Care of Croton Plants

by Santokh Singh
(Jalandhar, India)

My croton plants are affected by disease every year and shed leaves, wilt away and die. They are mostly affected by mites particularly during winter despite our best efforts to protect the plants against extreme winter in Northern India.

Can anyone please help and advise.

Botanical Journeys Plant Guides

Spider mites attack plants when the air or soil is kept too dry. Spraying the plants with a water hose each day during dry weather will sometimes eradicate a mild infestation.

Do this in the early morning when the sun is not shining directly on the leaves or you risk burning them.

A severe mite infestation (where you can see the webbing on the stems) will need to be treated with an insecticide.

Green Light Neem Spray works well and is safe to use.

Winter Care of Crotons

I don't know how cold it gets in Northern India but crotons are tropical plants. Temperatures below freezing will damage them.

They may not die right away but will be weakened by repeated exposure to temps near or below freezing.

It is better to keep the plants in pots where frost is a danger. Move them indoors for the winter and set them back out in the spring.

Also, crotons prefer an acid soil. When you feed the plants, use an acid forming fertilizer from time to time. Maybe every third feeding or so.

Scotts Miracid is the only one I've ever used.

Growing a Croton Plant

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