If your croton is dying, one of the many reasons behind it can be overwatering. Crotons show signs of stress in response to conditions unsuitable for their growth, such as overwatering.
Overwatering is a mistake that causes yellow leaves, brown leaves, stunted growth, and many other issues. It might even result in lethal diseases like root rot.
So, in this article, we shall learn how to save overwatered croton plants.
To save an overwatered croton plant, you can follow these steps:
- The first step is to stop watering the crotons allowing the soil to dry out.
- Move the plant to a bright spot and examine for pests and diseases.
- Clip and damaged and wilting leaves and foliage.
- Take the plant out of the pot and examine the root for possible damage.
- Prune any damaged roots and replant the croton in a new pot with fresh soil mix.
- Keep an eye out for possible issues.
- Always check the soil’s moisture before watering the plant next time.
If you suspect that you have overwatered your croton, this article will provide some tips to save your overwatered croton and prevent it in the future.
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What are the threats of overwatering a croton plant?
Overwatering can be the cause of the death of a croton plant.
But many signs of overwatering are similar to those of underwatering.
So first, you need to understand the difference between the signs of overwatering and underwatering.
Let’s understand what happens when you overwater your croton.
Overwatering destroys the roots
One of the essential root capacities is the gas exchange, for which they need to absorb oxygen from the soil.
A saturated soil mix suffocates and destroys the roots.
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Overwatering also leads to infections
By obstructing oxygen flow to the roots, overwatering creates an anaerobic situation wherein disease microbes develop and thrive.
The right amount of watering in well-draining soil leaves the mix moist enough for plants to get moisture and nutrients while giving adequate air circulation to the root system to breathe.
Watering the croton for 5-10 minutes doesn’t hurt as long as the soil drains the excess water quickly.
What does an overwatered croton look like?
An overwatered croton plant can look like an underwatered one, so it’s vital to know the distinction.
Another wrong move with your watering could spell disaster for your croton.
You must check the soil and the plant’s watering plan and always ensure that the soil has dried appropriately before rewatering.
Other than soggy soil, here are indications of an overwatered plant:
- Yellow leaves
- Brown spots on leaves
- Brown leaf tips
- Wilting leaves
- Loss of young and old leaves
- Fungus growth or mold development on leaves, soil, and stems
- Leaf edema
- Slow development
- Stunted growth
- Powdery mildew, soil gnats, or other vermins
How to save an overwatered croton plant?
First, you should stop watering the croton and let the topsoil dry between the waterings.
Also, try not to overdo the dry-out period because that will only increase the plant’s stress.
Here are the ways to fix an overwatered croton plant in its initial stages.
- Cut back on watering right away. Allow the water to dry out appropriately if the root ball is exposed to soggy soil.
- If you notice standing water on the soil, tilt the pot to get rid of the water.
- Then place the croton in a bright spot so that the soil can become dry.
- Increase the temperature around the croton to a few degrees to encourage the evaporation of the excess water.
- Keep the croton in a well-ventilated area so the soil won’t remain soggy.
- If you are any method of increasing the humidity, stop it to dry out the excess water.
- Avoid fertilizing your croton until it becomes healthy again.
If your croton is in a more advanced level of overwatering, here’s what you can do:
- Take the croton out of the pot, spread the soil on paper, and let it dry out in a bright spot.
- After the soil dries out, you can spray some fungicide to the roots to avoid fungal infection and plant the croton back.
- You can prune some foliage and branches of your croton to reduce the stress and make the plant recover faster.
- Place the croton in a well-ventilated area so that the airflow will help the soil dry out.
- You can also use a dehumidifier in this stage to reduce the humidity and increase dryness to let the water dry out.
If your croton has developed root rot, you must take the plant out of its pot and inspect the roots.
- Wash the roots to remove the soil.
- If any of the roots seem damaged, take a disinfected pruner and prune the roots before repotting the plant.
- Since you are pruning the roots, also prune some foliage branches, so the plant stays in proportion.
- Prepare an appropriate soil mix that drains excess water and holds the required moisture.
- Choose one size bigger pot than the plant so that the roots have enough space to breathe and remain healthy.
- The pot should have drainage holes to drain the excess water.
- Give the plant less water as it has fewer roots and foliage than before.
- Place the repotted croton in a bright spot with indirect sunlight to allow it to recover. Don’t expose the croton to direct sunlight as that can increase stress.
