Chinese Evergreen Leaves Curling Causes & Solutions

Chinese evergreen plant is also known as Aglaonemas and is a perfect short-height indoor plant. It grows beautiful dual-color leaves. But sometimes we see our Chinese evergreen leaves are curling.

This is a common problem and, in this article, we will learn why your Chinese evergreen has curled leaves and what you can do to solve it.

In general loss of water and nutrient deficiency are the two main causes of it. But there are many other reasons. All are mentioned below. Take a quick look and identify why your Chinese evergreen plant leaves are curling.

For perfect identification, you need to start by checking the current growing conditions of your plant. Inspect your plant carefully and closely to catch every possible cause.

About the Chinese evergreen Plant

If you are a beginner then the Chinese evergreen plant is perfect to grow. The reason is it needs minimal care and only grows up to a few inches in height.

Moreover, it is very suitable for low light places like offices. Where we need plants that need less care and maintenance. It also grows short in height. Because an office is a working place and there no one has time for frequent trimming and repotting.

This Asian native plant has many varieties most popular are red, green, and silver Aglaonema.

When growing evergreen Chinese plants indoors you don’t need to make any changes in your home environment. If the indoor space is comfortable for you so is for the plant.

In short, it needs general home humidity and normal temperature to grow with less watering and fertilizing applications.

Even so, you may see curled leaves of Chinese evergreen plants. But this condition only triggers when you are making some mistakes in its general care routine.

You will be happy to know that it is easy to uncurl the curled leaves of the Chinese evergreen plant. Below is the complete list of all issues, identify your cause.

Old Leaves

It is common for old leaves to curl because plants cut the water and nutrient supply to their old leaves. They do so to divert their every to grow new leaves.

If only the bottom leaves are curling then you do not need to do anything. Just cut them because all old leaves are at the bottom.

But if the leaves at the top or sides are curling then this indicates the problem with your plant.

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When you don’t give sufficient water to your plant the soil becomes dry. This dryness in the soil turns the Chinese evergreen leaves curling.

If the foliage is crispy and curled then it will not turn green again. But if the foliage is still soft and green. There are bright chances of recovery after watering the plant.

To water a dehydrated Chinese evergreen plant, you should use the bottom watering technique. This will give quick results.

Take your plant to the sink and fill the sink with water. Gently place your plant in it and let the soil absorb water through the bottom holes.

It will take a maximum of 5 minutes to absorb sufficient water. Then take it out of the sink and let it drain extra water.


Overwatering is a rare case of curled leaves of Chinese evergreen plants. It results in the yellowing of leaves. If you do not fix it on time then plant roots will get damaged.

For beginners, it is hard to know whether underwatering or overwatering is the cause. Because both conditions have similar symptoms.

To prevent overwatering, you should only water your plant once the top few inches of the soil become dry. Also, use the well-draining soil so that in case of accidental overwatering the potting soil drain the extra water and save your plant.

Do not follow any watering schedule because watering applications depend upon many factors like the temperature of the room, humidity, and light.


Chinese evergreen plant needs low light to grow and to produce healthy colorful leaves. Leaf curling occurs when you expose your plants to direct sunlight.

The high intense light waves increase the temperature of the plant. This increases the water usage and the soil becomes dry. Your plant starts using the water that is stored in its leaves.

When the leaves go out of the water this turns their edges and if you do not notice this problem on time. The leaves will turn crispy brown and curled.

To prevent leaf curling because of high bright light. You need to move your plant to a less bright place. A sunny window will be the best option.

Burned and brown leaves will not recover. Therefore, it is best to cut them off the plant. This way you can save a huge amount of plant energy.

Air Moisture

In low humidity, Chinese Evergreen plant leaves start curling. Because they consume some amount of moisture from the sir.

When the room air gets dry the plant becomes unable to absorb moisture.

This increases dehydration and results in curled Chinese evergreen leaves.

Tips to improve room humidity:

In winters do not place your plant near the heating vents.

Chinese evergreen plant does not need a plant humidifier. Just spray some water on its leaves and place it away from direct sunlight in a cool room

Grouping the plants together will also improve the room humidity by 7%

If you have only one plant then use a pebble tray, place your plant pot over it. Just make sure the waterline cannot touch the bottom part of the pot.

Over Use of Fertilizers

Chinese evergreens do not need a high dose of fertilizers. They are happy if the soil has a good amount of organic material like compost.

But when you use an excessive amount of fertilizers then this will surely damage your plants. Synthetic fertilizer is made up of chemicals.

They build up around the roots and block their natural function. This results in dehydrated and nutrient-deficient plants.

When a plant does not get proper nutrition, it becomes unable to make a sufficient amount of plant food. This weak the plant and leaves start curling themselves due to weakness.

To prevent overfertilization you must need to read the instruction of the bottle before use. Use fresh clean water to dilute the desired amount of fertilizer. Then pour it into the base of the plant.

You can also use the soil flushing method to clean the soil once in 90 days. This will reduce the chances of overfertilized burn to 95%.

Temperature Stress

Chinese evergreens are tropical plants which means they love to grow in warm weather. The ideal temperature range is 65 to 85 degrees F.

When the temperature goes above 85 F this increases the water loss and results in dehydration.

A temperature is lower than 65 degrees F damages the plant internal tissues. This results in dark spots, black stems, and curled leaves.

The defense mechanism of the plant folds its leaf tips to save it from cold drafts.

Try to maintain the room temperature constant, little bit fluctuations are not a problem. To keep eye on the room temperature you can use grow room temperature monitor.

Unhealthy water

If you use unhealthy water for watering Chinese evergreen. This will curl their leaves because such water contains many unwanted minerals.

A heavy amount of copper, chlorine, and fluoride in the water sits at the base of the plant. Too much of them block the nutrient supply to the plant roots.

To prevent this problem, you should use healthy water. Pure water that you use for drinking is safe for watering Chinese evergreen plants.

Do not use tap water because it contains some amount of chlorine in it.


Bacterial and fungal infections are two common diseases that infect the beauty of Chinese evergreens. Too much humidity increases the chances of bacterial and fungal infections.

Leaf curling, wilting and yellowing of leaves are common symptoms of disease attack.


Quickly move your plant to a separate location away from other healthy plants. Then cut the brown and damaged leaves.

Buy a copper-based fungicide spray and use it on the plant to kill the fungal infection. Your evergreen Chinese plant will heal in 20 to 25 days.

Pest Infestation

Pest damage is easy to treat than bacterial infections. You can also easily identify the main cause of pest damage.

Inspect your plant closely to check the symptoms of pest infestation.

Aphids, mealybugs, and thrips are the common pests that attack houseplants. They make their colonies undersides of the leaves.

Use rubbing alcohol to wipe leaves manually to wipe the pests from your plant. You can also use insecticidal soap to rinse your plant.

This soap is not harmful to plants.


Now you know the main cause of Aglaonemas foliage curling is lack of water, nutrients, and damaged roots. All the possible causes are discussed above.

To prevent all kinds of growing problems you should grow your Chinese evergreens in low light. Water it only when the top few inches become dry.

If you are facing more problems with this plant, try to propagate it and send us the images. We will happy to help you out.

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