Why Is My Polka Dot Plant Drooping?

Whether your Polka Dot Plant is one of the many houseplants brightening up your living room or it’s your first plant baby, you can tell when something isn’t right. Drooping leaves on your plant is a sign that it needs some attention.

Your Polka Dot Plant is drooping because the soil is too dry, you are overwatering your plant, you are underwatering your plant, the air around your plant is too dry, or you are exposing your plant to too much sunlight.

The rest of this article will go in-depth on why your Polka Dot Plant is dropping and a few solutions you can implement to fix it.

Common Causes of a Polka Dot Plant Drooping

If the leaves of your Polka Dot Plant begin to look a little sad—don’t panic. It doesn’t mean your plant is dying. A few factors can contribute to your Polka Dot Plant drooping, and you can fix most of them if you catch it early enough.

You Are Giving Your Polka Dot Plant Too Much or Too Little Fertilizer

You should give your Polka Dot Plant fertilizer regularly to encourage healthy growth. However, adding too much or not adding enough can cause the leaves to droop.

Fertilizer adds soluble salts to the soil surrounding your Polka Dot Plant, giving it extra nutrients and allowing for fast growth. Too much fertilizer causes the leaves to grow too quickly, and the roots can’t catch up. Thus, the roots can’t support the number of leaves, and they begin to droop down. Excess fertilizer can also cause the roots to exert more energy than usual to get water.

On the other hand, Polka Dot Plants need fertilizer to grow. Not adding enough, or not adding any, can stunt growth and lead to the leaves drooping.

You Are Overwatering Your Polka Dot Plant

While Polka Dot Plants need water, too much is detrimental to their health. When your plant is overwatered (or in a pot with poor drainage), the roots swell to intake as much water as possible. The remaining water sits in the soil, leaving it perpetually damp. Powdery mildew and root rot are common for Polka Dot Plants, so you should follow a proper watering schedule.

What Does an Overwatered Polka Dot Plant Look Like?

An overwatered Polka Dot Plant has yellow leaves, the top of the soil never dries, and the leaves droop over. The damp soil is the symptom that causes the leaves to yellow and root rot to form. The leaves drooping is a sign of too much water.

Root rot happens when the soil in your Polka Dot Plant’s pot is too wet or doesn’t drain well enough. When the roots sit in wet soil, they start to decay because they aren’t getting enough oxygen. This lack of oxygen can also cause the leaves of your Polka Dot Plant to droop.

Read: How To Make My Polka Dot Plant Bushy?

You Are Under-Watering Your Polka Dot Plant

Although Polka Dot Plants don’t like to be drenched with water, they need enough to survive. If you do not give your plant enough water, the leaves will droop, signifying their thirst. You will be able to tell that you are under-watering your Polka Dot Plant if you notice the leaves turn brown, the leaves drooping, or dry soil.

The Air Around Your Polka Dot Plant Is Too Dry

Polka Dot Plants thrive in humidity, so the leaves can droop if the air surrounding your plants is too dry. This is more likely to be true if you leave your plant outdoors. If you live in a drier climate, like Albuquerque, New Mexico, or the mountains of Lake Tahoe, California, you may need to move your plant inside.

Your Polka Dot Plant Is Getting Too Much Sun

Polka Dot Plants have a complicated relationship with the sun. They love bright light, but too much sun can cause your plant to overheat and droop. You will know that your plant is getting too much sun if, along with drooping, the leaves turn brown, crispy, or fall off.

Do Polka Dot Plants Need Direct Sunlight?

Polka Dot Plants do not need direct sunlight; in fact, they need indirect sunlight. Keep your plant in a spot where it gets a ton of bright light, but keep it out of any direct sun rays. Otherwise, your plant leaves will droop because they receive too much heat.

How To Fix Your Drooping Polka Dot Plant

Once you identify why your Polka Dot Plant is drooping, you can usually fix the problem. Check out these easy solutions, and apply the one that best fits the issue you’re having.

