Philodendrons are one of the most popular houseplants because they are so easy to grow. They thrive in various indoor conditions and are very tolerant of neglect. Philodendrons are also very effective at purifying indoor air.
Even with the best care, your philodendron’s leaves may start drooping. That’s why we decided to dedicate this article exclusively to what causes philodendron leaves to droop and what you should do to control this issue.
Read on to learn more about why your philodendron’s leaves droop and how to prevent this from happening again.
Table of Contents
Why Are My Philodendron Leaves Drooping?
Philodendron leaves start dropping due to a variety of reasons. One reason is inadequate watering. In this case, the plant may be getting too much or too little water than it needs. Another reason is low humidity. In fact, philodendrons are native to tropical America, where the humidity is relatively high. As a result, this plant will not do well when the humidity reaches a low level. Finally, some other reasons may indirectly cause philodendron leaves to droop, such as pest infestation, overfertilizing, and extreme temperature levels.
Let’s break down each of the abovementioned factors and see how it causes philodendron leaves to drop.
Overwatering can cause the leaves of philodendrons to drop for several reasons. The roots may suffocate due to a lack of oxygen in the soil, or the plant may suffer from root rot. Excess water can also lead to leaf drops, causing the leaves to become oversaturated and fall off the plant.
Additionally, overwatering is one of the leading causes of plant death. When a plant is overwatered, the roots cannot get the oxygen they need to survive. The plant will start to wilt, the leaves will turn yellow, and eventually, the plant will die.
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One of the main reasons underwatering causes the leaves of philodendrons to drop is by depriving the leaves of getting the water they need. When the roots do not have enough water, they cannot get the nutrients they need from the soil, which causes the leaves to drop off.
Besides causing droopy leaves, underwatering causes plants to wilt and turn yellow. In this case, if the plant is not given water immediately, it will eventually die.
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When the temperature gets too high, philodendron leaves will drop to prevent the plant from overheating. This is a survival mechanism that helps the plant to stay alive in hot conditions.
Besides droopy leaves, the consequences of high temperatures on plants are numerous. High temperatures can cause leaves to wilt, flowers to drop, and fruit to ripen too quickly. In extreme cases, high temperatures can cause leaves to scorch and die.
Also, plants that are under stress from high temperatures are more susceptible to pests and diseases.
When the temperature outside drops, the philodendron leaves will begin to change color and fall off. This is a natural mechanism that this plant uses to prepare for winter. In fact, this process helps philodendrons conserve their energy during cold days. The leaves no longer need to produce food for the plant, so they are shed.
Generally, when the temperature outside is too cold, plants will go into a state of dormancy to survive. This means that they will stop growing, and their metabolism will slow down.
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If the humidity is too low, philodendron leaves will drop off. The reason for this is that the leaves cannot get the water they need from the air to stay hydrated. This can happen during the winter when the air is colder and drier.
Even if philodendron loves high humidity, you should pay attention when the humidity levels reach extreme levels. In fact, when the humidity gets too high, this can also cause the leaves of philodendrons to drop.
The main reason high humidity causes the leaves of philodendrons to drop is transpiration problems. In fact, transpiration is the process by which water vapor is released from the leaves of a plant. When the humidity is high, the air is already saturated with water vapor, and the plant cannot release any more water vapor into the air. This can cause the leaves to wilt and eventually drop off the plant.
Additionally, high humidity can encourage the formation of mold or fungi on the plant. These fungi can get to the leaves and cause them to drop off the plant.
Overfertilizing can cause the leaves of philodendrons to drop if the fertilizer contains high nitrogen levels. In fact, even if nitrogen is a critical element of photosynthesis, too much of it can do more harm than good for plants.
Generally, high nitrogen fertilizers can cause the leaves of philodendrons to drop for a few reasons. One reason is that when a plant takes up too much nitrogen, it can’t produce enough chlorophyll. And chlorophyll gives the leaves their green color, so the leaves will turn yellow when there isn’t enough of it.
Additionally, too much nitrogen will cause philodendron to produce more growth hormones than it can handle. This will cause the leaves of this plant to start drooping.
Pests are another reason why philodendron leaves may start dropping. These include insects such as aphids, caterpillars, mites, rodents, and other animals. Pests can cause the leaves to drop by feeding on them, which damages the plant and causes it to shed its leaves. In some cases, pests can also transmit diseases that can lead to leaf drops.
