It is frustrating when you have caladium plants, and the leaves keep dying. You’ve probably wondered the reason and what you can do to save your plant.
Caladiums are tropical plants with attractive leaves which add beauty to the home and are one of the sought-after houseplants worldwide. But, one challenge with these decorative plants is that they’ll die if you don’t take care of them right.
Caladium leaves keep dying for many reasons. However, identifying and correcting the cause can keep your plant healthy and green for many years.
The main reasons caladium leaves keep dying are Wrong Temperature, over-watering, under-watering, too much sunlight, Transplanting shock, pests or diseases, etc. Therefore, finding ways to fix them is vital so that your caladium plants can grow big and strong.
Why Do My Caladium Leaves Keep Dying?
Many home gardeners often ask: Why are my Caladium leaves wilting? And how do I keep them from dying? Let’s break down why caladium leaves keep dying.
Your caladium leaves keep dying because of Improper Temperature, Overwatering, Underwatering, Too Much Sunlight, and Transplant Shock; Other factors needed for Caladium survival include Proper Soil, Humidity, and fertilizers.
Now let’s explain the reasons in detail!
Temperature stress is one of the reasons your caladium leaves keep dying. Unfortunately, many plants owner think they can bring their Caladium inside when fall arrives and place them near a sunny window.
You may think you are saving your plant by bringing it inside as the temperature gets cooler, but doing so could still kill it.
The reason is that indoor temperatures are much warmer than outdoor temperatures. Therefore, if you move your Caladium from outdoors to indoors, gradually acclimate it to its new environment by putting it outside during the day and then moving it indoors at night for several days before placing it permanently indoors.
Caladium plants are particularly sensitive to temperature changes and suffer when the surrounding temperatures are cold (below 25 F).
Cold temperatures (winter) will make Caladium leaves droop and die. Move your plant into a warm room or cover it up with blankets if necessary until spring arrives!
Watering Caladium might seem like the right thing to do, but overwatering is one of the most common reasons caladium plants keep dying. Overwatering accounts for about 80% of all plant deaths.
When you water your plants too often or give them too much water at once, roots can rot and cause leaves to turn brown and wilt. Check the soil every few days to see if it needs watering.
To ensure your Caladium is getting enough water, stick your finger about an inch into the soil; if it feels moist but not soggy or wet, then you are good if it feels dry all around, water thoroughly until it runs out of the container’s bottom.
Underwatering is another reason why caladium leaves keep dying. Also, under-watering is a common reason edges of Caladium leaves dry out and turn brown. Ultimately, the entire caladium leaves turn brown and fall off.
According to Clemson University, lack of water can cause all parts of a plant, including its leaves, to wilt.
To fix under-watering:
- Ensure to keep your plant away from direct sunshine. It will prevent evaporation from causing more water loss.
- Use potting soil that can hold water. Adding coco peat to your soil improves its water-holding capacity.
- Check the soil regularly for dryness by putting your finger one inch down into the soil. Water when it feels dry.
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Too Much Sunlight
While caladiums prefer a bit of sunlight, too much exposure can quickly kill them. Protect your plants by keeping them in shaded or partially shaded areas; however, be sure not to put them where they’ll get hit with cold winds that could hurt their leaves.
Overexposure to sunlight can increase the chance of your Caladium getting sunburned. Sunburn is seen as a brown patch on your Caladium’s leaves.
You may also consider moving your plant indoors during harsh winters and summers. It would help if you only did so after you’ve acclimated to its new location for several weeks.
Ensure you also keep an eye on watering levels when bringing it inside, as overwatering is just as likely indoors as outdoors.
One reason your caladium leaves keep dying is because of plant shock. Give it time to adjust if you’ve recently transplanted or brought home a brand new caladium.
Many houseplants die because they suffer from transplant shock and need some time to adjust. Be patient! It could take weeks for your plant to get acclimated to its new environment.
When you first bring home a new caladium, try not to move it around too much so that it can get used to its surroundings. And remember: if one part of your plant looks sickly or isn’t growing as fast as other parts, don’t worry; that part will catch up in no time!
Poorly Drained Soil
When your caladium leaves keep dying, you likely have a water-draining issue. Water can only penetrate good and healthy soil, which means that if your soil is too compacted or contains a lot of clay, water may not reach all of your plant’s roots. Such a condition is known as poor drainage.
You can test for drainage issues by digging down six inches or so and inserting a wooden dowel or chopstick into your soil; if it stays in place, you have great drainage. However, if it falls out, you must improve your soil’s drainage before planting again.
The easiest way to correct poor drainage is with an organic amendment like peat moss or vermiculite.
Insect Pests and Diseases
If you notice your dying caladium leaves are covered in small brown or black dots, your plant is likely under attack by mealybugs.
