Croton leaves often turn white due to powdery mildew, lack of sunlight, overexposure to direct sunlight, and overwatering.
Although Croton plants are known for their sturdiness, you will observe the loss of color in their leaves due to one of the above reasons. You can prevent discoloration by providing indirect sunlight, limiting watering frequency, and fixing any existing bug issues in your plant.
In this guide, I will talk more about these causes and fixes in detail. So, let’s begin!
Why Are My Croton Leaves Turning White?
As mentioned earlier, Croton leaves may turn white for several reasons.
Here’s a list of them –
- Lack Of Sunlight
- Too Much Sunlight
- Powdery Mildew
Let’s take a closer look at each one of them.
1. Lack Of Sunlight
This problem arises when the plant doesn’t get enough sunlight.
Croton is a tropical plant that needs at least 4-6 hours of sunlight daily. If it doesn’t get the same amount of sun, its leaves may start to turn white.
This also happens during winter, when the days are shorter. So, if you live in an area with a lot of snow, it’s best to keep your Croton plant indoors during this time.
2. Too Much Sunlight
Even though Croton needs a lot of sunlight, too much light can harm the plant.
When the direct sunlight is too intense, it can cause the leaves to turn dry and white. And if you don’t do anything about it, the plant may eventually die.
Note: Initially, you will see this effect only on the leaves receiving direct sunlight. But if you don’t take any corrective measures, the other leaves will also start to turn white.
3. Powdery Mildew
Powdery Mildew is a common fungal infection that affects many plants, including Croton.
It starts with a white powdery substance on the Croton plant, which eventually leads to the leaves turning white. If the infection is left untreated, it can spread to the stems and branches.
It is also one of the most difficult problems to get rid of, so you must act fast as soon as you see the first signs of it.
Here’s a video guide to learning more about this problem –
It is another common problem that affects Croton plants.
When you overwater the plant, the roots start to rot. Once the roots become weak, they cannot absorb water and nutrients from the soil. As a result, the leaves do not get the required food and lose color.
However, it’s a gradual process, so you will see the leaves changing colors in later stages. If you observe a sudden color change, it is most likely due to overexposure to direct sunlight.
In the next section, we will take a look at the solution for each one of these problems.
How To Fix White Leaves On A Croton Plant
Here’s how you can resolve this issue in your Croton plant –
1. Move The Plant To A Bright Spot
If your plant is not getting enough sunlight, you need to move it to a brighter spot.
This is mostly required for a plant that is kept indoors. Place it near a south-facing window so that it can get at least four hours of sunlight every day.
It’s also a good idea to use grow lights if you don’t have a south-facing window. You can find grow lights at any gardening store.
2. Avoid Direct Sunlight
No plant likes too much direct sunlight, and Croton is no different.
If the leaves turn white or dry, you should quickly move the plant to a shady spot. Or you can also use a sheer curtain to create shade for the plant.
This should help resolve the problem within a few weeks.
Later, you can introduce the plant to bright sunlight gradually. Start with an hour or two and then increase the duration every week.
While doing so, observe the plant closely. If you see any adverse effects, you should immediately take it out of the sunlight.
3. Improve Air Circulation
Crotons should always be kept in an area with good air circulation.
The chances of powdery mildew infection are higher if the plant is kept in a closed space. So, it’s important to keep the plant in an open area.
You can also use a fan to improve air circulation around the plant. But don’t let the fan blow air directly on the plant. This will cause more damage to the plant, and it may even lead to a leaf drop problem.
4. Water The Plant Properly
You should never overwater your Croton plant.
Following the right watering schedule is very important for the overall growth of the plant. You can water this plant every week or so, depending on the size and condition of the plant.
But this is the ideal scenario. In reality, the watering schedule may vary depending on the climate and weather conditions as well.
If you are not great at following the schedule, you can opt for a self-watering system. You can also check the moisture level in the soil before watering the plant.
5. Clean The Leaves
In case of powdery mildew infection, one of the best things you can do is clean the leaves.
Use a mild soap solution and gently wipe the affected leaves. You can also use a fungicide to get rid of the powdery mildew spores.
But before using any chemical solution, try the soap solution first. If it doesn’t work, you can always opt for a fungicide.
Also, if you don’t want to use soap solution, you can wipe the leaves with a damp cloth. This will also help in getting rid of the powdery mildew spores. However, it won’t be too effective against the fungus.
6. Prune Your Croton Plant
Pruning is not a direct solution to this problem, but it can help in the long run.
Pruning helps in getting rid of affected and damaged parts of the plant. It also encourages new growth, which is always a good thing.
If you consider pruning your Croton, you should only trim 1/3rd of the plant. This will help the plant to recover quickly. Don’t go overboard and trim more than that.
Important: In most cases, you don’t have to prune the plant at all. Pruning should only be done if the plant is severely affected by powdery Mildew or any other problem.
You can recover the plant by addressing the sunlight, watering, and air circulation issues. Pruning should only be done as a last resort.
I have shared some FAQs related to this topic below. Check them out if you have any doubts.
The white stuff on Croton is generally powder mildew, which is a type of fungus. It thrives in humid conditions and can cause the leaves to turn white or grey.
You can keep them colorful by giving them plenty of light and keeping them slightly on the dry side.
If your Croton is overwatered, the leaves will turn yellow or brown and start to drop off. The stem may also become soft.
Croton plants prefer bright light but can tolerate some direct sun.
Water Crotons when the top inch of soil is dry. In general, they should be watered about once a week.