Why are my Rubber Plant’s leaves curling?

Rubber Plants are hardy plants that tend to be pretty easy to take care of. However, if you notice that your Rubber Plant's leaves are curling, this could be a symptom of incorrect care or environment.

Rubber Plants are fairly hardy plants that can be really easy to care for. However, if you do start to notice that your Rubber Plant’s leaves are curling, this may be a symptom of incorrect care or environment. The main reasons why your rubber plant’s leaves are curling are: over- or underwatering, dry air, pest infection or a sudden change of environment.

Overwatering may be causing curling leaves

Improper watering is one of the biggest issues for most houseplants and rubber plants are no different. Whilst they are definitely a lot less sensitive than other plants, overwatering them can cause some real issues over time. One of the most common issues caused by overwatering your Rubber Plant is curling leaves, so we recommend this as the first issue to check out when trying to diagnose the problem.

Rubber Plants hate it when their soil is too damp and overwatering will cause their leaves to start curling upwards. During the warm growth months, you should not be watering your Rubber Plant more than once a week. During the colder months, once a month is definitely enough.

It is really good to get to know your plants as each and every one is ever so slightly different. As well as checking the moisture at the top of the soil before watering, we also recommend picking up your Rubber Plant before and after watering so you get an idea of much your plant will weigh when it needs water. Using a moisture meter is also a great way to take the guessing out of watering your Rubber Plant. You just pop them in the soil and it’ll tell you how dry or damp the soil is. If your Rubber Plant’s soil is waterlogged, we recommend replacing it and adjusting your watering pattern. This should hopefully stop your Rubber Plant’s leaves from curling drastically.

If you’re particularly worried that you might over water you Rubber Plant it could be worth investing in a good quality self watering plant pot, these take all of the trouble out of the process and will make sure that your plant isn’t resting in stagnant water – eliminating the risk of root rot or other watering based issues.

Underwatering can also cause leaf curl in Rubber Plants

Too little water can also cause your rubber plant’s leaves to start curling. Although rubber plants hate their soil being soggy, they also cannot deal with dry soil for too long. If you find that your Rubber Plant’s soil is bone dry, then underwatering is probably what is causing the curling leaves. Make sure to water your rubber plant as we stated above to avoid the soil and roots from completely drying up.  A lack of moisture can cause your rubber plant to go into shock and its leaves will start curling up as a result.

If the air is too dry, your Rubber Plant’s leaves will curl

Rubber plants like quite humid environments and can struggle in homes with dry air. This can be especially damaging in winter months when we often have the heating on for several hours a day. A lack of humidity in the air can cause your Rubber Plant’s leaves to curl, and eventually maybe even fall off. If you feel you have quite dry air, make sure to mist your rubber plant every few days with a spray bottle, this should help prevent the plant from drying out. If you want an even easier solution to humidity issues, consider investing a humidifier. These affordable little devices make it super easy to keep a more consistent increased humidity level.

Check out our houseplant humidity guide for more information on humidity levels and how you can really easily raise or lower the humidity depending on your plant’s needs.

A Pest infection may also be causing your Rubber Plant’s curling leaves

Whilst it is pretty rare for your Rubber Plant to be suffering from a pest infestation, it is vital that you check the leaves every so often, even if your plant looks super healthy as pests can be a cause of curling leaves in Rubber Plants! If you find bugs, wipe each leaf with warm soapy water to try and remove as many as possible. We recommend giving your plants a shower but make sure the water pressure isn’t on full or this could damage the leaves. If this doesn’t get rid of the pests, you can treat your rubber plant with neem oil to fight the infestation. Make sure to check over your other plants in the room to see if any other plants have pests. It is vital that you keep your infected rubber plant (and other infected plants) a good distance away from any of your other houseplants as you don’t want the pests to spread.

Sudden change in environment can often cause curling leaves

Much like humans, houseplants can get pretty stressed out if any changes occur. Things like repotting, propagating or moving to a new spot can cause your Rubber Plant to get a little shocked and the leaves may start curling. It is nothing to worry about and it will just take some time for it to return to normal and for the leaves to naturally uncurl.

One thing to make sure of if you have moved your Rubber Plant to a new spot is that the conditions are the same, if not better than the one it was previously in. Your Rubber Plant will probably survive if the conditions are less suited to its requirements but it may just grow a little slower than before. The best way to determine if the environment is right is by using a light meter, as well as a thermometer and humidity gauge. 

Curling Rubber Plant leaves isn’t a problem that you need to get overly stressed about. Rubber plants won’t die on you suddenly if something isn’t right so just make sure to keep an eye on its environment and your care for a few weeks to spot any glaring problems. Check out our Rubber Plant care guide for more information on other common problems as well as general care tips to help your plant thrive!


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