Why Is My Croton Losing Its Leaves?

Last Updated on August 4, 2022 by Stephanie

Croton plants are an excellent option to bring a splash in color as well as variety to my plants in the house. But, Ive learned that theyre not the most easy houseplants to cultivate, since they require consistent and precise conditions for growth.

Leaves can fall off the croton plant if it is stressed or are in an imbalance. Luckily, the majority of reasons for croton defoliation are able to be identified and rectified.

The main reasons for leaf fall in croton is drafts, excessive watering, as well as the fluctuation of light levels and temperature. In winter, decrease the frequency of watering and put it in a sunny and dry area in which temperatures are between 70 and 80degF (21-27degC). Defoliation may also be due to transfer shock or low-humidity, and even pests.

Common Causes of Leaf Drop in Croton

[1] Low Light Levels

Croton plant species require at minimum six hours of bright indirect sunlight every day. If they are exposed to direct sunlight, without filtering they are unable to stand it.

In dark or dim rooms in dark or dim rooms, plants will be worse in dark or dim rooms. If youre in cold winter or low lighting growing lights might help keep your plants in good condition.

Crotons shed their leaves rapidly due to or a decrease in the amount of daylight hours or an increase in the amount of light (aka intensities).

It is more likely to happen this during the winter and fall months rather than during the summer and spring months.

A consistent exposure to bright light is essential to create vivid coloration and patterns.

If there is a sudden drop in light, the variegations will be the first ones to be affected by the changes.

In addition to make matters worse, the leaves of the plant start to turn green, and then disappear because of the constant absence of sunlight.

Croton leaves can be able to fall off, even when the lighting levels and duration are sufficient when the plant was previously in an area that had ideal lighting conditions.

It is possible to avoid this issue by slowly exposing your croton less light levels.

As the gradual decline of light intensity, old leaves may begin to disappear. However new leaves will appear which are more accustomed to the low levels of light.

How to deal with low Light Levels

In winters gloomy days Theres nothing you can change the light levels or duration. However, you can put your croton on the window sill of a south-facing window.

Let your croton adjust to lower levels of light over time to ensure that it doesnt freak out.

Be sure to turn your plants 90° so that all its leaves get enough light to photosynthesis.

Consider investing in some of the foliage grow lights to get the most effective results. I recommend LED lights (check the most current price at Amazon right here) because they offer both kinds of light spectrums that are beneficial to that of the sun.

Make sure that your grow lights will offer more than 6 minutes in light. FC light.

Codiaeum variegatum no pot roots exposed

[2] Overwatering

Stress caused by an excessively moist or sloppy pot mix is the leading reason for the loss of foliage in indoor croton plants.

The frequent watering of your croton could result in overwatering however the amount of water you use wont impact this.

When your soil becomes too humid or wet the roots of your plant arent able to absorb enough oxygen.

Additionally, a dripping pot soils can cause root rot that can cause the plant to defoliate.

Croton overwatering may cause these signs and symptoms:

  • The leaves are yellowing, and it is noticeable in the lower foliage
  • It is the appearance and color of fungus-gnats, powdery mildew, and so on.
  • The tips of the leaves are brown, soaked in water and edges
  • Leaf edema
  • The leaves of the plant are often are surrounded by yellow rings
  • Wilting leaves
  • Fungal or mold growth on the soils surface, leaves, or stems
  • Stunted growth

How to Fix an Overwatered Croton

The tendency to overwater croton in winter seasons is more likely due to the plant isnt actively growing and is not making the most of its water.

Make sure that the top 2 inches of the growing medium have dried before watering again.

The crotons that have been overwatered to be dry out in a sunny, warm area is the best way to treat the problem. Do not water until the issue is solved Of course!

If your croton has been infected by fungal or bacterial root rot, youll have to go beyond removing the affected roots.

The majority of the time I pull my croton plants from their pots to determine how their roots are damaged.

It is possible to help your plant recover by removing the affected parts and then planting them again. In the event of a problem, it is ideal to start growing by cuttings from stems.

[3] Underwatering

Croton plants are fast-growing in the summer and spring it is essential to ensure that the soil around them is damp but not soaking wet.

Codiaeum Variegatum requires approximately one inch of water each week. In winter, it is possible to reduce the frequency of irrigation to once a week.

Crotons leaf drop is typically due to stress, however its not always the case.

In fact, it is more likely to be the cause when leaf loss is restricted to the lower leaves and the leaves are dry dried, brown, and dry.

Yellowing or wilting of leaves can be observed before the leaves drop off. A severe loss of water could cause the whole plants to look limp, and wilted.

Croton leaves with edges and tips that are brown are another indication of an submerged croton plant.

