Can the Croton Petra Still Survive After the Leaves Fall Off?


Crotons (Codiaeum variegatum) need certain growth conditions in order to look their best, and they may be problematic if they aren’t properly cared for. However, crotons are resilient and can recover from a variety of issues, including the loss of croton leaves. Crotons are known for being among the most hardy houseplants due to the latter trait, which gives them their reputation.

The cultivar known as ‘Petra’ (Codiaeum variegatum ‘Petra’), which is also known as autumn plant, is famous for being very resilient and long-lasting. According to the University of Florida IFAS Extension, ‘Petra’ and other croton cultivars make their discomfort known by dropping leaves when they are not provided with everything they need even though they are hardy in plant hardiness zones 9b through 11 of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).


If it is given the attention and care it needs, the croton “Petra” will continue to live even after its leaves have fallen off.

Croton Plant Dropping Leaves

Calyx Flowers states that the plant known as ‘Petra’ will shed its leaves in response to temperatures and light levels that are uncomfortably low. If you notice that the leaves on your croton are falling off throughout the winter, the temperatures are probably too low for the plant.

The plant may also drop its leaves as a result of transplant shock, as well as from receiving an excessive amount of water or an insufficient amount of water, all of which may cause this. To put it another way, if the plant does not like of what you are doing, it will not hesitate to voice its disapproval to you. Your ‘Petra’ should be able to live and begin generating new foliage if you begin to provide it with the appropriate amount of care or if you just allow it time to recuperate if transplant shock is the reason of its leaves falling off.

Croton Recovery Time

It is quite unlikely that the ‘Petra’ will recover quickly. After you have provided it with humidity, strong light, and air at room temperature, you should wait a few weeks. There is no predetermined length of time required for recovery; nevertheless, you should reconsider your actions after two months if the plant shows no signs of improvement. If the plant was just going through transplant shock, was exposed to cold air, was underwatered, or you took cuttings from it, then it should be alright moving forward.

According to the recommendations of the Croton Master Gardener Program at the University of Wisconsin–Madison, your croton plant should get fertiliser once or twice per growth season. When applying the product, make sure to follow the directions on the packaging. You should spray the plant’s surviving leaves throughout the winter.

The Leafless Undead

In the event that the ‘Petra’ seems to be lifeless, you should inspect the bark on its stem by scraping it with your fingernail. A plant that, after having its bark scraped away, reveals no green growth should be thrown away. If there is green visible beneath the scrape, you should immediately begin providing the plant with the appropriate care.

Be sure to give it the appropriate quantity of water; the soil around the plant should be somewhat damp, but you should hold off on giving it any more water until it has dried out a little bit. However, if you wait too long to add water, the leaves may get damaged as a result. Before you water the soil, you should wait until the top layer of the soil of a very little “Petra” feels completely dry to the touch. Between bouts of watering, the soil may get dry to a depth of around 1 inch for a ‘Petra’ that grows between 6 and 8 inches tall, and to a depth of approximately 3 to 4 inches for a plant that is larger.

Not a Fan of Fans

If you notice that the leaves on your croton plant are falling off, the problem may be caused by chilly temperatures; thus, you should make sure that your “Petra” is not in the route of air from your air conditioner. Also, be mindful of where you set a fan since the air that it blows might dry out everything that is in its path. Petra is a hardy plant, but it is not eternal; you should begin treating the plant as soon as its leaves begin to fall off. Waiting an excessive amount of time could be fatal. The plant could get used to the somewhat darker or colder surroundings, but this will have a negative impact on the quality of the leaves that are still on it.