Why does my Arrowhead Plant have curling leaves?

Last Updated: September 15, 2022

Curling leaves can be quite a common problem that Arrowhead Plant parents face and it can often be that the reason isn’t always clear at first. This is because curling leaves are often the first sign of trouble, so it can be very small fluctuations in the environment that are causing it. 

If you have noticed curling leaves on your Arrowhead Plant, then you’ve come to the right place as below we will go through each of the individual causes as well as how to make the diagnosis and treat the problem.

Underwatering can cause curling leaves on an Arrowhead Plant

One of the most common reasons why Arrowhead Plants develop curling leaves is a consistent lack of moisture. If there are no other symptoms then it could mean that you have caught the issue pretty early but other signs of underwatering include brown leaf tips or spots, entire brown leaves or a drooping plant. 

Before you start making any changes to your plant’s watering routine, you want to make sure the soil definitely is dry as otherwise, this can cause more issues than the curling leaves.

Use a moisture meter or remove your plant from its pot to check this. The latter will allow you to inspect the root system as if the roots have started to go crispy, it may mean you have been underwatering for a while. 

Your first reaction to an underwatered Arrowhead Plant might be to drown it in water in the hope it will suddenly recover. However, plants can get quite shocked by sudden and dramatic changes in their environment. This means that we need to slowly reintroduce water over the course of about a week. 

Moving forward, to prevent your Arrowhead Plant from developing more curling leaves, make sure to monitor how dry the soil is getting and adjust your watering schedule so that you are either watering more frequently or more deeply.

Low humidity is another common cause of curling leaves

It’s not just a lack of moisture in the soil that can cause your Arrowhead Plant to develop curling leaves but also a lack of moisture in the air. 

If your plant has brown dry leaf tips as well as curling leaves, then a lack of humidity may be the cause. Arrowhead Plants will struggle in homes with dry air.

But don’t worry, if the curling leaves on your Arrowhead are caused by a lack of humidity then there are some really easy and cheap solutions.

  1. Mist the leaves every few days

    This is one of the easiest ways to increase the humidity for your Arrowhead Plant and solve the issue of curling leaves and we recommend getting into the habit of it for all of your humidity-loving houseplants.

  2. Give your Arrowhead Plant a shower

    One simple thing you can do to instantly boost the humidity for your Arrowhead Plant and stop the leaves curling is showering your plant.

    This also gets rid of any dust on the leaves so we recommend doing it every few months regardless of any curling leaves or other issues. One thing that’s super important when showing Arrowhead Plants is that you keep the water pressure very low. Their long stems and large leaves mean they can be easily damaged if the pressure is too high.

  3. Placement

    If you have good light levels (and enough space) in your kitchen or your bathroom then we recommend moving your Arrowhead Plant in there. The humidity level in both of those rooms is often higher than in other areas of your home because of the steam released when showering and cooking.

  4. Buy a humidifier

    Buying a humidifier is definitely the best option to remove all the stress from raising the humidity level and goes a long way to tackling and preventing curling leaves. They can be really affordable and will raise the humidity without you needing to lift a finger!

A lack of nutrients can also be to blame

Whilst overfertilizing can cause a range of issues for your plant, a lack of nutrients can also be damaging to your plant’s health and cause the leaves to curl up. 

Whilst this is quite a difficult problem to diagnose, we recommend switching out two-thirds of the soil for fresh mix. This can never do any harm and will just replenish the nutrient levels in the soil instantly. 

When it comes to adding fertiliser, you may choose to feed your plant a few times throughout the growth season. We have two tips for you when it comes to feeding your Arrowhead Plant; firstly, never ever do it in winter and secondly, use a water-soluble fertiliser at less than the recommended amount. This will ensure that you don’t start causing any problems through overfertilization.

Pests can be a worrying cause of curling leaves

If your Arrowhead Plant only ever spends time indoors then it should be quite rare for the curling leaves to be a consequence of pests but it’s an important cause to mention. Every now and again, pests can make your houseplants their home and plants that are already struggling become more susceptible to an infestation.

Check over your plants to see if you can spot any pests or signs that they exist. You are looking out for brown or yellow spots, holes in the leaves or white webbing/powder across the stems. 

If you are unlucky enough to find pests or signs of them on your plant, isolate your Arrowhead Plant immediately and check your other plants thoroughly. Pests can move across close hanging leaves so be careful with your plant placement. 

To treat the pest infestation and stop it from taking over your plant, first remove the worst affected leaves and stems. This will initially cut the size of the infestation and make it easier to tackle. Then wipe each leaf with warm soapy water to try and remove as many as possible. We also recommend giving your plants a shower but make sure the water pressure isn’t on full or this could damage the leaves as we mentioned earlier. If this doesn’t get rid of the pests, you can treat your Arrowhead Plant with neem oil to fight the infestation.

Those are the most common causes of curling leaves on an Arrowhead Plant. As there are quite a few different possible factors, inspect your plant, its root system and potting soil closely whilst going through the list above. This will help you make the right diagnosis with what is going on with your plant. Once making changes with either the care or environment, keep a close eye on your Arrowhead Plant over the next few weeks to ensure that things are moving in the right direction. 

Check out our Arrowhead Plant care guide for more information on how to best care for your plant!

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