Why Are Leaves On My Polka Dot Plant Curling?

Last Updated on December 2, 2022 by Stephanie

The low-cost, pet-friendly Polka dots plant as well as its exciting range of colors are ideal for those who want some color and vibrancy within your home.

The most frequent mistakes that cause Polka dots curling is underwatering and root rot, a lack of sunlight, and humid. Additionally, the presence of insects and fungal illnesses can be the cause of this issue. If youre interested in easy solutions to fix these errors check out the remainder of this article.

But, many dont realize that this plant is very high maintenance. If youre Polka Dot plant isnt looking great Here are some ideas for why it could be, as well as easy steps to get it back in order.

What Makes Polka Dot Plant Leaves Curl?


The plants require water to thrive. If youre not providing the plant sufficient water it will be dehydrated, and the leaves may become dry and curly around the edges.

Here are some suggestions to resolve this issue:

  • You should water the Polka dots plant at least twice a week. The most common rule of the thumb is that you should water the plant when you observe that the top 12 inches (1.5cm) of the soil is dry.
  • Get a moisture meter. All you need to do is put it into the soil and it will show you how moist or dry the soil is, and you will know when it requires replenishment. Do not allow the soil to dry up completely in between irrigations.
  • Set an alarm. Monitoring your plant regularly will help you avoid potential damages caused by waterlogging.

Root Rot due to overwatering

The most common signs of root rot are curly and browning leaves. If the roots are damaged, the water cant get to the leaves, and they are dehydrated and curl.

What should you do if root rot is already established in:

  • Take the plant gently from its pot.
  • Get rid of any roots that are rotten. Roots that are rotten usually are odorous and have theyre darker brown, or even black hue and are mushy when they are touched.
  • Repot the plant cleanly in a clean, sterile pot that has the right soil kind.

How can you prevent root rot:

  • Dont overwater your plant. Only water when the top 12 inches (1.5cm) remains dry.
  • Make sure your soil is well-drained and use pots with drainage holes to prevent excessive water.

Lack of Nutrition

If your leaves plant curl upwards, or drop by themselves the plant could be deficient in some of the common nutrients that are found in the majority of fertilizers, such as nitrogen.

  • Apply fertilizer once every 14-15 days, and ensure its dilute by water.
  • Humus can be added to soil. Humus is a source of nitrogen, which is an essential plant nutrient.

Hypoestes phyllostachya in soil

Overfeeding with Fertilizer

If you feed your plant too much by feeding it too much, youre giving it excessive amounts of certain nutrients , such as nitrogen or salt. If your plant is given excessive amounts of salt, it can result in dehydration, and the leaves on your plant will begin to curl. What can you do to prevent overfeeding?

  • Fertilize every 14-15 days.
  • Make use of an organic fertilizer that is liquid. Distill using twice what amount than it is stated on the label to ensure that its not too harsh on your plant.
  • Fertilize your plant only in the spring and summer months, so it will have time to rest in the winter months.
  • When your plants are still young do not fertilize it until the roots have fully developed.

Temperature Stress

A good temperature range for your Polka dot plant is within the range between 65 and 69 degF(18-21degC). The plant will not thrive in temperatures below the 59 degF (15degC).

Temperatures that are higher than 70degF(22degC) could cause drying of the leaves of your plant and result in leaf curling. Make sure you provide a constant temperatures for your Polka dot plant throughout the year If you can.

A tip to avoid: dont put your plant too close to heaters or radiators as they could cause your plant to dry out.

Water Quality

The tap water is full of chemicals (such as chlorine, salt, as well as fluoride) and your plant could be sensitive to them. Here are some options:

  • Rainwater can be collected during summer and spring. This is the cheapest and also the most natural method to keep your plants hydrated.
  • Purchase distilled water from the market. Although it could be expensive in the long term, its an excellent option if you reside in an area that is dry or dont have the time to take rainwater.
  • Purchase a water filter.

Too much direct sunlight

Direct sunlight can increase transpiration, leading to water loss. The leaves of your plant become dry and curled to hold water. What can you do to remedy this?

