Why is my Croton Plant losing leaves?

Last Updated: June 26, 2022

Whether your Croton Plant is red, yellow, orange, pink or any of the other incredible colours, it’s equally devastating if your plant starts losing leaves. If more leaves are falling off than are growing on the plant, then it definitely signals that something is wrong with your Croton Plant. There are quite a few causes of leaf drop on Croton Plants so it’s important that you go through each of the issues to see which aligns with your plant. 

In this post, we will go through each of the different causes of Croton Plants losing leaves, as well as how to fix the issue and prevent it from happening to your plant again in future. 

Low temperatures can cause leaf drop

Extreme temperatures and drafts can also be very harmful to your Croton Plant as they thrive in warm environments and if your plant is in a really cold room, then there is a good possibility that this is why your plant is losing leaves. Even though the temperature in the room may feel perfect for your Croton Plant, any drafts coming in from the outside may be colder and harm your plant’s health so keep them away from windows or doors that aren’t draft proof.

This is particularly damaging during the long cold nights so we recommend picking up a digital thermometer to check the temperature across the day and night in various spots in your home. This will help you spot when the temperature is dropping too low for your plant and it’ll prevent more your plant from losing more leaves in future. 

A consistent lack of sunlight might be why your plant is losing leaves

Croton Plants thrive in bright, indirect light and if they are in a lower light area, then they may start losing their leaves as they aren’t getting the energy they need to sustain that much healthy growth. It’s just a process of prioritisation as your plant will want to continue growing and developing even if the light levels aren’t high enough. Your Croton Plant won’t instantly begin losing leaves if there is a particularly cloudy day, but over time if your plant is in the dark corner of the room, it will start to cause issues, leaf drop being one of those. 

To fix the issue and stop your Croton Plant from losing more leaves, move it to a slightly sunnier area in your home. If you aren’t able to find a good spot with ample sunshine, then you might want to think about investing in a grow light to supplement light levels and prevent your Croton Plant from losing any more leaves.

Overwatering can cause your Croton Plant to begin losing leaves

Overwatering can also be a common factor when it comes to your Croton Plant losing leaves. If your Croton Plant is losing leaves from the base upwards, and the stems/ leaves are a little softer than usual this may be because the roots are beginning to rot. 

To figure out if overwatering is the cause of the loss of leaves, check the moisture levels in the soil immediately. If the soil is quite waterlogged and clumpy then replace it with fresh dry mix which will allow the plant to start to recover. It’s a good idea to cut away the rotten roots and soft leaves as you don’t want your plant to waste valuable energy on dying or dead leaves/roots. 

Top tip: waterlogged soil can give off a damp, musty smell so get up close to your plants every once in a while to check and it might allow you to spot the issue of overwatering before it’s causing your plant to lose leaves. 

Too little water can also be a cause of leaf drop

Another common cause of Croton Plants losing leaves is a lack of water that is causing the roots to crisp and shrivel up. Similarly to overwatering, when the root system is damaged, your plant cannot get the needed nutrients and it’ll start to lose leaves. Check the potting mix, or lift up your plant to see if it’s a lot lighter than usual (this would indicate underwatering). You can also use a moisture meter to check the moisture levels of the soil. 

You can tell if your plant is too dry by looking at the way in which the dry parts have developed on the leaf. If the brown spots are at the edge of the leaf, rather than in the middle, this is a sign of a dry plant. Another thing to look out for is which leaves are turning brown. If you find there are dry spots on leaves throughout the plant, from top to bottom, this also points to dry soil being the reason why your Croton Plant is losing leaves. 

Environmental shock can also cause your plant to lose leave

It’s not just cold temperatures that can shock your Croton Plant but other dramatic or sudden changes to your plant’s environment can also cause your Croton Plant to start losing leaves. This can include moving to a new spot (or a new home altogether), sudden changes in weather or even knocks and bumps that your plant might have endured. Any initial shock should wear off over a few days so make sure your Croton Plant is getting enough light and water and things should improve. Your Croton Plant will also only ever lose a few leaves due to environmental shock so keep an eye on the number and rate of leaves falling off.

Those are the main reasons why Croton Plants begin losing their leaves. As there are quite a few really damaging causes that might cause more harm than leaves falling off your plant, it’s important that you diagnose the problem immediately. If the problem progresses much further, it can be too late to bring your Croton Plant back to full health. Spotting the issue early is also key, so keep a close eye on your Croton Plant (and other houseplants) to spot any early warning signs that something might be wrong. 

Check out our Croton Plant care guide for everything you need to know to best care for, propagate and treat issues with your plant. 

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