Rubber plants are hardy and easy to take care of, making them a popular choice among beginner hobbyists. However, if they are not provided with a balanced living environment, they can develop various problems in them.
One common problem that most beginners face is curly leaves on rubber plants. But what causes curly leaves in a rubber plant, and what can we do about it?
Inadequate watering and cold conditions are primary causes of curly leaves on rubber plants. Don’t over or underwater your rubber plant and keep them at appropriate temperatures. Apart from that, you should also keep low humidity and pest problems under check to avoid the curling of leaves.
Now that you know that many factors could lead to curly leaves on the rubber plant, you must be wondering how you can diagnose the cause and what would be an appropriate solution for the same.
Don’t worry. We have got you all covered up. Just keep reading till the end, and you will learn all about it.
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What causes rubber plant leaves to curl?
Rubber plants need little attention and some daily routine to take care of them. They mostly get affected by climatic conditions around them, and as a result, their leaves start to curl.
There are different curling examples, such as up-curl, down-curl, or side curl, depending upon the many factors causing the curl in leaves.
Rubber plants signal the unhealthy climatic condition when their leaves start to curl. However, If one new leaf starts to curl, that’s the sign of new growth no need to worry about it at all.
We have all the possible factors for your rubber plant put down to reach the right root cause of the curling of leaves on them.
Inadequate Watering can curl the leaves
Different curling patterns in your rubber plant can help you to identify the real cause. You can tell if under or overwatering is the leading cause by studying the curling pattern.
Your rubber plant’s leaves will curl downwards beneath themselves in case of overwatering. Rubber plants don’t like too much-wet soil; hence you shouldn’t keep the soil continuously saturated with water.
Although rubber plants love to drink water regularly, too much water can cause leaf curling and root problems.
If the watering is too much, it can also lead to root rot, and in the worst conditions, your plant may die.
Once the plant starts to develop root rot problems, it’s essential to take immediate action to save your plant.
To fix the problem due to overwatering, make sure to use well-draining soil, use containers with proper bottom drainage, and only water plants when you see the top part of soil becomes dry.
In the case of underwatering, the leaves of the plant will curl downwards, and you will feel like the plant is dehydrated.
Too little water can cause the soil to be dry, and rubber plants don’t like to deal with too much dry soil for a long time.
Rubber plants could remain healthy even if left underwatered up to some extent. However, when they don’t get water for a long time, they start to dry due to heat and cannot keep their leavers healthy.
These mostly happen during summer seasons as they often require more water, get thirstier, and too much heat make soil dry quickly.
Although rubber plants may forgive you if you miss the watering one or two times, repeating the same mistake will be hazardous for their health.
It is important to regularly water the plants to ensure that they remain healthy and good.
You can quickly fix the problem of underwatering by raising the humidity around the plant and watering them thoroughly. Make sure you water them on time just before the soil gets dry, and your plant shall be healthy again.
Cold temperature can cause curling of leaves
Rubber plants may develop curly leaves due to a drop in temperature.
They mostly grow in climatic conditions where the temperature doesn’t drop too low, or there is no extreme cold.
Rubber plants love the warm and humid conditions and like to be bold and attractive.
They don’t like to grow in a condition where the temperature is too low or the environment’s climatic condition keeps changing.
To prevent leaf curling of rubber plants, place or maintain the place’s temperature around 55°F to 85°F.
Additionally, if you place them outside, make sure you bring them inside before the climatic conditions change.
Once the temperature falls below 50 F, the Rubber plant will start to suffer from cold damage. So, make sure you take the measures beforehand to prevent any damage to your plant’s foliage.
Also read: Where to keep your rubber plants?
Humidity is another problem that leads to curly leaves on rubber plant. Every plant needs some humidity to keep them growing and evolve better.
The low humidity conditions can make leaves curl, and eventually, they can fall off.
Rubber plants love an environment where humidity is good, and the temperature is warm.
If you feel the air is too dry, make sure to mist your plant every few days to ensure they are in good condition. If you don’t know how to maintain the humidity level around, here are some tips for you-
- Group your rubber plant with other humidity loving plants.
- Mist the rubber plant with a mix of neem oil and water every few days.
- Make sure to control the room temperature.
- Grow the rubber plant in an area where the humidity is high. For example:- Kitchen, Bathroom, etc.
- Use a humidifier to maintain appropriate temperature levels.
