Maranta leaves curling is a common problem, mainly caused by poor hydration, low humidity levels, too much sun, changes in temperature, poor quality of water, and pest attacks.
The prayer plant can also suffer from curling leaves if its current pot is too small. Our gardening team will help you identify the problem and learn how to fix it, so read on.
- Why Are The Leaves of Maranta Plant Curling?
- What Are The Solutions For Maranta Leaves Curling?
Why Are The Leaves of Maranta Plant Curling?
The leaves of maranta plant are curling because of poor hydration, and the plant is placed under direct light. In addition, it can also happen if the humidity level is low, the temperature changes are extreme, the water quality is terrible, pest infestations occur, and the plant is root bound.
– Poor Hydration
Prayer plants are outstanding tropicals that require frequent watering during the growing season. When the soil is too dry due to bad watering habits, the leaves curl to save itself. Moreover, this can happen due to poor water quality or if the plant’s roots are bound.
It’s normal to see the prayer plant leaves curling at night when the temperature drops, giving the plant its common name. The curling leaves have a smaller surface area, reducing transpiration, which makes the plant more dehydrated. Moreover, less of the plant’s surface is exposed to the sun.
Lack of hydration can also result from growing the prayer plant in loose soil. As an indoor plant, it thrives in traditional potting mix, which has some moisture-retaining agents. If the soil has sharp drainage, the plant’s roots will dry, and the foliage will curl.
– Direct Light
The maranta plant thrives in tropical climates, but it’s an understory plant. With direct sunlight exposure, you’ll see the prayer plant foliage curling. Even red prayer plants can suffer from this problem. The bright green leaves with yellow spots and red veins might start to lose their healthy shape if you commit mistakes following the prayer plant care tips.
This plant can benefit from the morning sun, but the intense afternoon light causes leaf curling and drying. The foliage becomes wrinkled, and you will see that prayer plant leaves turning yellow, brown, or black, and eventually, they fall off the plant, when the conditions are extended.
– Low Humidity
Maranta thrives in very humid environments that mimic the conditions of their natural habitat. This makes them excellent indoor plants for your bathroom, kitchen, and other humid areas in the house.
In arid climates, these plants will hardly survive outside. Even if the temperature is high, the lack of humidity will burn the leaves and make them curl. The prayer plant stores a lot of water in its body to maintain the shape of the attractive leaves. The lack of humidity makes the plant collapse and will in the long run, you will see that this can cause it to die.
– Extreme Temperature Changes
Prayer plants thrive when temperatures are between 60 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit, with lower temperatures at night. At higher temperatures, the plant begins to lose more moisture. As a result, it will fold or curl the leaves to protect itself from the heat because they cannot thrive.
Lower temperatures can also harm your maranta. This plant doesn’t tolerate temperatures below 60 degrees Fahrenheit. If the temperature drops significantly, the foliage will darken and curl before falling off the plant.
– Water Quality
Unclean water can be loaded with pathogens that infect your plant. Moreover, ordinary tap water contains chemicals that affect your plant’s health. Note that the fluorine and chlorine in the water will harm your plants and leave a crust on top of the soil. The salts attach to the roots of your maranta, preventing them from absorbing water and nutrients.
So, your plant will be dehydrated even if you’re watering it regularly because you’re using the wrong type of water. Well, water might not also work for this beautiful plant due to the presence of pathogens and bacteria.
Pests like mealy bugs, spider mites, and scale insects attack several houseplants, including maranta. These sap-sucking bugs deprive the plant of essential nutrients, making the foliage curl. They will also cause stunted growth and loss of foliage.
Mealybugs leave a sticky residue on the leaves called honeydew. You can also see their bite marks on the leaves, and you might be able to spot them while they’re slowly moving. These could be the reason why you see your fishbone prayer plant leaves curling.
Spider mites can’t be seen easily, but you can see their white webs on the underside of the leaves. The leaves are yellow and curl, and the whole plant eventually collapses. At the samee time, scale insects look like brown spots on the foliage. You can see the prayer plant leaves curling and turning brown. You can also see yellow spots on the leaves.
– Being Root Bound
The prayer plant isn’t a fast grower, so the root system doesn’t fill the pot quickly, but after a few years, you can tell that the plant has outgrown its pot.
You might see the roots protruding from the pot’s drainage holes. The new roots might also rise above the soil because the rootball is becoming too big for the current pot. In some cases, the plant might start breaking the pot as it tries to expand.
When left neglected, your maranta will experience stunted growth, with few or no new leaves. The old leaves will curl and turn yellow or brown as the root system becomes stressed.
What Are The Solutions For Maranta Leaves Curling?
The solutions for maranta leaves curling can be done by improving the hydration of the plant, adjusting the light exposure, and increasing the surrounding humidity. You can also fix them by maintaining proper temperature, using good quality water, dealing with the pests, and repotting.
