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Why is my calathea drooping & how to fix it!

Calatheas are beautiful house plants, though they aren’t the easiest plant to keep happy. Let’s talk about why is my calathea drooping and what to do about it!

I bought a peacock calathea plant (prayer plant) on a whim at my favorite plant store. I didn’t give it too much thought!

However, I soon learned that they are finicky little plants with very specific needs.

These plants will be quick to tell you that they are unhappy by getting droopy leaves. If you have droopy calathea, take it as a warning sign that there is a problem and address it while you still can!

How to revive a prayer plant

The trick of how to save a dying prayer plant is to determine the problem and stop it from recurring. You can then remove any dead or damaged leaves. Droopy leaves can come back, but yellow or crispy leaves cannot.

Remember that it is normal for prayer plants to fold their leaves at night! Not all do this, but many move and fold their leaves regularly. This is normal and not the same as drooping – which is limp, lifeless leaves.

why is my calathea drooping

Why is my calathea drooping?

The main causes of calathea droopy leaves are:

  • Underwatering
  • Overwatering
  • Humidity issues
  • Temperature fluctuations
  • Pest infestation
  • Movement of the plant

Underwatering

The cells of plant leaves are filled with water. Problems with the water levels in leaves can make them lose their firmness and get limp or droopy.

If your calathea plant is drooping, feel the soil. Is it bone dry, hard, and compact? Your plant is under-watered. It probably also has brown or crispy spots on the leaves and stems.

Soak the pot and let the excess water drain out. If the potting mix still seems compacted, repot it in fresh soil.

Water the plant more thoroughly and more regularly and it should perk up.

calathea network plant

Overwatering

Many Calatheas also suffer from overwatering. Overwatering, when combined with a lack of drainage in the pot, can lead to root rot and the death of the plant.

The good thing is, if your plant is just drooping and not dead yet, you can still save it.

Humidity issues

Calathea are finicky plants and many of them are sensitive to humidity. They really like to be misted, but even more than misted, kept in a humid environment.

If your plant is droopy and has small brown spots or edges, it might need humidity. Consider clustering it with other plants or placing it on a pebble tray of water to increase humidity.

potted peacock calathea

Temperature fluctuations

Calatheas are also very sensitive to temperature fluctuations. If it suddenly got cold – even a draft or the direct breeze of an HVAC vent – it can droop.

If this is the case, move the plant to a spot where it is safely clear of any breezes or cold air and it should perk up. If it froze, the leaves will turn to mush and need to be removed.

calathea leaf with honeydew

Pest infestation

Pests can zap the life out of leaves and make them go limp. Check under the leaves for white spots or stickiness. Here’s my guide to getting rid of pests on Calatheas.

Movement

These plants can get mad if you move them to a new spot. They have an adjustment period and could even go into shock. If you just moved the plant – that might be the cause of the droopy leaves.

If the plant is just sad and droopy, it might just need a minute to adjust. If it drops tons of leaves or looks very dramatic, you might want to pick a new spot!

Any questions about why your prayer plant is droopy?

Thanks for reading!

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