Why are Your Calathea Leaves Curling

Why are Your Calathea Leaves Curling? 6 Useful Tips For Planter

Calatheas are excellent if you want a plant that will stand out. Curling Calathea leaves indicate a problem, and the plant is rather loud when it has something to say.

Is it possible that your calathea leaves are going inward? Learn what’s going on and how to swiftly treat your plant.

Usually, the problem is simple to resolve, but it might occasionally signify a more serious situation that requires rapid treatment.

What Is The Calathea Plant?

Calathea, which originated in the tropical rainforests of South America, has become a popular perennial houseplant. Their oval leaves face either the direct or indirect sun.

Multilayered greens and stripes may be seen in many of these plant species.

Calathea is also known by the following slang terms:

  • cathedral plants
  • peacock plants
  • zebra plants
  • rattlesnake plants
  • prayer plants.

Why are Your Calathea Leaves Curling

Why are Your Calathea Leaves Curling?

Curled calathea leaves are always a symptom of a water shortage. This might be due to a genuine water scarcity, an excess of water, or a disturbance in water flow caused by damage to any portion of the plant…

In most circumstances, giving your calathea plant the attention it requires will keep the leaves from curling.

1. Improper Watering – Under or Over Watering

Under Watering – Number one cause for calathea leaves curling

Under-watering is the most common cause of calathea leaf curling. To convey a point, if the soil becomes too dry, the leaves of some calathea plants may curl up.

You should water your plant if the top few inches of soil are dry. More than an inch of soil should not be allowed to dry out at a time (to the first knuckle if you are checking with your finger).

The soil around calatheas should be maintained moist (but not wet) at all times.

Calathea leaves will wither and curl if they don’t get enough water.


If you’ve overwatered your plant and caused it to curl its leaves, you may notice further signs such as yellowing calathea leaves and overall wilting.

In general, if you haven’t let the top inch of soil dry out much between waterings, you’re definitely watering your plants too regularly.

For plants where the top inch of soil stays wet days after watering… I believe you’re overwatering.

Overwatering might occur if the container lacks drainage holes or if there is another container inside it that collects water.

Why are Your Calathea Leaves Curling

Overwatering can cause root rot by harming the roots. Root rot is a severe hazard to your calathea plant since damaged roots prohibit them from performing their purpose (fast).

2. Calathea Leaves Curling Due to Low Humidity

Calatheas thrives in humid environments. Calatheas thrive best in relatively high humidity, hence low humidity is a common cause of leaf curling.

Calathea plants like humidity levels above 50%. (More would be nice.) Calathea plant care varies according to the kind and demands of the plant.

Fusion White, a more delicate variety than Calathea Medallion, needs humidity levels of 80% or higher to grow.

Placing a sensitive plant in a terrarium or other container with easily regulated humidity may help the plant grow.

If the relative humidity in the air falls below 50%, the leaves of Calathea may begin to dry up and become brown (or higher for sensitive plants).

This is one probable early warning sign. There are times when the leaves keep their green tint.

Curled but otherwise healthy calathea leaves indicate that humidity is to blame. Unless the humidity is drastically off, the plant should be alright.

Invest in a hygrometer, a low-cost tool for assessing the relative humidity of a specific space’s air. Because the humidity in the room may change, place it near your plant.

If the measured humidity is insufficient, a plant may be transferred to a room with higher humidity (and other optimum conditions), or the surrounding humidity can be increased.

There are various ways to increase humidity, the most basic of which is to buy an air humidifier.

3. Pests, Especially Spider Mite

One of the first things you should check for is the existence of bugs, preferably with a magnifying lens. Pests damage plant leaves and/or root systems.

One sign is mechanical damage to the leaves (holes, stains, etc.), whereas curled calathea leaves suggest a lack of nutrition and water flow to the damaged areas.

Why are Your Calathea Leaves Curling

A number of insects can cause this. Spider mites, however, are the most common source of discomfort.

Curled calathea leaves are a clear indicator of an infestation, and they are simple to spot in the early stages.

As the infection progresses, little webbing emerges along the region where the leaf and stem meet.

That is a clear sign of a spider mite infestation, and it indicates that the problem has developed fairly far.

If the plant still has a few healthy leaves, it can be salvaged. To get your plant back to normal, you must first get rid of the spider mites that have infested it.

A period of fall is possible, but new growth should make things seem lot better shortly.

4. Direct Sunlight Exposure or Too Much Light

Calathea plants prefer mild, diffused light to direct, intense sunlight in their natural habitat.

If their leaves are exposed to too much sunshine, they will bleach and turn brown.

Curled leaves might indicate that your plant is thirsty or that the soil is drying up too soon.

If your plant is exposed to too much light, the calathea leaves may get pointed and bordered with brown.

Simply move your calathea plant to a spot where it will not be exposed to direct sunlight to fix this problem. It’s vital to remember that even if the light isn’t directly on them, it still has to be bright.

5. Temperature Extremes – High or Low, or Quick Changes

Extreme temperatures, both low and high, should be avoided. Both of these variables might be to blame for your calathea’s curled leaves.

Because these plants thrive in temperate temperatures, your house is most likely appropriate for them.

