To grow Codiaeum variegatum, or croton, pot the plant in potting soil, and place the container in a warm, sunny location. If the leaves lose their vivid color, increase sunlight exposure. Mist the leaves regularly, and maintain moist, but not overly wet, soil. Croton thrives in temperatures at or above 70 degrees Fahrenheit and requires some humidity to remain healthy. If the plant is outdoors, bring it inside when temperatures are at 55 to 60 degrees Fahrenheit.Continue Reading
Leaf loss is often caused by too much or too little water. If the drip tray under the container is full of water soon after watering the plant, reduce the watering schedule. Water the plant more frequently if the soil feels dry. Avoid exposing the plant to long periods of hot, direct sunlight to prevent leaf scorch.
During the growing season, apply fertilizer general-purpose fertilizer once monthly. Dilute the fertilizer to one-half the recommended strength. If necessary, repot croton in mid-spring. Use the same type of potting soil to reduce the risk of leaf drop.
When repotting the plant, handle the root ball as little as possible to avoid releasing the plant's irritating sap. Wash your hands after repotting or handling croton plants to further prevent irritation. Examine the plant for pests regularly, and apply the recommended treatment if pests are present.Learn more about Gardening & Landscapes