Why do plant leaves wrinkle? 5 causes and solutions

Pests wrinkle the leaves

The leaves are very delicate, since they are the ones that are most exposed to environmental factors (wind, rain, sun, etc.), but they are also often the first to suffer the consequences of a lack or excess of nutrients, not in In vain, the roots work to absorb water from the soil so that it is directed to the leaves, which are where food is made during photosynthesis.

Therefore, it is important to ask why plant leaves wrinklebecause your health is probably failing. It may not be a serious problem, but you do have to take action as soon as possible so that they recover.


Pests wrinkle the leavesPests wrinkle the leaves

Image – Flickr / Katja Schulz

Aphids, mealybugs, thrips, and other pests such as mites, larvae and/or caterpillars, they hide from predators on the undersides of leaves, often along the veinssince that is where they will feed from. With their mouthparts, they chew the limbus or sting and absorb the sap. This causes the leaves to wrinkle and have spots in the area where the insects concentrate.

Therefore, at the slightest suspicion, you should check the leaves, especially the underside, and apply the necessary treatment depending on the plague that is affecting it, or use a polyvalent such as this. But before that, and to give them a break, you can clean them with lime-free water, keeping in mind that this will NOT end the problem, but while you get an insecticide, it will help them continue to perform their normal functions.


When a plant is getting very thirsty, one of the things it can do to prevent water loss is to fold its leaves. In this way, make better use of the little amount of liquid you have. In extreme cases, these leaves dry up and fall off, but it’s best to prevent it from getting to that point.

To do? Of course, to water. You have to moisten the soil well, pour water on it until it is completely soaked. If it is in a pot with a very compact substrate, we will put it in a container with water for half an hour. And from then on, we will increase the frequency of watering.

Dry environment

Indoor plants need protection

Indoor plants need protection

There are many plants that we grow that originate from places where the environmental humidity is high, such as those that we usually have indoors: calatheas, philodendron, monstera, pachira, etc., or outdoor plants that originate from the islands or that live in low altitudes, such as banana trees, drácenas, yuccas, banana trees, palm trees like the Deeply shining (areca) or the Howea forsteriana (fields), Etc.

When the environmental humidity is very low, there are many that fold the leaves. Eye, what they won’t necessarily have dry land, as they can react like this when the air is dry. So, to make better use of the water, they fold or close.

What to do? The first thing is to make sure that, indeed, the humidity in the place where the plant in question is located is low. To do this, we will put in a browser »environmental humidity of X», changing the X for the name of the town or city where we are growing it. Another thing that can be done is to buy a Weather Station, which will be very useful if we have plants at home.

If we see that it is less than 50%, we spray its leaves with water without lime, once a day and whenever it is not exposed to light. directly, nor is it going to hit it in the next few hours, since otherwise the water would act like a magnifying glass, so the plant would burn.

Unsuitable substrate or soil

When planted in soil that lacks the nutrients it needs, or is so compact that it doesn’t allow roots to grow as they should, leaves can wrinkle. Luckily, today they sell specific land for almost any type of plant: we just have to choose the most suitable for ours.

And if we are going to plant it in the garden, it is convenient to make sure that it is the right one for it. One way to find out is by visiting the gardens in the area and see if they have that plant; Another is looking for this information in a blog like this one, in which we talk about what type of soil plants need.

Camellia flower, a spectacular shrubCamellia flower, a spectacular shrub

Related article:

Complete guide to substrates: how to choose the most suitable for your plant

In the event that we have planted it in soil or land that is not suitable, the best we can do is get it out of there and change the substrate. If it is in a pot it will be easy, since without touching the roots, we only have to remove the one that is loose and put another one; and if it’s on the ground, we’ll dig trenches around it, about a foot deep, and pull it out. Then we will make a hole twice as big, and we will fill it with the soil that it needs.

Improper use of manures, fertilizers, insecticides and/or fungicides

Always read the pesticide container

Always read the pesticide container

Always read the instructions on the packaging of phytosanitary productsEven if they are organic. Guano, for example, is a natural fertilizer (it is the waste of seabirds and/or bats), but it is so concentrated that a small amount is enough for its effects to be noticed quickly in the plant, which will grow at a rapid rate. a little higher than it has been doing to date. But if we exceed the recommended dose, the roots burn, and the leaves wrinkle. And I insist, we are talking about guano, which is ecological; but this happens with any other phytosanitary product.

Therefore, if you have applied it without having read the instructions for use, you have to pour water on it, and lots of it. This is intended to clean the plants, both the aerial part (leaves, branches, etc.) and the roots. If you act in time, it is most likely that it will be left alone in a scare and they can recover, but if several days go by it may be too late to save them, but do not lose hope: even if it runs out of leaves, sometimes the plants can pass a while until new ones come out, as long as the rest (ie trunk, branches) is fine.

We hope that it has been useful to you and that you have been able to find out why the leaves of your plants are wrinkling.

Why do plant leaves wrinkle? 5 causes and solutions

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