Reason Why Calathea Leaves Curling

Are you a passionate calathea plant lover? Are you having trouble understanding why your beloved leaves are curling up and becoming limp? If so, then I’m here to help! As an experienced specialist in the field of calatheas, I have seen this issue countless times before. But don’t worry – with just a few simple steps, your precious plants can be restored to their former glory.

In my years of experience working with these delicate but resilient plants, I’ve come to understand the importance of recognizing the nuances between each species. Certain types of calathaeas may require different solutions for any given problem – including leaf curling.

This means that all gardeners must first identify the type of calathea they own to determine which care instructions best suit its needs. So let’s dive into understanding why your Calathea leaves may be curling – and how you can restore them back to health!

 Calathea Leaves curling

Overwater Or Underwatering

Calathea plants are delicate foliage plants that thrive on consistency. When it comes to watering, this means making sure you’re not either underwatering or overwatering your plant. If the leaves start to curl at the edges, chances are one of these two issues is at play.

Underwatering can cause calatheas’ leaves to crisp up and curl inward due to a lack of moisture in their soil. This problem generally presents itself first as yellowed or wilted leaves before they begin curling inwards. To fix this issue, be sure to water your plant thoroughly until moisture begins seeping out through its drainage holes. You should also take care not to let the topsoil become overly dry between waterings – if possible, stick your finger into the top layer of soil and check for moistness prior to adding more water!

On the other hand, overwatering can lead calatheas’ leaves to droop downwards and then eventually curl inwards from being too wet. In order to avoid this situation altogether, make sure you only add enough water so that there’s no standing liquid left behind once you have finished pouring it over the plant’s soil surface.

Bad Water Quality

When it comes to calatheas, bad water quality is one of the most common causes of leaf curling. Calatheas are very sensitive plants and require specific parameters in their environment for optimal health. Poor water quality can cause leaves to curl due to an imbalance in mineral levels or when minerals build up too much over time.

The ideal pH level for calathea’s soil should be slightly acidic between 5-6.5, while tap water usually has a higher alkaline content which could negatively impact your plant’s growth. Furthermore, chlorine found in municipal tap water can also affect the balance of nutrients in your soil and prevent proper absorption by roots.

To avoid this issue, make sure you use filtered or dechlorinated water with no additional additives like fertilizers that might disrupt the delicate ecosystem inside the potting mix.

Too Much Direct Sunlight

It’s estimated that up to 80% of calathea plants are sensitive to too much direct sunlight. Too much sun can cause the leaves of your plant to curl, turn brown and even die back. As a specialist in calatheas, I am here to offer advice on how to prevent this from happening.

The first step is understanding what kind of light your calathea needs. Calatheas prefer indirect, bright light but no more than 5 hours per day of direct sunlight should be allowed for most varieties. If you find yourself in an area with strong direct sunlight, it may be best not to leave your plant out too long as this could lead to leaf damage or even death.

Secondly, if possible move your plant slowly closer or further away from the source of light gradually over time so that it has a chance to adjust slowly. This will help ensure that any changes do not shock the plant into going into defense mode, which would result in curled or damaged leaves. Taking preventive steps before things get worse is always better than waiting until you have curling leaves!

Providing sufficient shade will protect your calathea’s delicate leaves while still allowing enough light for healthy growth and maximum enjoyment – achieving the perfect balance can take some trial and error but is well worth it when done right.

Incorrect Temperature

Now that we know too much direct sunlight can cause Calathea leaves to curl, let’s explore another possible culprit: incorrect temperature. Many Calatheas don’t do well in temperatures below 60°F (15.5°C). If the room your plant is in drops below this threshold, you may notice curling of the foliage accompanied by browning or yellowing of the edges.

Here are 4 steps to take if your Calathea has been exposed to unsuitably cold conditions:

  1. Move your plant out of drafts and away from any open windows or doors where it could be exposed to cold air currents.
  2. Investigate what other plants and objects may have contributed to producing a colder microclimate around your Calathea, such as radiator vents or even furniture blocking heat from radiators near your plant pot.
  3. Make sure that any heating devices used for warming up rooms in winter are not aimed directly at your precious foliage.
  4. Place a thermometer next to your plant pot and monitor closely so you’re aware when temperatures drop below 60 °F (15.5 °C) – then adjust accordingly with some extra warmth in the vicinity of your Calathea leaf babies!

If all else fails, perhaps consider more suitable homes for these beauties during cooler spells – they might appreciate being closer to an indoor heater while they wait until warmer times return.

Low Humidity

The calathea plant is a delicate beauty. Its distinctive foliage and vibrant colors make it an eye-catching addition to any home or office. Unfortunately, its sensitivity to the environment can also be its downfall. One of the most common reasons why calathea leaves curl is due to low humidity levels in their surroundings.

When air becomes dry, it draws moisture from plants, resulting in wilting and curling of leaves. This causes stress on the plant, leaving it vulnerable to further problems like leaf burn and fungus growth. To prevent this issue, one should maintain relative humidity levels around 50% for optimal health. Humidifiers are often recommended as they help keep the air moist and provide temporary relief until more permanent measures can be taken such as misting with warm water or increasing ventilation near the plant.

