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How to Repot Croton

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House Plant - Croton image by evillager from Fotolia.com

Croton is a colorful evergreen shrub. Its foliage is thick and waxy green, with yellow accents. The plant is commonly grown as a house plant, and so needs to be repotted from time to time. Repotting can be a stressful time for house plants, and the croton, especially tends to “pout” or lose foliage after it is placed in a new container. With appropriate care the plant will rebound from the stress of repotting, but if not given the right attention, the plant may not survive.

Ensure that your plant is a good candidate for repotting. A croton should never be replanted unnecessarily. Plants should be replanted annually during the first three years of life. As a mature plant, they should only be repotted as necessary, when the root ball has outgrown its current container.

Get prepared to repot the croton by buying a pot about 2 inches larger in diameter than the current one, and appropriate soil. Croton soil should be placed in a humus-rich soil. Loam-based potting compost is best.

Wait until the plant is actively growing. During this time it is easiest for the plant to reestablish in its new environment.

Supporting the plant by the soil around the stem, lift the plant and turn it upside down. Pull the pot off the top of the roots. You may have to bump the pot against a hard surface a few times to break things lose so that the pot can be removed.

Inspect the roots. They should be light colored and firm.

Trim any roots suffering root rot from the plant. Root rot is caused by overwatering and affected roots will be discolored and squishy, and may have a foul odor.

Cut roots to encourage growth. Cut any roots which grow in a circular pattern around the root mass. Make three or four cuts vertically from the bottom of the root ball up into its center, these should go up into the bottom third of the root mass.

Put a layer of soil into the bottom of the pot. Set the new plant in the pot, and cover the root ball with soil.

Water the pot to settle the soil around the root mass. When appropriately watered a 1/2 inch of space should exist between the surface of the soil and the top rim of the pot.

Wait two to three weeks before fertilizing, then apply a 20-20-20 fertilizer to the plant once a month.

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