Syngonium Leaves Curling (9 Causes and Solutions)


Indoor potted Syngonium  Leaves showing Curling symptoms

Syngonium is very attractive and that is why most people have them as houseplants. However, if you want to get the best out of your Syngonium , you need to take good care of it. 

If you are wondering why the leaves of your syngonium curling then you landed on the right place. Curling leaves is a common problem that affects most houseplants, including Syngonium .

The main cause of leaf curling in Syngonium s is low humidity, improper watering, too much light, lack of nutrients, extreme temperature, small container size or over-fertilizing. It is crucial to identify the issue by examining the plant carefully then take appropriate action to fix the problem.

Reasons Why Your Syngonium  Leaves are Curling 

There are many reasons that may cause your Syngonium leaves to curl. Continue reading to find possible reasons why your Syngonium leaves are curling. (Source: University of California)Opens in a new tab.

Lack of Nutrients

Just like other plants, Syngonium needs nutrients to grow and thrive. If your Syngonium lacks sufficient nutrients its leaves will start to curl.

The color that the leaves will turn depends on the nutrients that the plant is lacking.

For instance, if the plant lacks magnesium, the leaves will slowly start curling and turn greenish-yellow.

On the other hand, if it lacks potassium, the leaves will show signs of necrosis and the leaves will curl upwards.

Solution

If leaves curling of your Syngonium  is caused by a lack of nutrients, it is important to conduct a thorough test to know the nutrient that the plant is lacking. 

For instance, if the plant lacks magnesium, you need to supply it with this nutrient.

Supply the plant with a nutrient that your plant is lacking. Research shows that Syngonium needs at least 16 ingredients to thrive. 

If any of these ingredients are in short supply, the leaves may start curling. If the potting mix is very old then replenish the soil with that nutrients or fertilizer to promote the healthy growth of your Syngonium .

Extreme Temperature

Extreme temperature can also cause your Syngonium leaves to curl. It can either be very hot or extremely cold. 

For instance, a very cold temperature during the winter season can cause your Syngonium leaves to curl. 

Research has shown that the Syngonium leaves start to curl when temperatures fall below 70 degrees F (21 degrees Celsius). 

Similarly, during summer when temperatures are extremely hot, your Syngonium leaves may curl due to excessive transpiration (loss of water).

Solution

The best solution to protect our Syngonium leaves from curling due to temperature stress is by storing your plant inside an enclosed room to cushion them from extremely cold temperatures. 

Similarly, during summer months when its temperature is too hot, ensure that you protect your Syngonium from direct sunlight. Syngonium s don’t perform well when subjected to extreme temperatures.

So ensure that you store your Syngonium under the recommended temperature, which is between 45°F (7°C) and 85°F (30°C).

Lack of Light

Light is crucial for the healthy growth of Syngonium. If your Syngonium does not receive sufficient light, its leaves will slowly start to curl. 

Just like any other plant, Syngonium s need light for the process of photosynthesis, which is crucial for their health and wellbeing of the plant. 

If the plant is not able to make its own food, it will start growing weak and its leaves will slowly start to curl and eventually die.

Insufficient light exposure will also prevent your Syngonium leaves from working at their peak and with time, the leaves will start losing their dark coloring and begin to curl if nothing is done, then the leaf will eventually turn yellow and fall.

Solution

The solution to this is to ensure that you expose your Syngonium to sufficient light. Syngonium needs at least six hours of light exposure each day to grow healthy. 

So ensure that you place your Syngonium where it can receive adequate light preferably close to the window.

Small Container Size

If you have done everything to ensure that your Syngonium grows healthy but you still find out that its leaves still curls, then the problem may lie in the size of the container.

Syngonium needs a lot of space to thrive. If the container where you have stored it is small in size, its leaves may begin to curl. 

Syngonium has tap roots that go straight down to the soil. If your container size is small, you will limit the ability of the plant root to access crucial nutrients that it needs to thrive.

Solution

The solution to this problem is ensuring that your Syngonium is stored in a large container to give it roots enough space to obtain crucial nutrients the plant needs to grow healthy.

Over-Fertilizing

Over-fertilizing is feeding your Syngonium with too much fertilizer. Too much of something is poisonous and the same applies to applying too much fertilizer to your Syngonium. 

