The factor most overlooked in plant care, even for Croton houseplants, is humidity and temperature. While most types of Croton plants are not the most sensitive to these two conditions, they still have preferences. Keeping your Croton plants in ideal humidity conditions will significantly reduce the chance of disease and discourage pests. Steady temperature control and protection from drafts are also vital for good color in the foliage. Read on for everything you need to know about croton plant temperature and humidity tolerances indoors.
- Croton Plant Temperature and Humidity Tolerances – The Essentials
- Typical Temperature and Humidity Ranges Croton Plants Receive in Their Native Habitats
- Signs Your Croton Plant is Exposed to the Wrong Temperature and Humidity
- Ideal Temperature and Humidity Considerations for Croton Plants
- How to Boost Humidity in Your Home
- Caring for Croton Plants in Spring and Summer
- Caring for Croton Plants Over Winter
- Croton Plant Temperature and Humidity Tolerances FAQs:
- Wrapping Up
Croton Plant Temperature and Humidity Tolerances – The Essentials
Croton plants require relatively warm temperatures and high humidity. Keep them between 55 and 85 degrees F, with the optimal range between 60 and 75 degrees. They prefer humidity levels that are between 50% and 80%, with higher numbers better for good color.
Typical Temperature and Humidity Ranges Croton Plants Receive in Their Native Habitats
Croton plants grown as colorful houseplants are native to the tropical parts of Malaysia and India and a few South Pacific islands.
This means they’re used to warm but not extremely hot temperatures and higher humidity ranges. When grown outdoors, they tend to thrive only in areas like Florida, Southern California, and Hawaii that offer similar conditions. That’s why most varieties are grown indoors far more commonly than outdoors.
It’s relatively easy to replicate the conditions of these tropical areas inside your home if you don’t mind raising the average humidity around the plant.
Signs Your Croton Plant is Exposed to the Wrong Temperature and Humidity
A Croton plant that isn’t getting enough humidity won’t wilt like it would from insufficient watering. Instead, it’ll fade in color and become crispy and brown around the edges of older leaves. New leaves may emerge slightly curled or dry at the edges as well. Many factors can cause the color to fade, but only a lack of ambient humidity will lead to dry and crispy edges on the Croton plant.
In terms of reaction to improper temperature exposure, Croton tends to lose lower leaves and stall out in the growth of new foliage. Both cold drafts and spikes in heat can cause this to happen. Keeping the Croton out of the direct sun and away from heating or cooling vents is key to maintaining a steady temperature around it.
Avoid overwatering a Croton plant that was recently shocked by temperature since the roots will be particularly prone to rot.
Ideal Temperature and Humidity Considerations for Croton Plants
In the wild, Croton plants thrive in areas that have up to 90% humidity on a daily basis. There’s no need to go quite that high indoors, with 80% humidity being as high as is practical to achieve.
Most Croton varieties can handle lower levels around 60% to 70% without issue. However, even occasional drops to as low as 40% can hurt them. 40% is the average ambient home humidity level, so you’ll need to make an effort to keep moisture in the air around the houseplant. High humidity can lead to diseases, especially fungal ones, so don’t let the plant’s leaves actually become wet from misting or humidifier use.
Croton plants are similar to most other houseplants that come from tropical areas. They need to stay above 55 degrees F at all times or will suffer leaf loss and discoloration. The stems will soften with exposure to cold weather as well.
However, Croton plants don’t like extremely hot temperatures either. 85 degrees F is about as hot as they can handle, especially when receiving lots of light. Keeping them around 75 degrees F all year round is ideal for the best color presentation and healthiest foliage.
South and west-facing windows are a good option for providing sufficient light for your croton plant and stable temperatures but don’t place the plants too close to the glass.
To precisely know what humidity level and temperature your Croton houseplant is exposed to every day, you need a device to measure both over time. Combination thermometer and hygrometer devices with memory functions can be had for as little as $20, allowing you to adjust conditions more precisely.
For more, see our in-depth guide to the best locations for Croton plants to thrive in your home or office.
How to Boost Humidity in Your Home
Many people who want to keep humidity-loving plants like Croton first start out by misting and using humidity trays. However, these efforts only add a few points of ambient humidity and quickly lose their efficiency to actually improve conditions for the plant.
The best option for maintaining a steady humidity level is a small desktop humidifier. Look for a model that offers precise control, at least with a timer. Using this in combination with a digital hygrometer will ensure the Croton never drops to a dry level of humidity. Small humidifiers limit how much the rest of the home is affected by the moisture. A larger humidifier will only make the room damp and not specifically do a better job of helping the plant grow.
Misting can help when no other humidity sources are available, but try to avoid direct spraying the leaves with water. Grouping the Croton plants close together can trap humidity between the leaves. This tends to encourage disease, though, so it should only be used as a last resort for short periods of time.
It’s fine to keep them in a cluster with a few inches between the leaves of individual plants so that they can all share a common humidity zone from a humidifier.
Caring for Croton Plants in Spring and Summer
Spring and summer are the active growing seasons for Croton plants. This is when they’ll need the most steady temperatures and best humidity levels. This is also the best season for fertilizing croton plants, pruning, and repotting, as well as propagating if you’re looking to expand your collection.
If they are exposed to too much cold during the spring, they may go dormant and not start growing actively for a few weeks afterward. Don’t overheat the plant trying to get it to start growing again; just keep the temperatures in the desired range.
Watch out for direct sun as the angle of light changes through any windows near the Croton. Not only can sunscald happen in just a few hours, but the plant could also get hotter than it prefers, which may lead to yellowing leaves, drooping, wilting, or rapid drying of the soil base.
Caring for Croton Plants Over Winter
Croton plants go mildly dormant over the winter. You don’t need to change their conditions much to compensate for this, but it is fine to let them drop to 55 degrees F at night.
They don’t need much supplemental heating as long as they stay around 60 to 70 degrees F during the day since heating can dry them out too much.
Croton Plant Temperature and Humidity Tolerances FAQs:
What temperature is too cold for Croton Plants?
55 degrees F is officially too cold for Croton plants and will lead to leaf drop. 60 degrees F is a better goal for everyday care since temperatures below that point can still lead to color loss.
What temperature is too hot for Croton Plants?
These plants don’t like to be exposed to temperatures above 85 degrees F, especially if they’re growing in full sun.
Are Croton Plants heat-sensitive?
They can be heat-sensitive and tend to fade somewhat during the hottest parts of the summer. Keeping them slightly below 85 degrees F is recommended when possible, but try not to blow air directly on them since it can dry out the plant.
Can I leave my Croton Plant outside?
Croton plants can go outside in most climates during the summer as long as nighttime temperatures stay in the 60s or upper 50s. They especially appreciate spending the summer outside in humid areas where they can get plenty of rainfall.
How do I know if my Croton Plant is healthy?
Healthy, happy Croton plants will have bright colors appropriate to their variety and a shiny gloss on the surface of the foliage.
Keeping Croton plants happy with the correct temperatures and humidity levels is easier than you might think. Invest in a little equipment like a humidifier and digital thermometer and you won’t have to guess at the conditions around the plant.
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