Plant care & Tips

Calathea Leaves Drooping? 9 Causes And How To Fix It

If you’ve noticed your Calathea leaves drooping, it could be for several reasons.

The Calathea is a tropical plant well-known for its colorful leaves and bold, upright stature.

In most cases, the Calathea leaves droops mainly because of water stress (overwatering and underwatering). Other reasons include; Temperature stress, Low Humidity, Too much Sunlight, rootbound, pest and disease and overfeeding.

In this article, I will focus on how to fix Calathea Leaves drooping. Discuss why they droop, the best conditions for the plant, how to correct those and other points of interest.

Why Are My Calathea Leaves Drooping And How To Fix It

If you’re the proud owner of a Calathea plant, you know that these beautiful plants are known for their striking, colorful leaves. But what do you do when your Calathea’s leaves start drooping?

There are a few possible reasons why your Calathea leaves are drooping. Here are causes responsible for your plant drooping:

  1. Water stress
  2. Low Humidity
  3. Temperature
  4. Transplant Shock
  5. Insufficient Light
  6. Rootbound
  7. Excess Application of Fertilizer
  8. Light Damage
  9. Pests and Diseases

Let’s discuss them!

Water Stress

One of the reasons Calathea Leaves droop could be due to too much or too little water. Before doing anything, check the soil first to see if it’s too dry. If the soil is dry, give your plant a good watering. And if you notice the soil waterlogged, keep the plant outside where it can get sunlight to dry up excess water.

Now, let’s discuss the factors responsible for Calathea’s water stress.

  1. Underwatering (Dehydration)
  2. Overwatering (Soggy Soil)

Underwatering

Neglecting Calathea’s water need indicates that your plant’s drooping is caused by underwatering. If you water your Calathea whenever you want or forget to water it for a long time – the drooping leaves are a sign the plant is dehydrated.

When Calathea plants are dehydrated, the cells in the leaves and stems begin to lose turgor pressure, causing the plant to droop. However, Calathea leaves drooping due to dehydration can serve as a survival mechanism employed by the plants to reduce further water loss through the leaves.

How to Revive an Underwatered Calathea Plant?

If you notice your Calathea plant drooping, it’s a sign that it’s not getting enough water. The leaves will droop, and the stem will start to sag. If you see these signs, then do this;

  • Give your plant a good watering. Water thoroughly until water runs out of the drainage holes at the bottom of the pot. Let the soil dry out slightly between waterings.
  • Cut out dead and dried leaves to give room for new vibrant Leaves.
  • Maintain a regular watering schedule to prevent underwatering from repeating.

Overwatering

Calathea plants thrive in moist soil, but giving them too much water will result in overwatering. When the plant’s soil is waterlogged, it eliminates air circulation and prevents the root from absorbing oxygen needed for their activity.

When this happens for a long time, the root will begin to rot, causing the plant to stop absorbing water and nutrients. It results in plant drooping due to insufficient water to keep the cells turgid.

How to Revive Overwatered Calathea Plants?

If your plant is suffering from overwatering and the soil is soggy and waterlogged, then do the following:

  • Move the plant and repot it in a well-drained and aerated soil. You can add perlite into the potting soil to improve its drainage ability. Check my post on what type of soil do lavender like?
  • If your plant is affected by root rot – cut out the dead away, and treat with hydrogen peroxide before repotting.
  • Having drainage holes on the new pot, you’re repotting the plant is good.

What Does Overwatered Calathea Looks Like?

Calathea leaves yellowing and drooping are prominent signs that your plant is suffering from overwatering.

Apart from the yellowish appearance of the leaves, you will see your plant wilting because the roots are dead due to root rot. The rot prevented the plant’s roots from absorbing water and nutrients from the soil leading to the plant’s death.

How Often Do You Need to Water Calathea?

Calathea plants thrive in moist soil but will wilt, droop and die if left in waterlogged soil.

Water your Calathea plant once or twice a week in the summer, while in the winter, water only when the soil is dried.

To check whether your Calathea’s soil is dried or wet. Deep your finger into the soil about three inches down. If your finger comes out with no sand and feels dry, you must water it.

Low Humidity

The Calathea plant will lose more water during transpiration in a low humidity room.

Maintaining high humidity around your Calathea is essential. If the air around your plant is too dry, the leaves will start drooping, and the stem cells will weaken. Use a humidifier or pebble tray to increase the humidity around your plant.

Sign of Low Humidity in Calatheas

Sometimes low humidity and underwatering do have similar symptoms. You may be confused by their signs, which can lead to Curling, drooping, browning, or crisping leaves.

While most homes have plenty of moisture in the air for people, plants like Calathea thrive in more humid environments.

How to Fix Humidity for Calathea Plant?

There are a few things you can do to increase the humidity around your Calathea plant:

  • mist your plant regularly with water
  • place your plant on a pebble tray filled with water
  • use a humidifier near your plant

With extra humidity, your Calathea plant bounces back in no time!

Temperature Stress

One of the leading causes of Calathea leaves drooping is temperature stress. Your plant will tell you if it is too hot or too cold by dropping its leaves.

Calatheas are from the tropics, and they enjoy environments with high temperatures. Therefore for this beautiful plant to flourish, you need to provide the right temperature for them.

