Houseplants are grown to increase the beauty of our indoors, and if that plant is Croton, we know how beautiful it will make the space look. The lustrous leaves of Crotons attract all eyes. But if you notice an unhealthy yellow tint on your Croton, don’t neglect it.
So, in this article, we shall discuss why is your croton turning yellow and how to fix the same.
Overwatering, root rot, and low lighting conditions cause yellow leaves in crotons. Watering the plant less or more than required can stress the plant, turning the leaves yellow, which further wilts and drops off. To fix the issue, provide adequate water and keep the plant in bright light.
I have mentioned all the causes of yellow Croton leaves and their solutions with some possible precautions. Taking care of Croton is easy. And if you can follow the proper steps, you can still revive the plant and prevent yellow leaves.
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Why is my Croton turning yellow?
When plants experience changes in their surroundings, it puts them under stress or stock. They get stressed because they have to invest more energy to cope with the changing surroundings.
For more energy, plants need more nutrition from the soil, which they might not get as houseplants. The leaves of a Croton can turn yellow due to the following reasons:
- Low-grade soil
- Low light
- Temperature stress
Now let’s find out the brief descriptions and fixes with further precautions.
All the species of Crotons are overly reactive to excess watering. Overwatering a plant fills the spaces between roots and restricts airflow.
The cells present in the roots need oxygen to stay fresh and alive. The tiny holes in the soil get blocked due to too much water, further leading to root rot.
Good air circulation between the roots helps evaporation and transpiration while preventing condensation on the leaf surface. This reduces the development of fungus and bacteria.
If you overwater your Crotons without understanding it, you might even notice root rot which is a condition where the roots start decaying due to staying in the water for too long.
Some signs of root rot are soggy and foul-smelling soil, wilted leaves, stunted growth, and falling leaves.
Overwatering is not as easy to treat as underwatering. The first step that one should do is stop watering the croton plant for a temporary period and fix the drainage system of the pot.
If the soil mix you are currently using doesn’t drain the excess water, consider changing it. The pot should not be too big for your Croton and have proper drainage holes.
Improve the ventilation around the place where you place your Croton.
If there is root rot, treat it as soon as possible. For root rot:
- Trim off the damaged, rotten roots.
- Take another pot and add fresh potting soil mix to it.
- Repot the Croton and take care of it.
- Give your Coton 1 inch of water weekly.
- Before watering, check the topsoil. Water only if it’s dry and is ready for more moisture.
- The frequency of watering sessions depends on the plant’s size, condition, weather, and age.
- Crotons generally need more water during summer and spring than winters.
- Be careful while watering new plants as they are hard to understand.
- The water requirement for Croton is different with different species.
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Underwatering is common among plant owners who are forgetful about their plants, travel a lot, or don’t understand the plant’s water requirement.
If you are someone who doesn’t check the Croton and its soil every few days, you might not understand when the soil goes dry, and the plant is thirsty. This can create an underwatering situation for the Croton.
An underwatered Croton will not have enough supply of water and nutrients, due to which the leaves will lose their health, start getting discolored and turn yellow.
Treating and fixing an underwatered Croton wouldn’t take much time or effort, but neglecting for too long can invite more problems that will become harder to treat.
- First, take a chopstick and poke some holes in the soil. The soil might become compact due to lack of water, so these holes will help the soil absorb the water.
- Give some water and let the soil soak the water.
- After the soil soaks all the water, water the Croton thoroughly till the water starts draining out of the drainage holes.
- You can also take the plant out of its pot and soak the soil in a container filled with water.
- If you want to avoid underwatering, maintain a schedule that will remind you to water your Croton and check the soil.
- You can also opt for a self-watering pot.
Poor soil quality
Soil quality is vital because it is directly linked with the plant’s health. Soil is the primary source of nutrition, oxygen, water to the plant, and it also holds the roots.
Suitable soil also promotes healthy and nourished growth. When the soil quality is poor, it tends to hold moisture. The ideal soil mix for the croton is a combination of compost with peat moss and perlite.
Crotons need fertile and rich soil. If the soil mix is incorrect, the moisture will stay inside the soil, making it soggy and wet.
If your Croton leaves turn yellow due to a poor quality soil mix, it is better to change the soil.
The ideal Croton soil recipe is to mix regular houseplant soil (available at any plant store or online), organic compost, perlite, peat moss, and slow fertilizer.
This soil type lets excess water drain and holds the plant’s moisture. Crotons love moisture but don’t prefer their roots to be drenched in water.
- Choose a proper potting soil that is appropriate for Crotons.
- While planting for the first time, mix the potting soil with fertilizer to increase its nutritional values.
- The soil you are choosing should have an excellent moisture-holding capacity.
- The soil should be changed in case of root rot or root bound.
- In the first week, notice the plant. Change the soil if its leaves are wilting, yellow, or visible damage.
If you are a houseplant owner, you will know that most houseplants prefer bright indirect sunlight. But some plants like Crotons can tolerate full sun or direct sun rays for 3-4 hours, and they flourish at their best when kept under full sun.
If you keep the Croton in a dark area or a place with less light, the plant will lose its color. The leaves can turn yellow when they don’t receive proper light.
