The big, brightly colored leaves make croton a tropical standout among indoor plants. Unfortunately, the croton can be slightly fussy and will often drop its leaves in reaction to undesirable conditions. Once you've figured out how to make the plant thrive, it will settle in and grow for many years. If growth slows down for no apparent reason or you find it necessary to water the croton more than usual, it may be time to move the plant to a larger container.
Move the croton into a container no more than 1 or 2 inches wider than the current container. Be sure the container drains freely through the bottom. If the container has been used previously, wash it with warm, soapy water and rinse thoroughly.
Fill the container approximately 1/3 full with commercial potting soil. Alternatively, you can use a mixture of three parts peat moss, one part perlite and one part vermiculite.
Remove the croton from its pot. Place one hand on top of the soil with the trunk of the plant between your second and third fingers. Don't pull the plant by the trunk. Guide the plant from the container with your other hand. If the plant is so root-bound that it's stuck in the pot, thump the sides of the container with the heel of your hand to loosen the roots.
Place the plant in the center of the container. Plant the croton at the same depth it was planted in the old container because the plant can rot if it's planted too deeply. Adjust the soil in the bottom of the container to bring the plant to the correct level, if necessary.
Add soil around the plant and fill the container. Leave 1 to 2 inches unfilled at the top of the container to allow for watering. Firm the potting mixture gently around the roots.
Place the croton in bright sunlight and water as normal. Withhold fertilizer for two to three weeks to allow the plant to become established in its new home.
Things You Will Need
- Container with drainage hole
- Commercial potting soil or peat moss, perlite and vermiculum
- The croton may drop its leaves after repotting. Treat the plant as you usually would and the croton will soon return to normal.
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