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Solving Leaf Curl Problems: The Causes and What to do About Them

Have you noticed that your plant’s leaves are starting to curl? You’re not alone – many plants experience this issue, and it can be caused by problems like overwatering, insect damage, and nitrogen toxicity. Fortunately, with a few changes to your watering and care routines, you can often get your plant’s leaves back to their former glory. Keep reading to learn more about why your plant’s leaves might be curling, and what you can do to fix the issue.

Causes and Prevention of Leaf Curl in Plants

If you’re noticing your plant’s leaves curling up, it could be a sign that it has been exposed to too much heat or light. To help prevent this from happening, keeping the leaves of your plant moist is key. This can help ensure that the leaves are not drying out and curling as a result of exposure to heat and light.

However, it is important to note that overwatering can also cause leaf curl. If a plant isn’t getting enough water, it can cause the leaves to curl up as a result. Therefore, when watering your plant it is important to keep the soil moist but not soaking wet in order to prevent both under and over-watering related leaf curling.

Another common cause of leaf curl is a deficiency in calcium. Plants need calcium to grow new points and root tips, and a lack of this essential nutrient can lead to stunted growth of new foliage, buds, and roots. This type of deficiency is often referred to as tip burn, where the edges of the younger leaves turn brown.

Fortunately, unlike many of the other problems your plant can face, curled leaves are often completely reversible. The leaves should return to their former glory over the course of a week or so if you address the cause of the curl.

If you have fallen leaves from previous infections, it is important to dispose of them in the bin to avoid hiding places for the fungus. In the event that a tree is already infected, remove the leaves and fruit that have been distorted and destroy them (bin them or burn them). This will help prevent further spread of infection and ensure your plant’s health.

But what about nitrogen toxicity? Can too much nitrogen cause leaf curl? The answer is yes. Nitrogen toxicity in plants causes clawed, shiny and dark green leaves, slow growth and weak stems. A talon-like claw is a leaf bent at the tips, with leaves that have cupping or curving. If you notice any of these symptoms on your plants, it’s likely an indication of too much nitrogen in the soil.

Removing Curled Leaves on Plants

Should I remove curled leaves? It is important to address the cause of the curl before deciding whether or not you should remove them. If you do decide to remove the leaves as they curl, it can help keep them from piling up under the tree, which will make it more difficult for infections and pests to spread. Additionally, removing curled leaves can also help reduce nitrogen toxicity in plants as nitrogen toxicity can cause clawed and cupped leaves. However, be sure not to over-prune your plant when removing curled leaves; only take off what is necessary. Doing so will prevent stressing out your plant by taking off too much foliage at once.

Insect damage is one of the most common causes of curling leaves. Aphids, thrips, and whiteflies are all insects that can cause new or young leaves to curl when they suck plant juices.

Increasing the Humidity for Rubber Plants

Lastly, if you find that the leaves of your rubber plant are curling up due to low humidity, there are a few steps you can take to increase the humidity around the plant. One way is to place a humidifier near the plant in order to increase the moisture in the air. Additionally, placing pebbles and water in a tray near your rubber plant can also help create more humidity for it as well as any other houseplants that enjoy higher levels of humidity. Doing so should help uncurl your rubber plants’ leaves and keep them looking their best.

If you suspect that you have overwatered your rubber plant, then there are a few signs to look out for. The older leaves (usually the largest ones at the bottom) of your rubber plant should become yellow or brown if they have been overwatered. Additionally, during longer periods of time between waterings, let the soil dry out completely before giving it a good watering again. Finally, if you notice that the yellow/brown spots are spreading from the inside of the leaf to the outside, this is an indication that your rubber plant is being overwatered.


In conclusion, there are many reasons why a plant’s leaves may curl, such as overwatering, nitrogen toxicity, insect damage, disease, abiotic disorders, and even herbicides. In order to treat the problem, it is important to identify the underlying cause. In many cases, the leaves will return to their former glory over time if the cause is addressed. However, it is important to provide your plant with the right amount of water and nutrients, as well as adequate sunlight and humidity. By making sure your plant is getting the best care possible, you can help prevent leaf curl and other problems from happening.