Calathea Freddie leaves curling is one of the most common problems home gardeners keep experiencing with their green pets. And the reasons are plenty — from bad watering to temperature conditions and even nutrient issues.
But, how to know what’s bugging your beautiful plant? The key is to observe and make the right decisions, so let’s see how to get from curling to standing tall in no time.
- Why Are Calathea Freddie Leaves Curling?
- How To Cure Leaf Curling on Calathea Freddie?
Why Are Calathea Freddie Leaves Curling?
Calathea Freddie leaves are curling because of bad watering, and having a poor humidity surrounding it. It can also be due to pest infestation, or placing it in a very bright place. It can also be because of exposing it to temperature fluctuations or having mineral deposits.
Calathea orbifolia, calathea lancifolia, calathea ornata are all plants also known as the prayer plants with leaves of a beautiful shade of green. You can’t help but feel proud for taking care of such a delicate yet resilient plant. But certain conditions will make your job a nuisance. One of the most common ones is calathea leaf curl. So what causes it?
Well, it could be due to underwatering or overwatering, improper fertilization, or a range of growing conditions in which you keep the plant. Don’t worry though, most of these are easy to fix, and taking immediate action can save your Calathea Freddie from an untimely demise.
– Bad Watering
Calatheas need just the right amount of water to thrive. Too little and the leaves will dry out and curl up, too much and the roots will rot, causing calathea leaves curling and the plant to suffer. You must also see that curling calathea leaves could also be a sign of a more serious disease that is coming from the water you are using to irrigate, so early detection and proper reaction are essential to keeping your Calathea healthy and thriving.
– Poor Humidity
Calatheas are suckers for high humidity and with this they need it to thrive, and if it’s too low, their leaves will start to curl. The ideal humidity level for most Calatheas is above 50 percent, but some varieties, like the delicate Fusion White, need to go as high as 80 percent to be truly happy.
If the air in your home is too dry, you’ll see the first signs of trouble with brown tips on the leaves. But usually, the leaves will start to curl before they die. If you have a picky plant, consider placing it in an enclosed space where it’s easier to maintain regularly high humidity. As long as the humidity isn’t too low, your Calathea should be just fine.
– Pest Infestations
When it comes to sap-sucking pests, the damage is usually microscopic at first. That’s why having a magnifying glass handy and conducting regular inspections is good. Look for signs of damage to the leaves, such as small holes or spots. If the leaves begin to curl, the plant isn’t getting everything it needs because of the damage.
The most common pest seen on Calathea Freddie leaves is the spider mite. These are pretty tough to spot, especially when the infestation is small. As their numbers grow, you will start to see small webbings and sticky secretions on leaves and plant stems, so you must remember that if your Calathea still has untouched tissue, there’s still time to save it.
– Too Bright
In their natural habitat, Calathea plants don’t receive direct sunlight but instead thrive in bright filtered areas. Too much exposure to harsh, direct sunlight can damage their leaves and cause dehydration, leading to them curling. Additionally, the tips and edges of the leaves will slowly be turning brown. Fortunately, this issue can be resolved by simply moving the plant to a spot with plenty of the right type of light, if the leaves are looking dull and the plant is not dying.
– Temperature Fluctuations
Calatheas can be quite picky when it comes to temperature. They’re like the Goldilocks zone dwellers in the plant world — they don’t like it too hot or too cold. So, make sure to keep them in average room temperatures that are comfortable for you too.
However, there is one thing that can ruffle their leaves – drafts. Gusts of air can create sudden and drastic changes in temperature that your calatheas won’t appreciate. So, keep your plant away from any windows, doors, or air conditioning vents that could cause a draft.
– Mineral Deposits
Just like how our bodies need proper nutrition to stay healthy, so do our indoor plants! Overfeeding your calathea can cause more harm than good. Too much fertilizer or mineral-heavy water can result in a buildup of chemicals in the soil, leading to a struggling plant. The leaves will eventually start to wilt, turning yellow or brown, or even curling up.
Chemical and mineral buildup can also lead to other signs of distress, such as stunted growth or an overall sickly appearance. So, it’s crucial to give your calathea the right kind of nutrition!
How To Cure Leaf Curling on Calathea Freddie?
To cure leaf curling on calathea Freddie, you must improve the watering needs, and mind the fertilization in a correct way. You must also be sure to treat any fungal diseases if the plant has one, tackle the pests, and make sure to maintain the right temperature.
