Why Are My Chinese Evergreen Leaves Curling? Top Causes & Solutions

Disclosure: As Amazon Associates we earn from qualifying purchases. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission at no additional cost to you.

Please note that while we always strive to provide 100% up to date and accurate information, there is always the small possibility of error. Therefore, we advise conducting further research and due diligence before consuming any plants or exposing pets to anything mentioned on this site. Kindly refer to the full disclaimer for more details here.

Chinese evergreen plants, also known as Aglaonemas, are popular indoor plants prized for their stunning foliage and easy care requirements. However, like any houseplant, they can experience occasional issues regarding their health and appearance. One of the most common concerns for Chinese evergreen owners is the curling of the leaves. There can be a multitude of reasons contributing to this issue, and it’s essential to pinpoint the causes to help your plant thrive again.

Dehydration due to underwatering or overwatering is the primary culprit behind this perplexing problem. Overwatering can result in root rot, which inhibits the plant’s ability to absorb water, while underwatering directly causes the plant to lose necessary moisture. Environmental factors such as temperature stress and low humidity can also induce curling in the leaves. Additionally, aspects like improper light exposure, pest infestation, over-fertilization and unfavorable water quality might be the reason for this unwelcome change.

To properly address the problem, it is crucial to examine your Chinese evergreen’s care routine and environment carefully. Assessing its water, light, and temperature needs, as well as inspecting it for pests and diseases, are essential steps towards restoring the beauty of your beloved houseplant. With accurate identification of the issues and appropriate remedies, you can revive your Chinese evergreen, treat its curling leaves, and enjoy its vibrant colors once more.

Chinese Evergreen Overview

Chinese Evergreen, scientifically known as Aglaonema, is a popular houseplant native to Asia. It is widely used for its visually appealing, medium-sized foliage, and the enhanced air-purifying qualities it offers. With its ability to tolerate low-light conditions, the Chinese Evergreen is perfect for indoor gardens and office spaces.

This low-maintenance plant thrives in low to medium light conditions and prefers consistent humidity. Ideal temperatures for maintaining a healthy plant range from 60°F to 75°F. Chinese Evergreen plants are resilient, and their watering needs may be adjusted according to environmental factors like light placement, temperature, and humidity levels.

However, Chinese Evergreen plants might experience some issues, and one of the most common problems is their leaves curling. This could be due to several reasons such as:

  • Dehydration caused by underwatering
  • Root rot from overwatering
  • Low humidity levels
  • Pest infestations
  • Excess sun exposure

Addressing these problems efficiently requires understanding the plant’s needs and taking proper care of it. Always remember that a successful indoor gardening journey demands continuous learning, patience, and attentiveness to your plants.

Here is a summary of the primary factors affecting Chinese Evergreen’s leaf health:

  • Watering: Make sure to maintain a balanced watering schedule to avoid underwatering or overwatering.
  • Humidity: Aim to provide a consistent humidity level to avoid stress to the plant.
  • Light: Position the plant in a location with low to medium light conditions, avoiding direct sunlight.
  • Pest management: Regularly inspect the plant and take necessary actions to control pests.

By focusing on these factors, your Chinese Evergreen plants are likely to grow healthy and strong, boasting lush foliage for years to come.

Common Causes of Leaf Curling


One common cause of Chinese Evergreen leaves curling is underwatering. When the plant does not receive enough water, it becomes dehydrated, leading to curled leaves. To avoid underwatering, ensure that the soil is consistently moist without being soaked. The use of a moisture meter can be helpful in maintaining proper moisture levels. It’s important to provide adequate water to prevent dehydration.


On the other hand, overwatering can also lead to leaf curling. Excess water can cause root damage and limit the plant’s ability to absorb water, resulting in dehydration and curling leaves. The key to preventing overwatering is to maintain a well-draining soil mix and watering only when the soil is dry to touch. If you notice that your Chinese Evergreen is suffering from root rot, it’s crucial to let the soil dry out and treat the plant with a fungicide.

Pests and Diseases

Pests, such as mealybugs and spider mites, can contribute to Chinese Evergreen leaves curling. These pests cause the plant to lose water at a faster rate, leading to dehydration and curled leaves. To combat pests, regularly check your plants for infestations and use appropriate treatments like insecticidal soap or neem oil. Additionally, diseases like root rot can cause leaves to curl due to too much water or waterlogged soil. Be sure to stay vigilant and address any disease-related issues promptly.

Low Humidity

Chinese Evergreens thrive in high humidity environments, and low humidity can cause leaves to curl. Low humidity can lead to water loss from the leaves, resulting in dehydration and curling. To increase humidity around your plant, try placing a tray of water near the base or using a humidifier. Ensuring proper humidity levels will help your Chinese Evergreens avoid leaf curling.

Temperature Fluctuations

Temperature stress is another cause of Chinese Evergreen leaves curling. These plants are sensitive to temperature changes, and fluctuations can lead to curling leaves. Ensure that your plant is kept in an area with a consistent temperature to avoid stress. Additionally, avoid placing the plant near drafty windows or air vents. Properly addressing temperature stress can prevent leaf curling and help your Chinese Evergreens thrive.