Pay close attention to drafts. Drafts can produce abrupt temperature changes, which your calathea will not enjoy.

In certain situations, this is enough to cause the leaves to curl causing the plant to appear ill and sad.

It is critical to protect your plant against drafts, especially frigid ones.

If your plant is near a window, keep an eye on the temperature, especially in the winter. In the winter, the area around the windows may become rather cold.

It should also be kept away from any sources of heat. They will not enjoy the heat or the stuffy environment.

6. Chemicals and Minerals from Water or Fertilizer

When chemicals and minerals build up in the soil, they can be harmful to plant health.

Plant withering, leaf browning, and leaf yellowing are frequent side effects of using too much fertilizer or water with too many minerals (use filtered water or distilled water instead).

There would, however, be further clues.

Why are Your Calathea Leaves Curling

How to Fix Calathea Leaves Curling

How to fix underwatered Calathea:

Fill it halfway with filtered or distilled water until it begins to leak from the bottom.

Water your calathea plants once a week, or whenever the top two inches of soil get dry. Set an alarm on your phone for the proper time each week to avoid forgetting to water your plants.

How to fix overwatered Calathea:

Curled leaves indicate that your plant’s roots are unhappy. Before you water again, make sure the top two inches of soil are dry.

Calatheas should be repotted every two weeks or such, or whenever the soil hasn’t dried up.

Add coarse materials like as shredded bark, perlite, or even fine gravel to the potting soil to improve drainage and aeration.

Make sure your container has a drainage hole on the bottom.

How to fix the effect of hard water:

If the old soil has accumulated too much salt, it is best to repot your Calathea into fresh soil.

Calatheas flourish in distilled water, filtered water, or rainfall.

How to fix low humidity levels:

Calathea species require a continuous relative humidity of at least 60% when actively growing because to their sensitivity to low humidity.

Place a pebble tray or a humidifier for plants in the area to increase humidity.

You may want to cluster your plants in order to create and disseminate a humid microclimate.

How to fix Direct Sunlight & Heat Stress

Bring Calathea indoors during the cold winter and hot summer months and keep it at an appropriate temperature with the help of a heater and air conditioning.

Furthermore, your Calathea will thrive in a room with a shady east-south window that receives indirect filtered sunlight.

Fixing over-fertilize Calathea curled leaves:

To begin, dig up the Calathea and remove any unhealthy roots. After that, move the Calathea to a new container with fresh soil.

Fertilizer treatments should be reduced from every two weeks to once a month.

Why are Your Calathea Leaves Curling

How to eradicate these pests:

Apply neem oil to the damaged area to keep these pests at bay for the time being.

To completely remove the bugs, scrub the leaves on both sides with a cotton pad or towel dipped in a mild dish detergent and water solution.

Routine leaf wiping allows for the early discovery of insect infestations in your Calathea plants.

Preventing Curling Leaves

Here are some other methods for preventing calathea leaves from curling in the future. First, attempt to raise the humidity, and then proceed with the other measures to care for the plant.

Give your plant a bath.

Calathea benefits from a little shower on occasion, which may seem strange. This both cleans the leaves and increases humidity.

I put my calathea in the bathtub and gently spray the leaves with lukewarm water using the sprayer nozzle.

Allow it to drain for an hour or two before returning to its original location.

Remove the leaves.

This is something that many indoor gardeners, particularly newbies, frequently overlook.

To maintain leaves healthy, wipe them down with a soft, damp cloth on a regular basis to remove dust, hair, and other debris. (For more information, see my page on how to clean your houseplant’s leaves.)

Water regularly.

Calathea prefers damp soil that is not soggy, but never dries out. If you touch the soil and it seems dry, water your plant right away.

Calathea is a tropical plant that requires constant moisture and humidity. In a typical home, it will most likely need to be watered several times each week.

Maintain a constant temperature. Keep the temperature between 65 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit (18 and 24 degrees Celsius) (18 – 24 degrees C).

Under these conditions, all varieties of calathea will grow, however some may tolerate slightly higher or slightly lower temperatures.

Never allow the temperature to go below 60 degrees Fahrenheit (15 degrees Celsius) (15 degrees C).

If you follow these steps, you will have a healthy calathea plant with no curled leaves.

Other Tips to Keep Calathea Healthy

The amount of light might also be a concern at times. Keep calathea out of direct sunlight as much as possible. This can cause the leaves to dry out, curl, or turn brown.

This plant, which originated in the damp, moist, and gloomy environments of the jungle floor, thrives in bright, indirect sunlight.

Why are Your Calathea Leaves Curling

A north or east facing window is great. You may also use sheer curtains to soften the light coming in from a window and place the plant three to five feet away from it.

Finally, before you begin caring for your calathea, be sure you understand your responsibilities. If you have a calathea ornata or calathea orbifolia, be sure to follow our care instructions.


Calathea leaves curl when exposed to direct sunlight, hot temperatures, excessive humidity, or inconvenient watering. Because the plant is reactive, it is more prone to perish in adverse situations.

By adjusting how you care for your plant, you may help it last longer and keep its leaves from curling.

If you want a healthy, long-lived plant, the effort necessary to maintain Calathea leaves from curling is definitely worth it.

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