Plant Leaves Curling: The Causes and Easy Solutions

Did you know that the plant uses leaf folding and curling as a defense against environmental stress? But why do leaves naturally curl and fold?

curled plant leaf

The folding and curling of plant leaves is an indication of a physiological condition, and there are numerous causes for this behavior. It depends on the kinds of plants, how the building was made, where the plants are grown, and how much light is required. Plant leaf curling must be taken seriously because it could be the beginning of a disease.

The reasons why plant leaves fold over or curl up are numerous. Two of the most typical symptoms of plant issues are leaf curling and folding.

It is perfect for maintaining the soil’s moisture level at the level required by the particular plant because some plants demand a lot of water while others don’t. It relies on a number of variables.

The causes of plant leaves curling and folding will be covered in this article, along with solutions.

Why Do Plant Leaves Curl?

If your garden has a variety of plants, I’m sure you always want to see them fed and in good health. Because the gorgeous plant leaves are simply too amazing to look at.

It is crucial to maintain the health of a plant’s leaves since they filter the air. However, why do the leaves begin to curl?

Most of the time, pests, a lack of essential nutrients, an excess of water, an improper watering schedule, an incorrect location, or other factors can cause leaves to curl upside down.

We’ll go through each one individually.

Nutrient Deficiency:

You may or may not be aware that nitrogen is crucial to a plant’s health since it aids in the production of chlorophyll, a pigment that gives leaves their green color, as well as photosynthesis.

Simply defined, nitrogen is a crucial component for the health of leaves, and a deficit will cause the leaf to experience a number of issues.

Due to a lack of nitrogen, the old or base leaves’ stored nitrogen will be consumed to meet the needs of the young leaves.

Old leaves will be left with a void as a result, and they will begin to curl.

Your plant’s days are now numbered if you notice that happening or if you notice a leaf going yellow and eventually brown. However, you can stop it.

You see, the plant will require a lot of nitrogen while it is getting ready to bear fruit, and you can probably imagine why.

Since proteins are made up of amino acids, you should give your plants some amino acid supplements to help them absorb the additional nitrogen they need.

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You should determine whether the pests are residing in the center of your plant. If so, attempt to get rid of them as soon as possible because these pests are typically suckers that rob plants’ leaves of their nutrition, causing the leaves to curl.

It is very challenging to see a Whitefly on the surface of the plant’s leaves. They frequently reside at the base of the leaf and remove moisture from it.

Spraying insecticides is a first step towards getting rid of them. Use soap water as an alternative if that is not a possibility. Repeat this procedure until all pests have been eliminated.

Many people use various traps that catch insects when they perch on them and then stick them. They do this for two reasons: one, to catch and remove the pests, and second, to determine how many pests are becoming caught. There can be a problem with the plant if the number is high.

Plant Stress:

Although it is true that plants occasionally enjoy a bit of heat, as I often say, “Excess of anything is bad,” Do you need the heat? The answer is unquestionably yes, but plenty of it. No! Where is the A.C.

With plants and their leaves, the same thing takes place. Due to rapid evaporation, excessive heat drives the leaves to adopt tight water conservation measures.

The rate of water intake and evaporation is roughly the same, therefore if you argue that it doesn’t matter because I water my plant every day, you might be slightly mistaken. This indicates that your regular watering of the plant does not help the leaves.

Your plant needs to be relocated if you want it to survive the heat. Consider sitting a little bit away from the window.

Take the plant away from the window and place it in the room’s warmest area if it still doesn’t solve the issue. Keep in mind to give them enough room.

Never try to alleviate heat stress by placing the plant in front of a fan or an air conditioner. Unintentional damage to the plant can be done by fans and too much wind.


Overwatering can cause root rots, which in turn can cause leaves to curl. Because of this, it was stated that you should only water the plant when it is actually in need of it.

It is quite harmful to leave the soil wet for an extended period of time, therefore after watering, make sure the soil’s top is totally dry and remember to make drainage holes at the bottom of the plant pot.


Given that plants need nutrients from water for growth, it is easy to predict what kind of issues underwatering may result in for plant leaves. Lack of nutrients will result from a lack of water.

The leaves curl up because it feels like robbing them of their spirit. You can avoid this issue by giving out just enough water to be effective.

Light Conditions:

A lot of plants enjoy direct sunshine, but some do not, particularly those that grow in tropical climates. Their photosynthesis will enhance and proceed more quickly if they are exposed to direct and intense sunlight.