– Improve Hydration
You may be worried, will prayer plant leaves uncurl, which is why you should know that you can fix the curling problem of your maranta leuconeura plant by fixing watering issues. Hydration problems might be caused by inadequate watering or choosing the wrong soil type. This plant doesn’t tolerate dry soil and will die if you don’t provide enough hydration.
Regular and deep proper watering is needed to keep the plant well-hydrated. This guarantees the roots are well-nourished and the plant can absorb nutrients. You should never let the top layer of the soil dry out. You must also be mindful that you shouldn’t let the water sit on top of the leaves because it can cause mold and fungal growth.
If the problem is caused by excessive drainage, add peat and sphagnum moss to absorb some water. They act as a sponge and absorb moisture when you water your maranta. Then, they slowly release it back, keeping the soil adequately hydrated, and this can adjust the state.
You can also soak the plant in the bathtub to allow water to reach the roots through the pot’s drainage holes. Leave the plant for a few hours and repeat this process as soon as possible, especially in hot weather, so make sure that you check the soil’s moisture and water it again.
– Adjust Light Exposure
In its natural habitat, the maranta is a plant that likes shades, so direct sunlight exposure will harm the leaves and cause them to stress. This plant needs light but appreciates indirect light, so you should grow it under the shade of taller trees and shrubs.
When grown inside, you need to place this plant next to a north or east-facing window, which doesn’t receive much light. If you’re placing it next to a west or south-facing window, you should ensure there are curtains to protect the plant from excessive light exposure. This will prevent the foliage from curling, and maintain proper health.
– Increase Humidity
Marantas thrive when the humidity level is 60 percent or higher. This level of humidity will be challenging to maintain in your garden, unless you live in a naturally humid climate. In dry conditions, you’ll see the prayer plant leaves pointing down.
This is why most people choose to keep marantas as indoor plants, as they can increase humidity at home. It’s one of the best plant choices for your bathroom, kitchen, and other warm and humid spots.
Without enough humidity, the leaves of your prayer plant will curl inwards and become too dry. You can fix this problem by grouping plants, as the excess moisture from transpiration will increase the amount of water vapor in the air. In addition, you can also mist the prayer plant to grow moisture and keep it hydrated, and place the plant away from air vents, especially in winter. If the air is too dry, you should use a humidifier if you have one.
– Maintain Good Temperatures
Ideally, marantas will thrive when the temperature is between 60 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit, but extended exposure to lower temperatures will harm the plant in the long run. When you keep it in the right temperature, the plant will not go through such a stressful situation.
When the temperature drops significantly below the 60 degrees mark, you will start to notice that the leaves have started curling and turning darker. Under 50 degrees Fahrenheit, the plant will suffer from frost shock. Finally, the leaves will droop and fall off the plant.
When the temperature is too high, the plant will lose hydration fast. Being placed near a heater indoors usually causes this issue because the plant becomes too dry. This is why it’s crucial to maintain adequate temperatures all year long if you like to keep your marantas healthy.
– Use Good Water
It’s best to water your marantas in the morning, so any water left on the leaves will dry without causing mold. You should also avoid using dirty water because the pathogens in the water can infect your plant, so keep the plant away from contaminated or chemically abundant waters.
Tap water contains too many salts that prevent the roots from absorbing essential nutrients and water. So, you should avoid using it whenever possible. If you must use it, let it sit for at least 24 hours to remove the chlorine, and then you will see how it is safe to use it. You can use distilled water or clean rainwater instead. Room temperature or slightly warmer water works best for your marantas.
– Deal With Pests
Sap-sucking pests won’t kill your prayer plant on the spot. But the curling foliage will droop and eventually fall off the plant, and you must also examine and see that the plant’s leaves are also looking weakened and yellowed.
Most of these pests are too small to be removed by hand, but you can wash your plant with soap and water, using a toothbrush to scrub the leaves. This will help remove honeydew and webs. You can apply neem or horticulture oil to the leaves to deal with infestations. Avoid applying oil late in the evening to avoid scorching the leaves, so you can also start using insecticidal soap will also work.
– Repot Your Plant
You don’t have to worry about repotting your maranta too often. But every two or three years, moving your plant to a bigger pot will give it enough room to grow.
Before repotting your plant, wash the soil, as this will make removing it easier. You should be gentle and use a rake to move the soil away from the roots instead of trying to pull them out. After that, you should get a pot that is two to three inches larger with a new potting mix and move your plant into it.
Watering your plant thoroughly after repotting will help it adjust. Seeing prayer plant leaves curling after repotting is normal, but the plant will quickly recover.
Mantras are popular tropical plants that can survive at home, and seeing the curling leaves doesn’t mean your plant is over, so remember the followings:
- The lack of hydration is usually why the leaves on your mantra curl.
- Maintaining warm and humid conditions will help restore the leaves’ health.
- Mantras might curl because of temperature extremes.
- Repotting your prayer plant will allow rootbound plants to recover.
The curled leaves can recover if you follow these gardening tips, thanks to its vibrant and oddly looking leaves, maranta is among the most popular tropicals.
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