Anthuriums are also known as flamingo flowers, laceleafs, and tail flowers. These various monikers are inspired mostly by the plant’s brilliant red flowers. However their leaves are also gorgeous and expressive, and they are quick to react when conditions aren’t quite right.
But what does it mean when your Anthurium leaves are curling or drooping? The most common cause of curling Anthurium leaves is overwatering, but other factors such as pests, humidity levels, temperature, and sunlight can also have an impact.
Sometimes, you may suspect it is one problem and end up hurting your Anthurium further because of it. We will discuss ways to help narrow down what is causing the issue so you can quickly bring your plant back to full health.
If you want to know more about how to fix the issues causing your Anthurium leaves to curl, as well as how to prevent overwatering, continue reading below.
Why Are My Anthurium Leaves Drooping?
It is pretty apparent when an Anthurium isn’t doing so well. The leaves start to droop and instead of standing tall, they sink.
While it may be obvious something is wrong, trying to identify what it is can be a challenge. Several factors can cause your Anthurium leaves to start drooping.
You may assume that certain issues lead to drooping leaves while others lead to curling ones, and you can narrow down the root of the problem that way.
That isn’t the case, however. Drooping and wilting leaves are caused by the same problems; whether the leaves droop or wilt is simply based on how an individual plant handles the situation.
For example, pests can cause either drooping or curling leaves. The most common pests are spider mites, aphids, and mealybugs.
If you suspect the problem might be insects, the best way to check is to put a white piece of paper under some leaves and gently shake the leaves. If small black or green dots fall onto the paper, that is a good sign of insects.
To remove insects, you can either spray your plant with neem oil or insecticidal soap. Make sure to get under the leaves as that is where the problems most often occur.
Low humidity is another issue that can cause both drooping and curling leaves. Anthuriums are tropical plants and need high humidity, often up to 80 or even 100 percent. If you live in a dry area, your plant may be suffering.
Usually, the plants will begin to droop or develop brown spots first. If the problem isn’t corrected or the humidity is below around 20 percent, then the leaves will start to curl.
Since they need so much humidity, there is no problem in giving them a couple of spritzes of water on the leaves every few days or making a humidity tray with rocks and water.
Anthuriums are tropical plants that thrive in warm temperatures. They prefer temperatures between 70 and 90°F (21 to 32°C), though they can tolerate slightly cooler weather.
If the temperature drops below 50°F (10°C), the leaves on the plant will begin to turn yellow and droop.
Conversely, even though they are tropical plants, they can get too warm. If the temperature stays above 90°F (32°C) for too long, the leaves will begin to curl upwards to try and release some of their heat.
Though Anthurium plants don’t need a lot of sun, they do still need some. Frequent and bright indirect sunlight is best for these plants.
If you notice any drooping or curling, after a few weeks of getting the right amount of sunlight, they should start to change back to their normal shape.
Balance is key. Too little sunlight will cause drooping and curling, but too much will cause burnt and brown spots on the leaves.
There are many different ways water can impact Anthurium leaves. If you are watering too much, too little, don’t have a well-draining pot, or are watering inconsistently, your leaves may begin to droop or curl.
If a plant has too little water, it will begin curling both upwards and downwards, and some of the leaves will begin drooping.
A pot that doesn’t drain well can lead to the growth of fungus and root rot, which will cause the leaves to curl up and die and the whole plant to wilt.
Overwatering can also lead to improperly draining soil, root rot, and the dying of the leaves.
Inconsistent watering can harm your plant as well. For example, if you haven’t watered your plant in a while and it starts to dry out, watering it can harm many of the leaves. If it has gone long enough without water, the leaves can become deformed and fall off the plant. Watering them again at this point can cause the leaves to split or rip as they react too fast to the sudden influx of water.
For this reason, it is best to learn how long your plant needs to go without water (check the soil after your waterings every day until the soil is dry for a while) and develop a schedule so you water your plant consistently without overwatering.
