Plant Identification – Croton

Hey Judy,

Bought this on the sidewalk a couple of days ago, and it’s already not doing so great. It’s in very light weight, sandy soil that doesn’t retain water at all. He seems like he isn’t getting enough water. Top leaves used to be green, new ones are yellow?? The loss of the bottom leaves (dried up and falling off), makes me think not enough water. Worried about repotting since I’ve only had about a week, but I’m thinking it might prefer some denser, more nutrient rich soil…also I can’t find it’s name. I see them all the time, but don’t know what it’s called. It’s in a window/ Brooklyn.



Hi Alan,

Yellow, green, and orange Croton houseplant
Croton Mammy Plant

Your plant looks like a Croton “Mammy.” As this plant gets more light the leaves turn bright yellow, orange, and red which is what I think is happening to your top leaves. The bottom leaves are falling off from over watering. Now is not the time to repot. You can replace the top 1/3 of the soil with fresh soil. You can read all of my tips for a croton plant in the Popular Houseplant section of the website. The picture is of a different variety, but the care is the same.

These plants are considered poisonous and should be kept away from pets and children. Read more about common houseplants that are poisonous in my book Don’t Feed Me To Your Cat! A Guide to Poisonous Houseplants.