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How Do You Save a Droopy Philodendron?
To save a droopy philodendron, you should stop watering it and then check for the source of the problem. The number one thing to do is to measure temperature and humidity. If anyone of these two parameters is not within the optimal range, you need to adjust it accordingly.
Generally, philodendrons grow best in temperatures between 65 to 85 °F and humidity levels between 60 to 70%.
Finally, you will need to check for pests and use an adequate treatment depending on the type of pests that might be causing the problem.
Here is a suggested step-by-step process to follow to save a droopy philodendron:
- Correct Your Watering Technique
Watering your plant correctly is essential to keeping it healthy. Overwatering and underwatering are detrimental to philodendron health, so it is necessary to find a happy medium. The best way to water this plant is to stick your finger in the soil up to the first knuckle. If the soil is dry, it’s time to water the plant. The plant does not need to be watered if the soil is moist.
2. Adjust Temperature and Humidity
You can do a few things to keep temperature stable and optimal around your plant. One is to place the plant where it will not be exposed to extreme temperatures, such as on a windowsill or near a heating vent. Another is to use a humidity or pebble tray to help regulate the plant’s environment. Finally, you can mist the plant regularly to help keep the air around it moist and humid.
To keep humidity stable and optimal around your philodendron, you can also use a humidifier to add moisture to the air more efficiently.
3. Check for Pests
To check for pests, look for signs of damage on your philodendron, such as holes in the leaves or stems. Then, check for pests, such as aphids, whiteflies, or mealybugs. Finally, look for signs of disease, such as mold or mildew. If you see any of these things, treat your plant immediately.
If you have pests in your philodendron, the best thing to do is to remove them by hand. If you can’t do so, you can introduce natural predators or parasites to kill the pest. Finally, if the infestation is severe, you can use a pesticide, but follow the directions on the pesticide label.
4. Provide Support
Finally, if you want to help your philodendron get upright faster, you can provide support such as a stake or trellis. You can do this by driving the stake into the ground next to the plant and then tying the plant to the stake with gardening twine. If using a trellis, place it against a wall or other support, and then connect the plant to the trellis with gardening twine.
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How to Prevent Your Philodendron from Drooping?
You can prevent your philodendron from drooping by watering them correctly, growing them in an adequate pot, and choosing the suitable potting soil for this plant. Additionally, maintaining temperature and humidity at an optimal level will help this plant grow upright instead of droopy.
Here is a detailed guide on how to implement each one of the pieces of advice given above:
To avoid overwatering your philodendron, you should check your soil before watering. You can use your finger or buy a moisture meter to do this. Then you can water your plant only when the soil feels dry to the touch or when the needle of the moister meter indicates that the soil is dry.
Also, watering your plant early in the morning will help prevent overwatering, as the excess water will have enough time to evaporate during the day.
Finally, we recommend watering your philodendron from the bottom to help prevent the water from running down the stems of your plant.
Use the Right Pot
There are many different types of pots that can be used for growing philodendron plants. Some of the best include plastic, clay, and wooden pots. Each type of pot has its own benefits and drawbacks, so it is essential to choose the right one for your particular plant.
Plastic pots are typically the cheapest option but can also be the most difficult to keep clean. Clay pots are more expensive but offer better drainage and aeration for the roots. Finally, clay ceramic pots are one of the best for growing philodendrons.
In fact, clay ceramic pots are very porous, which allows for good drainage and aeration of the roots. The clay also has a high water retention capacity, which is beneficial for plants that require a lot of water. Another advantage of using clay pots is that they are very lightweight, making them easy to move around.
Use the Right Soil
Loose, well-drained soil high in organic matter is ideal for growing philodendrons. The loose texture of the soil allows roots to quickly penetrate and access nutrients, while the high organic matter content provides a rich source of nutrients for plants. This soil also drains well, preventing waterlogging and promoting healthy plant growth.
Control Temperature and Humidity
To control the temperature and humidity around your philodendron, you will need a thermometer and a hygrometer. These are very easy to use. The thermometer measures the temperature at a certain height, while the hygrometer measures the relative humidity or the amount of water vapor in the air.
If the thermometer indicates that the temperature is not adequate for your philodendron, you can use an AC to maintain the temperature at the optimal level. If the hygrometer shows low humidity, you can increase it by misting your plant.
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