Calathea is a loved houseplant because of its fancy leaves and air-cleaning powers. But it can be tricky to look after. Droopy leaves are a common problem, especially after you’ve repotted or propagated it.
The main reason for “Why Is My Calathea Drooping?” usually means the plant’s stressed. This could be because you’re giving it too much or too little water or light, or because of temperature changes… To fix this, you’ve gotta figure out what’s causing the problem and then sort it out.
Why is my calathea drooping?
Not giving your Calathea enough water is a common reason for droopy leaves. Calatheas need water to keep their leaves and stems stiff so the plant can stand up. If you don’t water it, your Calathea might lose too much moisture or its roots might not absorb water as quickly, which means less water pressure in its cells.
Calatheas are kinda sensitive and can show they’re stressed out pretty quickly if they’re not getting what they need. There are several reasons why your Calathea might be drooping, including:
- Water issues
- Inadequate lighting
- Humidity levels that are too low
- Pests and diseases
- Extreme temperatures
- Stress after repot and propagate
Solutions Calathea drooping
Here are some possible reasons why your Calathea may be drooping and the solution:
Water issues are a common reason why your Calathea might be drooping such as:
Overwatering is a common reason why your Calathea might be drooping. If you water your Calathea too much, its roots will get soggy and unhealthy. The roots will become suffocated if the soil is left wet. They won’t get any oxygen as a result.
The bacteria and fungus in such soggy places travel toward the wet Calathea, causing the plant to droop. They’ll also cause your plants’ roots to rot.
To fix overwatering:
- To fix overwatering, stop giving your plant water until the soil’s dry.
- You can then water the plant less frequently and make sure that the soil is well-draining.
- Put your Calathea somewhere bright. Keep them out of the sun’s direct rays.
- Don’t fertilize for a few days.
- Treat the roots if you see any symptoms of root rot.
- If the soil is too compacted or waterlogged, you can repot the plant in fresh soil and a pot with good drainage holes.
Not giving your Calathea enough water can also make it droop.
To fix underwatering:
- To fix underwatering, start giving your plant water as soon as you can. Let the soil soak for a few minutes while you wait for the extra water to drain. Your Calathea will recover her health in a few hours.
- If the plant’s leaves have grown excessively dry and crispy, you might choose to remove them. This will aid in reviving the plant’s vigor so that it can produce more leaves.
- Start a regular watering routine. When you notice that the top 1 to 2 inches of soil are dry, water.
- Mist the leaves with water or place a tray of water near the plant to increase the humidity levels around it.
- Make sure that the soil is well-draining and that any excess water is able to drain away from the roots.
- Use a moisture meter to check how wet the soil is and give your plant water when the soil starts to feel dry.
The water of inferior quality
Using bad quality water can often make Calathea leaves droop. Stuff like chlorine and fluoride in tap water can build up in the soil and hurt the roots, which in turn leads to droopy leaves.
To sort out the water issue:
- Use rainwater or clean water, to water your Calathea.
- If using tap water, let it sit out overnight to allow the chlorine to go away before using it.
- Use a water filter or get a water softener, which can remove harmful stuff from the water.
- Use soil that drains well and avoid overwatering, as this can also hurt the roots and cause drooping leaves.
Unlock the Secrets of Proper Calathea Watering for Thriving Plants. Dive in now to learn more!
Calathea loves soft, bright light, but too much sun can burn their leaves. If your Calathea plant isn’t getting enough light, its leaves may droop or curl.
Also, they need some darkness so they can close their leaves. Getting light all the time can harm the plant and its growth.
To sort out the light problem:
- Move it somewhere else. Put the plant where it’ll get filtered light. A great idea is a window that faces north or east.
- South-facing windows let in too much sun. Think about using sheer curtains, blinds, or window films to create a filter if your plant’s close to them.
- If you don’t have a suitable window, you could also consider using a grow light to top up the natural light.
- But remember, don’t expose the plant to direct sunlight, as this can burn its leaves.
Humidity levels that are too low
Calathea is a plant from hot countries, so they need lots of humidity to survive. These plants normally soak up enough moisture thanks to their lovely, broad leaves.
Low humidity and dry air will stop the leaves from soaking up moisture, causing them to droop. Plus, they will curl and change color.
When the humidity is low, your Calathea will lose more water. The leaves will start to droop because the roots can’t replace this water fast enough.
Low humidity in Calathea is tough to spot because both not enough water and low humidity cause curled, crunchy, droopy, and browning leaves.
Calathea likes humidity of 60% or more. You’ll need a humidity gauge to measure the humidity where your Calathea is to find out if the issue is humidity-related or not.
To sort out the humidity problem:
- Put your calathea on a pebble tray to increase humidity
- Get a humidifier for your room to perfectly copy the humidity of Calathea’s home country.
- witch it on for a few hours every day between morning and noon, or whenever the air feels dry.
- You can group a bunch of plants together.
- In the short term, you can spray your plant with clean, distilled water. For two to three hours, this should boost the humidity around it enough to fix minor drooping.
Pests and diseases
Pests and diseases can also cause Calathea plants to droop. Critters like Calathea spider mites, mealybugs, and scale bugs can suck the juice from the leaves, causing them to go limp or curl.
