Return to the House Plants Forum | Post a Follow-Up

 o
Do Croton leaves grow back?

Posted by kasia88 (My Page) on
Wed, Jan 23, 13 at 15:13

I have a nice colorful Croton that's about 6 years old. And over time as it grew it dropped a couple of leaves from the bottom. They never grew back though, and now it just kind of looks like a feather duster. Is there anything I can do?

They just grow kinda pale and drop.

Thanks


Follow-Up Postings:

 o
RE: Do Croton leaves grow back?

I've never seen them grow back.


 o
RE: Do Croton leaves grow back?

Not the lower leaves, which the plants drops as they age.

I have cut back Crotons to make them branch & shape more attractively, but I'd wait 'til Spring. Has the mix been changed in all these years? Likely fresh soil at that time will help w/ new growth, also these plants benefit from humidity trays, & watering to overflow when watering.


 o
RE: Do Croton leaves grow back?

  • Posted by tapla z5b-6a mid-MI (My Page) on
    Wed, Jan 23, 13 at 18:04

Basically what Karen said ....

The shed leaves won't grow back, but there are ways to force new branching (and thus, fresh foliage) from latent buds just above old leaf bundle scars.

Al


 o
RE: Do Croton leaves grow back?

How can I 'branch' it?

Hm, I have changed soil once. But it's pretty 'airy' so it drains quite fast. Day or two and it needs watering.


 o
RE: Do Croton leaves grow back?

Hi again,

Sorry but a soil change once in 6 yrs. isn't enough, likely the soil is completely spent. It's suggested to refresh mix once a yr, or maybe 2 at most.

To branch it, you'll need to be brave & cut the top off in the Spring. It'll be bare for a while, but w/good care, more of the good light you have that kept it colorful & a bit of time, it'll grow back in. I did this several times & the plant filled back in beautifully, couldn't tell it had ever been cut. But not now, pls. wait til Spring & change the soil first.

Hi Al, If I mixed anything, pls. jump in here.


 o
RE: Do Croton leaves grow back?

  • Posted by tapla z5b-6a mid-MI (My Page) on
    Wed, Jan 23, 13 at 21:22

It's likely your plant is low on stored energy due to low winter light levels, so the best strategy for getting the most vigorous back-budding would be to move the plant outdoors into shade as soon as night lows are reliably above 55*. Then, cut the plant back hard around Father's Day. The plant will back-bud and several new stalks will grow. On the subsequent Father's Day (2014), you can repeat the process by cutting back the new growth on the several stems that occur after the first pruning. If you don't need a repotting (as opposed to potting up) by this summer (probably will), you undoubtedly will by summer of '14.

Al


 o
RE: Do Croton leaves grow back?

Let me make sure I understand this right (English isn't my second language) You mean I should just cut it down short, along with all the leaves? Seems really risky to me : P I might have to with time cos it's gonna start looking like a broom. I can drop a photo tomorrow if it's of any help.

Thanks


 o
RE: Do Croton leaves grow back?

  • Posted by tapla z5b-6a mid-MI (My Page) on
    Wed, Jan 23, 13 at 21:48

Lol - Karen and I posted with the same time stamp, and offered similar advice. I'd like to see a picture of the plant before I say HOW short, but basically, it doesn't matter. You could cut it back an inch above the soil line if it's healthy and all would be well. It only seems risky to you because you haven't yet done something like this, but I've done it for myself and others hundreds of times - thousands, if you count chopping back containerized trees. The response is genetically encoded in the plant, and extremely predictable. All you need to be relieved of your misgivings is the dauntless daring and dash to make the cut. In two weeks, you'll heave a sigh of relief and feel better for having added another trick to the bag. ;-)

Al


 o
RE: Do Croton leaves grow back?

Alright, here's the picture. It did have couple of tiny flowers this summer. New leaves are still coming in : )


 o
RE: Do Croton leaves grow back?

  • Posted by tapla z5b-6a mid-MI (My Page) on
    Thu, Jan 24, 13 at 14:29

Yeah - I'd cut the one on the left back to about even with the window sill on the building across the way, and the other stem about even with the top of the light colored dryvit accent strip just below it. You could even cut back more severely if you like. One of the stems should be 1/2-2/3 the ht of the other. If 1 is thicker, make that the taller ..... and make June your targeted timing, if you can stand the wait. ;-) Cutting back now will result in lackluster back-budding.

Al


 o
Update

Hello again.

I have cut my croton down few days ago. How long should it be before it starts to grow again?

Thanks


 o Post a Follow-Up

Please Note: Only registered members are able to post messages to this forum.

    If you are a member, please log in.

    If you aren't yet a member, join now!


Return to the House Plants Forum

Information about Posting

  • You must be logged in to post a message. Once you are logged in, a posting window will appear at the bottom of the messages. If you are not a member, please register for an account.
  • Posting is a two-step process. Once you have composed your message, you will be taken to the preview page. You will then have a chance to review your post, make changes and upload photos.
  • After posting your message, you may need to refresh the forum page in order to see it.
  • Before posting copyrighted material, please read about Copyright and Fair Use.
  • We have a strict no-advertising policy!
  • If you would like to practice posting or uploading photos, please visit our Test forum.
  • If you need assistance, please Contact Us and we will be happy to help.


Learn more about in-text links on this page here