From Underwatering to Pests: 7 Causes of Rubber Plant Leaf Curl and How to Treat Them

Why are your rubber plant leaves curling? If you ask yourself these questions, there are a variety of causes for the curly leaves of rubber plants. But first, it’s critical to comprehend the root of your rubber plants’ leaf curl; you will be ready to come up with solutions to the issue by doing this.

Sometimes, leaf curl is nothing to be alarmed about because it could signify that your plant is in good health. For instance, young rubber plant leaves initially appear tightly curled but progressively uncurl as leaves mature.

What Causes Rubber Plant Leaves To Curl?

Curled Rubber Plant Leaves

Curled leaves on rubber plants might occasionally indicate a problem. Your plant may be contaminated by soil or exposed to dangerous chemicals or insect pest infestations.

  1. Minimal Humidity

Being tropical plants, rubber plants want high humidity levels, which can be challenging to manage while growing them inside your homes.

Most indoor rooms always have a lot of dry air because of various household activities. As a result, the humidity levels drop, and the leaves of your rubber plant begin to curl.

However, using a humidifier will allow you to keep the humidity level of your indoor plant constant.

Alternatively, you can add a layer of gravel or pebbles to a tray filled with water, then set the plant-filled pot on top of the gravel or stones. This helps to keep it continually moist while preventing the water from reaching the bottom of the pot.

This prevents moisture or water from seeping up the drainage holes and damaging the plant roots while also increasing the humidity around the plant.

2. Exposure To Soil Contaminants

Have you ever considered that your rubber plant’s leaves curling may be related to the soil it is growing in? Pesticides and fertilizer residues in the soil impact normal plant functions like water and mineral uptake.

These pollutants also cause the loss of helpful microorganisms in the soil, reducing soil fertility and resulting in slow plant performance.

If so, even if the plant roots have been damaged, you should consider transplanting your plant to a new spot or re-potting. The plant should be left in moist soil for a minimum of 30 minutes while you prepare the fresh potting mix to prevent damage to the plant. Soil from around roots is aided in softening, making removal easier.

When you’re through making the new mix, carefully and gently flip the potted plant on its back and remove it from the container, along with the roots, and set it in the new mix.

3. Invasion By Insect-Pests

The leaves on your rubber plant may be curled because of insect problems. For instance, aphids cause wilt and curl leaves by extracting sap from the leaves and developing tips. To see if any soft-bodied insects are present, look under the leaves.

If so, you must devise a successful strategy for eliminating the aphids, such as repeatedly spraying insecticidal soap and removing seriously diseased leaves and other plant components.

Whiteflies, thrips, scales, and spider mites are a few examples of other insect pests that attack indoor plants and cause leaf curls. Pesticide soap sprays can be used on plants. With this, it is simple to control these pests.

Alternatively, make your gentle spray at home with soap. Verify that the soap doesn’t contain additives or substances that could harm your plants, such as fragrance or color.

4. Soiled Or Dusty Leaves

The light absorbed by a rubber plant’s leaves replenishes and maintains the plant’s health. The dirt will prevent the leaves from receiving adequate light for plant usage. In this way, the plant deteriorates, and the leaves begin to curl.

When this occurs, gently wipe the leaves with a damp cloth or paper towel. Alternatively, if the weather is agreeable, move your plant outside and gently mist it to remove the dirt. Before relocating it inside, allow it to dry.

5. Insufficient Soil

Rubber plants require plenty of soil; if the soil begins to deplete, the plant’s leaves may begin to curl or droop. So, look to see whether some roots are beginning to emerge.

If so, replenish the soil consumed with new soil before watering the plant.

6. Improper Watering

The water needs of rubber plants vary based on development and season, much like any other indoor plant. During the plant’s growing season, spray it or wipe the leaves with a wet cloth to keep them moist.

Only once or twice a month of watering is required when a plant is dormant, particularly in the fall and winter.

Remember that rubber plants’ leaves can curl from over- and under-watering. Therefore, water the plant deeply till the water drains out through the holes drilled, and wait until the soil has partially dried between waterings.

7. Environmental Modifications

Your rubber plant will probably experience some moderate shock due to the rapid shift in location, pot, temperatures, air currents, and either too much or insufficient sunlight now that it has been replanted. As a result, the plant can no longer absorb nutrients.

Move the plant back to its original place and give it regular care, such as watering, to address any issues that may have arisen after transplanting or replanting.

However, until the plant stabilizes, you must refrain from any maintenance procedures that could strain the roots and leaves further.

How To Fix Rubber Plant Leaves Curling

After reading this, you should be able to take care of your rubber plant very well to prevent curling.

  • Place the Rubber Plant in an area with year-round temperatures that range from 55 to 85 degrees Fahrenheit to avoid leaf curling caused by too-cold indoor conditions. The Rubber Plant may become damaged by the cold as temperatures fall below 50°F. Also, avoid chilly gusts as well, and if you took the container outside for a break from being inside before winter winds came knocking, ensure that you bring it back inside.
  • By watering the rubber plant only after the top few inches of soil become dry, growing your rubber plant in very well soil, and using containers with bottom drainage, you may prevent the leaves of your rubber plant from curling because of conditions that are too damp.
  • You should water the Rubber Plant more frequently during the growing season, which runs from spring through summer when it is actively growing. Water requirements for the plant will be lower in the fall and winter when it is dormant or not actively developing, so take additional precautions not to overwater.
  • Mealybugs & spider mites should be treated as soon as you identify a pest issue on the rubber plant using insecticidal soaps or neem. The best method for controlling scale insects is to smother the pest with horticultural oil. Always handle, combine, and apply the specific product per the directions on the label, reapplying as necessary. Check your other houseplants to ensure the bugs haven’t added them to their list of delectable indoor delights.
  • You may avoid this kind of leaf curling by placing your Rubber Plant inside an indoor space with the right amount of light. Place the plant inside an area of your home that receives robust and indirect light for the most significant increase and appearance. Additionally, it works effectively in spaces with artificial illumination. The plant, however, has the propensity to get tall and slim if it doesn’t receive enough indoor light. You can resolve this issue by relocating it to a more well-lit area.

Additionally, if you take a break from growing the Rubber Plant indoors and move it outside, put it somewhere where the foliage won’t be exposed to direct sunlight. The Rubber Plant will still look its best even if you miss one or two watering days.

For further information on properly watering houseplants, see this article on determining when they need watering and how frequently. Rubber plant watering concerns are among the most frequent; therefore, it is worth the effort to get this done correctly.

Rubber plants can have issues despite being hardy and straightforward to care for. Even though you are doing everything you can to take care of them, you should consider the possibility that you occasionally run into issues like rubber plant leaf curling.

But as you’ve seen, every issue has a root cause and, consequently, a fix. You must determine what is causing it and implement the solutions.

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