The Q&A Archives: Drooping Caladium

Question: I have had a caladium plant for only about three weeks and it is watered well but leaves keep drooping and drying up. What should I do about it?


There are several possibilities I can think of for why this might happen.  One is that at some point before you brought it home the plant was drought stressed and it is now trying to go dormant.  I have also had plants that would just seem to go dormant in late summer, especially if I tried to start them very early in the season. If this is the case, there isn''t much you can do except let it rest and restart it next year.

Another possibility, especially for a potted plant, is that the plant is water stressed in spite of your watering efforts.  This can happen if the soil mix has pulled away from the sides of the pot so that each time you water the  liquid actually runs straight out without dampening the soil. If this is the problem, soak the pot in a bucket of water until it is saturated through, then let the excess water drain out.

Wilting due to water shortage can also happen if the plant has outgrown its container and needs to be repotted.

Finally, if the plant is in more sunlight than it was accustomed to it can "sunburn"; if you suspect this is the case,
move it into a shadier position.

Good luck with your caladium!

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