Forum home Plants

Croton struggling

Can anyone help?  My croton is covered in a sticky white substance.  I washed it a couple of weeks ago but it has come back.  It also appears to be struggling - no new growth and the leaves that are there seem wilty.  It has always listed to one side and I've staked it but it still favours that side and I'm worried the root ball may be damaged?  It's been in a sunny room (as sunny as South Wales gets!) in a house that has had the heating on for the majority of the cold weather.  The anturium next to it has no sticky stuff and is positively thriving!
Thanks in advance


  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Posts: 83,896
    Hi Twinkle  :) (great name, hope you don't mind the abbreviation)

    Could you post a photo of your croton so we can get a good look at whatever ails it?

    Gardening in Central Norfolk on improved gritty moraine over chalk ... free-draining.

  • Thanks!  Yes, I'll take some when I get home.

  • Top two pics of the sticky white stuff that seems to start on the stems and slowly moves over the leaves, 3rd pic next to my happy anthurium, 4th pic of the listing and 5th pic of Audrey the anthurium for some reason...!
  • Just 1 month ago...  :'(
  • Paul B3Paul B3 Posts: 3,065
    Hello ttlb!!!
    Your Croton (Codiaeum) is a member of the Euphorbiaceae ; and with that I assumed the white substance was the dried latex due to leaf damage .
    The picture is slightly indistinct , but I would now think it has a bad infestation of mealy-bug . These are  a common pest feeding on plants , especially indoors in warm conditions . They exude a sticky white substance as protection for themselves .
    If you have access to a hand-sprayer , give them a blasting with a detergent solution , remembering the leaf undersides too . Leave on for a few minutes and then rinse off .
    Salts in the detergent will damage the foliage if left too long .
    Repeat as necessary until the critters are obliterated .
  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Posts: 83,896
    I'm online on my phone at the moment and can't see the pics clearly. Google 'scale insects' ... there are various sorts ... some have white waxy egg clusters

    Gardening in Central Norfolk on improved gritty moraine over chalk ... free-draining.

  • Thanks Paul! What sort of detergent would you suggest? I washed it thoroughly before and the naughty mealybugs have comeback 😤 - it's a big plant so I want to get it right this time!!
    Just an aside but would you know why they haven't gone for my anthurium?
  • Paul B3Paul B3 Posts: 3,065
    Any washing up liquid will do ; Dove suggests scale insects ; the same treatment will suffice . Don't know why they havn't attacked your Anthurium , but I have a cactus collection , and they always 'hid' in nooks and crannies in the plants . Maybe the Anthurium is too 'open' and they'd be vulnerable to predators if outdoors .
    PS  Like the telescope by the way !
  • Thanks both! I'll let you know how I get in the next episode of... Mealybug Wars!!!!!!
Sign In or Register to comment.