Curling Philodendron Leaves: 10 Causes and 10 Solutions

Have you noticed that your philodendron leaves are curling? If you are looking for the causes behind this issue, then congratulations! You are in the right place to learn about how to treat and prevent this issue.

As you probably know, philodendrons are some of the easiest plants to maintain. They require minimal watering and they don’t need much fertilization. However, there are times when philodendron leaves may start curling.

There are various reasons why philodendron leaves curl, including the amount of sunlight, temperature fluctuations, and humidity levels. We’ll talk about each one of these causes in this article and suggest ways to stop this and prevent it from happening.

Let’s get started!

Table of Contents

Why Do Philodendron Leaves Curl?

Philodendron leaves curl for a variety of reasons. Most often, it is due to changes in temperature or humidity. If the leaves are exposed to too much sun or wind, they will curl to protect themselves. Philodendron leaves can also curl if they are not getting enough water. In this case, the leaves curl in order to protect the plant from excess moisture.

Additionally, pests and diseases can also cause philodendron leaves to curl. If you see any other symptoms, such as discoloration or spots on the leaves, it’s likely that your plant is suffering from a disease.

Finally, stress can also cause leaf curl in philodendrons. So, if you’ve recently moved your plant or changed its environment, that could be the cause.

If you want to learn more about this issue and how to fix it, check out the following video:

Causes and fixes of curly philodendron

In the next sections of this article, we will go over each factor that causes philodendron leaves to curl and explain it in detail. Also, we will be giving solutions to all the factors that cause the leaves of philodendron to curl.

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Dry Conditions

Dry conditions cause the leaves of philodendron plant to curl because the lack of moisture in the air forces the leaves to dry out. This can happen if the plant is not getting enough water, or if the air is too dry. If the leaves start to curl, it is an indication that the plant is stressed and needs more water.

When the soil is dry, the roots of philodendron become unable to absorb water and transfer it to the leaves. This causes the leaves to start curling inwards and turn brown as the plant tries to conserve water. If the soil is allowed to dry out completely, the leaves will eventually fall off the plant.

Dry air can also cause the leaves of philodendron plants to curl. In fact, dry air forces the leaves to lose moisture. When the leaves lose moisture, they become less flexible and more likely to break.

Signs of Dry Philodendron

Dry Philodendron

Brown Edges on The Leaves: If you see brown edges on the leaves of your philodendron plant, it indicates that the plant is dry and in need of water. The leaves will turn brown and crisp if the plant is allowed to remain dry for too long. To prevent this, make sure to water your philodendron plant regularly and keep the soil moist but not soggy.

Leaf Plate Starts to Crack: If the leaves of your philodendron plant are cracking, it’s a sure sign that the plant is too dry. Cracks in the leaves can happen when the plant is not getting enough water or if the air around the plant is too dry. If you see cracks in the leaves, give the plant good watering and make sure to mist the leaves regularly.

Soil Dries Quickly After Watering: A soil that dries quickly indicates that the philodendron plant is dry. The plant will wilt and the leaves will turn brown if the soil is too dry. In this case, the plant needs to be watered more frequently.


You can make your philodendron less dry by putting a container filled with water near the plant. The container will help to humidify the air around the plant, and the water will help to keep the soil moist.

A humidifier can also help with dry conditions. This device can add much-needed moisture to the air which will make the plant less dry.

Checking the soil more frequently and adding water accordingly will also help reduce the risk of making the plant wet. This will help to let the soil dry out between watering and avoiding overwatering or any other problems associated with too much moisture.

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When a philodendron is overfertilized it receives too much nutrients than what it is able to process. The excess nutrients then build up in the leaves, causing them to curl.

Signs of Over-Fertilization

The main indicator of overfertilization is the crust of fertilizer on the soil surface. The accumulation of this crust means that the fertilizer has built up and is now preventing water and oxygen from getting to the roots. This can stress the plant and make it more susceptible to disease.

Another indicator of over-fertilization is yellow and droopy leaves. The leaves may turn yellow from too much nitrogen in the fertilizer, or they may droop from too much phosphorus. If the leaves are yellow and droopy, you may need to cut back on the amount of fertilizer you’re using.

Black and burned leaves are also an indication that the plant has been overfertilized. This can happen if too much fertilizer is applied, or if the fertilizer is not properly diluted before application.


