Why Calathea Leaves Curl and How to Fix it

The Marantaceae plant family includes flowering plants from tropical regions like Africa, including calathea plants. Their broad, vibrantly colored leaves make them famous, as this indoor plant, often known as the Prayer plant, requires little maintenance to beautify your home and improve air quality.

Your Calathea will fold its leaves into a loop or slightly curl them if it’s upset; this is frequently a warning indication before the issue gets worse. Before attempting to remedy the problem, you must keep an eye out for issues that can cause potential damage.

What Causes Calathea Leaves Curling?

Calathea Leaves Curl

Many factors, including high temperatures, poor hydration, low humidity, poor soil composition, etc., can cause Calathea leaves’ curling.

Since one of the main factors contributing to calathea leaves curling is often the water percentage or intake of the plant, it’s crucial to start keeping an eye on this.

Although calathea plants are beautiful, you could eventually discover that the leaves are curling, which could be any reason.

How To Fix It Curled Calathea Leaves

Once you’ve followed these instructions carefully the leaves of your Calathea should be bright and healthy.

1. Poor Hydration

As was previously said, one of the main causes of your Calathea’s curled leaves is a lack of water. Plants that have been submerged may have their leaves curl inward. The roots of the Calathea plants may be damaged by dry soil, which could result in curling and loss of the lovely foliage.
Root rot in the Calathea plants can also be brought on by poor drainage or overwatering. You can notice curling, withering, and yellowing leaves due to overwatering. Waterlogging is bad for Calathea plants even if they thrive in dampness.

How To Fix It

The drainage holes should be used to remove extra water from the calathea pot. The seriousness of the issue will be revealed if the plant’s base turns dark.

Water the plant once a week or when the top two inches of the soil are dry. This is one of the easy ways to correct overwatering or underwatering of calathea plants.

2. Watering With Hard Water

The wrong water may still be damaging to your Calathea, even if you are an expert at knowing when to hydrate it.
If you water your calathea with rough water, its leaves may curl.

A calathea plant’s ability to grow depends on its water quality. For a Calathea plant, distilled water or rainwater are the most palatable liquids.
Your leaves will become dry and brittle, which signifies that they are curling due to the hard water.

In addition, they could turn yellow or brown at the tips, a symptom of fluoride toxicity.

How To Fix It

Calathea plants also need water when their leaves begin to brown; this time around, water them with distilled water or rainwater, as it lacks impurities that can restrict your plant’s ability to develop, despite not having the same nutritional value as rainwater.

You can supplement your plant’s diet with organic or synthetic fertilizer if it needs a boost. Another option for resolving the issue is to put your plant in fresh soil. Continue watering it with distilled or filtered water after that.

3. Calathea’s Natural Movement

Calathea plants naturally fold up at night to conserve their energy. As a result, you might notice that leaves curl inside at night and outward during the day.

How To Fix It

For a few days, keep an eye on the leaves both during the day and night to determine whether this is a natural occurrence.

4. Humidity

The transpiration rate in Calathea will increase significantly if the humidity level in your home falls below 50%, which may result in excessive water loss and curling of the leaves. This excessive moisture loss can result in curled leaves on Calathea plants.

Since both situations may cause leaves to curl, droop and turn brown, it can be challenging to determine whether your plant’s leaves are curling because of low humidity or being underwater. Given that both conditions result in curling, drooping, browning, and crispy leaves, it might be challenging to distinguish between low humidity and underwatering.

How to fix it

When the plant is actively growing, you should aim for at least 60% relative humidity because the Calathea plant is sensitive to low humidity levels; also, purchase a hygrometer to allow you to measure your humidity level precisely.

You can use a pebble tray or plant humidifier to increase humidity. It would be best if you also grouped your plants to contribute to creating and distributing a humid microclimate growing environment.
Additionally, grouping plants together will be beneficial because it will produce a humid microenvironment for development.

5. Extreme Temperatures And Sunlight

Calathea leaves can curl and turn brown as a result of drying out due to excessive heat and sunlight. When the temperature is high, water moisture also evaporates more quickly. The plant’s leaves will consequently start to curl to minimize water loss.

Furthermore, prolonged exposure to intense sunlight enhances the rate of transpiration by concentrating heat on the leaves of your calathea plant and burning them.

The ideal temperature range for plants to be kept in is between 60 and 85 degrees Fahrenheit.

How To Fix It
Place Calathea indoors during unfavorable months to keep it at an ideal temperature with the help of a heater and air-conditioning.
You should also find a perfect spot near the window in a room exposed to indirect sunlight for your Calathea to thrive.

6. Over-Fertilizing Your Calathea Plant

As we all know, too much of everything is bad so is the over-fertilization of your calathea plant. You might believe that fertilizing a plant too much is impossible; however, if you fertilize the soil excessively, salt will accumulate around the roots, turning them dark in color.

The plant will become dehydrated from this lack of water and curl up. Although it may be fixed, salt buildup in the soil will eventually result in root burn damage and kill your Calathea plant if left unchecked.

When your calathea has received too much fertilizer, it will show up as a crusty buildup on the pot’s edge or the soil’s surface.

Additionally, you’ll see lower leaves drooping and turning yellow, as well as browning at the leaf tips and margins.

How To Fix It
If you see any symptoms, look closely at the plant root to look for brown or rotting roots, typically caused by overfertilization. If you find any, treat the problem right away by repoting it.

How To Properly Repot Calathea Plant

  • To remove the extra salts, soak the Calathea plants in running water for ten minutes.
  • Check that the pot drainage holes are functioning correctly so that the extra salt water can be drained from the pot.
  • Put plant in new soil.

Future fertilization should be limited to half the suggested amount and only occur once a month.

7. Pest And Diseases

Pests frequently consume Calathes; due to their small size, these pests may be difficult to observe as some cant be seen with the eyes, but if an infestation is present, you will see wrinkled, dried leaves with webbing on the underside.
Due to the invasion of pests, the leaves of calathea plants may become curled and, when not fixed on time, may lead to the dropping of leaves and dieing of the plant.
Whiteflies, spider mites, fungus gnats, mealybugs, and other pests are responsible for pest damage to Calathea plants.

How To Fix It

Bring your calathea plants to shady, humid areas to get rid of pests and diseases, to quickly identify the pests, use a magnifying glass to observe pests and wipe both sides of the infected foliage with a cotton or cloth dipped in a solution of water and insecticidal soap.

Neem oil can also treat pest infestation and eliminate this pest from the plant’s environment.

Regularly clean the leaves to prevent infestations from worsening, and separate the infestation plants from the good ones. Also, prune the damaged leaves; leaving them will make the plant die quickly, but pruning will make your plant grow new and healthy leaves.

Calathea plant issues may generally be resolved by keeping the humidity level over 50%, giving the plants frequent waterings, and keeping the plants in shaded areas. Hopefully, you can now take the necessary steps to stop the curling of your Calathea leaves and prevent future curling.

Leave a comment