Are your Calathea Leaves Pointing Up? Discover the 3 Main Reasons Why

calathea leaves standing straight up

Have you noticed your Calathea leaves pointing up? This is a common sight to see on your prayer plant! There are several reasons why this might be happening. It can seem concerning, but it may not be a problem at all! From inadequate lighting to watering issues, it can be tricky to find the root cause of why your prayer plant’s foliage might not look its best.

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In this article, we’ll discuss three main causes of calathea ornata leaves pointing up and how you can address them, if you even need to worry about it!

You may be interested in: How to care for a calathea ornata

Why Are Your Prayer Plant Leaves Pointing Up?

Prayer plants move all day long if they are healthy – that’s how they get the name prayer plant! The leaves will spread out and flatten during the day, and at night they’ll straighten up. So the 3 main reasons your calathea leaves are standing up include just the time of day, if its getting too much or little sunlight, or being under or over watered! Let’s look into these reasons more deeply.

Calathea Leaves Standing Up Because of Time Of Day

Calathea Ornata leaves will stand up on their own if they are healthy and happy! The way to tell if it’s natural motion or a lack of nutrients is to watch the leaves throughout the day. If the leaves move around, only really standing up in the morning and evening, then it’s likely just a natural response to the environment. This is how this plant conserves energy, since there’s less light they need less horizontal space to soak up the sun’s rays.

This is called nyctinasty, and can be found in many different plants.

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Calathea Leaves Pointing Up Because of Lighting Issues

If your prayer plant is getting too much or too little sunlight, this can make their leaves point up!

Too much sun will cause them to stay straight up so they don’t absorb as much as is available, since it’s too much. You’ll also notice the coloring on the leaves start to fade or yellow from the sun bleaching the color of the leaves.

If the plant is in a darker spot and not getting enough sunlight, the leaves will also stay upright to conserve their energy. The leaves may start to brown or look a bit dull and you might see a lack of new growth on the plant.

Prayer Plant Leaves Pointing Up Because of Incorrect Watering

Lastly, if your prayer plant is not getting enough or too much water, it can cause their leaves to point up. Typically, the leaves standing straight up all day long is a sign they aren’t getting optimal conditions.

Under-watering will cause the leaves stay folded to conserve energy. You may also notice that the leaves may start browning or having brown tips. The leaves may also curl if underwatered.

Over-watering can make them point up in an effort to get rid of excess water. The leaves in this case will lose their color and stripes as the leaves are oversaturated.

A related issue to watering is humidity. Prayer plants are native to humid locations, and dry air will keep them from laying flat since there’s not enough moisture in the air for them. If you think you’re watering correctly and have it in the right amount of sunlight, try adding humidity around the plant. Either use a humidifier or place it near other plants for an added humidity boost.

In Summary: Calathea Leaves Standing Up

From inadequate lighting to inconsistent watering, it can be tricky to find the root cause of why your prayer plant’s foliage might not look its best and why the leaves aren’t laying flat during the day.

From my experience, typically the leaves only come down if they are in optimal conditions, which can be tough to find! My calathea ornata is probably the most temperamental houseplant I have, and I’ve found humidity really is the key to having the leaves not stand straight up all the time.

So if you’re having issues with your calathea leaves standing up exclusively, keep trying to move it around your home or changing the conditions to see if you can find the perfect spot and routine for it! Good luck, and happy gardening!

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