How to Fix Temperature Stress?

  1. Make sure you keep the room at a stable temperature. Disable temperature should be at 65 to 75° Fahrenheit.
  2. If the temperature is too hot, you’ll need to move your plant to a cooler location.
  3. It’s best to avoid placing your Calathea near windows or vents where it can be exposed to drafts.
  4. When the temperature is too cold, move the plant to a warmer spot. A room with stable temperatures is ideal for Calatheas.

Using a humidifier, you can also help regulate the temperature around your Calathea. It will help increase the moisture in the air and protect your plant from hot and cold temperatures.

Insufficient Light

Another reason for Calathea drooping leaves could be a lack of light. All plants need lights for their biological activities.

When plants lack light, they will starve; Calathea plants need bright, indirect light to thrive. If your plant is not getting enough light, its leaves will start to droop.

For Calathea plants to survive, they convert the sun’s light into sugar through photosynthesis. Therefore, if you cut off their light, you cut off their food.

The best light level that’s Calathea plant enjoy is that close to the open rainforest floor – bright, indirect lights.

Move your plant to a brighter spot and see if that helps.

Rootbound

At a certain point of Calathea plant growth, it may become pot bound, meaning the roots have filled the pot and have nowhere to go but up. This causes the plant to become rootbound, which leads to the problems of drooping leaves, yellowing leaves, and stunted growth.

Signs Your Calathea is Rootbound

The first thing to do is gently remove the plant from its pot and inspect the roots. The plant must be repotted if it is tightly packed and looks white. If the roots are brown or black, the plant is fine and does not need to be repotted.

How to Fix Rootbound for Calathea?

Once you have determined your Calathea is rootbound, then it needs repotting.

  • Choose a new pot that is two inches wider and two inches deeper than the current pot
  • Ensure to use a pot with drainage holes for excess water outflow
  • Fill the bottom of the new pot with fresh potting mix and place the Calathea plant in the pot
  • Gently apply the soil around the base of the plant and water it enough
  • Place the potted plant in a location with indirect sunlight to keep the potting mix moist

Transplant shock

Sometimes when repotting our plant from an old pot to a new one, we risk the chance of hurting or damaging the root.

Calatheas also undergo transplant shock because they dislike it when their roots are exposed to air for a long time. Another cause could be the pH level, and the soil nutrients of the old pot might not be the same in the new environment.

If the damage is severe on Calathea’s root, it can prevent or stop water absorption. When the root cannot absorb enough water to replace those lost through transpiration, they lose their strength and start to drop.

How to fix Transplant Shock in Calathea?

  • A Calathea plant in shock needs extra care and enough time to adjust to the new environment before you start seeing new growth.
  • Applying fertilizer should be avoided at this time because it can burn the new root growth.
  • Calathea Do recover from transplant shock between 3 to 4 weeks.
Calathea plant in the yard

Excess Application of Fertilizer

If you applied too much fertilizer to your Calathea plant, it might be the cause of its drooping leaves. Too much fertilizer results in fertilizer salt forming a blockage that restricts water drainage.

Fertilizers can burn the plant’s roots and cause the leaves to wilt. Let’s say you have applied too much fertilizer; here is how to fix it;

  • Flush the potting mix with water to remove any excess.
  • Allow the potting soil mix to dry out completely before fertilizing again.

Light Damage

Too much sunlight is another reason your Calathea leaves are drooping. When plant leaves are exposed to strong lighting for extended periods, their stems can become weakened and begin to wilt.

How to Fix Light Damage?

Move the plant to a shadier location or remove some lights if you suspect your plant is receiving too much light for its liking.

Pests

Pests attack can make Calathea leaves droop. Check the leaves for signs of pests, such as aphids, mealybugs, or scale insects. If you see any, remove them with a cotton swab dipped in rubbing alcohol. You can also try using a horticultural oil or insecticidal soap to eliminate the pests.

Why Is My Calathea Drooping and Curling?

Are your Calathea plant’s leaves drooping and Curling? Don’t panic! There are a few reasons for this common problem; fortunately, there are also some easy solutions.

Your Calathea plant may have droopy and curled leaves because it is not getting enough water. These plants like to be kept moist, so check the soil before watering. If it feels dry to the touch, it’s time to give your plant a drink.

Another likelihood is that the air around your plant is too dry. Which can cause the leaves to droop, curl and turn brown at the edges. Try misting your plant regularly or placing it on a pebble tray filled with water to fix this.

If you think your plant is getting too much light, this can also cause leaves to curl and droop. Move it to a spot where it will receive indirect sunlight and see if the situation will improve.

Finally, if the above solutions can’t seem to get rid of those curly and droopy leaves, then your Calathea plant needs repotting. Ensure to use fresh potting mix and a pot that has drainage holes. With a bit of care and attention, your Calathea will bounce back.

Conclusion on Why are My Calathea Leaves Drooping

There are many reasons why your Calathea plant leaves are drooping, but luckily, there are just as many ways to fix it.

With patience and care, you can have your Calathea plant looking healthy and vibrant in no time. Do you have any tips for keeping Calathea plants healthy? Please share them with us in the comments below!

REFERENCE

How to tell if your plant is not getting enough light. https://plantlights.uk/not-enough-light-symptoms/

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