Chlorophyll gives green color to leaves. When exposed to less light, the chlorophyll doesn’t work correctly. It is a sign depicting that your Croton is demanding more light.
Wilted leaves and discoloration of leaves are also caused when Croton doesn’t receive full light. The color of leaves flourishes more vibrantly when exposed to sunlight.
The first thing to do is keep the Croton under bright light.
3-4 hours of direct sun is enough, and 7 hours of light is enough when kept under indirect bright light. Keep the croton plant in the balcony, outdoor, or near a window to provide a good supply of light.
Don’t overexpose it to the direct sun. Direct heat for too long will burn the cells and tissues present in the leaf.
Don’t select a place where the Croton won’t receive enough light.
Artificial lights and grow lights can also be used as alternatives.
During hot summer days, keep the outside or under the full sun for a limited period. On such days or weeks when the sky is cloudy or gloomy, it is better to provide an artificial light source.
Repotting is essential when your Croton grows bigger, undergoes root rot, is root-bound, and if the soil needs a change.
Usually, almost every plant grows well after repotting or soil transplant, but some can experience plant repotting stress due to some minor mistakes.
While repotting, one should take proper care. You should maintain all the steps of transplantation properly. A minor mistake or ill-treatment can lead to signs of damage.
Sometimes immediately after repotting, houseplant owners tend to water it and end up overwatering. The new plant has just started to adjust to the environment, and any mistake can cause stress.
If your plant is already experiencing damage due to the soil, pot transplant, or repotting, it might take time to recover completely. Proper care and time are ways in which croton can be revived.
Ensure that the new pot used to repot Croton is in the proper ratio with the size of the plant.
The pot must have enough drainage holes to prevent excess water in the soil. If the pot doesn’t have one, drill holes under the base. Be careful with the roots; don’t damage the healthy roots.
It would be best to keep the pot in the same place where you had placed the previous pot. The plant will get the same temperature, humidity, light, and other conditions. This way, the plant doesn’t have to adjust itself again and again.
Spray some water on the leaves and add some water-soluble organic fertilizer to increase the fertility of the soil.
- Don’t repot plants during or before their blooming session. Thus never consider repotting crotons during spring and summer.
- Choose a pot twice the size of your Croton. It should not be too large or too small.
- While repotting, ensure that you already have all the equipment needed.
- Repotting should not be done too frequently as a plant should get enough time to adjust. You should repot only when necessary.
Crotons are generally not very pest-prone houseplants. But still, some pests like mealybugs, spider mites, aphids are familiar. Mealybug is the most common type of pests that attack Croton.
Pests destroy leaves by sucking up the sap, thus leaving them yellow and discolored.
Mealybugs usually look like cotton residue on the leaf blades, and they also develop a wax coating. The white substance is a secretion from mealybugs, which has adherent properties. These are found primarily on the leaves and stems.
Trim off the infected leaves from the mother plant. Mealybugs love to reside in wet and warm places, restricting watering and fertilizing practices.
Take rubbing alcohol or isopropyl alcohol and rub it on the infected area with a cotton swab. Rub it directly on the mealybugs and infected parts of the plant.
One can use pesticides that are readily available in the market.
Nowadays, people prefer organic pesticides more as they are less harmful and non-toxic. Neem oil is the best among other organic pesticides. Neem has a powerful smell with bitterness in it. It is very effective on pests.
Mix water, herbal non-toxic neem oil, and mild liquid soap together. Stir it. Pour the mix into a spray bottle and shake it.
Spray this solution on the whole plant, once to twice every week (depends on the volume of infestation), until your croton plant is free from pests. And spray it once every two to three weeks for further protection.
- Don’t overwater or over-fertilize your plant. Warm temperature soggy soil and rich soil with a weak plant are ideal for pests invasion.
- Sterilized scissors or pruners before trimming off any parts to avoid bacteria and pests.
- Pests like mealybug attack the leaves and stem and the roots of Croton.
- While using inorganic pesticides, check the label. Keep the pesticide away from children and pets as they are highly toxic.
Crotons belong to tropical regions where they receive high temperatures. If your Croton is exposed to low temperatures or cold drafts, it will get stressed.
In winter, the temperatures can go very low, affecting your Croton. Even temperature fluctuations where there is no stability can damage the plant.
One sign of such stress is yellow and unhealthy leaves.
If you think your Croton has undergone temperature stress, shift it to an area that will receive suitable temperatures.
Prune all the yellow leaves and damaged parts of your Croton and let the plant recover.
- Keep the Croton inside the house during the winter months.
- Don’t place your Croton near a window or door that’s opened or closed too often.
- Don’t keep the plant near any heating source.
- Avoid exposing the plant to the dry air of the AC.
Crotons are popular houseplants with vibrant and multicolored vegetation.
Specific issues like incorrect watering, poor quality soil, low light, pests, and repotting mistakes can make the plant unhealthy and dull. It can lead to more yellow vegetation than beautiful colors.
To keep your Croton plant healthy and attractive, follow all the necessary steps that I mentioned earlier.
Remember that, any houseplant including one of the most tolerant plants, Croton, will only grow at its best under suitable growing conditions, so try to maintain that to avoid yellow leaves.