If you have an overfertilized philodendron, the best way to save it is to flush the soil with plenty of water. This will help to leach out some of the excess fertilizer and help the plant recover. You may also need to trim off any damaged or dying leaves.

If your plant is still struggling after you have implemented the solution above, then you have no choice but to repot it into fresh soil.

If you want to prevent overfertilization from happening again to your philodendron you should substitute chemical fertilizers with organic ones. Fertilizing with compost, decomposed leaves, manures, and bone meal emulsions helps grow a healthy plant without causing any damage.

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Cold draft

Cold drafts can also cause philodendron leaves to curl. While philodendrons can tolerate a wide range of temperatures, they do not like sudden changes in temperature.

Philodendron leaves curl up as a way of protecting themselves when a cold draft happens.

If the draft is coming from a window, you can try to block it with a curtain or towel. When the draft comes from open doors, you can try to cover the edges of the door with something that blocks the air drafts. If the draft is coming from a heating vent or air conditioning, you can use a piece of foam insulation or plastic sheeting to cover the vents.

Signs of Cold draft

The most common cause of cold drafts is when leaf tips turn brown and crispy. This happens because the cold air causes the water in the leaves to evaporate, which makes them lose their moisture. These conditions can also cause the leaves to become yellow brittle and dry out.


1. Check for Damaged Leaves and Remove Them: If a leaf is badly damaged, it is best to remove it from the plant. This can be done by carefully cutting it off with a sharp knife or scissors. Make sure not to cut into any healthy leaves or stems while doing this.

Provide Your Philodendron with Adequate Air Temperature: philodendrons prefer air temperature between 70 and 80°F. To maintain this temperature range, you will need to use a device such as a thermostat or heat lamp. You should also make sure that the room is well-insulated and that there are no drafts.

Place Your Philodendron Away from Coolers and Heaters: If you place your plant near a cooler or heater, the plant will experience temperature extremes that can damage its leaves and flowers. The plant will also be more susceptible to pests and diseases.

Avoid Taking the Plant Outdoors when Temperatures Drop Below 55°f: Philodendrons are tropical plants, and as such, they cannot tolerate temperatures below 55°F. If you take your philodendron outside when the temperature is below this, the plant will suffer from cold damage. This can manifest in the leaves turning brown and wilting, and eventually, the plant will die. So it’s best to keep your philodendron indoors where it will be warm enough.

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Inadequate Lighting Conditions

If your philodendron leaves are curling, it’s also a sign that the plant is not getting enough light. Philodendrons thrive in bright, indirect sunlight, so if your plant is placed in a spot that doesn’t get much light, the leaves will start to curl as a way of reaching out for more light.

Inadequate Lighting Conditions for Philodendron

Direct and excessive light exposure can also cause philodendron leaves to curl. Philodendron leaves contain chloroplasts, which are photosynthetic cells. These cells use sunlight to convert carbon dioxide and water into glucose and oxygen.

When the leaves are exposed to direct sunlight, the chloroplasts become overloaded with energy and produce too much oxygen. This causes the leaves to curl as a way to protect the chloroplasts from further damage.

Philodendron responds to the excess light by producing more chlorophyll, which can also cause the leaves to turn dark green and curl. The plant may also produce new leaves that are smaller and more curled than the old leaves.

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Signs of Inadequate Lighting Conditions

Leaves that curl downward or upward: The leaves of philodendron are adapted to absorb light from the sun in order to perform photosynthesis. When the sun is not shining brightly enough, the leaves will curl downward in order to maximize the amount of light they are exposed to. If the sun is too bright, the leaves will curl upward to protect themselves from being damaged by the intense light.

Leaves with brown burns: When philodendron doesn’t receive enough light, its leaves may begin to turn brown and burn. This is because the plant isn’t able to produce enough chlorophyll, which is necessary for photosynthesis. Without chlorophyll, the plant can’t convert sunlight into energy, and the leaves will eventually die.


Remove Badly Burned Leaves: It’s important to remove burned leaves from your plant because if they’re left on, they can block sunlight from reaching the other leaves causing them to curl and grow slowly.