However, too much fertilizer can do more harm than good to your Syngonium.

Applying too much fertilizer to your Syngonium may lead to chemical build up in the soil that could alter water absorption in the Syngonium, causing the leaves to curl and turn yellow.

Solution

The best way to prevent this from happening is by ensuring that you apply the correct amount or portion of fertilizer.

Experts recommend that you fertilize your Syngonium once or twice per year during spring or summer.

Ensure that your fertilizer is rich in phosphate, potassium nitrogen because they are the most important nutrients that your Syngonium needs to thrive.

If you have just potted your Syngonium it is advised that you don’t add fertilizer in the pot until the root of the plant is well-entrenched into the soil.

Low Humidity

Low humidity is a huge enemy of the Syngonium. The Syngonium needs high humidity to thrive.

If the plant is not exposed to high humidity (of at least 40%) its leaves will curl and eventually turn yellow.

This is because low humidity increases the rate of transpiration (loss of water through leaves) thus making the leaves curl.

Remember that the leaves curve to help lower the rate of water loss. High moisture content helps to reduce the rate of transpiration thus preventing the leaves from twisting.

Solution

If your house has low humidity, the solution is to increase the humidity to about 30% to reduce the rate of transpiration.

There are many ways to increase the moisture content in your Syngonium . The most recommend techniques include:

⦿ Using a pebble trap method where you fill a shallow dish with pebble and water then place it on your potent plant. Water in the pebble trap will evaporate thus increasing humidity levels around the plant.

⦿ Another quick but effective method of increasing humidity around the plant is by using a humidifier. 

⦿ A humidifier will help raise humidity levels in your house. This technique is highly recommended during the winter season.

⦿ Another way is to keep bowls, cups, or any other container around the Syngonium to expose air to water. Water in the bowl or pot evaporates thus raising humidity levels around the Syngonium.

⦿ You can also take your plant to a room where there is plenty of air moisture

Leaf Spot Disease

Leaf spot is a fungal disease that causes brown patches on the leaf. If the disease is not treated on time, it may cause curling, yellowing of the leaves, and eventually leaf drop.

Solution

The best way to treat leaf spot disease is to cut the infected leaves. You can also use a fungicide if the disease is still in its early stages.

Water Quality

Water quality of the water that you use on your Syngonium will also determine whether it will thrive or curl.

If you use tap water with fluoride and chlorine, the water will damage the plant resulting in curling.

Tap water also contains other minerals and salt that may harm your plant causing the leaves to curl if their concentration is high.

High salt concentration in the salt prevents proper water absorption by your Syngonium, causing browning of the leaves and curling.

Solution

The solution to this problem is to avoid using tap water that contains a high concentration of salt and other chemicals such as fluoride and chlorine.

Filtering the water before watering your Syngonium may also help to control the type and amount of salt that your Syngonium receives thus improving the rate of water absorption.

Improper Watering (Over and Under-Watering)

Overwatering and underwatering both have a negative effect on your Syngonium .

Overwatering is giving your Syngonium more water then what it requires while under watering when you don’t give your Syngonium plant enough water, your Syngonium plant will go into survival mode by shading of leaves to prevent water loss via transpiration.

Before the leaves fall off, it will curl and turn yellow. Curling is a technique that Syngonium s use to conserve water when it is scarce.

Overwatering can also cause leaf drop. Syngonium s don’t like wet feet and keep the soil constantly saturated with water can damage the plant, leading to leaf curling.

Solution

You need to provide sufficient water for your Syngonium. This means that you should overwater or underwater your plant.

Experts recommend that you should water your Syngonium  at least once per week to prevent the plant from losing water.

The condition of the soil also matters a lot. The soil should be moist, not wet.

Final Words

Syngonium leaves curling is a common physiological disorder. If you can identify the correct causes then you can take measures to make the plant thrive again. That is why this article covered all the possible causes and solutions to this problem.

Arifur Rahman

I'm the owner of gardenforindoor.com. After completing my bachelor of science in agriculture, I'm serving as a civil service officer at the Department of Agricultural Extension, Bangladesh. I started Garden For Indoor to make your indoor gardening journey easy and enjoyable.

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