Chinese evergreen is a tropical plant that doesn’t demand much attention. However, it gives out signs if it doesn’t get the right living and growing conditions. If the leaves of your Chinese evergreen start drooping, you must inspect the plant for underlying problems.
In this article we shall understand, why is your Chinese evergreen drooping and how can you fix the same.
Drooping leaves in Chinese evergreen is primarily due to direct sunlight and inadequate watering. Too much sun can increase transpiration, leading to droopy leaves. Apart from that, too much water and insufficient watering also lead to droopy leaves. You must identify the cause to fix the problem.
Today I will address all the possible reasons that might be causing droopy leaves on your Chinese evergreen and how you can prevent this with some primary care of your Chinese evergreen.
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Why is my Chinese evergreen drooping?
A droopy Chinese evergreen indicates that the plant is experiencing a problem. It can be because of lack of care or exposure to the wrong living conditions.
Whatever the reason, it is up to you to figure out the issue and fix it before it’s too late. Here are the possible reasons that can lead to droopy leaves on your Chinese evergreen plant:
- Low humidity
- Low temperatures
- Dry soil
- Direct sunlight
- Pest infestation
- Repotting shock
- Rootbound state
Now that you are aware of all the possible causes, it’s time to understand these, so you don’t make the same mistake again.
Plants that come from tropical regions love humidity. Chinese evergreen plants originate from tropical regions of Asia and hence require high humidity.
Houses don’t have as high humidity as the tropical forests but keeping the humidity above 50% is essential for your Chinese evergreen. But if the plant doesn’t get enough humidity, you’ll notice droopy leaves, among many other problems.
Chinese evergreen is a highly tolerant plant and can tolerate as low humidity as 30%, but that doesn’t mean it will not face any challenges in low humidity.
Without enough moisture, the leaves will become unhealthy and therefore start drooping.
Take the help of a humidifier to maintain the correct humidity levels around your Chinese evergreen plant.
If you don’t have a humidifier, keep the plant with other humidity-loving plants, and the humidity level will increase when the plants transpire.
Tropical regions provide a warm climate with high temperatures to plants like Chinese evergreen. Even if you can’t provide high temperatures, you must protect the plant from low temperatures.
Low temperatures below 60°F are unsuitable for Chinese evergreen plants, and such conditions can cause severe damage. One sign of low temperatures is droopy leaves.
Temperatures tend to drop drastically during winter, and keeping the plant outside or placing it beside a frosty window can become the reason behind the droopy leaves.
Low temperatures stress the plant out even if exposed to it for a short period. If this is the reason, you need to find a better place for your Chinese evergreen to protect it from low temperatures.
Chinese evergreen prefers evenly moist soil at all times. It won’t do well if you let the soil go bone dry.
Droopy leaves are a common sign of underwatering. Many plants, including the Chinese evergreen, show signs of underwatering through droopy leaves.
So, check the soil if you notice droopy leaves on your Chinese evergreen. If the soil feels dry and compact, you have kept your Chinese evergreen thirsty.
However, you can improve the situation by giving a good soak or thoroughly watering the plant. Check the plant and the soil once a week and water it if the top inches of the soil feel dry.
Chinese evergreen is a hardy plant that can survive different conditions. It can survive low light conditions but not direct intense sunlight.
Most houseplants are sensitive to direct sunlight, and the stems of your Chinese evergreen might be drooping because they are exposed to the direct sun.
Direct sunlight can scorch the leaves, and you might notice bleached spots on the leaves of your Chinese evergreen, other than the droopy stems.
If your Chinese evergreen is placed outside the house, you can bring it to a shadier spot, and if you have kept it near a window that gets direct sunlight, bring the plant a few inches back to protect it from the harsh rays.
Overwatering is the mother of many problems. And you can’t leave droopy leaves or stems aside from those problems.
When you don’t understand the requirements of your Chinese evergreen, it can get overwatered. You must water the plant only when the top inches of the soil feel dry.
It will get overwatered if you keep watering your Chinese evergreen without checking the soil’s moisture content. Also, with overwatering comes root rot. If you fail to identify the early signs, such as yellow leaves, the plant will head towards root rot.
If your Chinese evergreen has root rot, you’ll need to take it out, remove the decaying roots, and repot it in a new pot with fresh potting mix.
If you don’t want all these troubles, you must water after making sure the plant needs it and considering external factors such as temperature, humidity, etc. You must reduce watering the plant in winter.
Chinese evergreen can thrive with little fertilizer. However, excess fertilizer will not make it grow more.
One common mistake is that people fertilize their plants more, thinking they will proliferate. That is hardly the case. Excess fertilization damages the plant in many ways.
When the Chinese evergreen is fed with a stronger dose or is fertilized too frequently, the excess fertilizer remains in the soil since it doesn’t get used up. This fertilizer can burn the roots and affect the leaves of the plant.
A plant with unhealthy roots will not perform its daily activities like it should, making it dehydrated and weak. Thus, you’ll notice the droopy leaves as a sign of weakness and overfertilization.
You must dilute a balanced fertilizer and feed it to your Chinese evergreen during the growing season. Avoid fertilizing the plant in winter.
