet brown spots that are surrounded by a an orange halos. The spots will grow and then merge to form larger black or brown patches.
  • Leaves are falling off - If both old and new leaves are falling it could be because you excessively hydrated your croton.
  • Wilting leaves are typically a sign the root has snuck into. Lower and upper older and newly-grown leaves are typically affected.

Solution

If your soil appears moist but there is no evidence of root rot then youre in good shape. You can wait until the top 1-2 inches of the soil is dry prior to the next watering.

It is also important to address any problems that could contribute to the overwatering. This includes:

  • Insufficient light - If your croton suffers from a lack of light it will be slower to dry. Find a place with lots of bright, indirect light.
  • Slow growth or a slow period of growth - the season determines your Crotons needs for watering. The growth slows in the winter months. Therefore, it is recommended to reduce the frequency of watering.
  • Poor drainage of soil - Too many organic matter or clay causes soil to hold excessive amounts of water. Add vermiculite or perlite to the potting mix to increase drainage. If not, repot with an aeration-friendly potting mix.
  • A pot that is too large The pot you choose to use is too big for your croton, it increases the chance of watering too much. Choose a pot that leaves one quarter inch between the plant and the walls inside the container.
  • Inadequate drainage holes - Once again Crotons hate being in a pool of water. Be sure that the container has sufficient drainage holes to prevent flooding.

Make sure you remove the pot from your croton, then inspect it for root decay. It is essential to look for healthy roots. They must be firm and white. If you discover soft, mushy, or brown, rusty roots the root rot is taken hold. Heres how you can revive your croton:

  • Carefully wash away as much soil as you can from the root system.
  • Remove dead or damaged roots
  • Treat the rest of the health roots by dipping them in an affungicide solution
  • Make a fresh batch of pots with hydrogen peroxide, and then repot your Croton
  • Make sure you have plenty of conditions when your plant recovers

To prevent the spread of disease, keep an ongoing watering schedule. Allow the top 2 up to 3 inches dry out slightly between irrigations.

[3] Loss of Turgor Pressure

Have you ever wondered how your croton is able to maintain its lustrous look of foliage? The Turgor pressure could be a factor in it. Its a force that is exerted by the cell membrane against the cell wall, which gives leaves their strength and shape.

If your croton is using or losing water, it could absorb water through the roots, which can lead to the reduction in pressure on the turgor. In turn, the plant begins to lose its firmness and then collapses. The leaves also begin curving, wilting and falling.

The loss of turgor pressure is usually a result of the underwatering. But, other problems such as low humidity, excessive watering excessive light and root rot could be causes.

Solution

  1. All it boils down to the need to address the issue of underwatering. Your croton will bounce back after you drink it.
  2. Make sure to use a correct method of watering to water thoroughly until the liquid drains out of drain holes. Be sure to tilt the pot in order to remove the water that has been perched. Clean the saucer of any excess.
  3. To be safe As a precaution, it is recommended to be sure to water your garden immediately after the top 3″ of soil is dry.

[4] Low Humidity

Crotons originate from the tropical Southeast Asian rainforests where they thrive in humid conditions. Be aware that your croton is extremely dependent on changes to its surroundings.

When the humidity of your croton is less than 40%, the plant will react negatively by dropping leaves and drooping. This is usually the case when you begin running the central heating in the winter months. The air inside your home is going to become dry and crisp.

Crotons can also exhibit other signs of low humidity. This includes browning of edges and tips of leaves and crisped-up surfaces on the leaf, and curling of the leaves. The effect is more noticeable when the leaves are tender and new edges, particularly those that are the furthest away from the roots.

Low humidity typically goes with the process of underwatering. In this way the plant is likely to lose water at a greater rate via respiration, evaporation, and transpiration.

Solution

  1. Crotons prefer optimal relative humidity levels of around 70 percent. However, you must keep humidity within the 40-80 percent range. It is recommended to mist the leaves frequently using cool or room temperature water.
  2. Allow your croton plant to sit in a tray of water on a bed of pebbles.
  3. If you have the money consider investing in a reliable humidifier to maintain a constant humidity in your Croton.

[5] Over-Temperature and Extreme Cold

Crotons are extremely sensitive to temperature changes. They are particularly sensitive to hot and cold drafts which cause recurrent temperatures stress. This is likely to result in leaf drop as well as falling down.

If the temperature is too high the leaves turn dull tender, sickly, and swollen. If you take action quickly to prevent the leaves from dying or falling to the ground.

Apart from the drooping, curled and dry leaves are another sign that cold breezes are causing the leaves to dry.

Solution

Croton houseplants thrive with temperatures ranging from 60 to 85 degrees (15-29oC). However, they are best kept indoors in the middle of that range.

Remove your croton from heating and cooling vents, windows that arent insulated or doors to the entrance, as well as heat registers. Make sure its not in the direction of hot or cold drafts.

Bring your crotons inside as the temperature outside falls to below 50degF (10oC).

[6] Water Quality (Tap Water)

If youve rearranged your watering regimen but the leaves still seem to be drooping it could be due to low quality water. The tap water is softened that means it contains chlorine, fluoride, minerals, and salts.

