Why Are My Peperomia Leaves Curling?

You bought a peperomia plant because everyone has told that they were easy to cultivate. They don’t require a lot of lighting, they don’t require regular irrigation and don’t require continuous care to get through the day. (I’m thinking of you, orchids!).

Then you realized that something was wrong in the leaf. They’re curling. Peperomia leaves shouldn’t be able to curl, are they?

If you thought you could manage a houseplant Take an exhale. Peperomia isn’t in a state of death. These robust plants will come back when you pinpoint the issue.

The main reason behind peperomia leaves curling is that they are underwater. Insufficient moisture can result in the leaf to turn inwards as they are unable to perform the normal functions. In addition to the stress of temperature and low humidity, excessive watering or even insect infestations could cause this issue.

Causes of Peperomia Leaves Curling

Curling leaves are a typical indication of submerged. If they aren’t getting enough water, the peperomia (and many other plants, too) draw water from their leaves and into their stems to live, which is why their leaves curl.

To determine if this is the cause of your issue:

Examine the soil. Put your finger in the soil’s top inch to determine if it feels damp. If it is dry, gently pull the plant out of the pot to determine whether the soil is dry and crumbling.

Take a look at the leaves. Do they feel thin, as if there’s nothing in them?

Do you remember your last watering your plant. Have you been away for longer than a week? Have you forgotten when the last time were there? (No judgment. I sometimes don’t remember to water my plants until the plants have shrunk.)

If you answered yes to any or all of these, congratulations you’re drowning! This is a problem that is easy to fix.

But I Water My Peperomia Every Week!

It may not be enough water to handle the challenges your peperomia is facing. It is possible that you will need to drink more water, or more often particularly when it’s extremely hot as peperomia requires more water to withstand high temperatures.

peperomia in small grey round pot

How to Prevent Underwatering

How often do you be watering? Peperomia tend to dry out in between the watering.

Set reminders to monitor and water your plants. This can be done by putting a reminder on your online calendar that pops every week twice and you can also install an app such as Planta and Gardenia which will assist you to remember when you need to water, fertilize and perform other tasks for your plant.

Place your index finger to your knuckle and into the soil. If you feel the soil is damp then wait for several days. If the soil is dry, you can water it.

The water should be drained until it reaches from the base of the container. This is the most effective method to determine whether you’ve provided your plant with enough water (unless the soil is dry, then you must follow the above steps). When the soil’s sufficiently moist the excess water will flow away, leaving your plant completely hydrated.

It’s more frequent to drink water when it’s hot, but less often in winter. As I said earlier the plants require more water during hot weather in your home because they require that additional water to cool themselves by transpiration. In winter, it’s usually cooler inside your home and you’ll have less sunlight which means that the plants slow down and don’t require the same amount of water. This is the reason it’s important to schedule reminders, but also to determine the level of soil’s dryness first.

The humidity should be increased. If your home is humid, then your peperomia plant will require more water. Peperomia plants thrive in humid conditions (although it is possible to overdo it). Many people believe that misting your plants or using a tray of water will increase humidity, however research suggests that the effect lasts only for only a few seconds. The most effective solution is to utilize a real humidifier.

How to Fix Underwatering

What should you do now that you’ve discovered that your peperomia is submerged? Do you need to water it each day until it starts to swell?

If you do that it, you could find yourself in the reverse situation of water overflowing, which is much more difficult to resolve.

The most significant issue with soil that is dry is that it’s such difficult to keep it wet. Dry soil shrinks away from the edges of the pot, and when you add water the topsoil that is dry, it will sink while the liquid will flow through the sides of the pot, and then out of the drainage hole.

Instead, we’ll make use of the capillary action of soil. Capillary action occurs when you drop a water droplet onto a paper towel.

The area is wet. Then, the water spreads out and dampens the paper towel over it until it’s evenly damp. Soil functions the same way.

Here are some easy steps to help you get your peperomia sensation to its peak and get it back:

  1. Mist the soil’s top layer till it’s moist. (I find this helps the water to soak in instead of running off.)
  2. Pour in a cup of water, and let it drain.
  3. Continue the process until the water is drained from the bottom and you can put a wooden rod, knife or chopstick into the soil, and it will be wet all the way.