How to prevent overwatering your croton plant?
You should not water your croton too frequently, yet make a point to keep the soil constantly saturated with moisture.
Possibly go for watering your crotons when you notice the upper layers of the soil have dried.
The quantity and frequency of the water will depend upon plant size, type, season, humidity, and temperature.
Croton comes from warm and tropical surroundings, leaning towards hot and humid conditions.
It loses a ton of water because of its vast and variegated foliage, so steady watering is required.
Don’t overwater the soil wherein your crotons are growing.
Take a look at these tips to prevent overwatering your croton.
- Ensure that the pot is raised high to drain the excess water from the drainage holes.
- Clear the cache tray if there is any water inside, and recheck it if it fills again.
- Hold the fertilizer until the plant returns to health. The croton plant could be stressed even if it hasn’t shown any noticeable hints or signs, and fertilizer may hinder its recovery.
- Keep the croton in a spot with good airflow to speed soil drying. But don’t put the croton plant near a draft. Keep the plant in a well-aerated room or the balcony or garden if all the conditions are suitable.
- If your croton is placed with other houseplants, you might want to move it away to get more space and more airflow around it.
- Bring down the surrounding humidity. If you use a pebble tray or a humidifier, consider suspending those until the plant is out of danger.
- Change the soil. If the overwatering issue is connected with a lack of drainage, you can change the soil and add aerating substances like perlite, pumice, and coarse sand.
How much time does it take to save an overwatered croton plant?
Most of the crotons may overcome the damage caused by overwatering, but a complete recovery depends on the following factors:
The plant’s strength: A tough croton plant can recover from wet conditions, but a more sensitive one might fail to do so.
Most croton plants can make a full recovery, yet some will not be the same.
The total damage caused: The damage caused and speed of identification are significant to deciding if you can fix overwatered croton.
A plant might die if its soil remains excessively wet for a significant period, or you might need to remove a lot of contaminated material that will take a long time to regrow.
Treating the plant and providing care: Finding the correct ways to fix overwatered croton and giving proper care later can expand the chances of the plant’s recovery.
The speed of recovery can also depend on the species. Fast-growing species will generally bounce back more rapidly than slow-growers.
Some croton species might require a long time to regain their previous aspects, but a resilient species will recover faster.
The croton has less chance of recovering when you plant it in well-draining potting soil and a pot with drainage openings in the base. Keeping a check on the soil’s moisture and watering will also keep the croton from getting overwatered.
If you have overwatered the croton, you can take action depending on the stage of the overwatering. You can save the croton in the initial stage by stopping watering and letting the soil dry out. But in cases like root rot, you will need to prune the roots and repot the croton to save them.
Keep the soil of your croton moist but avoid making it soggy to prevent overwatering situations.
Caring for the croton and understanding its water needs may require some time, but it is something that you can achieve with some attention, experience, and knowledge.
Now, I’ll answer some questions related to the watering of crotons.
How much water does a croton plant require?
Crotons can be grown both inside and outside of the house.
But since there is a clear contrast in surrounding conditions in these two circumstances, crotons will require different water levels to sustain themselves.
Research says you should give 1 inch of water to croton every week to grow outside.
Increase the watering amount in more hot and dry seasons to prevent the beautiful leaves from dropping.
But analyze the soil for moisture ahead of time.
Check the soil routinely and figure out how much moisture it is holding.
If you notice the soil is dry, it is ideal for some watering.
The watering routine for crotons growing inside is not quite the same as that of the garden crotons.
Water the croton when the soil starts to feel dry in the top ½-1 inch.
You should water delicately until the excess drains to the bottom of the pot and streams out.
The water will carry away the excess salt from the soil and keep the roots healthy.
Try not to let the excess water stream out from the pot’s base into the saucer. Dispose of it right away.
Does my croton plant has root rot?
The root rot condition develops when the croton experiences overwatering for an extended period.
Due to the excess water exposure, the roots remain wet along with the soil.
When the roots stay wet for long, they develop pathogenic infections, due to which they start decaying.
This deadly condition can kill the plant if you don’t address it on time.
You’ll know that your croton has root rot when you notice signs like soft and brown roots, foul-smelling soil, brown foliage.
This is when you should get rid of the damaged roots, foliage, and branches and repot the croton in fresh potting mix and a new pot.