Why Are Calathea Leaves Pointing Up? Causes – Solutions

Are you noticing that your Calathea leaves are slowly curling up higher and higher? Could this be a sign of something, or is it just a natural response to the environment? These green beauties can be quite passive-aggressive when unhappy–but it’s usually nothing that a few adjustments can’t fix.

Today we will be discussing some common causes behind this issue as well as possible solutions. So read on to find out more about why your Calathea leaves pointing up and how to fix it!

Causes of Calathea leaves pointing up

Calathea leaves are pointed upward primarily for the purpose of prayer. This takes place at night. They frequently act in this manner.

Other than this, it is unusual that the Calatheas point upward during the day. If their leaves are still upright during the day, you have probably done something incorrectly with them.

Your Calathea leaves pointing up for a number of reasons:

  • The natural response to light
  • Sign of good health and optimal conditions
  • Potential stressors
Causes of Calathea leaves pointing up

The natural response to light

One reason for Calathea leaves pointing upwards is their natural response to light. Calathea plants have a unique mechanism in which their leaves move in response to changes in light levels, known as nyctinasty. This means that the leaves will rise during the day to maximize exposure to sunlight and then lower during the night to protect the plant from potential damage. This behavior is a natural adaptation to their environment and should not be a cause for concern. In fact, it’s a sign that your Calathea is healthy and responding to optimal conditions.

Sign of good health and optimal conditions

Another reason Calathea leaves pointing upwards is a sign of good health and optimal conditions. When a Calathea plant is healthy, its leaves will stand tall, pointing upwards, and displaying their beautiful patterns and colors. This indicates that the plant is receiving adequate light, water, and nutrients, which are essential for maintaining healthy foliage. Therefore, if your Calathea leaves are pointing upwards, it may be an indication that you’re providing your plant with the right conditions for it to thrive.

Potential stressors

However, Calathea leaves pointing upwards can also indicate potential stressors that can affect the plant’s health. Potential stressors such as watering issues, temperature, and fertilizer.

  • One of the most common causes of upward-pointing leaves in Calathea plants is watering issues. These plants prefer consistently moist soil, so if the soil becomes too dry, the leaves will curl and point upwards to conserve moisture. Conversely, if the soil is overly saturated, the roots may become waterlogged, leading to root rot, which can also cause the leaves to point upwards. To prevent watering issues, it’s essential to water your Calathea plant when the top inch of soil feels dry to the touch. Additionally, make sure to use well-draining soil to prevent waterlogging, which can lead to upward-pointing leaves.
  • Temperature stress can also cause Calathea leaves to point up. These plants prefer warm and humid conditions, so if the temperature fluctuates too much, it can cause stress to the plant, leading to upward-pointing leaves. In particular, Calathea plants are sensitive to cold drafts and sudden temperature changes, which can cause the leaves to curl and point upwards. To maintain consistent temperature levels, it’s essential to keep your Calathea plant away from air conditioning vents or areas with cold drafts. Additionally, consider using a humidifier to maintain adequate humidity levels, which can help prevent upward-pointing leaves caused by environmental stress.
  • Over-fertilization is another potential stressor that can cause Calathea leaves to point upwards. Although fertilizing your Calathea plant is essential for healthy growth, too much fertilizer can cause nutrient burn, which can affect the plant’s overall health. Over-fertilization can cause the leaves to curl and point upwards, and in severe cases, it can even cause the leaves to turn brown and fall off. To prevent over-fertilization, it’s essential to follow the manufacturer’s instructions when applying fertilizer and avoid using too much fertilizer at once.
  • Pests like Spider mites, aphids, and mealybugs are common bugs that can attack Calathea plants. These bugs suck out the juice from the plant, hurting it and sometimes leading to the upward curling of leaves as a bad reaction. Always check the bottoms of the leaves for any signs of these bugs. Neem oil or bug soap can be used as a natural fix to treat these attacks.
  • Diseases like fungal and bacteria problems can also stress the plant. Pouring from above or consistently wet leaves can lead to issues like white dust fungus or leaf dots. These diseases can cause color change, drooping, and in some cases, the upward pointing of leaves. It’s vital to make sure good air flow around the plant and to water at the base rather than from above to prevent the start of these diseases.
Potential stressors calathea leaves pointing up

Solutions for Calathea leaves pointing up

The upward-pointing leaves on your Calathea plant could indicate stress or an underlying issue. Fortunately, there are steps you may do to address the problem and recover the health of your Calathea. Here are some suggestions for correcting Calathea leaves that are pointed upward.

