Need gold dust croton help

chrioptera19November 28, 2011

IâÂÂve had a gold dust croton for just over a year. It has grown very well during the summer and spring but as soon as it hits mid-fall it starts dropping leaves and those that are left become thin and limp. IâÂÂm especially worried now because it looks as if all leaves will be dropped. Last winter I visited family for a few weeks and it perked up relatively soon after I arrived at my parentâÂÂs house and it never looked as bad as this year. I live in a very dry area but try to keep the plant moist. I water it maybe twice a week but try to mist it every day.

It first started going down hill when I placed it outside for a few hours and I think it may have had too much sunlight. This was in the summer. It dropped a few leaves but seemed to be recovering. In the past month or so itâÂÂs gotten much worse. I was concerned that it was too close to a cold window and so I placed it about 4 feet from a plant light (couldnâÂÂt tell you the wattage or make right know). It just seems to keep getting worse. Unfortunately I canâÂÂt post a picture now but will when I get a chance. Any recommendations, advice, or ideas?

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zzackey(8b GA)

Do you fertilize it or repot it? Maybe it needs a new moisture holding soil? I know fig trees (Ficus benjamina) drop their leaves if their light or location changes, but they usually recover.

    Bookmark   November 28, 2011 at 4:39PM
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zzackey(8b GA)

Do you fertilize it or repot it? Maybe it needs a new moisture holding soil? I know fig trees (Ficus benjamina) drop their leaves if their light or location changes, but they usually recover. I just googled it. It is called Aucuba japonica. I always thought it was a croton too. We used to sell it years ago and the old lady that owned the shop called it Acuba. It said it will lose alot of leaves if it is under stress. Did you check for bugs under the leaves? The cold might have caused it to lose its leaves.

    Bookmark   November 28, 2011 at 4:48PM
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Stush2049(Pitts., Pa. 6)

I just found out about these plants. I got a few cuttings in the yard rooting thur the winter. My friend got a large clump at his back door and it grows like a weed. It keeps it's leaves all winter (zone 6).

Didn't know anyone could have problems with this plant. Maybe it's in a too warm place/zone??

    Bookmark   November 28, 2011 at 6:17PM
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chrioptera19

No bugs but it did have fungus gnats a while ago but since it's cooled down I haven't seen any. I re-potted it in the summer before it started looking bad. I don't often fertilize but use (I think) miracle gro indoor plant food. I moved it further away from any windows or drafts so I'm hoping it's the temperature that was causing the issue.

    Bookmark   November 28, 2011 at 6:17PM
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tsugajunkie z5 SE WI

Don't water on a schedule, water when it needs it. Soils vary, so lets start by asking what kind of soil it's in. Also, at my latitude, it needs all the light it can get so mine is in a south facing window...right up close with no regard to cold. This has worked for about 4-5 years now and it has been -20F outside. Best guess from me is your plant needs more light and less water.

Also, I slowly acclimate mine to (nearly) full sun when brining it out for summer.

tj

    Bookmark   November 29, 2011 at 2:36AM
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Martalan

what about the sunshine ?If do not enough,you need to figure out a solution.

    Bookmark   November 29, 2011 at 3:46AM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

We don't know if this plant is the Gold Dust Croton (Codiaeum variegatum )OR Aucubua japonica commonly called 'the gold dust plant'.

Poor chrioptera is probably terribly confused and I don't blame her/him. Though these plants are very similar in appearance at first glance, that's about all that they do share.

Aucuba is a very hardy plant, even grown as a landscape ornamental in my location where winter nights in the teens are not uncommon. It remains steadfastly evergreen. It makes a great container plant in a cool sun room.

The croton, on the other hand, is like others of the same species....fussy and temperamental. chrioptera needs to determine what kind of plant this is and then try to provide the environment/conditions required. I would never recommend a moisture holding soil, but one that is highly porous and fast draining. Watering frequency will depend on the plant species, as well as other factors. I agree....never on a calendar schedule but on an as needed basis.

    Bookmark   November 29, 2011 at 2:09PM
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birdsnblooms

Chrio..when you bought the plant, was there a label?

Determining whether or not your plant is a Croton or Aucubua is very important.

Although Aucubuas are sometimes sold as house plants, they do better in the garden opposed to a container.

Crotons are tropical, will not survive low temperatures Aucubauas can endure.

If your plant berries or flowers, you'll know more. Toni

    Bookmark   November 29, 2011 at 4:03PM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

No need to wait for flowering. Leaf arrangement is alternate for the Croton and opposite for the Aucuba (correct spelling). This makes identification simple!

    Bookmark   November 29, 2011 at 10:26PM
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chrioptera19

Well I'm pretty sure the label said croton. As for the leaf arrangement I'm not sure on for two reasons. I currently am not home to check and also there are so few leaves left. If I had to pick one I'd say the leaves alternate. I'm about ready to give up since it looks like a goner but I'll be spending a few weeks in an area that's just as cold but has higher humidity so maybe that'll help. Currently I live in Colorado and it's really dry, especially during the winter.

    Bookmark   December 2, 2011 at 3:02PM
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