Why are the leaves of my rubber tree curling? (And How To Fix It) – ISPUZZLE

rubber plants (ficus elastic) make attractive and bold statements when used as houseplants and are generally hardy and easy to care for when grown indoors. However, a number of issues can cause the leaves of your rubber tree to curl, affecting the health and appearance of these tropical beauties.

Why are the leaves of my rubber tree curling? The main causes of leaf curl in rubber plants are excess light, low humidity, improper watering, pests and cold weather. Identify and correct the problem by carefully examining the plant and making appropriate changes to its care.


7 Reasons Your Rubber Plant Leaves Are Curling

If you’re wondering what’s wrong with your rubber plant foliage curling, read on to learn the 8 most common reasons and what you can do to prevent and treat it.

You might also be interested in reading my article on general rubber plant maintenance.covering everything you need to know to keep your rubber plant healthy.

New growth is a normal cause of curled leaves.

a reason for you rubber tree having curled leaves is when it develops new growth. This is a completely natural problem and not a cause for concern. As the rubber tree develops new immature leaves, they curl tightly, and as the leaf develops, it straightens.

When your rubber plant forms new foliage, sit back and watch, because before you know it, you’ll be graced by the large, shiny, sturdy leaves the plant is known for. Pat yourself on the back because you are doing something good when your rubber plant develops new foliage.

Too much water

While rubber plants appreciate a regular drink during the spring through summer growing season, too much water can promote leaf curl and, even worse, cause root rot problems. give too much water it also causes leaf loss. They don’t like wet feet and keep the ground constantly saturated with water. In winter, water requirements will be reduced due to reduced growth and lower temperatures.

If the soil is kept constantly moist and the rubber tree develops root rot, your plant will eventually die if the problem is not detected and corrected early. Once the plant begins to develop root rot, You must take immediate action to save your plant.

Possible reasons for excessively humid conditions are:

  • give too much water
  • Non-draining and too heavy soil
  • A container without drainage holes.

The solution

To prevent rubber plant leaves from curling due to excessively wet conditions, water your rubber plant only when the top few inches of soil are dry, grow the rubber plant in well-drained soil, and use containers with soil drainage.

During the spring to summer growing season, while the rubber tree is actively growing, water more frequently. During fall and winter, while the plant is dormant or not actively growing, the need for water will be reduced, so be very careful not to overwater.

Curling rubber plant leaves


Just as overwatering your rubber plant can cause leaf curl issues, so can the opposite, which is overwatering the plant. As the plant becomes more stressed from a lack of moisture, the leaves may begin to curl.

The solution

Although rubber tree is relatively forgiving if you miss a watering or two, regular applications will prevent leaf curling and keep the whole plant looking its best.

Read this article to find out when houseplants need water Yes this on how often to water houseplants for more information on how to water properly. Water issues are by far the most common problem with rubber plants, so it’s worth taking the time to get it right.

Cold temperatures can cause the leaves to curl

Another reason your rubber plant may develop curled leaves is due to temperatures that are too cold. Rubber plants are broad-leaved tropical conifers and when grown outdoors they only thrive in frost-free climates where extreme winter temperatures do not occur. In addition, leaf drop occurs when temperatures are too cold. Learn more about what causes leaf drop in rubber plants here.

Therefore, they do not tolerate too cold an indoor climate or a place where the plant experiences cold drafts. Rubber plants are heat-loving and thrive when conditions are warm and stable.

The solution

To prevent leaves from curling due to extremely cold indoor conditions, place the rubber plant where it will maintain temperatures between 55°F and 85°F year-round. Also, avoid cold drafts and if you’ve given it a break from indoors and placed the container outside, be sure to bring it back inside before the cold winter winds don’t arrive. Once the temperature drops below 50°F, the rubber plant may suffer from cold damage.

low humidity

Rubber plants are native to consistently warm places that are humid and need indoor moisture to grow well and look their best. It goes without saying that if the humidity is low, the rubber tree will suffer from leaf curl.

The solution

You don’t have to be a humidity expert to give your rubber plant the humidity it needs to prevent leaf curl and be the indoor rock star it’s meant to be. Here are some ways to increase the humidity around your rubber plant:

  • Group the other plants in containers around the rubber tree.
  • Place it in a pebble-lined container that will trap water and create moisture as it evaporates around the rubber tree.
  • Spray the rubber tree several times a week with room temperature water.
  • Grow the rubber tree in a naturally humid room, such as a bathroom, as long as the area receives the adequate light the plant needs for proper growth.

Read my article on how to increase the humidity of your houseplants to learn more.

pest problems

Another reason for leaf curl in indoor rubber plants is pest infestation. Mealybugs, scale insects and spider mites are common indoor pests and can attack rubber plants.

Jumping on the problem as soon as you notice it is the best way to avoid further pests and problems. Pest identification is simple:

  • mealybugs: Mealybugs pierce the rubber tree with their nozzles and suck out the internal juices. They look like clusters of cottony masses and usually appear at leaf crossings and along stems.
  • red spiders: Like mealybugs, mites suck the juice from the rubber tree and can quickly cause damage. Spider mites are very small and weave very fine tissue on the plant, and can quickly transfer to your other houseplants.
  • Dish: Although this is more of a problem for rubber plants grown outdoors, scale insects can sometimes be transferred indoors. Insects are small, elongated, and covered with an armor-like outer shell. Like mealybugs and spider mites, scale insects absorb internal plant juices and are found in groups along plant stems.

The solution

Once you notice a pest problem on your rubber tree, treat scale insects and mites with insecticidal soap or neem. When it comes to scale insects, it’s best to use a horticultural oil that will smother the pests. Always handle, mix and apply the specific product according to the product label and reapply as recommended.

It’s a good idea to inspect your other plants to make sure pests haven’t put them on your list of delicious indoor treats.

I have written an in-depth article on identifying, treating, and preventing common houseplant pests.you might want to read on for more information.

too much light which makes the leaves curl on the rubber tree

too much light

If both outer sides of the rubber tree’s leaves begin to curl and the leaf color is light to medium green, it is receiving too much direct sunlight in its current indoor location.

The solution

You can prevent this type of leaf curl by placing your rubber plant indoors with the light the plant desires. For optimal growth and appearance, place the plant indoors Bright but indirect light. It also works well in rooms with artificial light.

However, if your rubber plant does not receive enough light indoors, the plant will tend to grow tall and long. You can solve this problem by moving it to a place with more light.

Also, if you decide to give your rubber plant a break between growing it indoors and putting it outside, be sure to place it somewhere out of direct sunlight, otherwise foliage could burn.

Will curly leaves recover?

It depends on the extent of the damage. A light curl can definitely bounce back if you discover the problem quickly enough and take action to fix it. Sometimes badly damaged and therefore curled leaves cannot be recovered. They will eventually fall off the plant.

How to avoid leaf curl on your rubber tree?

The most important thing is to focus on providing good care. Leaf curl is a sign of plant stress from several sources. Make sure you provide your rubber plant with good growing conditions from the start, it will be much easier to keep your plant healthy.

Oftentimes placing a plant in the wrong light or at the wrong temperatures is a recipe for disaster and will lead to your plant slowly dying out. Fortunately, rubber plants are quite tolerant of neglect and imperfect conditions, making them a good choice if you’re a less observant indoor gardener.

Read my complete guide to rubber plant care. for everything you need to know about the health of your rubber plant.

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