Why are the Leaves on my Croton Limp and Drooping?

Croton leaves drying and falling off means the forwarding merely the plant lifecycle when the leaves pass the youth. However, caring negligence can also bring a fluke to the same result. 

Generally, the reasons why Croton leaves go limping and drooping are dry soil and overwatering issues. Besides, low humidity, light problems, temperature stress, chilly breezes, pests, and transplant shock also have an impact. 

Hence, Crotons are known as fussy plants. But fear not; we will state and discuss every single major cause and solution to revive your Crotons.

Reasons for Croton Leaves Limping and Drooping

Indeed, Crotons are dramatic plants and detest changes. 

Hence, any slight differences in their environment induce stress as they get aggressive and may start to shed leaves.

Below are the reasons why your Croton leaves are drooping and some solutions on how we can save them.

1. Dry Soil

Symptoms: Brown crispy leaves

The main contributors to dry soil can be inadequate humidity, poor watering, & excessive sunlight.

Crotons prefer moist soil, so one should keep in mind to water it timely. Their leaves tend to get crispy and brown when they fall into chronic dehydration.

However, it is also crucial that you don’t water it so much that it gets soggy. 

Yet again, to avoid dry soil, one should keep a steady water flow rather than a hurried expression.

This is because jumping from bone-dry soil to high water at once will do no good.

Peperomia leaves limp and drooping can also be curse for true gardeners, so learn what you can do against it. 

Solutions

  • Use cold water in a bathtub or a basin and place your Croton in it without the saucer. Also, ensure that the water is only 2-3 inches in level.
  • Wait for 45 minutes as the soil is saturated with water through the pot’s drainage hole.
  • If not all the soil is saturated, slowly water your Croton from the top.
  • After the soil is fully saturated, drain the basin or bathtub and let the plant rest for a while.
  • Use Q-tips and insert them into the drainage hole to fast-forward the draining as the water drains.
  • Finally, place the saucer and keep the plant back in its place.

2. Overwatering Condition 

Symptoms: Soggy soil, root rot, and blisters in leaf edema

Overwatering comes with a wet and soggy foot. You can decide on an overwatered Corton if they have soggy soil for five to seven days after watering.

dropping croton plant
As a fun fact, overwatering Crotons is much more common than underwatering them.

Waterlogged soil suffocates their roots, leading their leaves to droop and ultimately causing the dead Croton Plant.

Some of the other symptoms of having soggy soil are mentioned below.

  • Water-soaked blisters on their leaves
  • Yellowing of the older leaves and leaves on the lower half
  • Presence of rusty brown or black, mushy roots with a rotting smell
  • Presence of wet brown spots ringed with a yellow halo on the leaves
  • Attack of bacterial leaf disease that later turns into larger brown or black patches
  • Wilted leaves start to fall off entirely

Factors Contributing to Soggy Soil

The longer Crotons get overwatered, the more their roots rot.

As soon as you find soggy soil, make sure to stop watering them for the time being and wait.

FactorsEffectsSolutions
Inadequate LightSlow drying of soilExposure to bright, indirect sunlight
Large ContainerOverwatered soilChoosing a small pot with an inch separation from plant and the pot wall
High Soil Mixture of Clay or Organic Matter Absorbs more waterAddition of perlite or vermiculite
Few or No Drainage HolesWaterlogs the plantAdd drainage holes
Season Change Induces dormancy during winterReduce water frequency

Revive Your Croton From Root Rot

The confirmed outcome of soggy soil is root rot in Crotons.  

A healthy root is white in color and firm in stature. However, if you find the roots black or rusty brown and soft, mushy in stature, sadly, the root rot has seeped in.

Yet, fear not! Following through the below steps will help to revive your Crotons.

  • After unpotting your Croton, wash the root thoroughly.
  • Cut out the affected roots.
  • Choose a fungicide solution and dip the remaining roots for a while.
  • Repot your Croton with the potting mix of hydrogen peroxide.
  • Make sure to give them the condition they require.
Not only Croton but the Zebra plant also suffers from leaves falling off.

3. Low Humidity

Symptoms: Brown crisped leaves, Curled leaves, Shedding leaves

Crotons love and thrive in a moist environment. Hence, as the air gets dry, their leaves start dropping.

Typically, this condition occurs during winter, mostly when we commence using a heating system. Besides the shedding, they also have curled-up leaves with brown crusty edges.

