Why Are My Peacock Plant Leaves Curling? (Causes & How to Fix Them)

Peacock plants, also known as the Calathea, can be a beautiful addition to an otherwise simple room. However, it is incomplete without its care manual. Unfortunately, no plant owner will attach a manual to a plant.

Calatheas are hard to maintain. They might start to curl or get damaged in the blink of an eye. This is due to their beautiful appearance. If you ask yourself, “why are my peacock plant leaves curling,” here are some probable reasons.

Why Are My Peacock Plant Leaves Curling?

Peacock plants might curl due to a lack of water supply. The more vibrant the plant, the more water it needs to pull up to the leaves for maintenance. Reduced water supply at the roots can lead to dehydration.

Plants can lose liquid much faster when underwatered or placed in a humid climate. Here are some reasons beginner Peacock plant owners can benefit from;

1. A Thirsty Plant

We are human, and humans can make mistakes. New plant owners often forget to water their plants as it is out of routine. Add sticky notes or a magnet to your fridge that acts as a reminder for watering.

If you fail to water your Calatheas regularly, they might stop pulling water upwards as they try to store it for survival. An automatic defense system will lead to its leaves curling in so that moisture is retained.

Green Tip

Check your plants for underwatering through the color of their leaves or soil moisture. Purchase a moisture detector and add it to the pot. This can help you understand whether the problem lies elsewhere.

Ensure that the water you use isn’t rid of the nutrients that the plant needs to survive. Some filtered water systems are not suitable for plants.


Water your plants regularly. A peacock plant needs to be watered at least once a week. Upon noticing that the soil is getting dry, water it immediately.

This can be checked through a simple test. Insert your fingers into the soil until they are 2 to 3 inches deep. If they come out dry, your plant needs watering.

If you are still asking yourself, “why are my peacock plant leaves curling,” here’s another reason.

Also look: Overwatered Polka Dot Plant

2. The Overexcited Plant Owner

First-time plant owners can be super excited about their plants. After all, plants are a great addition to a house. Peacock plants look beautiful, which might lead you to believe they need more water. This can cause overwatering.

A plant can recover from underwatering, but overwatering may lead to permanent damage. Overwatering will not lead to magical growth. Your plant will continue to flourish at the same rate when watered regularly. Overwatering might kill it.

Overwatering will cause permanent damage to the roots. Since the roots can absorb limited amounts of liquid, they will begin to decay after some time. As they decay, they lose their strength, which will then cause the opposite effect; they’ll no longer absorb water.

Green Tip

If you think you have overwatered your plant, check for warning signs. An overwatered plant;

  • Has “burnt” tips (look for browning on the edges)
  • Smells strange (check for an odor that resembles rotten eggs)
  • It will stay wet no matter how many days go by (this is due to low absorption)


Here are some ways to save an overwatered plant or prevent it from getting overwatered;

  • Invest in a moisture meter and check the moisture levels before watering your peacock plant
  • If you notice that the water isn’t drying, report the plant
  • Encourage water drainage in your plant through drainage holes

3. Temperature and Sunlight

No matter where you live in the USA, you will receive different heat and humidity levels. It is important to adjust conditions to encourage a flourishing plant. If you wonder, “why are my peacock plant leaves curling,” every time you bring a new Calathea home, your home might not be the best environment for the plant.

The plant grows in the wilderness within the tropical rainforests and is thus used to the shade the tall, thick trees provide. This means that it prefers cool conditions with less direct sunlight.

Direct sunlight can lead to a shy plant. It will curl up its leaves to prevent them from burning. These plants fare well in indirect sunlight.

Moreover, extreme heat or colder temperatures will also lead to curling leaves. This can come from placing the plant on the windowsill or in front of a heating or cooling source. Check the plant’s temperature or the surroundings and shift it to a better location.

Green Tip

It is a great idea to invest in a humidifier for the plant. Humidifiers can be great for your own health. They can also emulate the same conditions the peacock plant is used to in the wild.

How to Fix Curled Leaves on a Peacock Plant?

A Calathea will usually curl its leaves if its environment isn’t conducive to growth. This will be the case if the humidity levels are too low. In this case, the leaves will curl up or get burnt. An easy way to return the leaves to their original appearance is to tamper with the humidity.

It is important to go through an extensive guide before purchasing an exotic plant. The University of Florida in the USA has published a great guide for first-time Calathea owners’ reference. Go through it before deciding to invest in the Peacock plant.

1. Add Moisture to the Leaves

Purchase a spray bottle and try to spray the plant’s leaves with lukewarm water at different times in the day to add humidity.

2. DIY Yourself a Humidity Tray

Try to use stones or pebbles to create a humidity tray. This can be anything filled with water the pot can stand on top of without touching the water directly.

3. Buy a Humidifier

The easiest way to add humidity to the climate is to buy the humidifier itself.

4. Use the Bathroom

Take your peacock plant to the bathroom with you whenever you go for a hot shower. Place it in the bathroom so that it can feed off the humidity levels.

Click here: How Can I Tell if My Potted Dieffenbachia Plant Needs Less Sunlight?

Other Cures for Curling Leaves

Peacock plants’ leaves can curl for many odd reasons. For every reason, there is a different cure that you can apply. Here are some common solutions to the problem of a curling Peacock plant. It is important to keep your plant happy if you want to elongate life, so make sure you identify the problem and cure it early on!

1. The Shower Method

A Calathea may not bode well when overwatered. However, a gentle shower is great for the plant. Showers can clean the leaves and rid the soil of bacteria, promoting humidity. These plants can be easily cleaned through showers in the bathroom.

Simply place your plant in the bathtub and turn on the shower. Allow the leaves to bathe in the gentle spray of the lukewarm water. After the plant has drained well, place it in its home.

2. Spring Cleaning

Sometimes leaves may curl due to dust or pollution. It is important to wipe the leaves of bigger plants if you have a green thumb. Wiping off the leaf debris or dust can help the plant grow better. Even plants need to feel squeaky clean from time to time!

3. Choose the Right Spot

For a Peacock plant to grow well, it is important to choose the correct spot for placement. The spot should not receive extremely hot or cold temperatures. It should also be adequately humid. Try maintaining a temperature between 65 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit.

A Peacock plant will start to get damaged when the temperature falls below 60 degrees Fahrenheit as it is used to the tropical climate it comes from.

4. Apply Proper Watering Techniques

Calatheas do not do well if underwatered or overwatered. If the plant is underwatered, it cannot maintain its beautiful leaves. If overwatered, it will start to decay. Place moisture meters and try to get the moisture right.

If you find it hard to maintain a watering routine, invest in an app or set alarms to ensure your houseplant receives the water it deserves.

Final Thoughts

Now that you have established an answer to your question, “why are my peacock plant leaves curling,” perhaps applying the solutions your plant needs is best. It is important to cure your plant’s symptoms as soon as possible.

Since the Peacock plant needs specific conditions to survive, ensure that your home contains those conditions before investing in one. After all, you are bringing new life to your home. You must care for it accordingly and give it the encouragement it requires for proper growth.

Happy planting!

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