Why Are My Elephant Ear Leaves Curling? (And Solutions)

Last Updated on November 18, 2022 by Stephanie

Its possible that the leaves of your Elephant Ear plant are wrinkling due to a variety of reasons. In order to bring them back to normal, you need to first determine the cause and then take the appropriate steps. This article can assist with identifying and resolving the issues.

The leaves of Elephant Ear curl as the result of excessive watering and causing roots rot and dehydration, temperatures stress, low humidity, and pest attack. To solve this problem it is recommended to water the elephant ear whenever the soil on top is dry and protect the plant from freezing temperatures and repotted if you see signs of root decay.

Read on to learn how you can make your garden flourish. Stop stressing and begin making plans!

Causes of Elephant Ear Leaves Curling

If plants are sick, they communicate with the only way they can communicate - their appearance.

The stalks, leaves, and petioles turn damaged, rough-textured curly, dry, or dry. Its the same with elephant ear plants. Elephant Ear plant is no any different.

Dehydration due to water loss

If you submerge the Elephant Ear plant, the huge leaves will attempt to keep the water that is in the ear.

The leaves will become curled, yellow or even wilt. If you dont take care of it the leaves will begin to dry out.


Elephant Ear plants consume a lot of water. Make sure your soil remains moist. Create a schedule of watering that ensures it receives at least 3 inches of water per week.

Drink water every week. Do not miss one cycle. Drink water every day during summer.

Be careful not to overwater it to the point that it dries up within the soil, and is unable to draining.

Root Rot due to overwatering

Like not enough watering the soil gets wet and it can be harmful. The Elephant Ear leaves might flop or curl up to indicate that it has been exposed to excessive amounts of water.

If the drainage isnt sufficient, the excess water can make the roots to be soggy. This kind of situation favors pathogens that cause root rot. The root will appear to be to be swollen, and the leaves will be swollen and curl.


Although Elephant Ear is an Elephant Ear plant loves water There is an appropriate watering level based on the size of your plant and its age.

Make sure that the soil is dry prior to watering and then water it every morning.

Water Quality

The quality of water plays a major influence on how your plant appears and feels. The tap water is a source of salt as well as chlorine and fluoride.

Elephant ear plants is resistant of hard-water. As time passes the leaves exhibit signs of discomfort, such as curling or forming brown patches.


Rainwater can be used after saving it or buy bottles of water. If neither of these options is available then you can keep your tap water inside an unclosed container for the night.

The chemicals in water evaporate and allow your plants to thrive.

Light, Temperature, And Humidity

Overexposure to Sun

Elephant Ears thrive in sunshine. However, too much sun can be detrimental because it causes the plant hyperactive.

If the light intensity is excessive. For instance, when sunlight shines direct onto the plant for prolonged periods The leaves begin to brown at their edges and then curl.

They also become hard and hard. Its like burning paper under excessive heat.


Plant the plant in a location where sun is not direct. The plant should be moved around the house in accordance with the changing temperatures and conditions of the sun all through the year. Keeping the soil moist, as well as misting it frequently in the summer months is what you should be sufficient.

Temperature Stress

Because Elephant Ear plants do well in tropical climates, they have to be planted in warmer temperatures, which vary from 65deg to 75degF (18-24degC).

Extremely cold, freezing or chilling temperatures and cold winds cause shock to the plant, causing cells to dehydrate and damage their membranes. The result is that the cells curl due to the pressure.


In the summer, you should make sure to water it well. Winter sun can be pleasant however, placing it in a bright and warm place indoors is preferable to placing it outdoors.

The elephant ear plant is prone to changes in temperature. It is recommended to dig out the tubers and put them in a bag of newspaper in a warm and dry place until spring, when you can plant them again. (Source: Purdue University)

Low Humidity Issues

The elephant ear plant blooms magnificently in the event that humidity levels are at least at or above 60%..

If you reside in an area that has temperatures below 30 degrees Fahrenheit (-1degC) and is typically dry and experiences extreme winters, the moisture concentration within the atmosphere is very low.

The low humidity levels can cause the elephants ear leaves to lose more moisture , which causes the leaves to curled.


To fight dryness in the air during colder seasons, try using humidifiers for creating a humid atmosphere to your plants. Dont be scared to experiment. I have one in the winter months too.

Misting the plant can to increase the amount of humidity in the air.

Another trick is to set up a pebble tray filled with water, to evaporate the water and the humidity within the room will increase.

