Unfortunately, my croton did not survive. I couldn’t rid it of the spider mites and eventually (after a number of tries) we had to move it to the conservatory for fear that there’d be spider mites wandering around my kitchen. From there, it was even more neglected. It lost all its leaves and gave up.
I didn’t even want to recycle the soil, so I had to put it in the bin. I’m not quite sure where spider mites live, but if it’s within the soil I don’t want to put that in my recycling bin nor my garden compost.
I have a small shrub in my office whose flowers had begun to wilt faster than I expected. I used the “Picture This” app to see if it could tell me if I’d over or underwatered it. Turns out, it was dying because of the small, white bugs which had made its home on the leaves. (I was quite impressed that the application spotted this, as I didn’t with my own eyes.)
I Google around for how these bugs managed to get into my house and office. Both parasites seem to come from the same place: they probably came from the shop with them already. Eggs, babies, or just well hidden and in small number. It’s not likely that a pregnant spider mite found my kitchen and the single plant that they’re interested in in there.
This has sort of put me off growing potted plants. However, croton seeds are purchased by the 100g increment an cost £15 for them. I just want one seed…
Well, within moments our family was able to figure it out. Tim’s mum and aunt very quickly pointed out that it is a croton. A collegue of mine was able to figure it out the next day by Googling “plant with green and red leaves”, but sometimes the most obvious key words don’t come to you.
Armed with this information, I’ve moved the plant to the window sill which gets light all day. I’ve also started only watering it when the top soil is dry, and then watering it thouroughly (allowing the excess water to drain, not sit).
I’ll also have to look into buying a spray water dispenser, as it apparently likes humidity. Maybe being sprayed with water will trick it into thinking it’s humid.