Mealybugs are tiny white bugs that suck plant juices and excrete a sticky residue called honeydew. They can completely defoliate plants and must be removed as soon as possible to prevent them from spreading to other plants.
Also, if your caladium leaves are turning brown or dying and you have ruled out everything else on our list, your plant may be infected with a disease.
Unfortunately, you will probably have to throw away diseased plants to prevent the spread of disease to other plants. However, if you decide to try and save your plant, isolate it from healthy plants and contact a professional for treatment advice.
When your plant’s leave dies suddenly, sometimes there isn’t anything problem with your plant. Instead, the problem is your plant doesn’t have enough nutrients in its soil.
Try adding more compost or fertilizer to boost nutrient levels in the soil and prevent future problems of dying leaves and leaves browning.
In addition to sunlight, humidity is also important for caladiums. As tropical plants, they don’t like dry air. So if your home tends to be dry and has low humidity levels, caladiums may not do well.
When humidity is low, your plant leaves droop and turn yellowish. Eventually, dry up and die.
Having a humidifier in your home can help raise those moisture levels so your plants can flourish.
Check on your plants regularly, as too much humidity can cause them to rot or grow mold. You should also avoid overwatering your caladiums, which could lead to root rot.
Adding fertilizer to the plant’s soil is important for growth, but too much can harm your caladiums. So be careful while applying fertilizer to Caladium plants as they are sensitive to over-fertilization and under fertilization.
If you’re using a fertilizer that contains phosphorus and potassium, it might be too strong for your caladiums. You don’t want to add any more fertilizer than you have; keep it at a minimum.
Too much fertilizer or over-fertilization can cause dehydration, thus preventing the plant from taking up water due to excess salts accumulated on the soil’s surface.
When it happens, you will see powder-like substances on the soil. These are the fertilizers residues not used by the plants.
To revive caladium leaves that keep dying due to over-fertilization, here is what to do –
- Give your plant a long deep watering to drain out the excess salt.
- If that didn’t solve the issue, I recommend you take the plant out and put it in a new pot.
Why are My Caladium Leaves Dying?
Caladium leaves die for many reasons; identifying the cause and correcting it is crucial if you want the plant to survive.
Your caladium leaves are dying because of temperature stress, Improper watering (Overwatering and Underwatering), Too Much Sunlight, and Transplant Shock; Other factors include Poor Soil, Low Humidity, and Over fertilization, etc.
How Do You Revive a Dying Caladium Plant?
There are many reasons why your Caladium plant is dying, including wrong Temperature, overwatering, underwatering, too much sunlight, and transplant stress.
To revive your dying caladium plant, follow these simple steps.
- Cut out any infected roots to stop the spread of rot in Caladium plants.
- Repot in a new sterile pot with new potting soil after drying the root ball.
- After repotting, don’t water the plant right away. Allow time for the soil beneath the surface to dry.
- After that, water it and place it in bright indirect sunlight to keep it in place.
How Long Do Caladium Leaves Last?
A caladium plant can produce leaves that last for years in its ideal growing conditions. However, as mentioned above, they need enough water and sunlight or bright light to grow healthy. Too much or too little of either is likely to kill your leaves.
Therefore, the longevity of caladium leaves depends on how much care and attention you give to your plant. If neglected, the leaves last for a few months, but when taken care of, the leaves last for years.
Frequently Asked Questions on Why Are My Caladium Leaves Keep Dying
Why Are My Caladium Leaves Curling?
Your caladium leaves are curling mainly because of improper watering, soil pH, wrong Temperature, low light, and diseases. Identifying and correcting the cause is crucial if you want the plant to survive.
Reasons for Caladium Drooping
Caladium plants droop primarily due to improper watering habits (underwatering and overwatering). Caladium grows well in high humidity and a shady location with brilliant indirect light. Also other factors include Temperature, potting soil mix, and fertilizer salt from plant food.
Whatever problems threaten your Caladium plants, if you take care of them, be assured that your plant can survive.
Caladium Leaves Turning Transparent – Why?
The leaves of caladiums turn transparent when the weather is too cold for them. Other reasons that can make your caladium leaves turn white, yellow, or transparent could be they’re not getting enough sunlight or water. Make sure you keep your caladium plants watered, but don’t overdo it; make sure your soil stays moist and doesn’t dry out too much.
Caladium Leaves Drooping and Turning Yellow
Are your beautiful Caladium leaves drooping and turning yellow? Don’t get scared! There are several reasons why your beloved caladium leaves may be turning yellow. However, you can easily fix it with a little care and attention.
The primary causes of Caladium leave turning yellow and drooping are moisture stress (overwatering and underwatering) and Nutrient deficiency. Other conditions that can affect Caladium are plant Aging, Pest and disease, low humidity, and overexposure to sunlight.