Why are my Syngonium leaves curling or crispy?

Syngonium is also known as Arrowheads due to its heart-shaped leaves. They are relatively easy to care for and great for many first-time plant owners. That doesn’t mean you don’t have to take care of them. They still need specific amounts of water, sunlight, and humidity to grow their best. Otherwise, they may start to show that something is wrong.

One of the ways they may start to warn you that something isn’t working for them is when their leaves curl or start turning crispy. Syngonium leaves usually start curling or become crispy due to an issue with one of four major necessities for plant life: sun, space, humidity, and water.

If you want to know more about the requirements of these plants and how to help your plant when the leaves start curling, continue reading below.

What Deficiency Causes Leaves to Curl?

There are a few reasons why your Syngonium leaves may start to curl. The most significant and common issues are too much or too little:

It can be hard to tell these problems apart to determine which one is causing harm to your plant, but with a little knowledge, you can start eliminating issues until you get to the cause of your leaves curling.

Why Are My Syngonium Leaves Not Unfurling?

Syngonium plant
To uncurl Syngonium leaves, you must first identify the issue. Since many problems involve the leaves curling and growing crispy, it can be hard to identify the exact problem. Thankfully, additional symptoms usually occur that can help you narrow down the problem.

Water

The first reason why your leaves may not be unfurling may have to do with water. Your plant can be underwatered, overwatered, or have low humidity.

When plants are underwatered, the leaves curl to prevent extra water loss. The leaves will grow dry and crispy and turn yellow when they aren’t getting the right amount of water. However, the best way to tell if you are underwatering your plant is to check the soil. You can do this with a moisture meter or simply with your finger.

The moisture meter will tell you how dry your soil is and if it is time to water. If you use your finger, see if there is any dampness in the soil. You simply stick it entirely into the soil. Any wet soil should stick to your finger and be darker in color.

If the soil is completely dry, it is likely that your leaves aren’t unfurling because they don’t have enough water. Simply water a little bit, and keep closer attention to when your plant’s soil dries out.

There is also a chance you could be over-watering. This happens because the leaves are damaged from overwatering and begin to curl. As the leaves die, they will also turn crispy. Checking for overwatering is as simple as checking for underwatering.

Simply use a moisture meter or stick your finger in the soil and see if the soil is damp. If you haven’t watered too recently and the soil is still very wet, or there is water sitting on the top, that is a good sign that your plant is getting too much water. Generally, you want damp or slightly moist soil and not wet soil.

If you feel you aren’t watering too much, but water is sitting in the pot, your pot or soil might be the issue. Make sure that you have soil that drains well and that your pot has holes on the bottom to allow it to drain.

Humidity

Humidity can play a considerable role in Syngonium leaves curling. They will quickly drop leaves if they don’t have enough humidity to thrive. With low humidity, the leaves lose water faster than they should, making them curl. They will also turn yellow and eventually fall off as the leaves cannot work as they should.

This sounds a lot like underwatering. However, since Syngonium needs a lot of humidity unless you live in a very wet area, it doesn’t hurt to give them more moisture in the air. There are a few ways to do this.

First, you can simply spray the leaves and the air around the plant once or twice daily with water. This is by far the simplest option but also the most involved. You can also put them in a more humid area if you have somewhere like that. You can also buy a humidifier.

Our favorite method is to make your own humidifier for relatively cheap. You simply take a tray that a pot would sit on and put small pebbles into the tray. Then you add some water to the bottom, though not enough to cover the pebbles. Then you just set your pot on top and are pretty much done.

The water will evaporate and increase the humidity around the plants. They will also refill as your pot drains water into it, which is pretty easy to take care of.

Sunlight

Syngonium can handle low-light conditions, but they will generally lose their vibrant colors, and the leaves may start to curl as they struggle to grow enough. Too much sunlight can also cause their leaves to curl and grow crispy as they begin to burn.

Syngonium does best with four hours of medium to bright indirect light for best growth. Place them near a window that is covered by a thin curtain.

Space

Generally, you want to change pots for your Syngonium plant at least once every two years. This prevents them from becoming root bound. If they run out of space, the roots won’t be able to gather the water and nutrients they need and therefore won’t be able to provide for the plant. This can cause curling and crispy leaves as they begin to die off.

You don’t want to re-pot too often as it can cause stress for the plant, but if you start to notice your plant is becoming root bound, it is better to go up a size or two in your pot.

How Do You Uncurl Syngonium Leaves?

Syngonium small plant
Solving the problem of what is wrong with your Syngonium is the first step in uncurling its leaves. Then, you can take the proper steps to fix it, such as increasing the humidity, reducing water, or re-potting.

It may take a little while for the plant to bounce back. Some of the leaves may be too far gone to uncurl. However, as the plant begins to grow again and produce new leaves, you should see that these leaves are uncurling on their own now.

The leaves that weren’t too far gone may start to uncurl as well, and overall, you should see that your plant doesn’t look as droopy as it once was.

Can Too Much Sun Cause Leaves to Curl?

It is entirely possible that too much sun can cause your Syngonium’s leaves to curl. As the plant gets too much sun, it gets warm, and the leaves will begin to curl in an attempt to reduce the loss of water. The leaves will also start to burn in the sun.

Newer leaves may also be smaller than they usually are and be crispy and brown on the edges.

Can Plant Recover From Leaf Curl?

If caught early enough, most of the leaves should return to normal. Only the very damaged ones usually refuse to go back to normal. If you have a few of these leaves, you may want to cut them off so that they aren’t taking energy away from your plant as it is trying to recover and start new growth.

Give your plant a couple of days first, however, to ensure that the leaves aren’t going to try and return to normal.

Why Are My Plant Leaves Crunchy?

Usually, leaves become brown and crunchy due to too much sun or too little water. The sun can burn the leaves and make them crunchy while underwatering also dries out the leaves.

If you have crunchy and curly leaves together, it might be worth considering whether your plant is getting too much sun or too little water first.

Why Are My Syngonium Drooping?

Low humidity and underwatering can cause the whole Syngonium plant to droop. This is because there isn’t enough water to fill the plant’s cells and increase rigidity.

If it is due to underwatering, giving your plant some water will usually cause it to bounce back in just a couple of hours. Humidity may take a little longer as it isn’t directly watering your plant.

Summary

Syngonium requires specific ranges for water and humidity, as they are tropical plants. If they don’t meet these requirements, their leaves will often suffer first, curling up and sometimes turning brown and crunchy.

Syngonium leaves usually start curling or become crispy due to an issue with one of four major necessities for plant life: sun, space, humidity, and water. Ensure your Syngonium receives indirect sunlight every day and is in a suitable pot so it doesn’t become root bound. Adjust your watering schedule and create a humid environment to ensure your plant doesn’t become over or underwatered.

If you take care of curling or crispy leaves quickly, your plant should bounce back in no time and be back to its brilliant, vibrant self.