Also read: Should I mist my rubber plants?
Another reason for the curling of leaves is due to pests and insects.
Spider mites, scale, and mealybugs are common indoor pests that can attack rubber plants.
While there is a pretty rare chance that your rubber plant can get attacked by any pests if you take good care of them, still check every few days to ensure that the plant is in good condition.
Fixing a pest problem as soon as you notice it for the first time is a good idea. Start by identifying the pest. It is a simple task if you learn some basics about the common pests.
Mealybug: Mealybugs penetrate the rubber plant foliage and suck all the plant sap. They look like clumpy cotton balls and usually show up in the leaf corners.
Spider Mites: Like mealybugs, spider mites also feed on the plant’s sap and cause a lot of damage to the plant. Spider mites are tiny in size and create webs around the plant. They can also attack quickly to other plants indoors.
Scale: These insects are too small and covered in an armor-like shell. Like mealybugs and spider mites, the scale also feeds on the sap and damages the plants. These are mostly found in clumps around the stems.
To get rid of pests and insects, we recommend giving a shower of warm soap water. If the shower doesn’t help you, we recommend using a neem oil solution to fight them.
Apart from that, using some horticultural oil can also help eliminate them. Always mix, handle and apply the particular product as per the instructions provided on the product label.
It’s always the best choice to inspect your plant every few days. It ensures that your plant is healthy.
Not enough light
Light plays a crucial role in maintaining your rubber plant’s health and charm.
Ensure that the plant gets proper exposure to the brightness of the light but indirectly. It is also a good idea to provide artificial light.
When the rubber plant doesn’t get enough light, the plant’s leaves will start drooping and curling.
Also, when the light exposure to the rubber plant is not well, the plant may grow tall and leggy. Solve this problem by exposing it to an area with proper brightness.
However, if you decide to grow your plant outdoors instead of indoor, make sure the plant gets indirect exposure to outside natural light.
Thus, it is essential to make sure the plant doesn’t come directly in contact with the sunlight or badly harm the plant.
Also read: How much light do rubber plant need?
Will curl leaves recover?
The recovery of your rubber plant depends upon the extent of the damage.
The plant can quickly recover through mild damage if you notice the problem early on and take steps to fix it quickly.
On the other hand, if the plant gets severely damaged, the leaves will not recover and fall eventually.
What’s important here is you take proper measures to identify the problem and fix the same. If the cause of curly leaves is not identified and fixed on time, it can be challenging for your rubber plant to recover.
How to prevent the curling of your rubber plant leaves?
Focus on providing appropriate care to your rubber plant. The plants love and grow healthy when they feel love and care around them.
Ensure you provide your rubber plant an excellent climatic condition to grow and provide them with anything essential whenever needed.
Placing the plant at a suitable temperature and providing appropriate exposure to light ensures long life.
Thankfully, rubber plants neglect some small mistakes and imperfect conditions. So, you can get away with small mistakes.
Here are some tips to prevent the curling in rubber plant leaves:-
- Provide the plant with a warm climatic temperature of 55°F to 85°F.
- Take time to inspect them regularly to ensure they are not exposed to any pests or insects. If you notice any, make sure to take quick steps to get rid of them.
- Rubber plants love humidity. Make sure they get proper humidity for their health and better growth.
- Keep your plants away from direct exposure to sunlight, as it can damage your plant’s foliage.
- Feed with nutrition-rich fertilizer every few days during the summer season to ensure they get proper growth.
- Keep your plants away from windows and cold drafts as it can damage the foliage and make your plant wilt.
Tips for the healthy growth of plants
- We recommend spending some time reading about them to know your rubber plants; this will help you to understand their needs and the stress they are going through.
- Once you understand them, you can understand the problems early on and understand how to care for them well.
- Light, water, and fertilizers are essential for your rubber plant’s healthy growth. Thus make sure they remain balanced.
- Directly exposure to sunlight, cold drafts, and inadequate watering can cause mild to severe damage to your rubber plants.
- Planting rubber plants near an aquarium or in the bathroom can maintain proper humidity around them.
Also read: How to revive a dying rubber plant?
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Source: Rubber plant disease diagnosis, Major problem in a rubber plant, Pest problem in a rubber plant, Stress Generation In Aerial Roots Of Ficus Elastica, Growth of rubber plants, Ficus Elastica care,