Calathea leaves pointing down is one of the most common problems related to improper growing conditions. Although it is very common, you shouldn’t take it lightly, as it’s not stemming from a single cause.

Calathea Leaves Pointing Down

Analyzing your Calathea plant and determining the cause for its leaves drooping down will determine how successful you’ll be at nursing it back to health!

Some of the possible causes of your Calathea drooling down on you include lack of water, overwatering, not enough nutrients, root rot and extreme temperatures.

So don’t be afraid – you can just save your Calathea and make it stand proud once again by learning how to fix these here!

What Are the Causes For Calathea Leaves Pointing Down?

The causes for Calathea leaves pointing down can include under-watering and overwatering, improper fertilization, root rot caused by fungi, and even extreme temperatures. Most of these underlying causes are easy to fix, and taking action immediately can save Calathea plants from dying prematurely.

Calathea orbifolia is a beautiful and luscious green plant, also known as the praying plant. It is a delicate but sturdy and highly resistant plant that is grown for its awesome foliage. This adorable and full foliage sometimes leaves the feeling like it’s being painted by random brush strokes, while the bottoms of leaves are often burgundy red! 

Of course, calatheas are grown for their luscious and beautiful leaves, so what can go sideways is when these leaves start drooping down on you!

Calatheas’ foliage stands proudly tall when your plant is grown in optimal conditions, so if you spot your Calathea leaf tips have begun to lower themselves, your plant is trying to tell you that something is wrong!

Of course, Calathea drooping leaves may be a sign of a much more serious disease, so you should act as fast as you spot these occurring. Early detection and proper reaction are lifesavers for your Calathea! In this article, we’re going to go through every possible cause of your calathea leaves dropping down and how to approach them!

– Lack of Water

One of the most obvious causes for Calathea plant leaves dropping down is underwatering. This will dry up the soil, which will in turn, deprive the roots of nutrients and water. This is a state in which your roots won’t be able to send nutrients to your foliage, and the entire thing will result in leaves slowly but steadily dropping down.

Whenever you experience your Calathea leaves lowering themselves towards the ground without any particular reason, you should first assume that you’ve been underwatering the plant.

You can quickly check this by giving your soil inspection and a close-up look. If the top soil layer has gone dry and the first few inches of soil don’t feel moist when you dip the finger inside, underwatering is your most probable problem, and you should address it quickly.

– Overwatering

Overwatering will ultimately kick off root disease and plenty of other ailments, so you should take it rather seriously. Overwatering can be caused by many different factors, but the bottom line is that all of them add to the overaccumulation of water in the root ball. Your roots should always feel and look like a wrung-out cloth. 

Causes of Calathea Leaves Pointing Down

Just like any living thing, they need air too, and not only water, to live. Too much of anything is not good! Growing prayer plants is always a fine balance . Improper drainage will also add to the overwatering problem. Choose a pot that has a few drainage holes at the bottom. 

Your potting mix should have some form of inorganic matter in it to make it more aerated! On the other hand, too much clay and organic soil will add to overwatering issues as they will expand when watered. You should also avoid too big a pot for your Calatheas, as water will surely take longer to evaporate in larger pots!

– Lack of Nutrients

This is a common mistake inexperienced growers make. Nitrogen and nutrient deficit is a surefire way to stunted and degenerative issues in your Calathea and can even cause leaves to drop.

Overfertilization can become an issue, too – fertilizers are often made of salt crystals, and salt will suffocate and burn the roots!

– Root Rot

Overwatering and fungus forming in root systems as a result will cause plenty of trouble. And this isn’t a situation you’d like to be dealing with! Water clogging your plant will deprive it of oxygen and cause Calathea to drop its leaves, eventually dropping them altogether!

A serious sign, after which there’s often no going back, is when foliage begins to go black! The roots won’t be sending as many nutrients up the stem, and the foliage will become weak, and it’s a surefire way into doom.

– Cold and Heat Strokes

The temperatures will largely impact the development and growth of your Calatheas! The praying plant is a tropical one – it loves warmth and moisture, with plenty of sunlight. If you don’t allow these comforts, the plant will rebel and let you know by lowering its leaves!

Low temperatures are often overlooked as being a problem, but they are exactly what hurts Calatheas the most!

They are big-foliage plants and need plenty of warmth to heat themselves. The lowest you should go with any tropical plant is around 50 degrees Fahrenheit! The cold will freeze the sap and stunt the growth, resulting in leaves curling and dropping!

Sunburns are more commonplace. The effects of sunburns are much more evident and quicker to show themselves. It is a novice mistake to leave your plants in places with too much sunlight, yet so many people do it. The Calathea will attempt to lower its leaves to protect them from getting burnt, and here’s where your drooling leaves may come from!

