Curling Potted Plants – What To Do About Curled Houseplant Leaves

(Image credit: Gardening Know How, via Nikki Tilley)

Are your houseplant leaves curling and you don’t know why? Curled leaves on indoor plants can be caused by a variety of issues, so it is important to understand the various causes so that you can take effective action. Let’s take a look at the main causes and solutions for curled houseplant leaves. 

Curling Potted Plants

There are a number of reasons your houseplants may be curling and can include any of the following:


Various pests can cause leaves to curl. Sucking insects, such as aphids, can distort leaves and cause leaf curling. Aphids are soft bodied insects that are normally found on the undersides of leaves and at the growing tips of the plant. If you spot some, spray with insecticidal soap. Use repeated applications until they are gone. If there is a severe infestation, you can cut off those areas of the plant. 

Thrips and whiteflies are also other insects that can cause curled houseplant leaves. 

Too Much Water

When your potting soil stays soggy for too long, this can also cause curled leaves, as well as lead to root rot. In order to avoid curling leaves due to soil that is too soggy, always allow the top inch or two (approximately 2.5 to 5 cm.) of soil to dry out.

Always use pots with drainage holes. Allow water to completely drain away after watering and never allow your potted plant to sit in water for extended periods of time. 

Too Much Light

Too much light, for your plant in question, can also cause leaves to curl. Especially when older leaves are curling at the very tips of the leaves. In conjunction with this, the newer leaves may be smaller than normal and may have brown edges.

To fix curling leaves from too much light, move your houseplant to a location that receives more appropriate light for the type of plant that you have. Also, get to know what acceptable light requirements are for your specific plant. 

There are many reasons why you may have curled leaves on indoor plants. Try and identify the actual cause and then take the recommended action to fix your issue.