Why Does a Croton Plant Lose Leaves?

HI Judy, so happy to have found your site. I purchased this as my first houseplant when I moved to San Diego from a local grocery store. For years I kept it on a shelf in a bright room and when I moved it went on my kitchen counter just adjacent to a bright window (that didnt have direct sun). The large leaves are its originals, and up until 2 months ago the leaves were all dark semi-waxy, with elasticity and always producing new growth. Now, the leaves dry, yellowing leaves slip right off with a simple graze, and they feel very light and paper-esque. There are still new leaves sprouting but after a short-lived strong green, they turn like the others. It always lived in the same terra pot which I topped with org potting soil and compost 6 mos ago. 3 days a go I repotted to larger container with new org pot soil and compost. any thoughts? No clue what type of plant it is, but it has always been my favorite and I feel like a small piece of me is going with it 🙁 Thanks for your help and attention, will certainly make a contribution on pay day).

Hi,

image16

Your plant is called a Croton Petra. There could be a couple of reasons why your plant is losing leaves. When you moved to your new location and it wasn’t getting as much sun as before, the soil did not dry out as quickly. If you continued to water your Croton Plant at the same rate as you did in the original location, you are probably over-watering and causing the roots to disintegrate. Moving the Croton Plant to a larger pot is going to increase the problem because it will take the soil even longer to dry out. If you don’t think you are keeping the soil too wet, the other thing that causes Croton Plant leaves to lose color and fall off is an infestation of spider mitesSpider Mites, members of the Acari family, are small insects about 1mm in size. The most common indoor plant mite is the red spider mite (also called the two-spotted spider mite.). These pests lay their eggs on the under surface of leaves and produce fine webbing especially where the leaves are attached to the stem. Spider mites are hard to see with the naked eye, and may appear only as small red dots. They are more often recognized by the gritty feel of the leaf when you run your finger down it’s length, or by the appearance of discolored leaves due to the sucking action of the mites. The best way to prevent spider mites is to keep your plants clean and dust free. Treat spider mites by spraying every ten days for a month with a product such as Safer Insecticidal Soap.. You can read all about spider mitesSpider Mites, members of the Acari family, are small insects about 1mm in size. The most common indoor plant mite is the red spider mite (also called the two-spotted spider mite.). These pests lay their eggs on the under surface of leaves and produce fine webbing especially where the leaves are attached to the stem. Spider mites are hard to see with the naked eye, and may appear only as small red dots. They are more often recognized by the gritty feel of the leaf when you run your finger down it’s length, or by the appearance of discolored leaves due to the sucking action of the mites. The best way to prevent spider mites is to keep your plants clean and dust free. Treat spider mites by spraying every ten days for a month with a product such as Safer Insecticidal Soap. and how to get rid of them in the Glossary of the website.