But I Keep My Peperomia Well-Watered–What Else Could It Be?

If you have already done all of the above, it could be due to other environmental issues that are easily corrected.

Your House Is Too Dry/Too Hot

Peperomia like humidity and if your home isn’t dry enough, they’ll curled their leaves. Low humidity can be a major issue in winter months, when furnaces can further drain moisture from already dry and cold air.

Many people suggest misting or placing a water tray under your pot to increase the humidity, however the most effective solution is an air humidifier.

Your Light Is Too Bright/Too Dark Where the Peperomia Is

Peperomia plants are native to the tropical rainforest , where they only receive indirect sunlight. If you put your peperomia on a bright window and they curl their leaves to shield them from. The ideal place to put them is an area that is not facing south or away from direct sunlight.

However, that doesn’t mean you need to put your peperomia in the closest dark corner. Peperomia require an indirect light source that is low to bright (sunlight does not directly touch peperomia leaves). If you are really happy with the peperomia you have in that corner, you could supplement it with full spectrum grow light.

Your Water Has Quality Issues

It is contingent on the location you live in the water treatment process varies. The presence of high levels of chlorine could cause problems. The build-up of chemicals in the soil can hinder the root system’s ability to absorb water and nutrients.

Then, eventually, the leaves of peperomia begin to show signs of curling. If all else fails Try using the purified or bottle the water that you put on your peperomia to check if it starts to swell up.

Root Rot due to overwatering

The overwatering process can also lead to the curving of peperomia leaves. The stagnant or overwatered water can create conditions that favor the growth of fungal. The system eventually will develop root rot disease.

The fungal infection will render the roots mushy dark brown, and also soft. There will be a foul smell emanating from the soil. The infection can seriously damage the root system, and cause disruption to the normal functioning.

A damaged or deficient root system will not absorb the water and nutrients from the soil.

Therefore, it is not able to provide sufficient nutrients or moisture for the leaves to grow. This is why you might notice the peperomia leaves curving. Check out my article on conserving peperomia that has been overwatered.

How to save Peperomia From Root Rot

If you are able to identify the condition early, you can treat it. Along with other signs, curly leaves are a typical symptom of this condition. It is possible to take steps to prevent your peperomia.

  • Transfer the plant pot to an area that is well-ventilated and sunny. spot.
  • Remove the entire plant from the soil of the potting.
  • Remove the dirt away from your root systems.
  • Remove the damaged brown and mushy portions of the root with disinfected scissors
  • The roots should be treated with charcoal to disinfect them and then allow the root to dry completely.
  • Repot your peperomia into an entirely new pot with new soil mixes.
  • Check that the pot is functioning and has a water drainage capacity.

Check out this post to learn the details about peperomia root rot as well as efficient ways to save this plant.

You May Also Enjoy: Brown Spots on Peperomia (Causes and How to Fix It)

But What If My Peperomia Leaves Are Also Falling Off?

My friend, this is the reverse of the problem. Your peperomia has been overwatered. Peperomia are semi-succulent, which means they prefer the soil they have to dry out slightly before being replenished with water.

If a peperomia is excessively watered the roots are damaged, and the leaves begin to curl and fall off.

Check out this post to find out the reason for dropping leaves and the best way to fix them.

The New Leaves Curl Downwards And Have Serrated Edges

Your peperomia may have mites. They could be wide, hemp russet, or the cyclamen. (If you see tiny webs, these are spider mites.)

They are completely invisible before they cause any visible harm, so don’t get yourself to death. It’s important to remember that once you’ve identified what you’re dealing with, take action immediately.

You can combat them by purchasing predatory mites, or applying the oil of neem diluted. Both are safe and organic.

What About These Light/Dark Rings?

Peperomia leaves contain:

  1. Rings with dark or light shades,
  2. Curled or distorted leaves and
  3. slow growth

Sorry I’m sorry, but there’s nothing you can do. The plant is suffering from the Peperomia Leaf Curl virus. It is best to remove the pot and plant and then grieve for a few days and then begin again with a fresh peperomia.



Went from a bad gardener to a half-decent one over 10+ years. Super happy to share my tips and tricks with you :)