Common Moses-in-the-Cradle Problems And How To Fix Them

Last Updated: March 19, 2023

Although Moses-in-the-Cradle plants can be quite adaptable to various environments, they are still quite susceptible to a variety of issues. As long as the problem hasn’t engulfed the entire plant, you should be able to revive it and bring it back to full health with the right methods. 

In this post, we will be going through each of the most common issues for Moses-in-the-Cradle plants (including brown and yellow leaves and leggy growth) as well as how to treat each issue and prevent it from happening again in future.

Causes of brown Moses-in-the-Cradle leaves

  1. Overwatering.

    If you notice that your Moses-in-the-Cradle is developing dark brown patches on its leaves, a common cause of this is overwatering. If not caught quickly, this can often be a killer for your Moses-in-the-Cradle. If you think you might have overwatered your Moses-in-the-Cradle it’s important to check the soil right away and change it out completely if necessary. Moving forward, to avoid more brown leaves, make sure to allow enough time for the potting mix to dry out and it’s also a good idea to get into the habit of picking up your plant before and after watering to get a feel for how heavy it is when it needs more water.  

  2. Underwatering.

    Another cause of brown leaves on a Moses-in-the-Cradle plant is actually a lack of water. Although both extremes can cause the same issue, there are actually some distinct differences to look out for that will help you spot why there are brown leaves on your plant. A lack of water will cause light brown leaves that look and feel quite crispy. Check the potting mix before adjusting how often you water your plant.  

  3. Heat sensitivity.

    If watering isn’t the cause of the brown leaves on your Moses-in-the-Cradle plant, then it’s worth looking into some other factors, such as temperature. If exposed to high levels of heat, it can dry out some of your plant’s leaves causing brown patches. This can happen if your plant is Moses-in-the-Cradle is too close to radiators, heating vents, cookers or simply too close to a window that is getting a lot of direct light. Use a digital thermometer to monitor the temperature to prevent more brown leaves. 

  4. Direct sunlight.

    As we mentioned above, direct sunlight can also cause brown patches on your Moses-in-the-Cradle. This can not only happen because of hotspots that form near windows which dry out the plants, but also because the leaves can get burnt. If this is the cause of the brown leaves, you’ll notice the brown patches form on the leaves of the plant facing the window.  

  5. Lack of humidity.

    Dry air can cause brown leaf tips on your Moses-in-the-Cradle if the issue goes on for too long. The best thing to do here is to buy a humidity monitor as this will help you keep track of any fluctuations. There are a few great ways to increase the humidity for your plant and prevent more brown leaves. These include misting the plant, using a pebble tray, moving to a more humid room such as the bathroom or using a humidifier.

Causes of Moses-in-the-Cradle Yellow Leaves

  1. Overwatering.

    If you suspect that your Moses-in-the-Cradle is turning yellow due to too much water and root rot. The best thing to do is to take your plant out of its pot immediately and inspect the root system. If the potting mix is still quite soggy and waterlogged, it’s important that you replace it immediately. Waiting for it to naturally dry out risks more damage to the plant, and more yellow leaves on your Moses-in-the-Cradle. Moving forward, to help your Moses-in-the-Cradle recover and to prevent more of the leaves from turning yellow, adjust your watering schedule so you are only keeping a little bit of moisture in the soil, rather than it being soggy.

  2. Leaf rot.

    If the leaves on your Moses-in-the-Cradle are wet then it might be leaf rot that is causing the yellow leaves. Accidentally splashing the leaves of your plant when watering might not seem like a big deal, but if paired with low temperatures it can cause the leaf to rot which shows up as yellow patches. There is no reversing this issue so it’s best to remove the worst affected leaves and be careful not to let the leaves get wet. 

Moses-in-the-Cradle plants can lose leaves for a variety of reasons

  1. Cold temperatures.

    Extreme temperatures and drafts can also be very harmful and this can definitely be causing your Moses-in-the-Cradle to lose leaves. Make sure your plant is not placed near doors or windows that may be drafty. This is particularly damaging during the long cold nights so we recommend picking up a digital thermometer to check the temperature across the day and night in various spots in your home. This will make sure that you don’t place your Moses-in-the-Cradle in a spot that is too cold as this should fix the issue and you shouldn’t see any more leaves falling off.

  2. Shock or stress.

    It’s not just cold temperatures that can shock your Moses-in-the-Cradle. If you have recently moved house or moved your plant to a new spot this may also be the cause of your Moses-in-the-Cradle losing leaves. The initial shock should wear off over a few days and your Moses-in-the-Cradle will also only ever lose a few leaves due to environmental shock so keep an eye on the number and rate of leaves falling off. If the problem persists then you may need to go through some of the other more serious causes. 

  3. Natural ageing.

    If your Moses-in-the-Cradle is only losing a few leaves each year then this might simply be down to natural ageing. This happens when your plant needs to focus its energy on growing new growth so will lose some of its smallest and oldest leaves. Monitor the rate of leaf drop to see if it’s starting to accelerate as this would suggest there is another cause.

Causes of a drooping Moses-in-the-Cradle

  1. Overwatering.

    If your Moses-in-the-Cradle plant’s root system has begun to rot as a result of overwatering, this can cause the entire plant to droop. This happens because the root system is unable to deliver the needed oxygen, nutrients and moisture to the plant so it becomes a little limp. Check the potting mix to see if it needs replacing and adjust your watering schedule moving forward.

  2. Cold temperatures.

    Other than watering, the other common cause of a drooping Moses-in-the-Cradle is shock caused by cold air. If your plant is close to a drafty window, door or AC vent then this constant stream of cool air can be quite damaging. To solve the issue and prevent your Moses-in-the-Cradle from drooping more in future, monitor the temperature around your plant.

Why does my Moses-in-the-Cradle plant have curling leaves?

  1. Underwatering.

    If you have noticed that your Moses-in-the-Cradle has curling leaves, then this signals a lack of moisture. Plants often curl their leaves as this helps them to retain moisture. It’s important to check the moisture levels in the soil before adjusting your watering schedule. If underwatered, giving your Moses-in-the-Cradle plenty of water should help the leaves uncurl in the next few days. 

Why is my Moses-in-the-Cradle leggy?

  1. Lack of sunlight

    Low light level is the number one reason why Moses-in-the-Cradle plants become leggy. This can naturally happen quite often during winter because the light level is lower but if your Moses-in-the-Cradle is developing leggy growth in summer, then you’ll need to relocate your plant. 

    Moving your plant closer to the window will help avoid any leggy growth during summer.

    But when it comes to leggy growth on your Moses-in-the-Cradle during winter, this is somewhat unavoidable. We recommend investing in a grow light which can help to supplement light during the darker months of the year. You may also want to prune the leggy growth in spring to help your plant focus on developing new growth and it’ll help your plant look fresher too. 

Those are the most common problems that Moses-in-the-Cradle plants face. When it comes to solving the problems, it becomes easier the sooner you catch the problem. This is why we strongly recommend you keep a close eye on your Moses-in-the-Cradle and other houseplants to give you the best chance at spotting issues early. 

To learn more about how to best care for your plant and prevent these issues from happening again in future, check out our Moses-in-the-Cradle care guide.

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