Drooping stems/leaves in Calathea are mainly caused by overwatering. Curled, crispy brown leaves are caused by underwatering. Low humidity and Excess heat also cause drooping in the Calathea plant.
Calathea is grown indoors for its wonderful foliage. Calathea is a genus of a few species of plants that are grown indoors.
Calathea plant is quite easy to take care of but it does run into issues. Does your Calathea droop? In this article, you’ll know the reasons and the ways to fix it!
Calathea drooping stems
Calathea stems droop mainly due to overwatering. When Calathea sits in waterlogged conditions, it shows in the leaves.
Can you overwater Calathea?
No, don’t overwater Calathea. Calatheas like to drink a lot of water but this doesn’t mean they can take overwatering.
Calathea likes moist soil but don’t let the plant sit in waterlogged conditions. Don’t let the soil go dry between the waterings.
How do you know when Calathea needs water?
Stick your bare fingers into the soil and feel it. If the soil is dry up to a depth of 2 inches, it’s time to water your Calathea.
Don’t let the soil go dry completely between the watering sessions.
Calathea thrives in just moist soil. If you water the plant consciously you won’t run into any issues. Get a soil moisture meter if needed.
How often should you water Calathea?
I water my Calatheas weekly once. Let the top two inches dry out slightly before watering your Calathea. Check with fingers if needed.
In winter don’t water your Calathea as frequently. Calathea doesn’t need a lot of water in the winter to thrive.
How do you fix Overwatered Calathea?
Make sure the plant has been overwatered before you try to fix the problem. Check the soil with your fingers, does it seem waterlogged and soggy?
Healthy soil is good and chunky. Calathea roots should look healthy and white. Brown and mushy roots indicate root disease/overwatering.
Below are some instructions to fix an overwatered Calathea.
- Stop watering your Calathea immediately. Watering an overwatered Calathea aggravates the problem.
- Get the Calathea out of the pot.
- Prune off all the infected roots using a sterilized pair of pruning shears, spare the healthy roots.
- Gently clean the soil around the roots of your Calathea and plant it in a fresh pot.
- Dab some cinnamon powder onto the roots of your Calathea. You can also dip the roots in a dilute solution of Hydrogen peroxide.
- Prune off at least half of the foliage to cover for the root loss. Wait patiently for your Calathea to bounce back.
Calathea root rot
Calathea suffers from root rot if the plant has been sitting in waterlogged conditions for too long. The yellowing of the foliage is the first sign of root rot.
Leaves become yellow and wilt. This is when you need to respond and see where the problem lies. Take a look at the roots.
Are most of the roots still healthy? Do they look white? If yes, then you’re fine. Stop overwatering your Calathea.
Are the roots brown and mushy? This means the plant has been sitting in waterlogged conditions for too long. Treat the plant immediately.
At this stage, the leaves turn brown and wilt. Take the plant from the pot and dip the roots in H2O2 solution and re-pot in fresh soil.
Calathea drooping after repotting
Your Calathea is drooping after repotting because of transplant shock. After the root disturbance, the leaves will look saggy.
Calathea will grow healthier provided that the soil is well-draining and you water it adequately.
Water your Calathea consciously. It might be tempting to water the plant a lot after seeing its saggy leaves, but don’t overwater!
You’ll only be hurting your Calathea by overwatering. Just give the plant adequate water and it should grow back just fine.
Prevention of Transplant Shock in Calathea
Here are a few instructions you can follow to prevent transplant shock in Calathea.
- Don’t damage the roots of your Calathea when transplanting it. Root damage is the most common reason for transplant shock.
- Don’t transplant a plant that is already sick. Also, be extra careful when transplanting sensitive plants like Calathea.
- Transplant your Calathea in early spring or late fall for the best results. Never transplant your plants in the summer as it’ll have a harsh effect on them.
Calathea leaves pointing down
Calathea leaves point down when the plant doesn’t get adequate water. Calathea leaves are directed by the sunlight.
Which means they tend to grow/point toward the light source. So, try to diagnose the problem precisely before you treat the plant.
Check the soil with bare fingers and feel the soil up to 2 inches. If it is bone dry, then the issue is due to underwatering.
Calathea leaves curling
Calathea leaves curl and turn brown when the plant gets less water than it needs. Calathea likes moist soil, do not let the soil go bone dry between the waterings. Low humidity and excess heat also cause Calathea leaves to curl.
Calathea leaves wilt initially and then they turn brown and become crispy. Check the soil with your fingers often if needed.
Water when the top 2 inches of the soil goes slightly dry. Calathea thrives in moist soils.
Leaf margins turn brown and crispy and look like they’re dying. You can still revive your Calathea at this point.
Water your Calathea abundantly once a week. Reduce watering frequency in the winter months.
Low humidity Calathea
Calathea needs more humidity than normal to thrive. If there’s less humidity than required the leaves turn brown and crispy.
Calathea needs above 50% humidity to thrive. Some sensitive varieties need more than 60% to grow contently.
You can raise the humidity around your Calathea by placing a humidifier in the room. You can also place a bowl of water near your Calathea.
Should I mist my Calathea?
You may want to mist the plant often when the humidity falls well below the desired point.
Excess heat can also curl the Calathea leaves and turn them brown. Maintain the surrounding temperatures between 62ºF and 81ºF to let the plant thrive.
More than this temperature, you’ll see brown, crispy leaves on your Calathea. The leaves shrivel due to heat stress.
Such symptoms are commonly seen when the plant is exposed to dry air from an air conditioner/another vent.
Any stream of dry air scorches the leaves of Calathea and turns the leaves brown and crispy.
How do you fix droopy Calathea?
Below are few instructions you need to follow if your Calathea is droopy.
- First, diagnose the issue. You can check this by sticking your fingers into the potting mix/soil. If it’s too moist, then the problem is overwatering. If it is bone dry up to 3 inches, it is due to underwatering.
- Low humidity and Excess heat can also cause similar symptoms. So, rule out such causes and you’ll know what the problem is.
- Adjust your cultural practices according to the problem and your Calathea will revive just fine.
Happy Growing 🙂