Diseases like fungal diseases can also affect the health of the plant and cause its leaves to droop. If the roots have black, mushy regions, this rot is probably to blame for your super droopy leaves.
To fix bugs and diseases:
- Shift the sick plant well away from the others before doing anything else.
- Give your plant a good look-over, keeping a close eye on the folds and cracks in the leaves and stalks. Some bugs can be hard to spot.
- If your calathea bug problem is mild, cutting out the infected region can do the trick.
- A bit of rubbing booze on a cotton swab can be used to get rid of some bugs, like scale bugs or plant lice, by hand. Others, like thrips or spider bugs, can be gotten rid of by spraying water.
- After that, use bug-killing soap to take out any nasty insects you might have missed. As eggs often turn out surprisingly tough, you might need to treat your plant more than once.
- If plants with root rot, they need to be replanted in a pot with proper drainage holes using a mix that’s loose. Cut away the dead roots, and give the roots a gentle clean in running water.
- Keep the plant clean and free from mess. You can also use natural ways to control bugs like neem oil or insecticidal soap to keep the pests away.
Calathea thrives best in temperatures between 64°F and 75°F. Wild temperatures swings can hurt them. You’ll see wilted or saggy leaves, and leaves with browning at the ends and sides. They’re showing signs of heat stress.
Calatheas can handle warm weather as long as the temperature stays below 80°F and there’s plenty of humidity. Calatheas will face super dry conditions when the mercury dips below 60°F, which will stress the plant out. If the temperature falls below 50°F, the plant will eventually die.
Calathea will also get heat stress if it moves from its greenhouse to the market, then from the market to its new home.
To fix super hot or cold temperatures:
- When you bring Calathea home, try to control the temperature. As soon as you get it home, find a spot that’s just right for it.
- Steer clear of places like near aircon, heaters, or radiators.
- Try to keep the plant away from any sources of cold breezes or hot air, like open windows or air vents.
- You might want to use a temp gauge to check the spot where your Calathea is.
Stress after repot and propagate
When your plant outgrows its pot, it becomes rootbound. Calatheas with twirling roots need more elbow room. If there’s not enough soil, the plant can’t get the food and water it needs, and you’ll end up with a droopy Calathea.
Every plant gets a bit stressed when it’s repotted, and Calathea’s not different. A change in soil texture, pH, light level, humidity, and temperature can give it quite a shock.
Also, Calathea will be shocked when you move it and propagate it because of the sudden flip in its surroundings and growing conditions. A bunch of problems, like yellowing, drooping, wilting, and so on, can come from these sudden changes.
To fix stress after repotting and propagating:
- Shift it to a pot that’s 1-2 inches bigger.
- Your Calathea needs the same type of soil with a similar pH and fertility levels. Just like the old one, the new pot’s gotta drain well.
- Make sure you give Calathea the right light, humidity, and water.
- Hold off on fertilizing for a bit.
Over-feeding can also cause droopy leaves, browning at the tips and edges of the leaves, yellowing of the lower leaves, and in bad cases, you’ll see buildup on the plant’s soil.
Fertilizer is strong stuff, and it’s easy to get it wrong. Too much can hurt the roots, burn your plant, or help harmful bacteria and fungi grow.
To fix over-feeding:
- Start by scraping away any fertilizer buildup you see on the soil.
- Then, water the plant really well until all of the water drains out of the pot and is easily flowing from the draining holes. Do this a couple of times.
- Remove any damaged or yellowed leaves last.
- Wait at least a month before you fertilize again, and since this process also really waters your plant, hold off on watering it again until the soil’s had a chance to dry out.
Care tips to prevent Calathea from drooping
Calathea plants are famous for their cool leaves and can really spruce up any indoor space. But they can be picky plants and often have droopy leaves. Here are some care tips to stop your Calathea from drooping:
- Give it the right amount of light: Calathea plants love bright, indirect light. Put them in direct sunlight, and you’ll burn their leaves and cause them to droop. At the same time, not enough light can also make them droop. So, make sure to put them somewhere bright but without direct sunlight.
- Keep the soil damp: Calathea plants need moist soil to do well, but if you water them too much, you can cause root rot, leading to droopy leaves. Make sure to water your Calathea when the top inch of the soil feels dry.
- Keep up the humidity: Calathea plants love humidity, so make sure they’re in a humid environment. You can achieve this by misting them regularly or placing a tray of water near the plant.
- Stay away from temperature extremes: Calathea plants like it between 60-75°F (15-24°C). Sudden changes in temperature can make their leaves droop. So, avoid putting them near doors or drafty windows.
- Use top-notch water: As I said earlier, bad quality water can make Calathea leaves droop. So, make sure to use good quality water to avoid this.
By following these care tips, you can stop your Calathea plant from drooping and keep it looking healthy and bright.
Calathea plants are one-of-a-kind plants that need the right care and attention to do well. Droopy leaves are a common problem that can be caused by a bunch of things. To stop droopy leaves in your Calathea plant, it’s vital to provide the right amount of light, keep the soil moist, maintain the right humidity, stay away from temperature extremes, and use good quality water. These care tips can help keep your Calathea looking bright and healthy.
If you’re having problems with your Calathea plant or have any questions about caring for it, such as “Why is my calathea drooping?”, don’t be shy to reach out to Famiplants.