The chemicals build up in the soil, causing the leaves to turn brown at the edges and tips. The leaves that have been burned with salt are likely to curl up, turn brown and then droop. The edges of the burned leaves may show some signs of yellowing.

Solution

  1. Take away any leaves that are badly burned to ensure that your croton is expanding vigorously
  2. You can water your croton with untreated rainwater or distilled water.
  3. In the ideal scenario, youll need an water filtering system.
  4. If you are forced to choose other than to use tap water, allow it in the sink or an open container for a night. This allows fluoride and chlorine to evaporate.
  5. If you notice a few small white spots that appear to be crusty on the soils surface, this is a result of salt build-up from fertilizer and tap water. It is recommended to repot your croton with new soil.

[7] How Much Light Is It Getting?

Crotons are not surprisingly strict regarding their lighting requirements. They are most comfortable in brightly lit areas. It requires at minimum 4-6 hours of bright lighting to show the most vivid and vibrant shades. (Source: University of Florida).

If your croton receives too much light, the shiny leaf colors or variegated leaves will appear dull, washed-out and begin to droop.

A severe light deficiency also decreases the amount of water used, slows the growth rate, and eventually increases the chance of overwatering. In areas with a darker climate theyll show large, lanky, and floppy growth , with fresh leaves that lack a vibrant and vibrant appearance.

Crotons dont enjoy excessive direct sunlight, either. It can cause scorching and burning to the plant, which causes leaves to turn brown, wilt and drop. Crotons with lighter colors tend to be more susceptible to falling into sunburns than their darker counterparts.

Solution

Place your croton in an area with sunlight that is bright or dappled. If you live in a home, it would be near the east or west-facing windows.

[8] Sudden Movement (Change of Location)

As weve said that crotons arent a fan of abrupt changes. Theyll react in a dramatic manner when you move them to a different location. The leaves will often turn completely yellow, then droop and fall off.

It could be an excuse for your croton to start screaming in anger. Dont be shocked when it sheds all its leaves once you move it to a new location in your house.

Solution

Theres not much to do. All you need to do is sit and wait the croton to develop new leaves in a couple of weeks after it has acclimatized to its new home.

[9] Insect Infestation

Crotons are susceptible to infestation by common sap-sucking bugs, including mealybugs and spider mites. Examining your crotons regularly is the first and most important first line of defense.

An infestation of red spider mites, for instance could result in significant loss of moisture and nutrients. The reason for this is because of the injuries caused by the insects as they take sap from its leaves. Its a sight to behold: dropping leaves and a slow-growing growth.

Similar to mealybugs, they drink the nutrients and water out of your croton which causes the croton to droop. They can also cause black sooty mold. They are a shape of a cotton-like white mass that is deposited on the roots.

Be on the lookout for other pests that are common to croton such as whiteflies, thrips and scales.

Solution

  1. Begin by using a strong stream of water clean the spider mites and other bugs off your precious Croton.
  2. Rub rubbing alcohol on the affected areas to kill insects
  3. Spray your croton with an insecticide soap or neem oil. Repeat the process every week or.

[10] Diseases

Certain fungal and bacterial illnesses can afflict your croton, which can cause your plant to weaken and begin to droop. Croton the stem gall, and canker are all common in the event that your plant has become sick and prone.

Croton crown galls are typically caused by bacterial infections, however, certain fungi may cause. If you notice swollen leaves and stem veins that have an appearance of swollen, its an indication of condition.

The infection can give your the croton a wilted, droopy appearance.

Solution

It is recommended that the University of Florida recommended that you eliminate any affected plants immediately. Be sure to trim off dead plant matter. Sterilize pruning shears or cutting tools with rubbing alcohol following each cut.

Make sure to keep your crotons in good health.

[11] Fertilizer Application Mistake

It is not recommended to go overboard with feeding your Croton. In the event of over-application, fertilizer causes salts to build up in the soil, which can cause the toxicity of the roots.

If the root system is damaged your croton is unable to absorb the essential nutrition and water. Therefore the crotons leaves will exhibit evidence of burn from fertilizers and begin to droop.

Solution

  1. Avoid over-fertilizing your croton. To get the best results, apply all-purpose garden fertilizer every month. Be sure to dilute it to half of the strength recommended prior to applying.
  2. When the growth of your plants slows in the fall as well as winter time, you might decide to end fertilizing. If your plant shows indications of deficiency in nutrients Apply fertilizer in 1/4-strength.
  3. If you notice an icy white scab appearing on the surface of your soil, its an indication of salt build-up from fertilizer. Use that as a signal to plant your croton in new soil.

Final Words

Croton can be choosy in regards to its ever-growing needs. Insufficient or excessive water can cause the leaves to drop.

Similar things can happen because of poor lighting temperatures, stress on the body and infections, pests as well as sudden movements and even tap water. It is essential to be aware of everything related to your crotons care to keep it in shape and maintain its health.

Stephanie

Stephanie

Went from an inexperienced gardener to a half-decent one over 10+ years. I cover anything from general indoor plant guides and lawn care, to succulents and flowers. Super happy to share my tips and tricks with you :)