Add Fertilizer to Your Polka Dot Plant Regularly

You should be adding fertilizer to your Polka Dot Plant every other week in each season except winter. Like your plant’s relationship with water, plants do not need as much fertilizer when there is less sunlight.

Plants use this mix of water, sunlight, and carbon dioxide to undergo photosynthesis. When there is less sun, you need less of the other components. Too much of one thing, and the health of your Polka Dot Plant can suffer.

You should use a liquid fertilizer with a balanced formula. I suggest the Fitleaf Leaf Vitality All Purpose from Amazon.com. Keep in mind that whatever fertilizer you choose should have a 20-20-20 formula.

To fertilize your Polka Dot Plant:

  1. Mix half a teaspoon of fertilizer with one gallon of water to dilute it.
  2. Pour the mixture into a spray bottle.
  3. Spray the underside of your leaves and the soil.
  4. Repeat the process bi-monthly.

Outdoor Polka Dot Plants need fertilizer less frequently—about once a month. However, you should still forgo fertilizing in the winter.

Give Your Polka Dot Plant Water When Necessary

Your Polka Dot Plant’s watering schedule will vary based on the time of year. It would be best to give your plant plenty of water in the warmer summer months when there is plenty of sunlight. Water more sparingly in the winter, when there is less sunlight.

If you have difficulty watering your Polka Dot Plant the traditional way, try bottom-up watering. To do this:

  1. Fill a container halfway with distilled water.
  2. Place your pot with the Polka Dot Plant into the container.
  3. Allow the soil to absorb the water for 10–20 minutes.
  4. Pull the pot out of the container and allow the excess water to drain out.

Bottom-up watering keeps you from over-watering your plant and allows the roots to grow stronger because the water pulls them in the direction of the water.

Explore: Overwatered Polka Dot Plant

Keep Your Polka Dot Plant Exposed to Humidity

Using a humidifier to provide moisture is the best way to ensure your Polka Dot plant gets enough humidity. If you don’t already have one, I recommend the Orgtoy Quiet Cool Mist Humidifier that you can pick up on Amazon.com. Run your humidifier for a few hours in the morning to give your Polka Dot Plant enough moisture.

You can also mist your plant by putting distilled water into a spray bottle and misting it a few times a day. Misting is a great way to ensure your Polka Dot Plant gets enough moisture without spending money on a humidifier.

Give Your Polka Dot Plant Access to Indirect Sunlight

If you keep your Polka Dot Plant indoors, you may want to consider moving it near a north or south-facing window. Since the sun rises and sets in the east and west, having it by a west or an east-facing window gives it more of a chance to catch direct sunlight.

Remember, it’s always best to place your plant in a location that gets bright light without direct rays.

Can Polka Dot Plants Go Outside?

Polka Dot Plants can go outside; just make sure they are in a humid enough climate to survive. You should also ensure that they stay out of direct sunlight and live in the shade—in an area that receives bright light.

Click here: How To Grow Polka Dot Plant From Seed?

Keep Your Polka Dot Plant in the Right Pot With the Right Soil

Ensure your Polka Dot Plant is in a container with enough drainage to prevent root rot and mildew. You will know that your plant has root rot if the soil is constantly damp and there is an odor coming from your plant.

To repot a Polka Dot Plant with root rot:

  1. Remove your plant from its old pot.
  2. Gently cut off and remove any damaged roots.
  3. Allow the plant to dry off.
  4. Repot your plant in a pot with a sufficient drainage system and nutrient-rich soil.

Summary

If you notice your Polka Dot Plant is drooping, something is off with its care. Make sure you water it regularly, monitoring the soil dampness to see if you are under or over-watering. Keep your plant out of direct sunlight and keep the air humid. Do not forget to fertilize your plant as a part of its regular maintenance – just remember not to over fertilize. Follow these tips, and those leaves should perk up in no time.

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