Where Do You Place Anthurium?
Anthuriums need bright, but indirect, light. East-facing windows are recommended as it allows them to get some early morning light before the sun becomes too strong and causes the leaves to become burnt.
Otherwise, you can use sheer curtains so that light comes through but doesn’t directly hit your plant.
What Does an Overwatered Anthurium Look Like?
Often, when an Anthurium is overwatered, the roots will start to change color. Instead of being firm, they will be soft and mushy and often brown.
Some of the leaves will begin to turn yellow, while the leaf tips are brown. The whole plant will also start to droop, and growth will slow.
Once the root rot progresses and becomes very severe, stems will start to discolor and turn brown and mushy to the touch.
The easiest cure for overwatering is to simply stop watering the plant until the soil dries out. As long as there is no sign of root rot, the plant should come back pretty quickly.
How Often Should I Water My Anthurium?
As long as your soil is draining well, Anthuriums can receive a fair amount of water. The frequency changes depending on the climate in your area. Though three or so days is the average, you can test for yourself.
To test, simply water your plant. Then, daily, check the moisture in the soil. You can do this with a moisture meter, a thin stick, or even your finger. Once the soil becomes dry and isn’t clinging to the stick or your finger, that means it is time to water again.
We recommend doing this test several times in a row to get an average of how many days it takes your plant’s soil to dry out.
You may also want to do this test a few times a year, with summer and winter being the most important. This is because plants tend to grow slower throughout winter, and may not absorb water as much as they would during summer. It is also cooler and there is less light during the winter, which causes water to evaporate more slowly.
Do You Water Anthurium With Ice Cubes?
While you don’t have to water with ice cubes, it is a possibility. If you are going to water your Anthurium with ice cubes, usually six a week is a good amount. Again, you will just want to test the soil to determine how many and how often is best as several factors can influence this number.
For example, the size of your pot, the size of the plant, the climate, and even the size of your ice cubes all play a role. Remember that ice cubes are cold, and they can lower the temperature. So this can be useful during weeks when it is really hot out but it may harm your plant in colder seasons.
Many people enjoy the ice cube method as it allows water to be slowly released into your plant instead of all at once, but it is mostly personal preference.
Should I Mist My Anthurium?
You should mist your Anthurium or increase the humidity in some way if the humidity levels in the plant’s environment are on the lower side. Misting is the easiest way, but also the most involved.
You could also consider purchasing a humidifier or making a humidity tray.
Making your own tray is pretty easy. You just find a dish or tray big enough to fit your pot into and that also has fairly tall sides. Then you fill-up the tray with some small rocks. Next, you add water to the rocks, but make sure not to fully submerge them.
If your water level goes above the rocks, there is a chance that the water will soak into the soil of your pot and keep it too moist.
The final step is to simply place the pot on top of the rocks and top off water as needed to keep the area around your plant nice and humid.
How Do I Know if My Anthurium Is Dying?
If a lot of the leaves are starting to become discolored or are falling off the plant, and no more new growth is occurring, that is a good sign your plant is dying. Very squishy roots from root rot is another bad sign.
However, for the most part, an Anthurium can still come back with some quick action. The only time it is likely too far gone for you to save your plant is when all of the leaves and flowers are dead or dying. This means that the plant is unable to get any nutrients from the sun and it might not be able to keep going.
Anthuriums are pretty plants from the tropics. Though they aren’t super temperamental, they still have some very specific requirements. And if these are not met, they will start showing their displeasure with wilting, drooping, and curling leaves.
Usually, watering (over, under, or inconsistently) is the most likely culprit. But sunlight, temperature, humidity, and pests can all play a huge part as well. Be sure your plant gets indirect sunlight every day, the temperature stays between 70 to 90°F (21 to 32°C), you mist or create a humidity tray, and you treat your plant with neem oil or insecticidal soap if you notice bugs or pests.
Knowing what your Anthurium likes can help keep your plant happy and healthy and reduce the likelihood of curling leaves.