Be aware that low humidity and cold drafts can also lead to the death of leaves with brown tips. The wilting of leaves can result from cold currents or overwatering. It could also be due to an extreme deficiency of moisture.

How to Fix Underwatering in Crotons

Crotons can be finicky when it is time to water. The signs that your croton is thirsty are wilting, curling and crisping of young leaves.

If you notice leaf drop during the summer months, increase the frequency of watering. But, prior to expanding the amount of water, ensure that the upper one or two inches of soil are dry.

Fill the drainage holes in the bottom of the plant until the top of the plant with water. The bottom watering of your plant can aid in fading Croton.

You should think about the possibility of a new container for your croton, if the leaves are getting dry and disappearing despite your best efforts to water and misting.

It is recommended to find an excellent quality peat moss mix for growing (Check the most recent prices at Amazon right here).

[4] Heat and Inadequate Humidity

The humidity level is likely to be the reason why the croton leaves turn hard and turn brown and then fall off.

But, hot or heat drafts from open doors or heating vents are frequent causes of water logging.

Crotons as well as other tropical plant species, need lots of humidity. Crispness, curling of leaves, and dropping are indicators of stress caused by moisture when relative humidity falls to below 40 percent.

Also, brown leaf edges and margins are visible on crotons that are suffering from dehydration extreme. The more frequently you drink water, the thirstier your plant will become.

A constant lack of humidity can make your croton vulnerable to spider mites. This could cause your plant to shed leaves.

Handling Heat and Low Humidity

Be sure to keep your crotons clear of heating sources such as fireplaces, stovetops, radiators and doors which let cold air in.

Croton must be maintained in a place where the humidity is between 40% and 80% since it comes located in a tropical region.

Mist your croton regularly with regular misting of distilled or bottle water. You can also use humidifiers to ensure that your plant feels at the comfort of your home.

It is possible to increase the level of humidity around your croton by putting it in a tray of water that is filled with pebbles.

The arrangement of your houseplants could aid in creating a humid microclimate in the vicinity of your Croton.

[5] Acclimation Shock

To begin, this species of the tropics is resistant to abrupt changes. Therefore, your croton will undergo acclimatization shock when you relocate the plant, transfer it, or even repot it.

In the process, the plant is depressed and starts to shed the leaves of its plant in huge quantities.

From my experience, Croton plants do not like it when its surroundings or growth medium is changed.

If you move it, the croton will be exposed to tension or stress. In the end, your croton may shed all its leaves until it reaches a point that it appears bare.

How to Fix It

I know that croton with only a few leaves can be ugly. But, even if your plant is just an acorn, dont take it away just yet.

Let your plant rest in its new surroundings and do not disturb it. After a couple of weeks, new leaves will begin to appear.

Remember that crotons like direct, bright sunlight. Therefore, you must place the window 2-3 feet from the pane of windows that face south.

If you give lots of bright sunlight, the new growth will be green and bloom, creating distinct varieties.

[6] Pests and Diseases

Crotons are generally easy to maintain tropical plants. But, if they are sick or unwell, the crotons will display their distress by dropping a portion, or even all its leaves.

If the croton is not having enough drainage, the leaves will disappear because the roots are decayed. Examine for signs of bacterial infections, such as the crown gall or fungal infections such as Anthracnose.

A lot of pest activity could cause the loss of the crotons leaf. In general, mealybugs and mites are blamed for the croton leaf loss, however scale insects and thrips can also cause problems.

Be on the lookout for these insects as well as their eggs and larvae that are found on the undersides of the leaves.

If the insects freely roam the growth of your crotons leaves will be slowed and the leaves will fall off in huge amounts. In the end, your plant will be a victim to the swarm of insects.

Handling Croton Pests and Diseases

Be sure to look for insects like mites and mealybugs in the leaves crevices and nooks.

Pesticides such as neem oil insecticidal soap and the horticultural oil are employed to eliminate the croton bug, however I would prefer alternatives that are less harmful such as these.

Alternately, you can utilize cotton swabs soaked in rubbing alcohol or a direct water spray or hand-held sprayer to kill the pests.

To fight croton disease youll have to take extreme measures, for example:

  • Improve the air circulation of your croton plant will help decrease the spread and growth of fungal spores.
  • Get rid of dead or fallen leaves as well as plant material.
  • Do not use hands that are soiled to hold your Croton.
  • Avoid the overhead irrigation system and avoid splashing of foliage.
  • Utilizing broad spectrum fungicides, particularly in the spring and fall.

