Are Your Alocasia Leaves Drooping? Causes + How to Fix Your Problem

Alocasia are one of those special houseplants that just seem to scream LOOK AT ME in any room you place them. So when your alocasia leaves being to droop, it is hard not to notice. Alocasia leaves drooping can be caused by a few reasons:

  • water stress from under watering OR over watering your plant,
  • changes in temperature or humidity in the immediate environment, or
  • diseases and pests that could be harming your alocasia plant.
Alocasia leaves drooping

But how do you tell which issue above is causing your alocasia leaves to droop? To find out what is causing your alocasia plant to look miserable, we are going to be opening the Mystery Case of Your Alocasia Leaves Drooping.

So if you’re ready to embark on an epic adventure of problem-solving and intrigue, grab your magnifying glass and embrace your inner Sherlock Holmes.

credit gifer

How to Solve the Case of the Mysterious Alocasia Leaves Drooping

Other resources generally take the conventional (and to be honest, boring) approach of listing possible causes of your drooping alocasia leaves, often leaving you guessing and none-the-wiser at the end of the exercise. Instead, we are going to take a unique angle at solving this mystery.

Like a true detective, we’ll take a bottom-up approach to solving this case. Instead of starting from the causes:

  1. we will begin by looking at the symptoms, and gathering clues to help us solve the riddle of your drooping leaves.
  2. From there we can then deduce the most probable cause,
  3. thereby arriving at our conclusion (a happy thriving plant) quickly and efficiently.

So, without a moment’s delay, let’s begin the case.

Symptoms and Clues of Your Alocasia

Large Alocasia Leaf

First Clue Identified!

The good news is, whether you intended it or not, you have embraced your inner Dr Holmes and identified the first clue – drooping leaves!

But this alone won’t solve the mystery case. So let’s continue to build our case.

Symptom 1 – Wet and Soggy Soil

If you have noticed the soil in your alocasia’s pot is wet and soggy with some yellow leaves, the clues may be pointing to overwatering being the culprit for your alocasia leaves drooping.

Soggy soil is bad news for alocasia’s (or any house plants for that matter). The wet soil prevents the roots from accessing the necessary gas exchange and air circulation they require to survive.

Constantly wet and soggy soil can be detrimental your alocasia’s health for many reasons

Not only does it prevent oxygen from reaching the plant roots, constantly wet soil also attracts pests like fungus gnats, as well as encourages diseases, like root rot.

To avoid overwatering our plants, we like to use a technique called the moisture test. It is a simple, yet reliable test where you stick your finger into the top layer of soil to determine if there is moisture or not. To read more about the soil moisture finger test, check out the instructions HERE.

finger testing soil moisture in alocasia

If you consider your watering schedule to be adequate, or you are only watering your alocasia when the soil is dry, there could be other possibilities for soggy soil.

Waterlogged soil can also result from dense compacted soil, the incorrect soil type for your alocasia OR a pot that has insufficient drainage.

All of these issues can be resolved by repotting your alocasia into fresh potting mix in a new pot with sufficient drainage. If you don’t mind getting your hands dirty, you may like to try making your own DIY potting mix. We use a specific recipe for indoor plants that has the perfect water retention and drainage properties.

Symptom 2 – Dry Soil or Water Accumulating at the Surface

At the other end of the spectrum, if you notice water pooling on the surface of your soil when you water your plants OR your soil seems hard, dry and cracked – your alocasia may be suffering from a lack of water or underwatering.

This doesn’t necessarily mean you aren’t watering your plant enough. What it does mean is that the roots of your alocasia are not receiving enough water.

Inability to access water can be caused by your alocasia’s roots being root bound, or the soil is too dense and compact. It can also be due to the water evaporating too quickly due to heat.

Similar to the overwatering issue, the best way to resolve the water access to your alocasia’s roots is to repot your plant with fresh potting soil. Ensure the new soil has elements of porous materials like vermiculite or perlite to allow for adequate aeration and water permeability.

If you find your alocasia is root bound during the repotting process, simply tease the roots out to break the entangled roots and upgrade the pot size that is 1-2 inches wider than the previous pot.

Symptom 3 – Leaves are Browning, Shriveling or Curling

Brown alocasia leaf
credit: reddit

Alocasias communicate via their leaves. A happy alocasia will display vibrant, bright leaves that are beaming with life. Whereas if something is off with your alocasia, the first signs will show up in their leaves.

Besides alocasia leaves drooping, there are a few other signs that you can look out for to get ahead of any issues.

If you notice your alocasia leaves browning at the tips, it could be a sign of leaf scorch (or leaf burn). Your alocasia leaves may also begin to shrivel or curl, rather than extending out in their usual manner. All of these symptoms indicate that low humidity is causing issues for your beloved plant.

Alocasia plants require environments that have medium to high levels of humidity (40 – 60%) in order to thrive.

Fortunately, if your alocasia is suffering from low humidity levels there are options to help you boost the humidity around your plant.

Our favorite solution is placing your alocasia on a humidity tray. This not only delivers an instant humidity boost. It also helps to catch any excess water that drains out of your planter.

You can also naturally boost your humidity by grouping your indoor plants. Did you know water evaporates from the leaves of your houseplants via a process called stomata? So, by keeping a lot of plants in proximity to one another, their collective evaporation creates a self-made humid environment, keeping you and your plants happy

Symptom 4 – Leaves Appear Dull and Limp

When your alocasia plant’s leaves begin to look dull, droopy and the colors appear muted, your issue could potentially be a lack of light.

In their native environments, alocasias grow on the tropical forest floors, with little exposure to direct sunlight. However, this isn’t to say they are a low-light plant.

Being tropical plants, alocasia’s love bright indirect light. In fact, they will thrive in positions that receive 6-8 hours of indirect sunlight.

They can tolerate a bit of direct sunlight. However, it should only be dappled with sunlight in the early morning or late evening. Any prolonged period of exposure will risk your alocasia plant suffering from leaf burn or dehydration.

Symptom 5 – Spots and Insects on Your Alocasia

scale attacking houseplants
scale is a common houseplant pest

If you notice unusual brown or black spots on the leaves of your alocasia, warning bells should be going off in your head. Immediately check the underside of your alocasia’s droopy leaves. If you see any insects or bugs, your alocasia may be suffering from a pest or disease attack.

Common alocasia pests include mealybugs, fungus gnats, scale spider mites and aphids. All (except the fungus gnats) will feed on the sap of your alocasia, weakening it to the point of its demise, or it succumbs to other ailments like a disease.

Fungus gnats may not feed directly on your alocasia. However, it is an indication that your soil is too wet (refer to Symptom 1 – overwatering), which can lead to disease problems like root rot. Believe us when we say root rot is something you DO NOT want to deal with. Besides the wet soil, fungus gnats are simply annoying, especially when you find them taking a swim in your tea or coffee.

Fast action is the best way to deal with a pest infestation.

Manual removal is the first step. Inspecting your plant on a regular basis will ensure you catch any pests quickly, and dispose of them efficiently before they can breed.

Secondly, consistently applying a weekly dose of an organic insecticide (like neem oil) will help to keep any pests under control.

Mystery Case of the Drooping Alocasia Leaves – SOLVED!

credit: tenor

By now your investigations and identification of the clues in this case, the answer should be elementary my dear Watson.

Through the careful deduction of symptoms displayed by your plant, the answer to the case of the drooping alocasia leaves should reveal itself.

Was it overwatering? Underwatering? Pest or disease related? Or was your alocasia unhappy with the immediate environment, such as light and/or humidity?

Let us know how your case went and what solution you used to restore your alocasia to a vibrant happy houseplant.