  • Put the Polka dots plant an area in the area that has lots of light as well as indirect light. It is able to handle some direct sunlight, but its not required.
  • If you want to keep the plant outside, put it in a shaded area.
  • Make sure not to put it in suns midday heat, particularly in the summer heat.

Lack of Sunlight

Plants arent able to grow or photosynthesize without sunlight. If they arent able to make their food or develop, the leaves could begin to curl.

Polka Dot plant Polka dot plant likes direct, bright light.

The most straightforward solution to this issue is to find a more brighter spot within your home.

If your house isnt getting enough light, artificial lighting is suitable as well. LED lighting is the ideal option because theyre energy efficient and last for a long time.


Polka dot Polka dots plant can be prone to mildew that is powdery, since this fungus thrives in humid conditions.

The fungal infection eats away nutrition from plants, which may cause curling at the edges.

Powdery mildew is characterized by white spots of powdery substance on leaves and on the stem. The spots may spread and create a white layer across the entire plant. How do you get rid of powdery mildew:

  • Take the affected leaves off and eliminate them from your home.
  • Make sure you use a registered, safe for plants fungicide.
  • A tip to be cautious when you are removing leaves as all components of this plant can be poisonous if eaten! Clean your hands afterward.

Insect Infestation

The most frequent pests that could be a problem when you have an Polka dots plant is aphids. They are often referred to as greenflies.

Aphids (greenflies) are tiny insects with a light green color which can do a lot of destruction to your plants and transmit plant diseases.

Aphids can cause leaf curling due to the fact that they feed on plant nectar, which causes dehydration.

Heres an easy way to eliminate Aphids:

  • Place some Coca-Cola into the spray bottle, then apply the spray to your plant. The result is an impervious surface, which means bugs arent able to move or reproduce. If you find that the bugs arent moving, take them out using a damp cloth and then dispose of them in the outside of your house. Repeat the process if necessary.
  • To further protect your plants, sprinkle some lavender, or even a couple of cloves of garlic on your plants as they are natural repellents to the insects.

Low Humidity

Dryness can cause curling and crispness that you get from the Polka dots plants leaves. If youre not in an area that is naturally humid Here are some suggestions you can doto help:

  • Purchase a humidifier for the Polka dots plant.
  • Mist your plants regularly throughout the summer and springtime. It is best to mist your plant early in the morning. Place some water in the spray bottle, and then spray all across the plants 3 to four times.
  • Important to keep in mind: avoid misting in the winter months. Due to the drop in temperature the plant doesnt require the same amount of water or humidity.
  • Create an easy pebble tray.

You May Also Enjoy: How to Fix a Leggy Polka Dot Plant

Polka Dot Plant Leaves Curling After Repotting

In general, plants require time to get used to their new home. If your plant is looking shabby even after a couple of weeks, it is likely that you placed your plant in the incorrect kind of soil or damaged roots.

If youve damaged the roots, you should give it additional attention until it begins to show signs of healing. If it doesnt recover then, unfortunately, youve done everything you can.

If your soil is the issue it may be necessary to plant once more.

Here are some tips to remember when repotting the Polka dot plant:

  • Repot in the spring. This is the time of rapid growth.
  • Make sure you use the correct type of soil. The Polka dot plant prefers well-drained soil that has a pH of 4 to 6.
  • Utilize humus in your soil. It can improve the overall well-being for your plants.
  • Be gentle and slow when you are working with the plant! Do not pull it or make violent movements. This could damage the roots.
  • Make sure to use a pot that has drainage holes to improve circulation of air and water and to prevent root rot.
  • Do not put too much pressure on the soil when you are repotting. It could cause problems with air circulation and water circulation. Press gently, but forcefully enough that the plant is able to be stable and not wobble.
  • Make sure to water it well and provide attention after it has been repotted.

It is important to note that the Polka dot plant doesnt require regular repotterization. Repot just when it becomes too large for its pot and if root rot starts to set in.

Final words

I hope that this article helped you to identify the issue in the problem with your Polka dots plant!

Remember that proper maintenance, lighting constant moisture as well as humidity, are what the plant requires and youre ready to go.

(Sources: University of Missouri)



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 :)