As a result, the old plant leaves will curl up and the tips of the young leaves will become brown, indicating illness.

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Types of Leaf Curl:

Upward and downward curls are the two different kinds of leaf curls.

  • Upward curls: Resulting from a lack of water, an abundance of water, pests, or poor lighting.
  • Downward curls: These are brought on by an abundance of water, an insect infestation, or a lack of nitrogen.
  • Inside: Either fresh leaf growth or dry weather conditions may be to blame for this.

How to Fix Curling and Folding Leaves?

There are several ways to straighten out curled plant leaves. Different problems call for different approaches. Each potential issue and its solution have been covered separately.

Never try to straighten the leaves by hand.

The leaves will tear if any force is applied to them, however in most situations this can be fixed.

See our article on how to handle occurrences with torn plant leaves for more information.

What Plants are Known for Curling Leaves?

Any plant’s leaves might curl upward or downward if it lacks vital nutrients. Among the plants with curl issues are peach plants and nectarine trees.

With the exception of a few, almost of the leaves of other plants also behave in the same way.

Curl infections are common in both garden and indoor plants.

The calathea plant is one such organism that shows greater curling behaviors.

Calathea leaves will emerge in a “curled form” when they are young and freshly generated, which may appear to be a problem with the leaves but is simply how the leaves are produced.

The Hosta plant, a genus of plants sometimes known as hostas, is a shade-tolerant foliage plant with a curling appearance.

Young shoots from banana trees are also renowned for having curled leaves.

A shortage of water will also cause succulent leaves to curl. The succulent’s oxygen supply can be restricted by underwatering and other root issues including root rot and root-bound syndrome, which in turn impacts the rate of respiration and the amount of water in the leaves.

Why do Calathea (Prayer Plant) Leaves Curl or Fold

The most frequent cause of calathea leaves curling, aside from the plant itself developing young leaves that curl when they emerge, is that the plant was exposed to dry circumstances and has responded by producing a reaction.

A dehydrated plant may curl up its leaves in an effort to preserve energy, giving it the appearance of being folded or curled.

The effective surface area that was exposed to the sun, heat, or strong winds is decreased by the upward curling. Less water evaporates as a result of this.

Keep the soil wet to lessen or eliminate leaf curl in clatheas. Bottom watering, which enables water to reach the entire bulk of the soil, is one efficient approach for maintaining the soil’s moisture.

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Can you Physically Straighten Curling Leaves?

You can do it, but it won’t make a difference because the problem with curling up stems from the inside, not the outside. Even if you physically straightened the coiled object, it would still curl again.

The leaves will split apart but not become straight if you try to push them to stand upright. The only way to straighten plant leaves would be to make them healthier from the inside out by giving them what they need.

While young curled leaves may gradually straighten as they get older, mature leaf curl is typically an indication of a change in the environment.

You can successfully stop the curling of the leaves and return them to a healthy state by determining the causes of the curling.


The folding or curling of leaves is a warning sign. This indicates that the leaves on your plant are nearing the end of their development. This should not be overlooked, and appropriate action needs to be taken.

If the leaf’s health is recovered, the curling will stop. This will occur if you employ a variety of strategies to identify the issues and their remedies. I’m grateful.


What does it mean if plant leaves curl?

The plant tries to hold on to moisture by curling or “cupping” the tips and edges of the leaves. Downward curling of any kind typically signifies overwatering or overfeeding.

Why are my indoor plants leaves curling?

Causes of houseplant leaves curling up Too much light, little water, excessive heat, and pests are the four main culprits that can make houseplant leaves curl up.

How do you fix curling leaves on plants?

Always let the top inch or two (about 2.5 to 5 cm) of soil dry out to prevent curled leaves brought on by too-wet soil. Use only pots that have holes for drainage. Never let your potted plant sit in water for an extended amount of time; instead, let the water drain entirely away after watering.

What to do when plant leaves curl up?

CAUSE: Rapid evaporation brought on by heat stress causes plants to coil up to retain moisture. Heat stress can be a concern in any space where the temperature is consistently above 80 degrees F, but it is more common in plants that are too close to high-intensity lighting. QUICK FIX: Install fans to push heated air out and bring in fresher, cooler air.

Why are the leaves on my plant curling up?

too much light or heat According to Richard Cheshire, the plant doctor at Patch, “Plants can experience heat stress from being exposed to too much direct sun or heat; to combat this, they try to preserve moisture by curling their leaves.”