Why Are My Prayer Plant Leaves Curling?

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Whether you have a or another plant nicknamed prayer plant, the behavior is the same: large leaves that fold up into a prayer pose. But that’s not the only thing all prayer plants have in common.

Owning one prayer plant means you’ll know pretty much everything you need to care for another one, regardless of species.

attractive leaves of the Prayer PlantPin

The possible problems and plant language are also essentially the same, such as in the case of leaf curling.

Why Is My Prayer Plant Leaves Curling?

Several reasons for a prayer plant’s leaves to begin curling, including temperature, moisture, and pests.

Here are things you need to know when diagnosing the exact cause and treating it.

Moisture Issues

Prayer plants can be sensitive to both overwatering and underwatering, water quality, and low humidity – all of which can lead to leaf curl.

Figuring out which one’s at fault can take a little work, but all of these issues are easily solved.

The first step is to consider what type of water you’re using.

Tap water contains many harmful substances and should be avoided when possible and filtered when there’s o other option.

Rainwater is the healthiest option, followed by distilled water.

So if you’re using tap water, try improving the water you use and see if that works.

Next, stick your finger in the soil. If it feels wet, you’re using too much water, and if it’s dry below 2” inches, your plant’s dehydrated.

A dehydrated plant is easy to treat, although long-term neglect may require some extra attention until the tropical plant is properly rehydrated.

You should always water your prayer plant slowly and evenly, making sure to work your way around the pot so that one side isn’t wetter than the other.

Water until it starts seeping out of the drainage holes.

Note that overwatering is the more serious issue, but it usually doesn’t cause leaf curl, so discovering wet soil means the problem may be humidity.

In the event, you’re using good water (distilled or rainwater), and the soil is evenly moist, your problem is most likely low humidity.

Give your prayer plant access to a humidifier or place a pebble tray underneath it to increase the ambient humid environment.

Pest Problems

An infestation is another problem to watch out for, as it can cause leaf curl and other issues.

Aphids, scale, and other sap-drinking pests can dehydrate the leaves, which will result in curl.

Check the leaves, especially the undersides, for unusual spots that may be a bug or sign of infection.

You can treat these leaves with a neem foliar spray or treat your plant to a neem soil soak on its next watering.

Both of these remedies will safely get rid of the infestation (and even some infections) and can be used every 2 weeks as a preventative.

Related: Prayer Plant Problems – Yellow Leaves


Having your plant in direct light or exposing it to extreme temperatures can also lead to curling.

When the temperature is too high, the plant will dehydrate faster, and the soil can dry more quickly.

Since most of the water a plant takes in is sweated out, your plant can dry out fast from the heat.

Sunlight exacerbates the problem and can also scorch the leaves.

Being too close to a heat source can be a third issue, as the warm airflow can lower humidity and dry out your prayer plant simultaneously.

On the other end of the spectrum, extreme cold can cause your plant’s leaves to curl upwards and may cause some species to go dormant.

Avoid leaving your plant exposed to any cold drafts, such as an open window or in line with a running fan or air conditioner.

Never leave your prayer plant in temperatures below 55° degrees Fahrenheit, regardless of the species.

Prayer plants prefer warmer temperatures, with most species preferring 75° to 80° degrees Fahrenheit during the day and 10° degrees Fahrenheit cooler at night.

It’s harder to control the temperature when the plant is outdoors, so only keep a prayer plant outside if you’re within the recommended USDA hardiness zones for your chosen species or if you have it in a container that can be moved indoors when the temperature drops.

Depending on the species, prayer plants prefer bright indirect sunlight to partial shade and should only be exposed to direct sunlight in the early morning or late evening.

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