– Improve Watering
Water calathea only when the top 25 percent of the potting mix is dry, which usually translates to about once a week. However, environmental conditions and other factors may influence this frequency. It’s best to rely on the soil’s moisture level — stick your finger into the soil up to the first knuckle to determine if it’s dry.
When watering, give your plant a thorough soak until excess water flows from the drainage holes, and remove any water that collects on the saucer. Ensure the pot has proper drainage holes and the potting mix drains well. Also, avoid using an oversized pot, as this can contribute to overwatering.
Always remember to use room-temperature water to avoid shocking the plant. Keep an eye on evaporation rates in your environment and water quality. If mineral deposits become an issue, opt for rain or distilled water as better sources for water.
To keep your Calathea happy, the soil should feel slightly damp and never soggy or waterlogged. Check the moisture levels daily, and let the top of the soil dry slightly between waterings. Small amounts of water applied regularly should do the trick, but we have a far better formula to keep your plant well-watered just below.
– Mind Fertilization
Fertilize your plants once a month during spring and summer with a balanced liquid or water-soluble houseplant fertilizer like 10-10-10 or 20-20-20. Slow-release formulas are also suitable. Avoid fertilizing your Calatheas during winter or when they aren’t actively growing.
Simply add a teaspoon of fertilizer to a gallon of water and feed your plant, although following the instructions on the label is best. If you over-fertilize, flush the soil or repot the plant. Flushing entails pouring plenty of room-temperature water through the potting mix to wash away the excess fertilizer, and this way, you should be able to adjust the leaves back again as the soil doesn’t have built-in salt.
– Treat Fungal Diseases
Overwatering can lead to root rot, which can be detrimental to your Calathea’s health. This disease will leave you with curled leaves and kill your plant if left untreated. Every minute counts, so take quick action as soon as you notice the first signs of rot.
If you do encounter rotting roots, don’t fret! You can save your plant by taking it out of the pot and trimming off the infected parts of the root ball. Once these have been removed, repot the plant with fresh soil. It’s important to ensure the soil isn’t too compact and has proper drainage to prevent recurring problems.
Quarantine your Calathea plant to ensure the disease doesn’t spread to other plants. Remember, plant care is all about attention to detail, and a little bit of extra care can go a long way.
– Going for Those Pests
To tackle the pesky plant bugs, you can try a few effective methods. Start by giving your plant a good rinse with a hose to dislodge the insects. For any remaining bugs, use cotton swabs dipped in rubbing alcohol to wipe them away carefully.
If you’re dealing with a more severe infestation, you can try insecticidal soaps, neem oil, or horticultural spray oils. The best solution is the homemade one — if you have any neem oil at home, simply mix it with water in a 1:10 ratio in favor of water and give your plants a good misting from time to time. It will give some freshness to the foliage and keep it pest-free at the same time!
– Maintaining the Temperature
Maintaining a cozy temperature range of 65 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit is important. This is the sweet spot where most Calathea varieties will feel right at home, although some may tolerate slightly warmer or cooler temperatures. But beware: if the temperature drops below 60 degrees, your precious plants might start to get cranky and curl up in protest.
When it comes to humidity, you need to keep it high near Calatheas. Regular misting can do wonders — simply fill up a spray bottle with lukewarm water and mist the air around your plant to give it a refreshing moisture burst. Another easy trick is to place a humidity tray using pebbles and water. Fill a shallow tray with pebbles and add water until it’s halfway up the stones. Then, place your plant on top of the tray for a constant source of humidity for your plant.
If you live in a particularly dry area or your home becomes very dry in the winter, consider placing your Calathea near a humidifier. It’s easy to keep the air moist and your plant thriving.
When Calathea Freddie leaves begin to curl, it’s time to raise your alertness to the next level, and attention to what’s going on is crucial for a successful rescue mission, so take a deep breath and remind yourself of the following:
- Take a few days to inspect your plant bottom up! Rot is dangerous, but often it will be a matter of tweaking your approach instead of thinking about the worst.
- Low humidity, poor water regime, and fertilization will be your likely enemies for calathea leaves curling, so get ready for some feedback time between you and your plant.
- Just the right environment is all your Calathea is going to need, so be careful about the soil, temperature, and maintaining high humidity as well!
Curling leaves on a calathea plant will be an easy-to-solve ordeal, now that you know how to approach it, taking a quick and over-the-place approach won’t do anyone any good, especially your plant.
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