Alocasia is a tropical plant loved for its large green leaves. However, it is sad to see these beautiful leaves bend. If you want to find out all the reasons behind the bending leaves of your Alocasia, read this article till the end.
Alocasia leaves primarily bend due to lack of water as the leaves become weak and fail to hold their structure due to dehydration. To avoid this, set a reminder to check the plant regularly and water whenever the soil is 25-50% dry. Also, Make sure to provide adequate care to your plant.
Let’s discuss all the possible reasons behind Alocasia leaves bending. I will also elaborate on how you can deal with these problems to fix your Alocasia leaves.
Table Of Contents
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Why is my Alocasia bending?
Alocasia leaves bend when the plant doesn’t get the correct care or the right growing conditions.
Your Alocasia leaves can bend due to:
- Lack of water
- Low light
- Pest infestation
- Small pot
- Lack of nutrients
- Direct sunlight
- Physical damage
Let’s understand this in-depth and explore all the possible reasons behind this.
Lack of water
Alocasia is a tropical plant that prefers slightly moist soil and can’t tolerate dry soil.
If you are one of those people who forget to water their plants on time, it is not unusual for you to notice bending leaves on your Alocasia.
Alocasia requires water whenever the soil goes 25-50% dry.
A thirsty plant will not have sufficient energy for healthy growth.
The leaves will bend, curl, or eventually fall off when the plant doesn’t get enough energy.
How do I keep my Alocasia from going thirsty?
If you think the leaves of your Alocasia are bending due to lack of water, check the soil.
If it is bone dry, you can confirm that the plant is thirsty.
Now, to stop your Alocasia from going thirsty, keep these in mind:
- Set a calendar reminder to check on your Alocasia every week or after every few days.
- If the soil feels dry, water the Alocasia thoroughly till it starts draining out of the drainage holes.
- If the soil has gone dry, take a chopstick and poke the soil to make some holes to aerate it. This will allow proper absorption of water.
- If you are away from the house or plan to go on vacation, you can use a self-watering kit.
- Use soil that doesn’t drain water too fast and can hold the required moisture.
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Overwatering is common in houseplants because people fail to understand the plant’s water requirements, especially when they start.
When you follow a watering routine blindly without checking the soil, you can overwater your Alocasia.
Overwatering causes numerous problems, and bending leaves is one of them.
When you overwater the Alocasia, the soil gets soggy, and the roots suffocate due to excess water and lack of oxygen.
They fail to absorb water and nutrients and regulate it around the plant, weakening your Alocasia.
Due to this, the leaves fail to stay straight and start bending due to weakness.
How to fix an overwatered Alocasia?
If the leaves of your Alocasia are bending due to overwatering, you’ll notice soggy soil, still water on the soil, or a foul smell coming from the soil.
You can save an overwatered Alocasia with the following steps:
- First, stop watering.
- If you notice standing water on the soil, tilt the pot to get rid of the water.
- Leave the Alocasia under a bright spot with ample indirect sunlight to let the soil dry out.
- Once the soil dries out, resume watering. But always check the soil with a moisture meter or your finger to ensure it is dry.
- You can take Alocasia out of the pot, spread the soil and the roots on paper, leave them under a bright spot, and let them dry.
- If you notice brown and mushy roots, your Alocasia is undergoing root rot. You must take a sterilized pruner, prune the decaying roots, spray fungicide on the healthy ones, and repot it in a new pot with fresh soil.
Also read: How Can You Save Overwatered Alocasia?
Light is an essential factor that plants need to carry out their daily photosynthesis and other functions.
If your Alocasia doesn’t get enough light, it will fail to generate enough energy and produce enough food due to a lack of photosynthesis.
Naturally, the plant will become weak, and you will notice the effect on the leaves.
You will find that the leaves are drooping, bending, looking dull, and getting discolored.
How to provide more light to Alocasia?
If lack of light is causing the leaves to bend, try these:
- Relocate your Alocasia to a spot where it will get bright indirect sunlight for 6-8 hours.
- If your house doesn’t get enough natural light, introduce artificial lights that are a great alternative to natural sunlight.
- If the Alocasia plant is not getting enough light in winter, you can expose it to direct sunlight for 2-3 hours in the morning.
Pests are a serious threat to all houseplants as most of them feed on the sap that contains all the nutrients the plant needs.
Since pests take out all the sap, the plant becomes weak and develops different problems like bending leaves.
Pests can infest your Alocasia if the plant is not getting the ideal growing conditions.
Most pests like mealybugs, aphids, and scales will attack your Alocasia if kept in moist conditions with low light.
On the other hand, pests like spider mites will get attracted to your Alocasia if it is kept in dry conditions with low humidity.
How do you get rid of pests on your Alocasia?
Here are the steps to eliminating pests from your Alocasia:
- Isolate the Alocasia so the pests can’t travel to other houseplants from your Alocasia.
- Inspect the plant thoroughly to determine the areas that pests have infested.
- You can prune the heavily infested parts with a sterilized pruner.
- You can take a cotton ball, dip it in rubbing alcohol, and wipe the infected parts.
- Use Neem oil. Add Neem oil to water, pour it into a spray bottle, and spray it all over your Alocasia. Continue this for 2 weeks.
- If you still notice the pests, you can opt for a pesticide to remove them.
If you don’t want your Alocasia to attract pests again, provide suitable conditions and spray the Neem oil solution once a month.
A small pot indicates that you have a rootbound plant.
