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Does Losing Leaves or Having Curled and Droopy Leaves Mean That the Philodendron Plant Is Dying?

Philodendrons are lush, sprawling houseplants. Naturally, when the plant starts losing leaves or develops curled and droopy leaves, it can be quite discouraging. The secret to success with philodendrons is in understanding the cause behind these problems so that they can be cured, thereby giving the plants a second chance to flourish.

When a philodendron starts losing leaves or develops curled or droopy leaves, it is an indication that the plant suffers from inadequate growing conditions. However, it does not mean that the plant is dying. Incorporating a few basic gardening principles can help the philodendrons thrive once more.

There are many factors that lead to a philodendron plant losing its leaves, developing brown leaf tips, or having curled and droopy leaves. Some of the key factors that impact the growth of philodendrons include insufficient light, inconsistent watering, plant diseases, temperature and humidity levels, pests, and air pollution. The rest of this article will explain these points in greater detail.  

How Does Light Affect the Growth of Philodendrons?

Although philodendrons are tropical plants, they do not do well in direct sunlight. Direct sunlight can scorch its leaves and causes the leaves to lose moisture at a very rapid pace. The leaves get sunburnt and look limp and droopy over time.

Conversely, if the light intensity is too low, then any new growth will be sparse and spindly. Leaves will begin to droop and will tend to become increasingly smaller in size. This can be easily corrected by moving the plant to a more optimal light setting.

Does a Lack of Acclimatization Cause Philodendron Plants to Drop Their Leaves?

It has been seen that sun-grown tropical philodendrons may soon drop their leaves if transferred to a lower light intensity environment. As a solution, tropical plant growers have come up with the concept of acclimatization for philodendrons. The process helps the plant adapt to an environment different from that in which it is grown.

Can Inconsistent Watering Cause Philodendron Plants to Die?

Overwatering can cause the root to rot in the philodendron plants. This, in turn, may lead to wilting, yellowing, or limp lower leaves. The foliage will shrink, further giving the plant a diseased look. It may also develop droopy leaves to indicate that the watering needs are not being sufficiently met.

Underwatering can be detected when the lower leaves of the plant begin to turn yellow and fall off. It also often dries up the roots. This affects the leaves that are farthest from the veins which conduct the water. They begin to turn brown as they are unable to keep up with the moisture loss.

If the leaves begin to curl, even after introducing a properly regulated watering schedule, water quality could be the reason behind this problem.  

Sometimes water contains high amounts of minerals, chlorine, salts, and fluoride, which can build up in the soil. This is a leading cause for the tips of the plant to turn color and curl up. Using a water filtration system will help in abating this problem and bring back the philodendron from the verge of decay.   

Are Plant Diseases Fatal to Philodendrons?

While plant diseases are not particularly the most sought after thing in a garden, they are rarely fatal to philodendrons. Like any other plant in your house, the philodendrons may also suffer from a few plant diseases. 

These diseases may be a fungal leaf spot disease, bacterial blights, magnesium deficiency, or diseases related to foliage, stem, or roots. However, when a plant disease is suspected, it is advisable to take immediate action in understanding the cause and immediately apply the required control measures.

Do Unfavorable Temperatures Adversely Affect the Philodendron Plant?

Philodendrons, when placed near extremely hot or cold air, will result in the drying of the plant tissues. It might not result in any apparent and visible injuries, but it is believed that exposure to such extreme temperatures will hinder the growth of the plant. If the plants are kept in temperatures below 60°F (15.5°C) for any length of time, it will adversely impact the plant growth.

Air conditioners do not pose a problem to these plants. However, in order to prevent the leaves from drying out, the philodendron plants should not be kept in the direct path of cool air. Leaves tend to curl if the plant is cold, or loses excessive moisture due to constant airflow.

Can Lack of Humidity Kill Philodendron Plants?

Philodendrons tend to thrive in humid surroundings. It has been seen that higher humidity encourages the growth of larger leaves.

Copyright article owner is for this article. This post was first published on August 1, 2020.

Too low humidity can cause the leaf tips to turn brown with yellow halos. This will not kill the plant, but it will weaken the plant, and any new growth might also adopt similar symptoms if the humidity levels are not increased. 

This is especially applicable during winters when the heaters are on in the house. Eve’s Bonsai Humidity Drip Tray is a better solution to increase the humidity around the plants.

Can a Pest Problem Cause the Philodendrons to Perish?

Pests like aphids, spider mites, and mealybugs may cause infestations in the plant. Lack of a well-draining soil is a common cause for creating adequate home conditions for these pests. The result of the infestations can be evidenced in the stippling effect on the foliage. It also causes the leaves to droop and turn yellow. 

While a pest infestation does not immediately kill the plant, it is important to identify the problem and implement control measures to eradicate the pests.

Do Air Pollution Cause Philodendron Plants to Develop Droopy Leaves and Eventually Die?

Air pollution caused by fumes may result in the leaves of the philodendron plants to droop. This often leads to abnormally twisted new growth in the plants. However, it is quite easy to detect. 

The smell of the fumes becomes apparent to people way before the plants start to produce the tell-tale symptoms caused by air pollution. To avoid any further harm to the plant, simply placing it in different surroundings with lower levels of air pollution will help revive the plant.

How Ruinous Can a Root Rot Be for a Philodendron?

The roots of the philodendrons may begin to rot due to excess water in the soil, and a poor drainage system. This may cause the lower leaves to wilt and droop. 

Too much water and a lack of air circulation cause root rots. It does become a tad bit difficult to save an afflicted plant. However, pruning off the decaying roots and repotting the plant in a fresh pot will work wonders on the health of the plant.

Can Frequent Fertilizing Increase the Chances of Plant Decay?

Too much fertilizer, combined with low light levels, will encourage soft, spindly growth in philodendrons. A fertilizer feed that is provided every three to four months, or even once in six months is sufficient to ensure healthy growth in the philodendrons.

If you would like to learn more about how to care for your philodendrons, here is a video that shares a few basic tips and tricks to care for the plants:

ReadyToDIY is the owner of this article. This post was published on August 1, 2020.

Final Thoughts

Providing the right conditions will help prevent a lot of these problems associated with the curling and drooping of the philodendron’s leaves. Regular and optimum water supply, proper lighting, and a properly managed drainage system will ensure a healthy life for these plants.