  1. Change your watering practices: Watering problems are one of the most frequent reasons for upward-pointing leaves in Calathea plants. Check the soil moisture frequently and modify your watering schedule as necessary to solve the issue. The ideal soil for calathea plants is regularly moist, but not overly saturated, as this might cause root rot. Avoid letting the soil become completely dry; instead, water your plant when the top inch of the soil feels dry to the touch.
  2. Increase humidity levels: Calathea plants are native to tropical areas and prefer high humidity. It’s crucial to raise the humidity level around your plant because low humidity might cause the leaves to curl and point upwards. This can be accomplished by installing a humidifier close to the plant or regularly sprinkling the leaves with water. As an alternative, you may set a tray of water close to the plant, but watch out to avoid submerging the pot.
  3. Provide proper lighting: calathea light requirements prefer direct, bright light. The leaves may curl and point upward when exposed to direct sunshine in an effort to block the light. Move your Calathea to an area with bright but indirect light, such as close to a north-facing window, to solve the issue. Rotate the plant frequently to encourage even growth if you see that the leaves are pointing upwards toward a source of light.
  4. Adjust temperature: because calathea plants enjoy warm, humid climates and are sensitive to changes in temperature. Curled and upward-pointing leaves might be a result of chilly drafts and abrupt temperature fluctuations. Keep your plant away from areas with chilly drafts or air conditioning vents to solve the issue. A humidifier can be used as well to maintain constant humidity levels.
  5. Change the way you apply fertilizer: Nutrient burns from excessive fertilization can harm a plant’s general health and cause its leaves to curl and point upwards. To solve the issue, apply fertilizer according to the manufacturer’s directions and refrain from applying an excessive amount at once. Alternatively, you can apply the fertilizer every two weeks rather than every week by diluting it to half-strength.

In conclusion, if the leaves of your Calathea plant are pointing upwards, it can indicate stress or a deeper issue. You can solve the issue and recover the health of your plant by altering your watering practices, raising humidity levels, providing suitable lighting and temperature, checking for pests, and changing fertilizer application. Your Calathea plant will repay you with gorgeous, robust leaves if you are persistent and patient with it.

Solutions for Calathea leaves pointing up

Tips to prevent your Calathea leaves from pointing up in the future

There are several tips to help prevent the leaves of your Calathea from pointing up in the future.

  • The first and most important tip is to keep an eye on the moisture levels in your Calathea’s soil. It should remain evenly moist but not soggy so that your plant can take in the water needed to keep the leaves flat and healthy.
  • The second tip is to increase the humidity levels around your Calathea. Calatheas prefer high humidity, so if you live in a dry climate or in an area with low humidity, try misting your plant more often or investing in a humidifier to keep it healthy.
  • The third tip is to keep your Calathea in a spot with indirect light. Direct sunlight can dry out the soil and cause the leaves to point up. Place your Calathea in a spot with bright, indirect light, such as near a window with a sheer curtain.
  • The fourth tip is to provide the proper temperature. Calathea plants prefer warm temperatures between 65-75°F. Avoid placing your Calathea near drafty windows or doors, as this can cause temperature fluctuations. Additionally, ensure that the temperature in the room is consistent.
  • Finally, make sure you are fertilizing your Calathea regularly. A balanced fertilizer will provide the nutrients it needs for healthy growth and prevent its leaves from pointing up due to deficiencies. Use a balanced, water-soluble fertilizer every 4-6 weeks during the growing season. Avoid fertilizing during the dormant season, as the plant is not actively growing during this time.

By following these tips, you can help ensure that your Calathea’s leaves stay healthy and flat, rather than curling up. Taking care of your plant properly will also prevent other issues such as Calathea browning or yellowing calathea leaves and slow growth. With the right care, your Calathea should thrive!

Relate: Calathea Humidity: Everything You Need To Know


If Calathea leaves pointing up, it can be an indication of stress or underlying issues. To fix the problem, it is essential to focus on proper watering techniques, optimal temperature, and humidity levels, and the correct placement of the plant in terms of light and shade.

By following the tips in this blog post, you can ensure that your Calathea plant stays healthy and happy, providing you with stunning foliage and a touch of tropical beauty in your home or office. FamiPlants is confident that with the right care, your Calathea plant will reward you with lush growth.

Hi, I'm Cathleen Clemens. I graduated from Cornell University with a degree in plant science. I gained detailed knowledge about various kinds of plants and how to properly care for them. My experience has enabled me to easily detect any issues such as pest infestations, nutrient deficiencies, or signs of diseases in the plants.

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