Prevention and Treatment Strategies

Watering Correctly

To prevent and treat curling leaves in Chinese Evergreens, it’s crucial to water the plant correctly. Overwatering and underwatering are common causes of leaf curling. Make sure to water your plant when the top 1-2 inches of soil feel dry to the touch. Remember, it’s better to err on the side of underwatering, as Chinese Evergreens can handle short dry spells better than overwatering.

Maintaining Appropriate Humidity

Chinese Evergreens thrive in a humid environment. Low humidity levels can lead to leaf curling. To maintain adequate humidity:

  • Use a humidity tray filled with water and pebbles beneath the plant pot.
  • Regularly mist the plant with water, especially during dry periods.
  • Group your Chinese Evergreen with other humidity-loving plants.

Pest and Disease Control

Pests and diseases can cause curling leaves in Chinese Evergreens. To prevent and treat infestations:

  • Inspect your plant regularly for signs of pests or diseases.
  • Remove any affected leaves immediately to prevent the spread of the problem.
  • Apply appropriate treatments, such as insecticidal soap or neem oil, if necessary.
  • Keep the plant clean by wiping leaves gently with a moist cloth.

Temperature Management

Chinese Evergreens prefer consistent and warm temperatures. Sudden changes in temperature or exposure to drafts can cause leaf curling. To maintain proper temperature:

  • Place your plant in a location away from drafty windows or doors.
  • Avoid placing the plant near heating or cooling vents.
  • Maintain a consistent temperature in the room where the plant is located, ideally between 65-80°F (18-27°C).

By implementing these strategies, you’ll help maintain the health and appearance of your Chinese Evergreen and prevent leaf curling. Remember to monitor your plant regularly for any signs of stress, and make adjustments to its care as needed.

FAQs about Chinese Evergreens

Chinese Evergreens are popular indoor plants known for their stunning foliage and easy-going nature. Here, we address some frequently asked questions about their care and what to do when leaves start curling.

Why are my Chinese Evergreen leaves curling?

Curling leaves in Chinese Evergreen plants can be caused by multiple factors, like dehydration due to underwatering or root rot caused by overwatering, low humidity, pest problems, or excessive sunlight exposure. To maintain your plant’s health, ensure it receives consistent watering, adequate humidity, and proper light conditions. More information on why leaves might curl can be found here.

How to fix curled leaves on my Chinese Evergreen?

First, identify the root cause of the problem:

  • Check the soil moisture: Water your plant if it’s dry, but hold off if it’s wet or moist as overwatering can lead to root rot.
  • Adjust the lighting: Chinese Evergreens prefer bright, indirect light, as they are sheltered by taller plants in their natural rainforest habitat.
  • Monitor humidity: Consider using a humidifier or pebble tray to maintain a humid environment.
  • Inspect for pests: Look for signs of common pests like spider mites or mealybugs and treat them accordingly.

What are the ideal conditions for Chinese Evergreens?

The optimal conditions for Chinese Evergreens are:

  • Temperature: 65-80°F (18-27°C). Avoid exposure to cold drafts or excessively hot environments.
  • Light: Bright, indirect light. Keep away from direct sunlight, which can lead to leaf curling.
  • Humidity: Maintain high humidity levels, ideally above 50%.
  • Water: Keep the soil moderately moist but not soggy. Overwatering can cause root rot and result in curled leaves.

How often should I water my Chinese Evergreen?

Water your Chinese Evergreen when the top inch of the soil is dry. This usually occurs every 7-10 days. Adjust your watering schedule depending on the temperature, humidity, and light conditions. You can find additional watering tips here.

By addressing these concerns and keeping an eye on your Chinese Evergreen’s environment, you can ensure your plant remains healthy and beautiful, with lush, vibrant leaves.


In summary, the curling of Chinese Evergreen leaves can be attributed to a variety of factors. One of the primary reasons is improper watering, which includes overwatering, underwatering, or poor water quality. Additionally, temperature stress, low humidity, and improper light exposure can contribute to this issue.

To tackle these problems, it’s essential to maintain a consistent watering routine and use water with the appropriate quality. Monitor the humidity levels in your home or office and use a humidity monitor to help regulate the environment. Place your plant in an area with proper light exposure, avoiding direct sunlight, which can cause leaf burn.

Furthermore, be mindful of how you’re fertilizing your Chinese Evergreen. Over-fertilization can lead to leaf curling, as can diseases and pest infestations. Routinely check your plant for signs of pests or disease and treat them promptly to prevent further damage.

Lastly, remember that your plant’s age might also play a role in leaf curling. Older plants are more susceptible to these issues due to natural wear and tear. By implementing proper care techniques and monitoring the environmental factors around your Chinese Evergreen, you can help prevent leaf curling and maintain a healthy, thriving plant.

Helpful Video