Why is Polka Dot Plant Leaves Curling? (15 Causes & Fix)

I have heard from People that their Polka dot plant leaves curling even if they are doing everything a plant needs. Sufficient bright light for some hours , watering everyday or when dry and using the best fertilizer for the growth and even misting them if they feel dry. So where is the problem? why is it curling, shrinking, wilting inward? There can be many issues in Hypoestes phyllostachya that we will discuss here Read Lotusmagus.com Answers.

Polka dot plant leaves curling up & outward is due to too much heat or stress of not getting enough water to fulfill its requirements. If you live in an area where temperature is too high then it is the reason and it happens on younger plants more than the established one. Solution is pour plenty of water and wait for the day, the result will be leaves start to get normal.

Most Common reason for polka dot leaves curling inward is due to heat stress or wind stress, and leaves are trying to protect the upper layer that makes the food using photosynthesis. They are curling so the heat won’t damage or burn the upper portion which is making food. 

This curl helps them against the dehydration. But if heat is intense then you need to shift the location to a more shade area & sprinkle some water on the leaves and soil.

In Polka dot’s once leaves are curled it is difficult to make them uncurl. for younger plants it’s normal and can be solved.

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If one or two leaves are curling and don’t worry it’s okay , This is the nature of plants getting wilted sometimes due to various reasons and it’s not a big issue. It happens on every plant and you should see the plant as a whole , not 1-2 leaves.

If leaves of polka dot a plant curling downwards or drooping then it is due to overwatering , you should solve the issue by giving plant water when it is dry or about to dry. always check the top soil for water if it feels dry then give water to the plant.

If you want to know more about caring guide on polka dot plant. Check my other article.

Here are the 15 reasons why Polka dot plant leaves curling:

Too much Heat Stress

Polka dot plant leaves curling due to too much heat stress is a common problem. The Polka dot plant is placed in direct sunlight which makes the leaf curl. The fact that the sun absorbs all the water from the soil makes the plant feel dry and to protect the leaves from burning it curls up. This way plants save the water from leaves but it cannot save the leaf from burning. That is why if the location is not changed it will eventually die. In order to avoid this, you can try changing the place or just put it in a partial shade spot. If you still see the leaves curling up, you can try spraying them with water or misting them with a spray bottle.

Lack of Nutrition

Polka dot plants leaves curled up due to lack of nutrition which is another big issue that can happen to any plant. The leaves start to curl and wither away and they will eventually die. This can be caused by the low nutrition on the potting soil so the impact of this issue can be seen in leaves itself. If you notice your plant’s leaves curling, try adding more fertilizer or water more often to help the leaves recover.


Overfeeding Polka dot plants is one of the most common mistakes that people make. This is because we are very good at thinking that our plants will grow more if we give them more nutrients. Plants do not grow more when you overfeed them, they actually curl up and then die. The best way to prevent this from happening is to start feeding your plants less and less until they are only getting enough water and sunlight.

Root Rot

The leaves of the Polka dot plant were curling because of root rot. The water inside the soil were not being absorbed by the plant because of the rotting roots. The Polka dot plants was not able to take in water and nutrients from the soil. The leaves began to wilt and turn brown and to fix this you can first drag out the plant from the existing pot and cut off the rotted roots. Then move your plant to a new container with new soil. Now take care of your plant it will solve your root rot problem in this plant.

Water Quality

The plant leaves are not growing well and seem to curl up inwards or outwards, this is due to the quality of the water. The leaves were green, but were turning brown and wilting. The plant was becoming weak and deformed and it would die soon. The water in the bucket or tap or where you use water can be polluted and cause the plant to wilt. To fix this change the water of your plant and it will start to recover soon and also remove the curl and damaged leaves from this plant.

Temperature Stress

Polka dot plant leaves curling due to temperature stress and your plant is not able to grow properly in that uneven temperature. There are many things you can do to prevent this problem such as changing the temperature to 75 to 80 degree F and see if it works. Otherwise change it to 55-70 degree F and see if they start growing well.

Too much Direct Sunlight

The Polka dot plant leaves were curling due to too much direct sunlight. The leaves were turning brown, wilting and dying off. The fix is to move the plant to a good spot where it has partial shade light. This plant will be happy after that so move it immediately if it has curling leaf signs.


The Polka dot plant leaves are curling due to a disease known as fungal and also black spot disease. This is an issue that can be found in many types of plants, but it is most commonly seen in African violets. The black spot disease causes the leaves to curl up and turn yellow and then brown, which makes the plant look like it is dying. The disease is caused by a fungus that attacks the cells of the leaves as it slowly takes control over the whole leaf, which will eventually lead to them dying. The fungus is spread by water droplets that land on the leaves and cause it to create few spores. If you see your plant has this disease, make sure you get rid of all the infected leaves using a fungicide and also prune off all the infected leaves.

