It can be frustrating when you notice that your plant is curling and it’s not the same shape as it was before. But don’t worry, there are a few reasons why this might happen! In this blog post, we will discuss some of the most common causes of curled elephant ear plants and how to fix them.
Why Is My Elephant Ear Plant Curling?
Your elephant ear plant leaves are beginning to curl because it’s experiencing a lack of water, sudden temperature changes (such as from dry air), or the pH level in its soil is too high.
Elephant ears can curl for a number of reasons, so you need to find the specific cause before you can uncurl the leaves. I will now cover the four most common reasons why your elephant ear leaves are curling.
1) Too Much Water
Overwatering is one of the most common reasons why your elephant ear leaves are curling, especially if they are curling downwards. This is because the peace lily is wilting due to too much water, so the elephant’s ear is curling downwards as if it’s trying to drain water.
When you begin seeing your plant curl its leaves downwards and flip them over, this is a sign that there might be overwatering occurring. As they are tropical plants, peace lilies appreciate being watered regularly but their soil should be allowed to dry between waterings.
If you notice your elephant ear leaves curling downwards, this is a sign that the plant needs less water. When watering your elephant’s ears, make sure the excess water drains out of the bottom of the pot.
2) Not Enough Water
When the plant doesn’t have enough water, it will curl up its leaves to protect itself. It does this to retain as much water as possible until it can find another source.
This normally happens during the summer when the plant owner doesn’t change the watering frequency. I’ve done this with my own plants many times. Basically, a heatwave arrives, and I fail to take action by giving more watering than the plant would usually need.
This results in the plant drying out and not having enough water to grow properly. This is why the leaves curl up into themselves, in order to protect their cells from dying.
You can fix this by watering more often or adding a humidifier or pebble tray to the room so it’s more humid. It should reverse after a week of giving it enough water and having proper humidity levels in your home.
3) Sudden Temperature Changes
When the temperature around your plant changes abruptly, it can cause stress. This is usually a sudden change in humidity or when you move the plant from one location to another and there’s a big jump in temperatures.
If this happens, don’t worry! Just give your elephant ear some time to adjust and slowly introduce it back into its normal environment.
This can also happen if your elephant ear was exposed to dry air from a heater or if the pot is in a sunny spot. The most common time for this to happen is during winter when lots of heaters are being used, as well as during hot summer days.
In this case, you should move your plant to a new location that has a consistent temperature level that doesn’t fluctuate. If it’s winter, make sure the plant isn’t in direct sunlight or by a heater.
4) Soil with a High pH Level
The fourth and final reason your elephant ear might be curling is if the soil has a high pH level. This means that the soil is too alkaline and can be fixed by adding some acidic material to it, such as peat moss or coffee grounds.
If you think this is the problem, test the pH level of your soil by using a testing kit or getting it tested at a nursery. Once you know the pH level, add some acidic material to lower it and help your plant get back to normal.
Curled Elephant Ear Plant Leaves FAQ
Elephant ear plants are some of the coolest-looking indoor plants you can find, but unfortunately, they do suffer from several leaf problems that are hard to deal with. I will now focus on those problems and their solutions in more detail.
Will underwatering cause elephant ear leaves to curl inwards?
Yes, if the leaves are not receiving enough water, they will start to curl inwards as a way of trying to conserve moisture. I’ve noticed this of my leaves during hot summer days when the plant dries out quickly.
Should I prune my elephant ear if the leaves are curling?
No, you should not prune your elephant ear plant if the leaves are curling. The curled leaves may be a sign that the plant is not getting enough water, so by pruning it, you will only make the situation worse. Wait until you’ve solved the watering problem before taking any corrective action.
In conclusion, if your elephant ear plant is curling, it could be because of a lack of water, sudden temperature changes, soil with a high pH level, or if the leaves are exposed to dry air. I hope this article has helped you figure out what’s going on and that you will now have no problem correcting the issue.
I’ve outlined the four most common reasons your elephant ear might be curling, but there could be other factors that are causing this as well. So if you’re not sure what’s going on with your plant, it’s best to take a picture of the leaves and email or post it in one of our gardening forums so that somebody can help you out!
Tim is an avid gardener from the UK. He was the founder of PlantCarer.com from 2021 to Sep 2023. He sold PlantCarer.com to Aaron. He has since started his own business called Seed To Supper, which provides new gardeners all the materials you need in a box (pots, seeds, compost and instructions) to grow your own delicious and nutritious vegetables and herbs from start to finish – no garden required.