Anthuriums, (otherwise known as the laceleaf, tailflower, or flamingo flower) are renowned for their resplendent flowers and large leaves. As such, it can be jarring when the anthurium’s leaves start drooping over.
In this article, we’ll be exploring the reasons why your anthurium is drooping, as well as the best fixes for it. Also, we’ll be looking at how to prevent it from happening to begin with.
Let’s dive in.
There are around 11 reasons why anthuriums might start drooping. It can often be a result of over or underwatering the plant.
Other common reasons might include incorrect humidity, temperature, and lighting conditions. Overgrown roots, diseases, and parasites may also be the culprit of your plant’s woes.
Pinpointing the exact problem and adapting the conditions your plant’s in accordingly should help fix the anthurium’s drooping.
The most common and obvious reason for plant leaves drooping is under-watering lack of moisture. Tropical plants like anthuriums are especially susceptible to drying out, as they need a lot of moisture compared to other plants.
Anthuriums need to be watered consistently. If they lack moisture, there will be no water left to fill up their normally rigid cells, causing them to wilt over and droop.
To know for sure if a lack of moisture is the problem, you can check the soil. If the soil’s top layer is dry or if the pot containing the anthurium is light, then underwatering is the root cause.
It might seem to be a strange cause, but putting too much water on the moisture-loving anthurium can also cause it to droop. This is because putting excessive amounts of water in the soil causes the roots to rot.
When the roots are rotted, they struggle to draw out more water from the soil. The stems of the plant also get weaker, especially the part near the soil.
As there’s little water to keep the cell walls of the anthurium rigid, the leaves will start drooping.
Anthuriums are considered to be slower when it comes to the realm of root growth. However, their root systems do tend to be expansive that can fill out the entirety of a pot when grown in the correct conditions.
When this happens, the anthurium’s root network competes with itself for water and nutrients. It eventually fills up all of the available space and has nowhere else to go.
The roots start wrapping around each other as they grow, stunting nutrient intake. There’s also less soil for moisture to take hold of, as the roots have taken up the space.
This means that there’s less water to go around. All of this leads to the anthurium having stunted growth and drooping leaves.
This can only be resolved when the planet is replanted into a larger pot or divided.
As they hail from tropical habitats, anthuriums are best suited in places with high levels of humidity. Typically, the preferable average level of humidity is around 75% during the dry season. You can measure air humidity levels using a hygrometer.
Because of anthurium’s moisture needs, they start suffering when the humidity is at 40% or below. The symptoms of low air humidity include browning and drying that occurs in the tips of the leaves.
The leaves would then start wilting due to a lack of humidity.
Excessive water levels in the soil can also be caused by poor drainage. This could either be in the soil or the pot itself.
This could happen if the pot has no holes in its underside, or if the soil was tightly compacted. The water then collects around the roots and the soil. No oxygen can be taken by the roots, and the excess moisture softens them up.
This will cause the same symptoms of overwatering, drooping leaves included.
If you add too much fertilizer, salts will start building up in the soil. These salts can cause harm to the leaves and roots of the plant to burn.
This, in turn, negatively affects growth. Problems that over-fertilizing might cause include yellowing and drooping.
This can happen when you’re fertilizing constantly without letting the plant take a rest from each bout. It could also be when you add more fertilizer than what is recommended.
Using the wrong kind of fertilizer can also cause problems with your anthurium. Nutrient imbalance then occurs in the soil, which causes drooping as well.
Anthuriums are a particularly needy breed of plants and require a wide range of nutrients to sustain their life and growth. If any of these nutrients are insufficient, the anthurium’s growth will start having problems.
In particular, nitrogen deficiency can cause the leaves and stems to droop as nitrogen is the most integral nutrient for growth.
As anthuriums are native to warm, tropical rainforests, they do well in temperatures averaging about 75°F. They are unable to handle cold weather, and will stop growing should temperatures dip below 60°F.
If a cold spell suddenly came to your area and the temperature dropped below 50°F, your plant could be in danger. The plant’s leaves will droop when in these conditions, so you should always keep them indoors and in a warm place during cold weather.
This can also happen to anthuriums that are near windows during winter. Cold tends to collect near those, and if the plant is close to or touches a window, it will droop pretty quickly.
Recently planted or repotted anthuriums are particularly susceptible to the cold and need utmost attention.
Though airflow around plants is important to keep them free of pests and disease, too much of it can cause problems too. Draft coming from air-conditioners or open windows, especially if cold, will stress out the plant.
The soil will also rapidly dry out.
In addition, cold drafts can also drop humidity levels in the air around the plant, damaging the leaves. The stress the plant incurs from cold drafts takes a while for it to recover from after it had been moved away.
Even when grown indoors, anthuriums are not immune to attacks from diseases and pets. It could be a rare case of blight or aphids sucking out the sap.
Whatever the case, diseases and pests can quickly cause your anthurium’s leaves to be deformed and discolored.
The amount of damage that they can deal to the plant either below or over the soil causes significant stress. This weakens the plant’s stems and roots, causing the leaves to droop.
Oversaturated soil in particular can also cause fungi and bacteria to settle in. This can lead to one of the most dangerous conditions in that a plant can go through root rot.
Root rot can kill vast swathes of the plant’s root system, and will destroy the plant entirely if left untreated. This disease can do so much more than cause droopy leaves.
Some signs of root rot include visible mold or fungi, as well as foul odors emanating from the soil. When you catch these signs, consider uprooting the plant and trimming away any diseased roots.
Exposure to direct sunlight can cause soil to dry out. Anthuriums can take direct morning sunlight for one or two hours at most, but they can’t take any more than that.
The leaves will get scorched by intense sunlight and dry them out. The whole planet will then droop as it doesn’t have enough water to keep it upright.
Excessively low light can also cause drooping, but it’s more likely to lead to yellowing first.
By pinpointing the root of the issue and then giving your anthurium all the care and conditions that it requires, you can fix the plant’s problems with drooping. In the same vein, you’ll also stop them from occurring in the future.
Since a lack of water is the most common cause of drooping, you should keep a regular watering schedule. Check the soil every few days; if the top two inches are dry, water it.
However, if the soil is still wet, don’t add any water. Make sure that the pot has good drainage so that the roots don’t root from water oversaturation.
When it comes to fertilizers, fertilizer is every 4-6 weeks in the growing season. If drooping sets in soon after you use fertilizer, saturate the soil with water and refrain from adding more fertilizer for the time being.
If the plant’s roots are growing out of the pot, or if it had been in the same pot for several years with a soil top-up, it’s time to transfer it to another one. It would also be prudent for you to cut back or prune any decaying or laggy growth from your anthurium.
When choosing a spot to put your anthurium in, look for a place with lots of indirect sunlight. Keep the temperatures at a comfortable 75°F, and keep the humidity as high as possible.
Look out for potential drafts and sudden changes that could stress and eventually cause your plant to droop.
If you were able to pinpoint the exact problem and fix it, then the leaves of your anthurium should quickly return to normal. However, if they don’t, you may have diagnosed the wrong cause of the drooping.
In the worst-case scenario, the plant is too far gone to be recovered. This can be due to root rot or blight.
Anthurium drooping is a common problem with a few ways to easily fix it.
Once you have pinpointed the exact problem, adjust the conditions your anthurium is in and the houseplant should return to normalcy.
Growing up with a mom who filled her home (inside and out) with all sorts of plants, Lisa got her start in gardening at a young age. Living now on her own with a home and yard full of plants (including an indoor greenhouse), she shares all the gardening tips she’s gained over the years.