Calatheas are a great choice if you want a plant that is full of character. These plants overly show when they have problems. Calathea leaves that curl can be a sign of trouble. But what is causing the leaves to curl? Find out the causes and how you can fix the problems quickly.
On the majority of occasions, the problems can be easily fixed. However, the curling of Calathea leaves might point to a more serious issue that would require a hands-on approach.
So, what is the reason behind the curling of your Calathea leaves?
Calathea leaves’ curling indicates an issue with water. This could be caused by a lack of water or too much water.
So, you can avoid curled Calathea leaves by taking good care of your plant.
Curling caused due to underwatering—Calathea leaves can curl if they are not properly watered. These plants can be more dramatic than others and will curl their leaves if they find the soil too dry.
You should check the soil and water the plant if it is dry. The soil should not be dry beyond the first half inch. But note that Calatheas prefer their soil to be constantly moist, not wet.
Calathea leaves also curl up when you water the plant too frequently.
- Curling due to overwatering—
Overwatering can cause your Calathea leaves to curl and become unsightly. However, you might also see other signs, such as the leaves turning yellow or the plant wilting as a result of overwatering. You may be overwatering your plants if you don’t let the soil dry out completely. If the soil layer on top is still damp days after you water it, you probably are overwatering. It’s easy for plants to become overwatered if there are no drainage holes in their pots.
Overwatering can cause root rot or other types of damage to the roots. Root rot is a serious problem that can cause the death of Calathea plants.
- Low humidity —
Calatheas thrive in high humidity. Low humidity can cause their leaves to curl.
For most Calatheas, humidity levels should be at least 50%. However, it is possible to supply more than that without causing any harm to the plant. The requirements for keeping Calathea plants happy will vary depending on their species. Calathea Medallion has better tolerance for lower humidity than Fusion White, which requires humidity levels above 80% in order to thrive. You might consider placing your plant in a terrarium or another type of enclosure if it is too fussy. It will be easier to maintain high humidity in these types of enclosures.
You will notice brown tips and Calathea leaves drying up if the humidity drops below 50%. This should act as a red flag.
A hygrometer is an inexpensive tool that measures the humidity of your room. It is best to place it close to your plant as humidity levels can fluctuate in a room. If your plant doesn’t have the humidity it needs, you can move it to a place with higher humidity or increase the humidity around it.
An air humidifier is the best way to up the level of humidity. However, you can also do other things to increase humidity in your garden.
- Attack by Spider Mites—
Pest infestation is something you should keep an eye out for, checking for it regularly, preferably using a magnifying lens. Pests can cause damage to the roots and leaves of plants. Sometimes, the damage can be seen in the form of mechanical damage to the plant, such as holes. You can also notice pest-infested Calathea leaves curling as damaged leaves aren’t properly supplied with nutrients or water.
Although many different pests can cause the curling issue, the spider mite is the most common. When the infestation is not severe, people generally miss the symptoms. One of the major signs of pest infestation that you might notice is the curling of leaves. You will notice small webbing at the junction of the stem and leaf as the infestation grows. This is a sign that you have a spider mite problem, and it has spread quite a lot.
The plant can be saved as long as it has healthy leaves. To bring your plant back to its full potential, get rid of spider mites. Although the improvement might appear sluggish for some time, the plant will soon recover and grow back.
- Exposing the plant to too much light—
Calathea plants prefer bright, filtered light. They cannot bear strong sunlight. Their leaves may become damaged if they get too much sunlight. The sun can both dry out the plants and accelerate the drying of the soil, which can cause curled leaves.
It is easy to solve this problem by simply moving your Calathea plant to an area that is not in direct sunlight. Remember though that they still need to receive light, but not direct.
Although the above-listed are some of the most important reasons, they are not the only ones that cause the curling of Calathea leaves. Other factors responsible are extremes in temperature, cold drafts, and mineral and chemical build-up.
For any new grower, growing a healthy Calathea might seem like a challenge. It’s actually not challenging; it’s just that the approach of care needs to be right. With proper care and attention, it’s not really difficult to transform a weak and diseased Calathea into a beautiful, healthy plant. Follow the above tips to ensure your calathea has a happily ever-after!
Calatheas are a great choice if you want a plant that is full of character. Calathea leaves that curl can be a sign of trouble. Find out how to fix them.