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Why are my polka dot plant leaves curling? 

Are your polka dot plant leaves curling? Find out how to bring them back to normal and restore their natural beauty!

The polka dot plant is considered one of the most fun varieties of plants to have around the home.

They are incredibly colorful and eye-catching, and they are perfect for those who want to have more than a simple plant at home – but a burst of energy!

However, as with any other plant, Polka Dot plant care may raise a few challenges.

One of the biggest challenges that many gardeners (both experienced and amateurs) have faced is polka dot plant leaves curling.

This does not seem like a big issue at first, but leaving them unattended may create a larger problem.

As you may notice moving forward, this plant is a little bit high maintenance at times – but when it is in its optimal shape, you can’t help but love it!

Some of the reasons why your polka dot leaves are curling are

  1. Root rot
  2. Too much fertilizer
  3. Temperature
  4. Diseases
  5. Direct sunlight
  6. Insects
polka dot plant leaves curling.

6 Reasons for polka dot plant leaves curling

Let’s take a deeper look into these causes.

Root rot

The most common symptom of root rot is overwatering, and the symptom of overwatering is browning and curling of leaves.

It cannot get any simpler than that.

The roots become damaged if you keep adding too much water to the plant for a long time.

The water cannot make its way to the leaves, while it is suffocating the roots. That results in them looking brown, curled up, and completely dehydrated.

When faced with polka dot plant leaves curling inward, stop overwatering your plant.

  • If the surface of the soil is not dry, you do not need to add more water to the pot.
  • Wait for the soil to dry before watering it again.

In the meantime, remove the plant from the pot and check for the rotten roots.

  • Remove all that are mushy, dark brown or black, and smelly.
  • Wash off excess grime, and repot your polka dot with fresh soil.
red polka dot plant

Too much fertilizer

Taking care of your plant as a beginner may make you feel excited.

You have a new plant in the home, and you want to ensure you are doing everything right.

You start fertilizing it as often as possible, but after a while, you realize you may have made the wrong choice.

Every fertilizer has a certain amount of salt, and adding too much of it to your plant will lead to dehydration.

This will result in polka dot plant leaves curling, and their vitality will fade away.

Here is how you should do it!

  • Fertilize the plant only once a month during the warmer months.
  • If the fertilizer seems like it is too harsh for it, then dilute it with water before adding it to the soil.
  • Leave the polka dot plant to rest during the winter; if it is young, it is unnecessary to fertilize it until the roots fully develop.


Did you know that the ideal temperature for the polka dot plant ranges between 65 and 69 degrees Fahrenheit or 18 and 21 degrees Celsius?

The plant will not thrive if the conditions and temperatures are below ideal.

The same goes if the temperatures are higher, too. Your polka dot plant may start curling up if you leave it in a warmer spot.

The higher temperatures may dry your plant and make the leaves curl up immediately.

If you notice this happening, you probably have to adjust the room’s temperature to suit the plant or place it in a different room.

Also, check if you have accidentally put your polka dot close to any heat distributor, such as a fireplace, a radiator, or anything that emits heat.


The polka dot is susceptible to a fungus that likes humidity, meaning that you should not keep your plant in an extra humid place.

This fungus, called powdery mildew, will cause curling of the plant leaves and form some white spots on the leaves and the stem.

Over time, these spread, eventually covering the entire plant.

To help prevent polka dot plant leaves curling:

  • Remove the affected leaves and dispose of them.
  • Use a plant-safe fungicide.
  • Wash your hands thoroughly after doing this because all parts of the polka dot plant are poisonous.
polka dot plant in a pot

Direct sunlight

Giving your plant too much sunlight will increase transpiration, which eventually causes extra water loss in the plant.

The reason why your polka dot plant leaves are curling is probably due to the lack of moisture. 

There is an easy solution to this – just remove the plant from direct sunlight!

Also, do not simply move it a little bit, but completely change its spot. It should be somewhere without a lot of sunlight, but it is still a bright spot.

If you want to keep it outside, place it in a spot with a lot of shade. Also, refrain from leaving it under the midday summer sun.


The most common pests are aphids, and they are tiny. They attack the plant by spreading viruses and feeding on the sap from the stem.

That causes the entire plant to wilt and the leaves to curl up.

There is a simple way to get rid of the aphids!

  • Put some Coca-Cola in a spray bottle and spray your plant. This will create a sticky surface, leaving the bugs immobilized. They can’t move, and they can’t reproduce.
  • Once that part is done, remove them with a wet wipe and throw the wipes out of the home.
  • Repeat the procedure as many times as needed until you get rid of all the insects.

Before you go…

Taking care of our green beauties is not a walk in the park – but it is surely worth it!

If you notice your polka dot plant leaves curling, follow the simple steps we have provided for you here – you are bound to succeed in returning the plant to normal.

If there is something more you want to discover in the world of plants, we have many more blogs waiting for you!

Thanks for reading!

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