Transplanting Stress

Polka dot plant leaves start to curl due to transplanting stress. When they are transplanted the roots often get damaged, which causes the plant to get shock and they start giving signs like leaves curling. One way to prevent this is by carefully taking out the plant without hurting its roots. Also use fresh soil so the previous potting soil disease doesn’t get transferred.

Low Watering

The Polka dot plant leaves are curling because the plant is not getting enough water. It is important to water your plants daily and not just when you remember while walking to check other things. If your plant is not getting enough water, it will start to droop, causing the leaves to curl. You will know it needs more water when it starts to droop and die. To help keep your plant healthy, be sure to water it every day and not just when you remember.

Low Humidity

Polka dot plant leaves curling due to Low Humidity. Low humidity is a common problem for many hardy plants. When the humidity in your home falls below a certain level, it can be hard for plants to keep their leaves from curling up. This is because the plant’s leaves use water vapor to stay healthy and alive. If the humidity in your home falls too low, you should increase the amount of water you are giving your plants to prevent the curling. You should also spray the water or just provide water on the soil to make it moist so you can avoid leaves wilting.

Insect Infestation

The leaves may curl in Polka dot plants due to an insect infestation. The leaves that were in the middle of the plant are now curled around the edges, leaving a spiky appearance. The insect makes it turn brown and wilted. The insects are eating the leaves and doing damage to the plant’s overall health. This is a sign that the plant needs a pesticide or insecticide to get rid of all the pests seen on the plants.


Polka dot plant leaves curling due to overwatering can happen to all types of plants, not just Polka dot plants. Plants that are over-watered & get wet most of the time will start to wilt and droop. The best thing to do is to make sure that your plant is getting enough water but not too much. To fix this problem, you have to wait for the plant to dry the soil completely first and then start giving it less water. Also cut down all the leaves that are curled.

Lack of Sunlight

When the Polka dot plant is not getting enough sunlight, the leaves will start curling upwards and turn yellow then brown. This can be fixed by simply putting the plant in a brighter location, or by giving it more light from the artificial growth lights if you live in an area with low light. When the leaves turn brown, they can be removed and thrown away to make room for new leaves to grow. The plants always like to get a few hours of sunlight or at least some partial light to prepare food and if it doesn’t get this, then it will start to wilt as a sign of low light.

Old age

The Polka dot plant leaves are curling due to the fact that the plant is getting old. The plant gives signs like wilting and no longer has any green leaves left on it. It is important that you water your plant every day, but if you see that it is getting old and needs more water, don’t be afraid to water it more often. If you notice that the plant is not looking healthy, then it is time to replace it with a new one, this can be the final choice.

How to fix my Polka dot plant leaves curling?

If your Polka dot plant leaves are curling, there are a few solutions that you can do to help them regain their original shape.

First make sure that the plant is getting proper sunlight and is well-watered.
Second, make sure it doesn’t have any pest infestation which leads to curling of leaves.
Third, make sure that the plant is in a room that is not too cold or too warm and this may directly impact its health which may give signs like curling, yellowing or browning of leaves.

Finally, make sure that the plant has enough water and nutrients by feeding it a good slow release or general fertilizer for a couple times within 2 months in the growing season.

How To Prevent Curling?

To prevent curling of leaves, place it in a partial shade, then it is good watering to make its soil moist. In 1-2 days they might come back to life and grow green and if not wait more or this might be because they are damaged by the excessive sunlight or over watering. In this case , remove the leaves and let the other leaves grow. For overwatering , do not water your plant too much.

How do you care for Polka dot plants after leaf curling?

Caring for Polka dot plants Includes Proper Watering, Good Sunlight, Providing Timely nutrients and If any pest infestation occurs, do not worry just use an insecticide or pesticide to get rid of pests or atleast repel them with that.

Water your plant until the 2 inch topsoil is filled with water.
Partial shade area that gets a few hours of sunlight for Polka dot plants.
General purpose fertilizer used to feed nutrients into the plants soil so your plants can grow well.
Well draining pot that drains the water so we avoid any root rot situations.
Do check your plant daily to keep track of their health is also an important part of caring for Polka dot plants.


Copright Notice: The content is first published in lotusmagus.com website, if you are seeing this article in other website then it has been copied fully. Lotusmagus is a website about plants and flowers by Amelia Clark. Copyright Marked

I hope you like this article and you get the solution of “Polka dot plant leaves curling” problem. Many people don’t know the exact reason and give it nutrient deficiency name, but it’s simply a heat stress that can be solve with misting water and changing its position to shade place.

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Amelia Clark

I'm Amelia Clark, a seasoned florist and gardening specialist with more than 15 years of practical expertise. Following the completion of my formal education, I dedicated myself to a flourishing career in floristry, acquiring extensive understanding of diverse flower species and their ideal cultivation requirements. Additionally, I possess exceptional skills as a writer and public speaker, having successfully published numerous works and delivered engaging presentations at various local garden clubs and conferences.

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