Move the Philodendron to A Location with 6-8 Hours of Indirect but Bright Sunlight: Indirect sunlight is crucial for philodendron plants because it helps them to photosynthesize correctly and grow healthy leaves. Photosynthesis is the process that plants use to convert sunlight into energy. This energy is used by the plant to grow and thrive. Without enough sunlight, plants will not be able to create enough energy to support healthy leaf growth.

If Natural Light Is Lacking, Install Artificial Light: Artificial light is perfectly fine to use for philodendron plants when natural light is not available. The plants will still be able to photosynthesize and grow just fine under artificial light. In fact, many indoor plants are grown under artificial light because it is more controlled and easier to manage than natural light. So, if you don’t have access to natural light, don’t worry, your philodendron plant will be just fine with grow light.

Rotate Your Philodendron: Rotation helps philodendron plants get more light by turning them so that all parts of the plant get an equal amount of light. This is important for the plant to grow evenly and to prevent the leaves from getting burned.

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Fungal Diseases

Fungal diseases are one of the most common problems that can affect philodendron plants. These diseases can cause the leaves to curl, discolor, and eventually drop off.

The most common type of fungus that affects philodendrons is called powdery mildew. This fungus produces a white, powdery substance on the leaves, which can eventually lead to leaf curl.

Fungal diseases are more common in wet environments with high humidity and poor ventilation. This is because fungi thrive in moist conditions and can spread quickly in small, enclosed spaces.

Poor ventilation also allows for the build-up of respiratory secretions, which can provide a food source for fungi.

Signs of Fungal Diseases

Yellow spots on Philodendron leaves are the main indication of fungal infections. These infections are quite common in the tropics where there is lots of humidity.

It’s important to note that the disease may affect different varieties of philodendron, especially if the leaves are large. If you notice any yellow spots around the margins of your philodendron leaves, then you should immediately cut them off and dispose of them. This will stop the spread of the disease, however, if left untreated it can eventually cause the entire leaf to die off.


The best way to keep fungal diseases away from your philodendron is by assuring good air ventilation and avoiding overwatering. The best way to ensure a constant supply of fresh air for your plant is by growing it near a window or by installing a fan that blows air into the room. A ceiling fan is ideal for this purpose.

Overwatering can be easily avoided if you use a moister meter to check the soil before watering. This device will help you water your plant only when the soil is dry.

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Inadequate temperature

If the temperature is too low, philodendron leaves will curl. This is because the plant is not able to produce enough energy to keep its leaves flat. The leaves will also turn brown and eventually die if the temperature remains too low for too long.

If the temperature is too low, the leaves of a philodendron may also curl. This is a defense mechanism to prevent the plant from losing too much water. The leaves will uncurl when the temperature goes up again.

Signs of Inadequate temperature

  • Leaves cupping or curling inward.
  • Leaf tips turning brown.
  • Black or brown spots on leaves.


  • keep your Philodendron at around 60-80°F (15-26°C).
  • Do not keep your philodendron outside or near an open window.
  • Keep your plant away from the heater or air cooler.

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Inadequate Water

Bad water quality can cause philodendron plant to curl. This is because low-quality water prevents the plant from getting the nutrients it needs from the water, which causes the leaves to curl.

Watering with tap water can also cause the leaves of philodendron plants to curl. This is because the chlorine in tap water can cause the leaves to dry out and become brittle.

Additionally, if you water your philodendron with cold water, the leaves of the plant will curl. This is because cold water shocks the leaves and causes them to contract.

Signs of Bad Water Quality

Bad quality water can be detected when the plants start developing leaf spots or when salt crusts are present on the top of the soil.

Leaf spots are caused by a build-up of minerals in the water, which can clog the plant’s pores and prevent them from taking in the water they need.

The salt crusts on the top of the soil are formed because of the high levels of dissolved minerals in tap water. If you continue to use water with high mineral content, it can eventually lead to the death of your plant. Therefore, it is important to use filtered or distilled water for watering your philodendron.


Use Filtered Water: The advantages of using filtered water for watering philodendron plants are many. For one, it helps to keep the leaves free from mineral deposits that can build up over time and potentially damage the plant. Additionally, filtered water can help to improve the overall health of the plant by providing it with cleaner water that is free of harmful chemicals and impurities.

