The curling of leaves on your string of hearts plant is not the most beautiful sight to behold. Especially if you’ve really put in so much work to get the right kind of specie.
I know how it feels. you probably feel gardening a string of hearts wasn’t meant for you and you shouldn’t have thought about it in the first place.
If you feel this way, just know you are that you are not alone. I used to be like that too. Getting all worked up about my string of hearts curling and looking all wobbles.
This article explains the reasons for your string of hearts curling, and how to restore the bloom. it also explains the reasons for your string of hearts dying and how to revive them.
Causes of Curling Leaves in The String of Hearts Plant
The curling of leaves of the string of hearts plant is a result of one or all of the following reasons.
- Drought stress
- Dry soil
- Too much sunlight
- Strong air currents
The following listed reasons are briefly explained below
- Drought Stress: drought stress is a condition that results in the string of hearts planted when it is not getting enough water or it is being watered too lightly.
The string of hearts plant can go a while without water but after about two weeks without water, it becomes drought-stressed, and begins the leaves begin to curl up.
Watering the string of hearts plant goes beyond just sprinkling a few drops of water on the plant. The string of hearts requires a good soak of water when it is being watered.
This enables the water to penetrate through the soil into the roots of the plant.
- Dry soil: the string of hearts plant prefers to be watered after the soil has totally dried out.
This is possible in soil types that are not hydrophobic in nature. Hydrophobic soil is one that repels water.
Including peat in your potting soil makes the soil hydrophobic.
When the soil becomes dry and hydrophobic, watering the plant becomes ineffective. This is because the water tends to run off the soil and plant pot from drainage holes without necessarily getting to the root of the plant.
This eventually leads to drought stress and makes the string of heart leaves curl up.
- Too much sunlight: the string of hearts plant does like sunlight. It does need it for photosynthesis and balanced growth.
But it needs it in an adequate quantity. Exposing the string of hearts plant to excessive direct sunlight can cause evaporation and drying of moisture from the leaves and root nodules of the leaves.
This makes the leaves curl up in a weak manner. The string of hearts plant prefers indirect sunlight on it. This way, the leaves stay intact and do not curl up or droop.
- Strong air currents: strong air currents has an almost equal effect on the string of hearts plant-like too much sunlight.
Strong air currents take moisture out of the leaves of the string of hearts plant, in the form of precipitation.
When a lot of moisture leaves the plant, it begins to curl up and droop. This is much worse in conditions where the plant is not getting consistent water.
How Do I Stop My String of Hearts From Curling?
When curling occurs in the leaves of your string of hearts plant, here is what to do
- Water the plant thoroughly: to water your string of hearts plant thoroughly, use the soaking method of watering.
Place the plant pot in a bowl of water, natural and distilled. Let the plant pot stay in the water for about 12 minutes before bringing it out.
Do not apply water to the plant again until the soil feels dry again. This is to avoid the problem of root decay associated with overwatering the plant.
- Repair dry soils: check to ensure that the plant is getting enough of the water it is given at intervals.
If the root of the plant isn’t getting the water, it is most likely the reason for the curling of leaves on the string of hearts plant.
In this situation, you need to increase the time used in soaking the plant. Let it sit for a longer time to overcome the hydrophobic nature of the soil.
When it sits in the water bowl for a longer time, the water eventually penetrates through the clogged-up spaces into the root.
Also de-clutter the soil from time to time. If you can, re-pot the plant and change the soil to a soil type that allows the drainage of water into the roots of the plant.
- Choose a good location for the plant: let the string of hearts plant pot be kept in areas with adequate light and indirect sunlight.
Do not place it on window sills even though it adds to the aesthetic appeal of the home or office.
If you plant your string of hearts outdoor, ensure it is planted in areas with enough shade, a place where enough light gets to it and the sunlight intensity isn’t so much.
After a few days in the right environment, under the right sunlight intensity, your string of hearts should be straight and blooming again.
- Protect the string of hearts from strong air currents: as much as possible, protect the string of hearts plant from strong air currents.
Keep it away from air vents in the house and rooms where the air conditioner is turned up to high frequencies.
The string of hearts plant does better in moderately ventilated rooms or outdoors where the wind action is minimal.
Which of the Pollutants causes Leaf Curling
Air pollution is one important cause of leaf curling, brown tips of the string of hearts, as well as the death of the plant.
The plants usually ingest these toxic gases through their stomata during the normal respiration process.
There are two major pollutants that lead to the curling of leaves in the string of hearts plant. They are:
Ozone is popularly denoted as 03 and Sulphur dioxide. As you already know, our earth is covered by a blanket of ozone that is advantageous, in that it protects humans from receiving direct ultraviolet rays from the sun.
This is called the ozone layer and you know its depletion is the reason for climate change everywhere in the world.
Now, away from high school science, ozone is an oxidant that plants ingest during respiration.
Ozone in the systems of plants like the string of hearts causes what is known as necrosis.
Continued exposure of the string of hearts to ozone does the following to the plant:
- Depletes the amount of photosynthesis carried out by the plant
- Slows down the growth of the string of hearts plant
- Increases the risk of insect attack
- Induces curling of leaves
Another pollutant that affects the string of hearts plant is sulfur dioxide.
Sulfur dioxide is the by-product resulting from the burning of fossil fuels used in generating electricity for human consumption.
The effect of sulfur dioxide on the plant include damage to the stalk, brown spots appearing on the plant, and curling of the leaves.
This is why we advise that the string of hearts plant be cultivated in an environment free from air pollution, indoors, or in a plant nursery.
This keeps the string of hearts plant protected from both the ozone and sulfur dioxide pollutants.
Should You Mist The String of Hearts?
Misting is a technique of watering the string of hearts plant using a sprinkler or hose to spray water from the top of the plant to its base.
The string of hearts plant loves dry soil and a humid temperature. You should only mist when the temperature is dry.
This helps keep the leaves moisturized and survive till the temperature becomes normal.
Ensure that when you mist, you do it using a sprinkler or something that doesn’t produce water droplets at a high frequency.
This prevents stress on the leaves and protects the plant from the possibility of over-watering.
Remember, if you decide to practice misting, there is no need to soak the plant. If you carry out the two watering techniques, you might end up killing your plant from over-watering.
The string of hearts plant tends to tangle due to the healthy growth of the stem. Always untangle the string of hearts planted.
It could be frequently or occasionally. Whatever frequency you choose to adopt in untangling the string of hearts plant, do so consistently.
A benefit of untangling the string of hearts is that you notice the strings that are broken and the ones that are losing color.
It also allows all the leaves to get an adequate and equal amount of sunlight.
- A string of hearts leaves curl for reasons that include inadequate watering, excess sunlight, and dry soil.
- The string of hearts plant does not need too much sunlight and air currents
- Misting should be done only in low humidity.
- When the plant is misted, do not use the soaking technique for watering
The curling of the string of hearts is due to factors that can be controlled.
If the leaves of your string of hearts are curled up and looking unhealthy, the guide in this article should help you get those leaves blooming again.