Calathea Plant Problems

Calathea Plant Problems (7 Important Problems & Solutions)

Calathea plants are stunning and popular houseplants known for their vibrant and ornamental foliage, which can add life and color to any space. However, even the most experienced plant parents can encounter problems when caring for Calatheas.

From brown leaf tips to yellowing leaves, pests and diseases, and curling or drooping leaves, there are a variety of Calathea plant problems that can affect the plant’s growth and appearance.

But don’t fret! With a little knowledge and care, you can prevent and address these common Calathea plant problems, and help your plant thrive for years to come.

Problem Possible Cause Solution
Yellowing leaves Overwatering, underwatering, direct sunlight Adjust watering frequency, move to a shadier spot
Brown leaf edges Low humidity, excessive sunlight, underwatering Increase humidity, move to a shadier spot, adjust watering frequency
Wilting leaves Underwatering, overwatering, temperature stress Adjust watering frequency, check soil moisture, and ensure proper temperature range
Curling leaves Low humidity, temperature stress Increase humidity, ensure proper temperature range
Pest infestation (e.g. spider mites) Poor air circulation, lack of cleanliness Improve air circulation, maintain cleanliness, and consider treatment with insecticidal soap
Root rot Overwatering, poor drainage Adjust watering frequency, and ensure proper drainage
Fungal leaf spots Overwatering, poor air circulation Adjust watering frequency, improve air circulation, and consider treatment with fungicide

Calathea Plant Problems

Brown Leaf Tips Or Edges

Causes Of Brown Leaf Tips

Brown leaf tips or edges are a common problem with Calathea plants and can be caused by several factors. Low humidity is a common cause of brown leaf tips, as Calatheas thrive in high-humidity environments.

Overwatering can also cause brown leaf tips, as it can lead to root rot and damage the plant’s ability to absorb nutrients. Underwatering can cause leaves to dry out and turn brown at the tips.

Brown Leaf Calathea plants

Addressing Brown Leaf Tips

To prevent brown leaf tips or edges, it’s important to maintain a consistent level of humidity around the plant. This can be done by misting the plant regularly, placing it near a humidifier, or grouping it with other plants.

It’s also important to avoid overwatering or underwatering the plant by only watering when the soil is dry to the touch. Using a high-quality potting mix and avoiding fertilizer burn can help prevent brown leaf tips.

Addressing Brown Leaf Tips Calathea plants

Curling Or Drooping Leaves

Causes of Curling or Drooping Leaves: Curling or drooping leaves can be a sign of a few different problems with Calathea plants.

Overwatering or underwatering can cause the leaves to curl or droop, as can temperature extremes. If the temperature is too cold or too hot, the plant may begin to show signs of stress. Pests such as spider mites or thrips can also cause curling or drooping leaves.

Curling Or Drooping Leaves Calathea plants

Addressing Curling Or Drooping Leaves

To address curling or drooping leaves, it’s important to maintain consistent watering and temperature conditions for the plant. This can be done by ensuring that the plant is watered only when the soil is dry and that it’s not placed near any sources of extreme heat or cold.

Treating any pest infestations with natural or chemical pest control methods can also help the plant recover.

Yellowing Leaves

Causes of Yellowing Leaves

Yellowing leaves are another common problem with Calathea plants and can be caused by several factors. Overwatering can lead to root rot and damage the plant’s ability to absorb nutrients, resulting in yellowing leaves.

Underwatering can also cause yellowing leaves, as the plant may become nutrient deficient. Pest infestations, such as spider mites or mealybugs, can also cause leaves to yellow.

Yellowing Leaves Calathea plants

Addressing Yellowing Leaves

To address yellowing leaves, it’s important to maintain consistent watering practices and ensure that the plant is not over or underwatered.

Addressing any pest infestations with natural or chemical pest control methods can also help the plant recover. Additionally, using a high-quality potting mix and ensuring that the plant is receiving enough light can help prevent yellowing leaves.

Pests And Diseases

Common Pests And Diseases

Calathea plants can be susceptible to several pests and diseases, including spider mites, mealybugs, and fungal infections. Spider mites are tiny pests that feed on the plant’s sap and can cause yellowing leaves, webbing, and curling or drooping leaves.

Mealybugs are white, cotton-like pests that also feed on the plant’s sap and can cause stunted growth and yellowing leaves. Fungal infections can cause brown or black spots on the leaves, as well as leaf drop and plant wilting.

Treating Pests And Diseases

To treat spider mites and mealybugs, it’s important to remove any heavily infested leaves or stems and treat the plant with a natural or chemical pest control solution.

Increasing humidity around the plant can help prevent future infestations. Fungal infections can be treated by removing any infected leaves or stems and treating the plant with a fungicide.

It’s also important to ensure that the plant is not overwatered and that there is adequate air circulation around the plant to prevent fungal growth.

Tips For Preventing Calathea Plant Problems

Monitoring Environmental Conditions

Importance Of Monitoring Environmental Conditions

Calathea plants thrive in high-humidity environments with consistent temperatures and indirect light. Monitoring these conditions is crucial for the plant’s health and growth.

Tips For Maintaining Optimal Environmental Conditions

To maintain optimal environmental conditions, it’s important to use a humidifier or pebble tray to increase humidity around the plant.

Calathea plants also prefer indirect light and should be placed in a bright room but away from direct sunlight. Monitoring the temperature is also important as Calatheas prefer temperatures between 60-80°F.

Watering And Fertilizing

Guidance On Watering And Fertilizing

Calathea plants should be watered when the top inch of soil is dry, but it’s important not to overwater as this can lead to root rot.

When fertilizing, it’s best to use a balanced fertilizer and apply it every 2-3 months during the growing season.

Importance Of Avoiding Overwatering Or Overfertilizing

Overwatering or overfertilizing can cause problems for Calathea plants, such as root rot or nutrient burn.

It’s important to follow a consistent watering and fertilizing schedule and avoid adding too much fertilizer or water to the plant.

Regular Maintenance

Encouraging Regular Maintenance Activities:

Regular maintenance activities, such as pruning damaged leaves, checking for pests or diseases, and repotting as needed, are crucial for promoting plant health and preventing future problems.

Highlighting The Benefits Of Regular Maintenance:

Pruning damaged leaves can help prevent the spread of diseases or pests, while repotting can prevent root-bound issues. Regularly checking for pests or diseases can also help prevent infestations from becoming too severe.


In conclusion, while Calathea plants can experience a range of problems that can affect their growth and appearance, with a little knowledge and care, many of these problems can be prevented or addressed.

By monitoring environmental conditions, maintaining consistent watering and fertilizing practices, and regularly maintaining your plant, you can prevent common problems like brown leaf tips, curling or drooping leaves, yellowing leaves, and pests and diseases.

Remember, Calathea plants are stunning and popular houseplants that can bring life and color to any space, and by taking the time to care for them properly, you can help them thrive and continue to brighten your home for years to come.

Scroll to Top