The Croton is native to the tropical forests of Southeast Asia and a favorite houseplant that can be found in homes around the world.
This plant requires some special care, and if you don’t meet those needs, you’ll often notice that its leaves will begin to droop.
Why Is My Croton Drooping?
Your croton may be drooping because its soil is too dry, it is lacking humidity, it has recently been moved or it has a spider mite infestation.
Let’s look closer at these issues, try to understand why they come about, and see what you can do to tackle them.
If your croton’s soil is completely dry, it will not be able to take in enough moisture to keep its leaves hydrated.
This can quickly result in a droopy-looking plant.
Crotons prefer to have soil that is consistently moist – not too wet and not too dry.
Check your plant frequently and water it thoroughly once the top 2-3 inches of soil are dry.
Also, be careful that the pot you’re using is not contributing to the dryness.
Pots made from materials like terra cotta will quickly dry out the soil.
This plant will be easier to look after when kept in a glazed ceramic pot or even just a simple plastic pot.
How To Soak Your Croton Plant
If your croton’s soil is completely dry and you notice that the leaves are drooping, you may want to give the pot a good soak.
To thoroughly soak your plant, you can set the saucer or outer container of the plant aside and place the plant’s container (the one with the drainage holes) into a container filled with room temperature water.
If you don’t have a container large enough, you can even fill your bathtub or sink with a few inches of water and sit the plant’s container in that.
This will allow your croton to soak up water through the drainage holes and give it a chance to fully rehydrate.
Let the plant sit in the water bath for at least 45 minutes.
After that, you should be able to see that the soil is evenly saturated.
If you notice that the top of the soil is not yet damp, you can try watering it a bit from the top too.
Once everything is saturated, drain the tub or sink, or empty the container and allow your plant to sit and drain.
All of the excess water will drain out of the drainage holes at the bottom of the container.
It is worth it to note that when the soil goes from dry and dehydrated to well-saturated, this could put your croton under stress and cause some leaves to fall off.
Just give it some time to adjust, and it should bounce back!
Not Enough Humidity
After dry soil, the second most common cause of a drooping croton is usually lack of humidity.
Crotons are tropical plants and do well in more humid environments.
If you notice that your croton is doing particularly poorly in the winter months, it may be due to the air in your house being too dry.
You can help to alleviate the dryness by misting the plant’s leaves regularly.
Just misting them with plain water can help to increase humidity.
If this doesn’t work, try moving a humidifier close to your plant.
This will create a nice humid environment that is sure to perk up your croton.
Crotons Don’t Like To Be Moved
Moving a croton can often cause it to droop or start dropping leaves while it tries to adjust to its new environment.
If you have just moved your plant, you may need to be patient and give time to adjust.
Just make sure it’s placed in conditions it likes and is getting lots of sun.
It might help to keep it in a very bright area but out of direct sunlight (just while it gets used to its new soil)
Be careful not to overwater your croton during this transition as it can make things a lot worse.
Check For A Spider Mite Infestation
Your croton drooping leaves can often be one of the first signs of spider mites.
Spider mites are really small and difficult to spot but if you notice frail leaves and tiny bits of webbing around branch tips, you may have a spider mite infestation.
When allowed to dry out too much, crotons often attract these tiny sap-sucking insects.
How To Treat Spider Mites On Your Croton
Give all parts of the plant a good spraying down and be sure to get the stem and undersides of the leaves, using water at room temperature.
Allow the plant to drain off and dry.
Then use a mister to spray your croton with rubbing alcohol.
Be sure your plant is well-watered before carrying out this process and pay special attention once again to the undersides of the leaves.
Repeat once every few days until the spider mite infestation has gone.
How To Stop Your Croton From Drooping
To make sure that your croton doesn’t droop and remains as healthy as possible, make sure to follow these steps:
- Use a container with holes in the bottom to allow for drainage.
- Try adding a layer of gravel in the bottom of the container to further improve drainage.
- Make sure your croton receives six to eight hours of bright direct sun per day.
- Water once the top two to three inches of soil are dry.
- Fertilize weekly with a 3-2-1 plant fertilizer which can be bought from your local garden center.
- Try misting the leaves or using a humidifier when the air in your house is dry.
- Repot every two years, or more frequently if you begin to see roots reaching out of the drainage holes, to allow for growth.
Crotons require some specific care if you want to keep them in tip-top shape but they are totally worth it and a beautiful houseplant that will thrive when cared for properly.
Be sure to monitor your croton frequently to better understand how much you will need to water, and how often.
Remember that after a heavy watering on dry soil, your plant may become stressed.
Give it time to adjust and you should soon see a beautiful, healthy plant!