Why Are My Calathea Leaves Curling? – How To Fix & Prevent It

Calathea plants in a home garden

Seeing calathea leaves curling up and turning brown on the edges is a sign that the environment is too dry for the plant. Calathea is a non-hardy plant that needs moist conditions to live and grow fully.

Calatheas are evergreen perennials, colored and marked with stripes that I had the opportunity to take care of during my gardening life. I particularly like this species, which is alive throughout the day.

In this article, you will learn how to manage a plant that has wilting leaves and how to set up an environment to avoid them from wilting again.

Let’s get started.

How to fix calathea curling leaves

Calathea leaves curling up

To fix calathea leaves curling up, it is necessary to rewet the plant, or more generally the room in which it lives. For this, several solutions are possible:

Spray with non-calcareous water

By spraying your plant regularly, you will create a humid atmosphere that is conducive to its development. To do this, get a sprayer and use non-calcareous water so as not to leave white marks on the beautiful leaves of your calathea plant.

Be careful not to over-moisten your plant with this technique, as stagnant water on the leaves can help fungus to appear.

For optimal humidity, mist your plant once or twice a day, in the morning and in the evening.

Use clay pebbles

Place your calathea on a tray covered with a layer of clay pebbles that you water. The water on these pebbles will evaporate and create a humid atmosphere ideal for your planet which will then be able to grow and develop in ideal conditions for it.

Beware however of root rot which can occur if the roots are in direct contact with water. Take care to ensure that the roots of the calathea are dry.

Testing radiator saturators

If you have a radiator in the room where the calathea is growing, it is possible to hang a saturator on it to humidify the room. This will work as an effective humidifier for your calathea but also for the other plants you have in the room.

How to prevent calathea leaves curling

Healthy calathea leaves

Here are some tips to prevent the leaves of calathea from curling up. The most important thing is to create a humid atmosphere for the plant, but other criteria also come into play.

Pay attention to the humidity level of the environment

As mentioned above, humidity is a crucial condition for the good health of a calathea plant. Make sure to create an ideal environment for it by misting it regularly with water, using clay balls, a radiator saturator, or any other technique to humidify a plant or a room.

Be careful with exposure to the sun and the light condition

All species of calathea prefer semi-shade locations. Some can even tolerate full shade. A calathea that is too exposed to light will have difficulty living and growing properly and its leaves will be likely to fade.

In short, avoid direct sunlight and favor indirect sunlight.

Keep the plant at the right temperature

Calathea needs a constant temperature all year long to be healthy. It is a non-hardy plant that will not tolerate temperatures below 59°F (15°C – yes, this is a cold temperature for it). Keep it ideally between 18 and 26 degrees Celsius (64-79°F).

Ensure adequate watering

As a tropical plant, calatheas love rich (with minerals), well-drained soil. It is essential to water the plant with non-calcareous water so that the roots never dry out. Be careful not to drown the plant when watering it as excess water will cause its roots to rot.

To know if the calathea needs water, press your finger into the soil of its pot and check if it is not too dry. If it is, watering is necessary.

During the winter, calathea plants need less water than the rest of the year.

Clean the leaves of the calathea regularly

Cleaning the leaves of your calathea will free it from any dust or impurities that may accumulate on its leaves. To do this, use a soft cloth or a slightly dampened towel and gently rub each leaf to clean it. Be careful not to damage your plant by doing this too roughly, it would be a shame to hurt it while trying to do it good.

In summary

Now you know that in a too dry environment the leaves of calathea curl up. To save a plant in this situation, be sure to humidify it directly or change the environment by putting it in a more humid room.

To prevent the leaves from curling up again in the future, be careful not to expose your plant to direct light, water it regularly to keep the soil moist, and make sure to keep the temperature in the room at the same level, taking care never to go below 50°F (15°C).

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