– Low Humidity

If Calathea is going weak on you even with the right water regime and with good enough soil, you’re likely having humidity issues!

If your air is too dry, your soil dries faster, and Calathea will struggle! As your plants are opportunists, they will look in the air for a source of water and moisture – especially if your watering is right and you leave Calatheas with dry soil at intervals.


How Can You Treat Calathea Plants With Leaves Pointing Down?

You can treat calathea plants with leaves pointing down by avoiding under-watering and sticking to a strict watering regime.

You should avoid exposing your Calathea to extreme temperatures, add adequate fertilizers, and treat fungal diseases if you see signs of them.

– Water the Plant When the Soil Is Dry

If your Calathea suffers from dehydration, you should give it a generous amount of water – better yet, a shower! Place the calathea plant under a 10-second shower or garden hose, and allow the water to completely run through the entire soil and the pot. Then repeat with another 10-second proper soak-up of your plant. 

If dehydration was the issue, you’ll hear your soil make a crackling sound as if it has been craving water for quite some time – because you’ve likely created such conditions.

Another way of hydrating your Calathea is taking the entire pot and lowering it in a tub of water for around a minute, letting the soil have its drink. A crackling sound should again be present. After this, take your pot out of the water and let the water pass through the soil and the pot. Then repeat the entire process once more!

– Don’t Overwater, and Avoid Waterlogged Pots

Just like with underwatering, overwatering is often a problem when your leaves drop down! Your plants are living, breathing organisms, and along with water, the roots also need air to breathe, and giving your plants some time without water will benefit your plant.


Solutions for Calathea Leaves Pointing Down

Instead of watering every day and making it a bothersome thing, let your waterings come at the right time and make them an unforgettable splashing experience!

Always check your soil before watering, and don’t rely on any scheduled watering regime. Touch, feel, and sight are your trusty friends – as soon as the top two inches of soil feel and look dry, you’re welcome to water your Calathea. Remember, overwatering issues will begin as soon as you water the plant when the soil is already sitting moist!

– Don’t Ignore Fertilization

If your Calathea is still young, you can use granular fertilizers and ones high in nitrogen to encourage growth. As for fertilizing frequency, it’s always a good idea to read the label on the fertilizer package.

As far as fertilization schedules are concerned – apply general high-nitrogen fertilizer in spring and summer and slowly take away the amount you apply as the growing season comes to a halt, generally in early winter!

– Treat Root Rot

Remember, less is always better when it comes to watering, and not changing your habits can ruin the plant. Your regular watering schedule shouldn’t be based on days. Instead, water the plant only when the soil gets dry!

If you do have an issue with rotting roots, this calls for taking the plant out of the pot, cutting all the infected parts of the roots, and replacing the soil.

After this operation, you should quarantine your Calathea plants to make sure that no signs of disease show up again. Poor drainage and too compact soils will also add to this problem!

– Protect Your Plant From Cold and Heat Shocks

When you notice that your Calathea is too cold, you should bring it to a warmer place. One common problem growers make is that they keep their growing rooms warm only during the day.

At night, when the temperatures fall, your Calatheas will take a cold hit. Make sure that you don’t shock your Calatheas by too much temperature difference when you’re moving them to a warmer place.

If you’re dealing with heat stress, keep your Calathea a bit further from the windows in the afternoon. Window glass may even focus light rays and add to the scorching of the leaves. If it’s summer, place your Calathea outside in a shaded area with indirect light, as they will enjoy the summer breeze and won’t get burnt as easily in the heat wave!

– Raise Humidity Levels

If your soil goes quickly dry after watering, it is an obvious sign that the air is too dry, and you need to raise the humidity. A good solution is a cheap air humidifier or wet stones at the draining tray – this way, the water will slowly evaporate around the soil and the leaves.

Misting is another option to raise humidity and refresh your Calatheas a bit! Never take to misting as the sole option for providing water to your Calathea plants, as it won’t suffice. Many people think that misting leaves will suffice to quench the thirst, but nothing says “I love you” to your plant like a good old soaking of the pot!

Fix Calathea Leaves Pointing Down


Understanding why your Calathea leaves are drooping down is crucial when trying to rescue your plant! Quick and mindful actions will lead to even worsening of the situation.

So, take a breather and remind yourself:

  • Thoroughly inspect your plant, and don’t jump to conclusions, as not all causes have the same remedies!
  • Low humidity and poor water drainage will have the same effect as low fertilization, but what you need to do to mitigate the effects will differ greatly!
  • Ensure that your Calathea lives in a happy environment, and this includes good soil, high humidity, and plenty of light!

Now that you know why your Calathea is dropping its leaves to the floor, you’ll know how to approach the situation much better!

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