You May Also Enjoy: Brown Spots on Alocasia Leaves (Causes And How to Treat)

Fertilizers, Herbicide, And Pests


Feed the plants of the Elephant Ear with enough fertilizer to compensate the difference in size since they are large feeders.

But applying the incorrect fertilizer or feeding too much fertilizers, spraying them on leaves, or fertilizing the plant when it is in dormancy can cause the leaves to start curving, or acquiring brown spots.

In a way, this makes it more susceptible to disease and attract insects. In the worst case the plant could even die. the plant.


Make sure you are using the correct quantity of fertilizer. You can choose the slow-release 20-20-20 fertilizer that is composed of a proportionate amount in nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, as well as other nutrients to the Elephant Ears plant.

Dissolve it in one gallon of water, mix well , and feed the plant every month.

If youve overfed the plant, remove the leaves that are curled and allow them to develop and regenerate.

In winter, the plant goes into in a state of dormancy, so its not recommended to fertilize.

Herbicide Drifts

If you are treating an invasive plant with herbicides, the powerful sprays vapors can travel to your plant which can damage the tubers as well as inflaming the corm.

The result is bent or whorled stalks as well as stunted growth or cups of foliage because the plant is using all of its energy reserves to fight these harmful chemical compounds in the system.


When you realize that herbicide is responsible for curled leaves, it is recommended to cut the leaves affected, to ensure that it doesnt seep into the roots.

If you think its been moved to tubers, the only option is to remove it to examine it.

If you notice any damage, immediately dispose of that portion or plant. It is your only chance to save it. Dont worry, your elephant ear plants are quick growing.

Pest Attacks

The most serious threat to elephant ear plants are the presence of pests. Aphids that feed on cotton eat plants with brutal revenge that snatches the minerals and nutrients that are in the plant.

They usually appear on the undersides of leaves. This leads to leaf curling and deformation, and hinders the ability of the plant to photosynthesise normally.


An easy method to eliminate them is to make use of a water gun or hose, and blast the water until the aphids disappear.

It is also possible to mix neem oil and rubbing alcohol in water. Then, take the swabs of cotton and then apply them to affected areas.

Growing Pains

Space is not available for roots

The elephant ear plant is massive! They are fast-growing and huge particularly when conditions of the weather, soil as well as watering systems and the humidity requirements are in harmony.

As your plant matures and grows your roots will require more space. If its not able to handle the load with the growing space, the leaves will crimp to keep it alive.


If you notice the roots extending out, choose the right plastic pot that has enough drainage holes. Make sure that it is larger than the dimensions of your plant, (but not so big that the soil will take longer to dry out) allow the roots to expand however they want then plant it in a new pot.

Another benefit of putting your elephant ears in a pot is that it can be brought inside during the cold winter seasons.

Curly Leaves After Repotting

Although it appears sturdy and beautiful The elephant ear plant is susceptible to stress-related factors.

When you plant it again You may notice the leaves curving. Do not panic.

It is stunned by the sudden change and needs time to adjust to its new surroundings. Be patient. It will improve within a few hours.


When you plant it ensure that it is growing and not in dormancy. This is why repotting it in the summer or spring is recommended.

If youve followed this guideline, but your plant is still not perking up, it is time to examine the root systems.

How to Stop the Elephant Ear Leaves from curling

  • Check that your plant isnt submerged
  • Dont overwater as it could cause root rot
  • Make sure that the quality of the water you are using helps to grow the plant.
  • Plant your plant in a place in a spot that will allow it to receive enough sunlight but not enough sunlight that it burns the leaves.
  • Elephant ear plants arent suitable for cold weather. Make sure to bring them inside during winter months.
  • In the event that theres less humidity within the atmosphere, you can expect to see mist in summer, and put an ice tray near the plant in winter.
  • Make sure you use the right amount of fertilizers and feed them throughout their development phase
  • Take a leaf that might have been sprayed with herbicides accidentally
  • Be attentive to your plants and eliminate insects before they transmit to other plants or transform into a threat
  • Make sure the plant is given ample room to grow and breathe. Repot them according to the needs.
  • Be aware that your plant could be subject to displacement shocks.


The Elephant Ear plant is very sensitive to their surroundings. There are watering issues such as brightness, changes in climatic conditions and issues with humidity; herbicides and fertilizers that cause destruction, and then its increasing capabilities too.

Now you know what to do if you notice the leaves of your elephant ear plant curving. The most important thing is to remain your cool.



Went from an inexperienced gardener to a half-decent one over 10+ years. I cover anything from general indoor plant guides and lawn care, to succulents and flowers. Super happy to share my tips and tricks with you :)