Why is my Polka Dot Plant drooping?

Last Updated: April 1, 2022

Adored for their colourful dotted leaves, if your Polka Dot Plant has started to look a little limp, lifeless and droopy, then it means that something in either your plant’s environment or the care it is receiving isn’t quite right. If the issue has progressed quite far, then droopy leaves are often accompanied by other visible issues. However, if your Polka Dot Plant has only started to droop and shows no other signs of unhappiness then this often means you have caught the issue fairly early. This is great in terms of being able to quickly and successfully solve the issue and get your colourful Polka Dot Plant looking healthier again. 

In this post, we will guide you through the most common causes of a droopy Polka Dot Plant so you can diagnose the issue and take all the needed steps to get your plant back to its normal self again in no time.

Underwatering is the most common cause of drooping Polka Dot Plant leaves

Consistent underwatering can lead to a variety of serious issues if not solved in time, but the first thing that tends to happen is your Polka Dot Plant will start to droop down. This is usually an early warning sign so if there are no other visible problems, you have probably caught the issue pretty early which is ideal and will really help when it comes to getting your plant back on track.

How do I know if underwatering is the cause of the droopy leaves?

Before you start watering more frequently, it’s crucial that you are 100% sure underwatering is the cause. Giving a plant more water when it doesn’t need it can lead to some large problems, most worrying of all, plant death. To know if your Polka Dot Plant is drooping due to a lack of moisture, remove it from its pot and inspect the potting mix and root system. 

If the potting mix feels very dry to touch, almost like sand that falls through your fingers, then this is a sign your Polka Dot Plant needs more water. You should also give the roots a check as shriveled, dry and crispy roots means the issue has been going on for some time.

How do I fix an underwatered Polka Dot Plant?

Your first instinct to solve the issue might be to drown your Polka Dot Plant to overcompensate for the lack of water, but this can actually cause more damage and shock your plant. If this happens, your plant can actually lose leaves as a result. 

Instead, the best way to bring your underwatered Polka Dot Plant back to full health is to water your Polka Dot Plant plant a little once a day for a few days. After a week you want to go back to a more normal care routine, making sure that you don’t forget any of your routine waterings, of course!

A lack of sunlight can also cause droopy Polka Dot Plant leaves

Although a lack of water tends to be the most common reason why Polka Dot Plants become droopy, not enough sunlight may also be a factor. Polka Dot Plants need a good amount of bright but indirect light to thrive.

If your Polka Dot Plant is in a spot that is too shady, then it may start to droop its leaves as a result. This can happen more in winter when the sun is weaker and out for less of the day. What was once a good place for your Polka Dot Plant in summer, may not be giving it enough light in winter. Drooping leaves is one of the early signs but if the problem develops you’ll also notice discolouration of the leaves, stunted growth and your plant shedding leaves.

If you suspect a lack of sunlight is causing drooping leaves on your Polka Dot Plant, then move it to a slightly sunnier spot in your home. Keep it away from too much direct sunlight (especially in summer) as this can scorch the delicate leaves. If you are unable to give it more natural sunlight, then investing in an LED grow light is a great way of supplementing light levels!

A drooping Polka Dot Plant can also be caused by cold temperatures

If you have inspected the potting mix of your Polka Dot Plant, analysed your watering schedule and are certain that your plant is getting enough light, then you might want to take a look into the temperature around your plant and how this fluctuates. 

If your Polka Dot Plant is near any drafty windows, or close to an AC vent, this cold air can be quite harmful to your plant and can cause it to droop as a result. Cold temperatures can also cause brown leaves and stunted growth so look out for these other causes too. 

Using a digital thermometer will be your best friend here as it’s the only way to really know how the temperature changes around your Polka Dot Plant. Cold air also increases the risk of root rot as it takes longer for the potting mix to dry out. This is the perfect mix for problems such as root rot to occur which is why you should be extra cautious when it comes to caring for your plants in winter or in colder rooms in your home.

Those are the three main reasons why a Polka Dot Plant has started to droop. All three of these factors can cause real damage to your Polka Dot Plant if not solved and you will start to see other causes beyond only a drooping plant. It’s important to act quickly after spotting signs of unhappiness on all of your plants and the Polka Dot Plant is no different. Their delicate leaves and stems make them quite susceptible to problems but as long as you take the right steps to solve the issue, then you should be able to bring your Polka Dot Plant back to full health, with no drooping leaves in sight. 

Check out our Polka Dot Plant care guide to learn more about how to properly take care of your plant.

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