Keep Tap Water at Room Temperature for At Least 24 Hours Before Using It: It is recommended to leave tap water at room temperature for 2 days before using it for watering philodendron or any plant. This will allow the chlorine in the water to dissipate.

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Presence of Pests

Pests are one of the main reasons why philodendron leaves curl. These creatures feed on the sap of the plant, which causes the leaves to become deformed. In addition, pests also introduce diseases that can further damage the plant.

Aphids, mealybugs, scales and thrips are all common pests that can infest philodendron plants. These pests feed on the sap of the plant, causing the leaves to curl and eventually turn yellow or brown. If left unchecked, these pests can kill the plant.

Signs of Pest’s Presence

Leaves Curling Upward and Become Distorted: Pests cause the leaves of philodendron to curl upward and become distorted by feeding on the plant’s sap. This feeding disrupts the plant’s normal growth, causing the leaves to curl and become distorted.

Leaves Turning Yellow or Brown: Pests cause the leaves of philodendron to become yellow or brown by feeding on them. This damages the leaves and prevents them from being able to photosynthesize properly. As a result, the leaves turn yellow or brown and the plant may eventually die.

Spots on Leaves: Pests can cause spots on philodendron leaves in a few different ways. One way is by physically damaging the leaves with their mouthparts or by laying eggs on the leaves. This can cause spots that are brown or yellow in color.

Another way that pests can cause spots on philodendron leaves is by transmitting diseases to the plants. These diseases can cause spots that are black, brown, yellow, or red in color.


Applying a Pyrethrin-Based Insecticide: A pyrethrin-based insecticide is a chemical compound that is derived from the pyrethrum plant. Pyrethrins are natural insecticides that have been used for centuries to control a variety of pests. This kind of insecticides is effective against a wide range of insects, including aphids, whiteflies, and thrips.

Use a Systemic Insecticide: A systemic insecticide is a pesticide that is applied to the soil or roots of a plant and then taken up by the plant as it grows. This type of pesticide is effective against a wide range of pests and can help protect plants from damage.

Prune and Dispose of Any Infected Leaves: Pruning is the process of removing dead or dying branches from a plant. This helps the plant to focus its energy on new growth, and also makes the plant less attractive to pests. Pruning also helps to improve air circulation and sunlight exposure, which can help to prevent fungal diseases.

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Root Rot

Root rot is a condition that can cause philodendron plant leaves to curl. It is caused by a build-up of water in the soil, which can lead to the roots being waterlogged. This can cause the leaves to curl up and become yellow or brown. When root rot is severe, it can kill the plant.

Overwatering is the main cause of root rot. When the roots become waterlogged, they can’t get the oxygen they need to function properly. This leads to the breakdown of the plant’s cells, which can cause the leaves to curl.

Signs of Root Rot

Leaves Drooping: Droopy leaves are often a sign of root rot. When a plant is overwatered or the soil is not well-draining, the roots become unable to get the oxygen they need and begin to die.

Soft and Mushy Leaves: Soft or mushy leaves are often a sign that roots are rotting.

Mold Growing on Soil: root rot can also cause mold to grow on the top of the soil.


Repot Your Philodendron: When you report a plant that has root rot, you are helping to fight the spread of diseases. By doing this, you are also helping to protect other plants from getting infected.

If You Want to Reuse the Old Pot, Make Sure to Disinfect It: If you want to fight root rot using ordinary methods such as cleaning the plant and washing it with bleach water then make sure you disinfect the pot before reusing it. Disinfecting a pot is crucial for fighting root rot because it helps to prevent the spread of disease.

Use a Well-Drained Pot: When roots are able to dry out quickly, they are less likely to succumb to root rot. A well-drained pot helps to ensure that the roots of your plant do not stay wet for too long, reducing the risk of root rot.

Check the Soil Before Watering: If you’re unsure whether your plant needs water, then checking the soil can help you so much. If the soil feels dry to the touch, it’s time to water the plant. If the soil feels moist, wait a bit longer before watering. Allowing the soil to dry out between waterings will help fight root rot.

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Diana Cox

I'm Diana from I love to spend my free time in my garden. It's a place where I can be creative, feel calm and learn new things about life. I started gardening when I was in elementary school and it became a passion of mine. Now I love to share my love of gardening with others by teaching classes and giving advice.

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