Croton Plant Losing Leaves

I have a slender leafed croton and it’s loosing its leaves. Is there anything I can do for it?

Hi Joan,


It sounds like your plant might be a Croton “Mammy.” Croton plants tend to lose leaves when they are severely over-watered or under-watered. Be sure your croton is in a container that has drip holes in the bottom so that excess water can drain out. Never allow a croton to sit in the excess water. The leaves of the plant will get a little soft and flexible when the plant needs water. Croton plants prefer bright indirect lightVery few houseplants should be placed in direct sun. High light refers only to bright indirect light since direct sun often burns the leaves of indoor houseplants. An area that is too hot and dry encourages Spider Mites and causes blooms to quickly fade. A northern exposure really doesn't provide enough light for high light plants. These plants need to be placed directly in front of an east-facing window, within 1-3 feet of a west-facing window, and within 5 ft. of a south facing window. A high light area has over 300 ft. candles of light.. This helps the soil dry out quickly and helps prevent root rot.┬áIf there is insufficient light, new leaves are green not predominantly yellow, red, or orange. Too much direct sun causes phototoridation, a condition that makes Croton leaves gray and dull looking. You can read all my care tips for a croton plant in the Popular houseplant section of the website.

If you don’t think it’s a watering issue, the other cause may be Spider Mites. Spider Mites are a plant pest that really likes croton plants. You can read about spider mites and how to treat them in the Glossary of the website.