When the plant grows bigger than the pot, you must repot it in a bigger pot, so it doesn’t get rootbound.
If you don’t do it on time, you will notice different problems.
When a plant grows in a small pot, its roots don’t get enough space to grow, and they start growing in a circular motion.
A rootbound plant shows slow and stunted growth, deformed leaves like bending leaves, and other problems.
So, if your Alocasia hasn’t been repotted for a few years, you know the bending leaves are due to the plant’s rootbound condition.
How to save the Alocasia from the rootbound state?
If your Alocasia is rootbound, you need to repot it.
- Take your Alocasia out of its pot. If you find it difficult, tap the sides of the pot to loosen the soil or run a knife along the edges of the soil. You can water the soil a day before you repot the plant.
- Once the Alocasia is out, untangle the roots gently. If the plant is too rootbound, you might need to use a knife to loosen the overcrowded roots.
- Get a new pot 1-2 inches larger than the previous one and prepare a fresh potting mix.
- Fill the pot halfway with soil and put the Alocasia inside it.
- Add soil from all sides and tap the pot from the sides to help the plant settle down.
Lack of nutrients
Alocasia plants growing in pots will not get nutrients naturally.
The soil will provide nutrients, but that will not be sufficient as the soil keeps losing nutrients with every watering.
Therefore, adding fertilizers is essential to keep the plant healthy.
If you don’t add fertilizers, the plant will go low on nutrients, affecting its growth.
A weak plant will produce unhealthy and bending leaves.
Therefore, consider checking your fertilization schedule if you notice leaves bending in your Alocasia.
How to provide sufficient fertilizer to Alocasia?
Since Alocasia grows large leaves, it requires a lot of nutrients.
Consider following these to fertilize your Alocasia sufficiently.
- Fertilize your Alocasia plant with a balanced 20:20:20 NPK liquid fertilizer.
- Fertilize the Alocasia throughout the growing season as Alocasia is a heavy feeder.
Overfertilization can be a serious problem if you keep adding too much fertilizer to your Alocasia, expecting it to grow faster.
It doesn’t work that way.
You must give the plant as much fertilizer as required and not more than that.
In fertilization, less is better than more.
If you have an overfertilized Alocasia, it can show signs like deformed and discolored leaves, and if you take it out of its pot, you’ll even notice burned roots.
How to cure an overfertilized Alocasia?
To cure an overfertilized Alocasia, you need to:
- Scrape off the topsoil if you notice a white fertilizer build-up.
- Take the Alocasia to the sink and run water over the soil 3-4 times to leach the excess fertilizer salts out of it.
- You can even repot your Alocasia with a fresh potting mix.
- To avoid further overfertilization, consider diluting the fertilizer before adding it to your Alocasia. You can add the fertilizer to the water in the watering can, mix it, and add it to your Alocasia.
- Don’t fertilize in the winter season as the Alocasia remains dormant and doesn’t need fertilizers during this time.
Alocasia doesn’t need direct sunlight as it is used to growing in dappled sunlight even in its native lands.
However, if your Alocasia is getting direct sunlight, its leaves will bend as a sign of damage.
This is also a defense mechanism of the plants to save the moisture already there.
How to save my Alocasia from the direct sun?
If you think the leaves are bending due to exposure to direct sunlight:
- Relocate the plant to a better spot where it will not get direct sun.
- If your Alocasia is placed near the window, move it 5-7 feet away from the window to save it from direct exposure.
- You can also use curtains or blinds to filter the direct sunlight.
- If your Alocasia is placed outside, you can move it to a shadier spot where it will only get indirect sunlight.
Also read: Alocasia Sunburn: Signs, Causes & How To Fix
If your Alocasia falls off or gets hit by something, the leaves can bend due to the damage.
However, the leaves can recover.
How to fix the bent leaves on my Alocasia?
If the leaves of your Alocasia have bent due to physical damage, try these steps:
- Take a stick that is of the same size as the leaf.
- Hold the stick along the midrib of the leaf.
- Use tape to attach the stick.
- Now leave the stick like that.
This will allow the leaf to heal and recover the damage.
If you want to avoid this situation in the future, place your Alocasia in a spot where there is no chance of it getting any physical damage.
If you have pets and children in the house, consider keeping the plant away from their reach, not only because they can damage the plant but also because of its toxicity.
How do I take care of my Alocasia?
If you want to take care of your Alocasia, so it doesn’t have bent leaves ever again, check this table.
|Light||Provide bright indirect sunlight for 6-8 hours and keep the plant away from the direct sun.|
|Water||Water your Alocasia whenever the soil is 25-50% dry.|
Reduce the watering in winter.
|Soil||Use well-drained soil. A soil with equal parts of regular potting mix, perlite, and peat moss will be suitable for Alocasia.|
|Fertilizer||Fertilize your Alocasia throughout the growing season with a balanced 20:20:20 NPK liquid fertilizer. Stop fertilizing in winter.|
|Temperature||Maintain 65-85°F as Alocasia prefers warm conditions.|
|Humidity||The humidity level should not go below 50-60%.|
You can maintain this with the help of a humidifier.
|Repotting||Repot the Alocasia whenever the plant starts getting rootbound.|
|Pruning||Prune the Alocasia from the plant base whenever you notice discolored leaves or damaged leaves. You should also separate the baby plants from the mother plant while pruning to avoid overcrowding.|
Reference: Science Direct, Propagation of Alocasia, The University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture, Alocasia sanderiana, Alocasia micholitziana.