Solutions

  • Use your Crottons loosely with a clear plastic bag.
  • Let your Croton pot sit in a tray of pebbles and water without submerging the bottom.
  • Mist your Croton leaves regularly to increase the humidity. It will contribute to their healthy leaf growth.
  • Invest in a good quality humidifier and move them nearby the Crotons.

4. Water Quality

Even after all the correct methods, if the leaves in your Crotons are drooping, it must cause poor water quality. It primarily occurs with tap water as they are softened.

To state in detail, tap water contains minerals, fluoride, chlorine, and salts. These chemicals cause the leaves to go brown in their tips and edges, which will also turn yellow, leading to the dead Croton Plant. 

Solutions

  • First, remove the burned-out leaves to let the others grow.
  • Use distilled or rainwater water for irrigation purposes.
  • For all the other times, use a water filtration system.
  • Also, if you use tap water, keep Croton in the sink overnight so that the chloride and fluoride will evaporate.
  • Lastly, if you see any crusty white spots on the soil, you better repot your Croton in fresh soil.

5. Bright Direct Sunlight

All the vivid and bright foliage of Croton’s best flourishes under bright sunlight.

If you find your Croton leaves limping again, even with a perfect watering schedule and humidity, ensure you also give them ample sunlight.

Crotons require about 4-6 hours of indirect and bright sunlight to get in their best form.

Remember, indirect sunlight because excess direct sunlight will also burn and discolor your Croton. This will eventually lead them to wilt and droop.

Again, when you do not meet the requirement of ample sunlight, your Croton will not grow up to its full potential.

The light shortage raises the potential threat of overwatering them.

Solutions

  • Keep your Croton in the east or west-facing window, and use sheer or thin curtains to block out unnecessary direct light.
  • In the absence of natural light in the house, use artificial lights. While using artificial light, be aware of wavelength, color, and type factors.
  • Artificial light can emit a wavelength ranging from 700-1,000,000 nm; among them, the 610-700 nm wavelength range is best for them.
  • Use different artificial lights, including incandescent, fluorescent, high-intensity or gas, and light-emitting diodes.

The plants gain most of the light energy from red or blue colored lighting rather than green or yellow-colored. So, Fluorescent lights are long-lasting and the best for indoor plants.

  • Simply set your croton in a bright or dappled light source. This would be in front of an east or west-facing window in your home.

6. Temperature Extremities

Symptoms: Drooping leaves, curled leaves, dry leaves

Crotons portray a sign of recurrent temperature stress in response to either high or low temperatures.

The ideal temperature to keep in mind for the Crotons is 60ºF and 85ºF (15ºC to 30ºC).

Therefore, if you have a temperature cooler than 50ºF (10ºC), Crotons tend to lose their leaves and die.

Solutions

  • Keep the Croton plants away from cooling/heating vents, uninsulated windows, entrance doors, and heat registers.
  • Choose a place that does not have a cold passing air current and regularly mist and water them to maintain humidity.

If it is the time of spring or summer, your Croton will showcase new growth after these.

However, they are dormant in winter; hence, you should not worry much if they have little or no growth at all.

7. Excess or Unwanted Fertilizers

Excessive and unwanted fertilizers eventually hamper Croton plants, which leads to root toxicity.

This occurs due to the high concentration of salt, which may restrict Crotons from getting the necessary nutrients and water from roots.

falling leaves of croton
Only fertilize Croton Plant diluting the strength of fertilizer in the water.

Hence, it makes your Croton go limp as they start showing the symptom of fertilizer burns.

Tips to Fix Excessive Fertilizers

  • Use all-purpose houseplant fertilizer by diluting it with water once a month.
  • Avoid contacting the Croton leaves, flowers and stems with fertilizers. 
  • Stop using fertilizer during winter, as it is also the best time.  

8. Pests and Insects Infestation

Usually, pests are present in the tiny bits of webbing around branch tips which is noticeable through the frail leaves in your Crotons.

Their appearance resembles a white cotton mass, typically in their root region.

Try identifying the following pests before witnessing the dead Croton Plant.

Common PestsAppearances
MealybugsThe pests are found in a waxy coating and resemble tiny puffs of cotton.

They drink the sap of Crotons and often leave honeydew behind.
Croton ScaleThey are of two kinds; soft-shelled and hard-shelled.

The soft-shelled pests produce more honeydew; however, hard-shelled are more challenging to tackle.
Red Spider MitesMost common spider mites on the Croton have whitish spots on the undersides of the leaves.