To treat fungal illnesses. These are the fungalicides that I suggest:

[7] Not Enough Nutrients Available to Your Croton Plant

If your croton is deficient in nutrients, its health could be affected as a result. Additionally, nutritional deficiencies could cause a variety of problems like a poor appearance, stunted growth of the leaf as well as disease and insects.

Insufficient nutrients can cause leaves to lose their color, turn yellow and then drop off.

How to Fix It

The most severe deficiency of nutrient in many instances is due to poor watering practices, root-bound plants, or a deficient soil.

If you are looking to repot your croton the most popular method is to make a fresh mix of peat moss or compost potting mixes that drains well and contains a an abundance of humus.

It is also possible to apply slow-release pellets or a well-balanced liquid fertilizer each month throughout the growing season.

But, you should reduce the strength of your fertilizer by half prior to applying it to your croton. Too many fertilizer salts could cause leaves to fall.

[8] Cold Drafts and Temperature Drop

Apart from temperatures and light exposures Crotons are extremely particular regarding their conditions of growth.

If the temperature falls below 50°F (10 degree Celsius) Your Codiaeum variety begins to shed its leaves.

If your croton is located near an air duct that is cold or window panes, unlocked doors, or any other cold drafts, its more likely to fall leaves in your home. However, even when its in the house itll shed its leaves as the temperature drops.

The oldest and the smallest leaf is the one thats first ones to succumb to cold winds and temperatures drop.

In the end, there may be some unpredictability in the loss of your croton leaves This can cause your plant to disappear from its unique appearance.

Solution for Cold Drafts and Temperature Drops

If you expect the temperature to fall below 50 degF (10degC) then you must bring your croton indoors. A temperature between 70 and 80degF (21-27degC) is the ideal temperature for crotons.

Make sure your croton is kept away from cold or cool drafts in general.

Then, lift the plant up and place it on a plank or rack of wood, instead of directly on the cold floor to prevent the plant from dying.

Is It Normal For Crotons To Lose Their Leaves?

Its normal for crotons to shed leaves when they adapt to their new surroundings. This happens when you move the plant or take it home from the greenhouse, nursery or even the plants shop.

Its common for leaves that are older to shed their vigor become yellow and then dry out prior to falling off the plant that gave it its name.

How Long Does It Take Croton To Grow New Leaves?

It will last for about 3-4 weeks. If your croton is exposed to extreme or sudden environmental changes, it could be unable to keep its leaves.

The positive side is that crotons are robust and resistant to killing. Therefore, theres no reason to be concerned when your plant is absent of leaves or is completely without.

Scratch the stalk at the center of your croton gently. The croton is alive and is able to be revived if the tissue underneath the stalk is green.

Place your garden in the exact spot and ensure it is watering and feeding. Croton will thank you for the hard work and perseverance with the first blossoms of bright, new foliage within 3-4 weeks.

Ways to Make Croton Grow More Leaves

Water Your Croton When the First Inch of the Soil Feels Dry

Crotons are tropical plants that love moisture. So, the soil has to be kept wet throughout the day.

In the end it is recommended to be sure to water your plants regularly, but not to the point that it becomes wet.

It is a good idea to moisten your croton throughout the growing season, when the top layer of soil is dry.

Before you re-irrigating, wait until the first 2 inches of soil have dried completely.

Give Your Croton Lots of Light

Light thats clear and well-filtered is perfect for Crotons. However, the croton could not be receiving enough light if the leaves turn into green again, or lose their vivid colors, or even disappear.

Although your croton may take moderate light, it wont have as much leaves or display the same intensity of color.

Make sure it receives at least six or eight hours of indirect, bright sunlight from windows facing south. In winter you could also add lighting for your plants.

Start Using A Fertilizer

Being a plant that is rapidly growing Croton responds favorably to the application of fertilizers. So, from March until at the close of September, apply a premium liquid fertilizer with a half of the recommended amount.

If you are using pellets, you should use an acidifying fertilizer that contains sulfur-coated urea, ammonium Sulfate or ammonium nitrate. In the spring and summer you should only apply it three times.

Remove Dead Leaves, Stems, and Branches

Dead plant matter must be removed and disposed of as soon as is possible.

They are not just an ideal breeding site for diseases and pests pathogens, but they also be a winterizing place for spores of various fungal species.

Use Nutrient-Rich and Well-Draining Soil

Crotons dont thrive in poorly drained growing medium. Theyll lose their beautiful leaves and are more susceptible to disease and pests.

Instead, choose well-drained soil that has been enhanced by Organic matter, or even compost. I like a humus-rich mix with peat moss for the base.

Add Organic Matter to the Soil

Also the addition of organic matter to your crotons growing medium could be beneficial. The most effective method is to utilize peat moss and compost.



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 :)