In order to ensure healthy growth for your beloved calatheas, monitoring changes in the environment is key. Keeping an eye out for any signs of distress will go a long way toward keeping them happy and thriving! With just a little extra care and attention, your indoor jungle can remain lush and beautiful.


Another cause of calathea leaves curling is over-fertilizing. Too much fertilizer can burn the roots, leading to leaf damage such as wilting and yellowing. Over-fertilizing causes a buildup of mineral salts in the soil which can lead to an imbalance of nutrients in the plant’s system.

This disrupts its ability to absorb moisture, resulting in limp or curled leaves. To avoid this issue, it’s important to only fertilize your calatheas when they need it and always follow the instructions on the packaging carefully. Never apply more than what’s recommended for your particular type of calathea!

In extreme cases, remedying over-fertilization requires you to repot with fresh soil that hasn’t been enriched with fertilizer already. If you feel like this might be necessary for your plant, make sure you use gloves and thoroughly wash all tools used in the process so as not to spread any excess minerals or chemicals. In addition, flush out your pot regularly by running water through it until it drains clear from both the top and bottom holes – this will help remove built-up salt deposits caused by too much fertilizer.

Taking these steps should help restore balance within your plant’s environment, allowing them to thrive once again.

Soil Conditions

Soil conditions are a major factor in calathea leaf curling. The plant’s roots need to remain in moist but well-draining soil at all times, or else they’ll dry out and the leaves will start to curl up. It’s important to use an appropriately formulated potting mix when caring for your calathea plant – one that contains peat moss, perlite, vermiculite, and other organic material.

Pests And Diseases

In the garden, pests and diseases can be heartbreaking to behold. The sight of your beloved calatheas wilting or curling up is disheartening. While it may seem like a hopeless situation, there are ways to prevent this from happening in the first place.

The most common culprits for causing curling leaves are insects such as aphids, mealybugs, mites, scale, and thrips. These little critters feed on plant sap and excrete honeydew which leads to mold growth that can cause further damage to the plants. It’s important to check your plants regularly for signs of these invaders and take action immediately if you see any evidence of them. Also, inspect the soil around your calathea plants as some pests prefer moist conditions.

One way to protect against pest infestations is by using natural repellents such as neem oil or insecticidal soap. Applying these treatments periodically will help keep your calatheas looking their best! Additionally, keeping plants well-watered but not overwatered helps reduce any potential issues with disease or pest control problems.

Natural Movement

It’s important to note that calatheas, like other plants, naturally move and adjust in response to environmental changes. This includes curling their leaves as a way of protecting themselves from the sun or cold temperatures. Depending on the species, this can happen slowly over time or quickly when exposed to extreme conditions. In addition, if you’ve recently re-potted your calathea plant, it may take some time for the roots to acclimate and settle into their new environment; during this period, leaf curling is not uncommon.

When assessing whether your calathea’s leaf curling is due to natural movement or something else (like pests), consider how long it has been since you last repotted it – if less than six months ago, then chances are the root system hasn’t had enough time to fully adjust yet. Also be sure to check for signs of disease or pest infestations such as discoloration of leaves, yellow spots on foliage, wilting stems/leaves, etc.

To minimize any possible stress caused by abrupt environmental changes, try gradually increasing light exposure and humidity levels around your plant instead of making sudden shifts. Establishing consistent watering cycles helps too – keeping the soil moist but never soggy will ensure healthy growth! With proper care and attention given to ensuring optimal growing conditions for your calathea plant, normal movements should soon resume without much concern.

Curling Leaves After Re-Potting Calathea

Re-potting a calathea plant is like giving it a new lease on life, but sometimes the transition can be difficult. Leaves of the plant may curl and droop as they adjust to their new environment. This is usually nothing to worry about, but if left unchecked, it could mean trouble for your beloved houseplant.

To ensure that your calathea’s leaves stay healthy and vibrant after re-potting, there are some steps you should take. First and foremost, make sure that you are potting with fresh soil and fertilizing regularly. Poor quality or depleted soil will not provide enough nutrients for the roots to thrive in their new home.

Adjusting light levels is also important when transitioning a calathea into its new pot. If the newly potted plant is placed in direct sunlight right away, its leaves may become scorched due to sunburn. On the other hand, inadequate lighting can stunt growth and cause discoloration over time. Aim for medium indirect light as much as possible until your calathea has adjusted fully to its surroundings and resumed normal growth patterns again.


In conclusion, there are many possible causes of calathea leaves curling. It can be a result of overwatering or underwatering, bad water quality, too much direct sunlight and incorrect temperature, low humidity and soil conditions. Pests and diseases could also be causing the problem as well as natural movement. Don’t forget that after re-potting your calathea plant it may take some time for the leaves to settle down again.

My advice is to check all these factors when trying to determine why your calathea’s leaves might be curling up. I would suggest inspecting each potential issue with care so you don’t miss any important clues about what’s going on in your precious plant’s environment. If you find yourself stumped by this curly conundrum, don’t hesitate to reach out for help from an experienced calathea specialist who will know exactly how to address the issue quickly.

By taking into account all of these tips and tricks, you should have no trouble keeping your beloved calatheas looking their best while they bring beauty and life into your home!