You can find them attached to the bottom of the leaves and stems.
ThripsThey are so small in size that it is almost hard to locate them.

If you are searching for their presence, then search for the brownish streaks, silver speckling, or white spots on the leaves.

This infection contributes to nutrient and moisture loss, resulting in the drooping of leaves and underdeveloped plants.

The bugs drink up all the nutrients and water from your Croton, creating a blacky, sooty mold.

Immediate Solutions

  • Start with a water spray at room temperature thoroughly. Ensure to clean and spray even the stem and undersides of the leaves.
  • Allow it to dry and drain off.
  • Following it, use rubbing alcohol in the affected area of your Crotons.
  • Lastly, spray your Crotons with insecticidal soap or neem oil. All in all, you should repeat this process every week until the insect infection is completely gone.

Preventive Measures

  • Water your Croton regularly, and make sure that the water is not high in toxic elements such as chloride, fluoride, and salts.
  • Wipe your Croton leaves from both sides regularly with a damp cloth or baby wipe.
  • Re-wipe, your Croton, leaves with a diluted solution of leaf shine, neem oil, or liquid soap.
  • Rinse your Croton with cold water at times but stop using a strong force of the water on it.
  • Do not mist strong liquids such as copper soap, chlorothalonil, myclobutanil, or tebuconazole directly on your Croton leaves.
  • Use sterilized scissors or trimming items to cut off the dead leaves or parts of your Crotons.

9. Fungal and Bacterial Diseases

Symptoms: Swollen stems and leaf veins

Some of the common cases in your Croton are crown gall, stem gall, and canker, resulting from bacterial infections.

Crotons also suffer from Oedema, which occurs due to overwatering.

Besides, Powdery mildew is one of the common infections in Croton, which prevents leaf growth in them. Here, mildew is a cloud of thin grey dust covering both sides of Croton’s leaves.

In croton, Xanthomonas Leaf Spots or foliar infections begin as little pinpoint water-soaked spots that quickly grow to 1/4 inch or more.

They are very moist and dark brown or black in appearance when fully formed, and they prefer to stay restricted to the regions between leaf veins.

The lesions on certain cultivars have a brilliant yellow border.

At last, Anthracnose also appears on leaves of all ages and is first wet, becoming tan with age.

Tiny black fungal fruiting bodies can develop in the spot’s dead tissue, sometimes in concentric rings.

Immediate Solutions

  • Isolate your Croton from the other plants in your house.
  • Trim or cut down the affected parts of your Croton.
  • To trim, make sure to sterilize the scissors or knife you are using with rubbing alcohol.
  • Bactericides containing copper are also relatively helpful. 

Preventive Measures

  • Cut off wet foliage since it is required for infection and spore dissemination. This is especially important during propagation.
  • Remove or destroy all plants contaminated with the bacteria, and sterilize any cutting instruments used on them.
  • Use sterilized scissors or trimming items to cut off the dead leaves or parts of your Crotons.

Tips to Take Care of your Drooping Croton

Altogether, some steps and ideas can revive your drooping Croton and prevent them from going limp.

  • Always have a container with drainage holes in the bottom. Furthermore, to improve the drainage system of your Croton, you can add a layer of gravel at the bottom.
  • If you are confused with the container size, pick the one that is about ⅓ larger than the plant’s root ball.
  • Give your Croton an ample amount of sunlight for six to eight hours.
  • Maintain an ideal humidity range between 40% to 80%. In the meantime, you should keep a room temperature of between 60°F to 70°F.
healthy croton plant
The best potting mix for your Croton is the one rich in organic compost and peat moss.
  • Keep your watering schedule consistent, and only water after once the top two to three inches of soil are dry.
  • Only use diluted all-purpose houseplant fertilizer once a month.
  • Use an air humidifier every time your room gets air dry.
  • During the winter, it’s best not to keep your Croton near the heating equipment.
  • Ensure to clean their leaves regularly and check for any infections. For cleaning the leaves, you can use a clean, soft towel.
  • Lastly, it would help if you repotted your Croton every two years to let them grow up to their full potential.

To Wrap Up

Crotons’ rich and gorgeous foliage is also hard to obtain as they require specific care to keep them in top shape.

As they are such fussy plants, Crotons can droop and go limp if the care requirements go imbalanced. 

From water consistency and quality to ample sunlight and pest control, you must control them to grow Croton into a healthy plant.

If you own Arrowhead Plant with leaves limp and drooping, learn and try as soon as possible. 

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