Croton Problems - Expert responds on croton diseases




Good evening,

I gave myself a croton plant for about 1 month.

Since I took it the trunk was devoid of leaves they were all up and as it is it looks like a tree, I put it on the table in front of a window always with curtains drawn (so the light passes) and close to the sofa where I have the heater.

My question is this: reading on the internet a site talks about constantly watering it with warm water others say to vaporize the leaves too other sites do not because if not after they fall ... and in some it also speaks of cleaning the leaves with milk and cotton...

I have bright colored leaves only one has a curled corner looks eaten what can I do?

Do I wet them by vaporizing them?

Is there a way to get leaves on the trunk too? Otherwise it grows but nothing leaves ...

Tell me what I can do to make my plan last ...

Thank you and goodbye.



Hi Elena, you seem a little disheartened by your croton. It is a splendid plant that can give a lot of satisfaction. Certainly it is not a very easy plant to grow but with a little patience and some foresight you will see that you will succeed. For the moment you will not see much growth of leaves as the croton starting from autumn and throughout the winter has entered a phase called "vegetative rest" during which it slows down all its activities. To have the growth of new leaves you will have to wait for spring. I would advise you to keep it like this for a year and let it do a crop cycle (i.e. let it pass a year) and see how the leaves develop.

But I don't understand one thing: have you just bought a croton that has been grown to grow as a sapling, that is to say so that it only has leaves on the crown and you don't like it anymore? In any case, to drastically change its posture you have to do an equally drastic pruning, but not now, you will have to wait for spring. In March you have to cut all the branches to almost the height of the ground. From the cut branches, as some latex will come out (it is irritating so use gloves), put some coal dust. Then place the plant in a warm, humid place and give it classic growing care. In a short time the plant will reject new branches and new leaves.

For the moment I would advise you not to leave the croton near the radiator. Its thermal intervals are between 16 and 20 ° C. Lower and higher temperatures are not good. Move it to a place that is still bright as the croton needs a lot of light to maintain the variegation of the leaves. however, avoid direct sun and drafts.

As for watering obviously in spring and summer the plant is watered more than in winter but in any case make sure that the soil always remains slightly damp (not soaked).

For croton, nebulizations to the leaves with water at room temperature are very good, obviously in winter as the water temperature is cold, make sure it is slightly warm. The nebulizations must be done to the extent that the air and the environment in which the plant is located are dry. as the croton requires a high environmental humidity. Therefore, even in winter if, due to heating, the air dries up too much, it nebulizes the leaves frequently.

A very important thing is the fertilizations to allow the croton a luxuriant growth. In particular, the croton is a plant that has a very rapid development and therefore it is necessary to fertilize often. Since the plant has just been purchased, wait another month then do the first fertilization, after which starting from March and throughout the summer fertilize once every 15 days with a good liquid fertilizer.

As for the type of fertilizer to use, since croton is a plant that develops many leaves, it is preferable to use fertilizers that have a fairly high nitrogen (N) title which favors the development of the green parts. Therefore, make sure that in addition to having the so-called macroelements qualiazoto (N), phosphorus (P) and potassium (K) and that among these nitrogen is in greater quantity and also has microelements such as iron (Fe), manganese (Mn) , copper (Cu), zinc (Zn), boron (B), molybdenum (Mo), all important for a correct and balanced growth of the plant. A tip: slightly reduce the doses compared to those indicated in the package.

Do not worry about the "curled and eaten rigolino" perhaps it was some insect whose larva nibbled the leaf and then, once adult, flew away.

You will forgive one last piece of advice: when you buy a plant, look at it carefully. Check that the leaves are well turgid, healthy, of a nice color and that they are intact and that it is as you want it, even as a habit. In fact, keep in mind that plants are living beings and it is possible to intervene within certain limits to modify them.

If you have any doubts write me.

Dr. M. G. Davoli


First of all, thanks for the answer I will follow your advice above all about the leaves ... for the tips all curled and nibbled I can not do anything?

No my seedling has become a tree because the leaves underneath have lost all sigh sigh ...

Thank you



Even if the situation is slightly different from that described the first time, the problem does not change. The curled leaves, given that they are many and do not show apparent signs of external attacks by parasites, are due to a bad cultivation technique, in particular I think of an environment that is too dry.

Follow the advice I gave you and you will see that the situation will improve.

Dr. M. G. Davoli

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