Exposing the Chinese evergreen to drafts is not a good idea. These plants are sensitive to hot and cold drafts and don’t react well to either.
If your Chinese evergreen is exposed to drafts, it is not unusual to notice the leaves drooping.
So, the only way to avoid this is to keep the plant away from areas with cold or hot drafts. If you can’t move the plant, you must find a way to protect it from the drafts.
Pests are a nuisance for your houseplants and can cause numerous problems. If you inspect your Chinese evergreen thoroughly, you might find tiny pests resting on the undersides of the leaves.
Although droopy leaves are not an initial sign of pest infestation, they can occur at a more advanced stage where the pests have started populating and taking over the plant.
Different pests such as mealybugs, whiteflies, scales attack your Chinese evergreen if you overwater it. In comparison, pests like spider mites will attack the plant if you keep it thirsty and dry.
Don’t waste any time after noticing pests on your Chinese evergreen, and start the treatment immediately if you don’t want to lose the plant.
You can spray a neem oil solution or apply rubbing alcohol on the affected areas to eliminate the pests.
Overwatering the Chinese evergreen makes it vulnerable not only to pests but also to fungal and bacterial diseases.
Although diseases are not common in Chinese evergreen plants, keeping them in unfavorable conditions will bring diseases like leaf spot, root rot, and Anthracnose. These can make the plant weak, leading to a droopy plant.
Another disease that is known for causing drooping is Curvularia. It makes the plant stretch downwards, due to which it appears to droop.
If you keep it healthy and provide the correct living conditions, you won’t see diseases on your Chinese evergreen.
When you bring a new Chinese evergreen home, adjusting to the new place and living conditions might take some time. So, don’t be surprised to find droopy leaves on your Chinese evergreen right after bringing it home.
When growing in its native land, Chinese evergreen isn’t moved from place to place. It remains in one place and doesn’t have to adjust to a new place.
However, that is not the case when you bring Chinese evergreen in the house. After coming from the nursery or shop, it has to adjust to the surroundings of your house.
Be patient and keep taking care of the plant to make the adjustment easier. Don’t relocate it repeatedly as that can add up to its stress.
All plants go through shock or stress after repotting. After being used to its pot, a plant will require time for adjusting to a new one.
So, if you notice droopy leaves or stems after repotting your Chinese evergreen, give it some time to adjust to the changes. Provide it with favorable conditions and don’t make any more changes to stress it out.
You must not repot your Chinese evergreen too frequently as it has a shallow root system and requires repotting only when rootbound. If you repot it too often, the plant will experience unnecessary stress.
In general, repotting a Chinese evergreen once in 3-4 years will be suitable. The best time to repot it is in spring. Repotting during winter can shock the plant even more as the temperatures remain low and the plant remains dormant in this season.
Many people consider keeping their houseplants in the rootbound state to encourage blooming. However, keeping a plant rootbound for too long will lead to different problems like droopy leaves.
Chinese evergreen will prefer being slightly rootbound, but you need to repot it as soon as you notice that the plant is showing signs of being rootbound.
Take the Chinese evergreen out of the pot and prune any unhealthy roots that you notice. Prepare a fresh potting mix and take a new pot with drainage holes. Plant the Chinese evergreen in the pot and water it to reduce repotting stress.
How do I stop Chinese evergreen leaves from drooping?
After understanding all the possible causes of a droopy Chinese evergreen, you need to know how to stop the leaves from drooping. You must come up with the correct care routine.
Here are a few tips that will help you understand the basic requirements of a Chinese evergreen plant. You will be able to stop the leaves from drooping by following these tips.
- Provide bright indirect light to your Chinese evergreen but avoid direct intense sunlight.
- Give enough water to keep the soil evenly moist, but don’t let it go soggy.
- Water after ensuring the top inches of the soil is dry.
- Reduce the watering frequency and amount in winter.
- Fertilize the Chinese evergreen with a diluted dose of a balanced fertilizer to avoid overfertilizing.
- Fertilize the Chinese evergreen during the growing season and stop fertilizing in winter.
- Try to keep the humidity levels above 50% with the help of a humidifier, grouping your Chinese evergreen with other moisture-loving plants, or relocating it to the bathroom or basement.
- Protect your Chinese evergreen from low temperatures and frost during winter.
- Don’t expose the plant to cold or hot drafts.
- Repot your Chinese evergreen only when it gets rootbound, preferably once in 3-4 years.
- Spray a neem oil solution on your Chinese evergreen to protect it from pest infestations and diseases.
- Clean the leaves of the Chinese evergreen by wiping them with a wet cloth. This will allow the plant to photosynthesize better.
- Allow good airflow around the plant.
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Chinese evergreen or aglaonema is tolerant to different conditions, but not providing the ideal living conditions will eventually lead to different problems such as a droopy plant.
Providing the correct light, sufficient water, timely fertilization, and proper external conditions will help the plant remain healthy.
And a healthy Chinese evergreen is unlikely to produce droopy leaves or stems. However, if you make a mistake or neglect the plant, try to identify it and fix it instead of worrying about it.