Why Is My Alocasia Drooping?

Why Is My Alocasia Drooping

Alocasias, just like other common houseplants, can be vulnerable to certain problems and diseases. Drooping is an early sign of various plant problems, so if you find your Alocasia drooping, you will need to do some detective work in order to remedy the issue as soon as possible. 

The most common cause of drooping is incorrect watering. However, other factors might also come into play, including pests, lack of sunlight, plant stress, and more.

This guide will cover the various possible causes of your Alocasia’s drooping. Hopefully, it will help you troubleshoot the problem and find the appropriate fix to bring back your plant’s stunning and healthy appearance.

Why is my Alocasia drooping? – Common causes

1. Lack of sunlight

Alocasias grow well in medium to bright, indirect sunlight, and are not suited to low light conditions.

Without sufficient light, your plant cannot conduct photosynthesis, which is a critical chemical process that converts light energy into food for the plant. Thus, a light-deprived Alocasia will typically appear droopy with yellow or pale leaves.

That said, do not place your Alocasia near south-facing windows, because the heat from the direct sunlight can scorch its leaves and turn them brown. Like most indoor plants, your Alocasia cannot tolerate direct sunlight because the elevated temperatures will increase its transpiration rate and dry the leaves out very fast. Hence, to prevent this excessive moisture loss, it is best to keep your plant in an area that gets diffused light.

2. Dormancy

Drooping leaves can also be a sign that your Alocasia has entered its dormant period. At this point, the plant stops growing as it prepares its soft tissues for the dry weather and cold temperatures. Dormancy allows your indoor plants to survive harsh weather conditions by conserving their resources, and may be the culprit if your Alocasia develops a droopy appearance during winter.

If your plant enters its dormancy period, it is best to leave it as is. Reduce your watering frequency and do not fertilize the plant, as these can both damage the roots and leaves. Your plant might remain dormant for weeks or months, but as soon as spring arrives, it should revert to its normal condition.

3. Underwatering

Water-deprived Alocasias tend to develop dry, crispy leaves and a droopy appearance due to the lack of leaf moisture. If this condition goes on, the chronic dehydration might eventually kill your plant.

Alocasias are not drought-resistant. In their natural habitat, they thrive in moderately damp – but not soggy – soil. Growing them indoors thus requires good watering habits to ensure that the soil never runs out of moisture, but is also never too wet.

4. Overwatering

Overwatering is one of the most dangerous things you can do to most indoor plants, including Alocasias, due to its damaging effects on the roots. Yet, a lot of gardeners unknowingly make this mistake, especially if their plants are droopy or yellow and they mistakenly assume they are thirsty.

So, how do you know if your Alocasia is overwatered?

If your Alocasia’s leaves appear droopy and yellow, first check the moisture level of its soil. If it feels wet or soggy, your plant is overwatered.

Waterlogged soil can drown the roots, causing them to rot and attract various bacteria and fungi that will exacerbate the problem even further. The rot in the roots can spread quickly to other, healthy roots. Unfortunately, you cannot revive roots that are damaged by rot or fungal diseases. 

5. Lack of humidity

Alocasias thrive in humid conditions due to their tropical origins. Such humidity can be challenging to replicate in our homes, especially during winter when the air tends to be drier. The dry air in your home – whether due to winter or because you live in a less humid area – will reduce the moisture content of the plant’s leaves and cause drooping or wilting. 

Other symptoms linked to low humidity include browning of the leaf edges and tips. Again, this is because dry air increases the plant’s transpiration rate, with consequences similar to underwatering. The soil also dries out faster when the environment lacks moisture, particularly during winter.

6. Pests and diseases

Plant pests and diseases are something every plant owner wants to avoid – they can be terribly frustrating and difficult to deal with, especially if the damage is already severe.

Unfortunately, Alocasias can fall victim to certain pests and plant diseases, just like any plant. The best thing you can do is spot the problem as early as possible and apply the appropriate treatments quickly. Otherwise, if the damage has become severe, it might be too late to save your plant.

Some of the most common pests in Alocasias include aphids, mealybugs, scale, and spider mites. These sap-sucking bugs dehydrate the leaves as they feed on the sap and drain vital nutrients that your plant needs for survival. Pests can also damage the foliage by leaving sticky waste by-products on the leaves and damaging the plant’s tissues.

As for diseases, Alocasia plants can be vulnerable to certain plant diseases caused by bacteria, fungi, viruses, mycoplasma, and parasites. These pathogenic organisms can cause any of the following: 

  • Xanthomonas infection
  • Rotting of the roots, crown, and stem
  • Powdery mildew
  • Leaf spot

7. Transplant shock

Transplant shock is a common condition in Alocasias that have recently been repotted. This is usually due to minor root damage incurred during the process, and will manifest as yellow and droopy leaves.

Plants struggle even more if you repot them during their dormant period or just after blooming. 

In most cases, Alocasias should return to normal once their roots are established in the new pot. The best thing you can do is allow your plant to adjust to its new home while receiving the ideal amount of indirect sunlight and water to ensure its speedy recovery.

How do you fix a droopy Alocasia?

After you have figured out what is causing your Alocasia’s leaves to droop, it is time to take action and get your plant perked up again. Here are some of the possible solutions for drooping Alocasia plants:

1. Timely watering is key

Watering your plant appropriately will save it from several diseases and pests by keeping it as healthy and resilient as possible. You can avoid both underwatering and overwatering by checking the soil’s moisture regularly. One easy way of doing this is to insert your finger a couple of inches into the soil to feel whether it is dry or wet. Soil moisture meters, like the XLUX, also work well if you want to automate things and keep your hands dirt-free. As a rule of thumb, water your plant only when the top inch of soil is dry.

Additionally, it is best to water your plants in the morning. Night-time watering can keep the leaves and soil moist for longer periods, which can encourage the growth of bacteria and fungi.

2. Choose the right pot

This simply means choosing pots of the appropriate size that have drainage holes.

If the pot is too large for your Alocasia, it can increase the risk of overwatering because the larger volume of soil will retain more moisture.

If your plant has outgrown its container and you need to up-size it, it is generally advised to choose a new pot one or two inches larger in diameter than the previous one. 

If the pot does not have enough drainage holes, it can cause excess water to pool at the bottom of the container, risking root rot and fungal diseases.

You should also adjust your watering frequency depending on the type of pot you have chosen. For example, terracotta pots tend to wick moisture and thus dry the soil faster, while plastic pots can retain moisture for longer periods. Again, check the condition of the soil before watering.

3. Maintain a humid environment

There are many ways to help maintain an ideal humid climate for your Alocasia. You can do one or a combination of the following:

  • Place a pebble tray filled with water under your plant’s pot, making sure that the roots are not submerged in the water at the bottom. As the water evaporates from the tray, it will moisten the air around the plant.
  • If the environment is very dry, try misting your plant to create more humidity around it.
  • Install a humidifier. This is, by far, the best and most convenient solution to maintain the desired humidity level indoors.
  • Group your plants to keep your growing area humid. Plants can share moisture through their transpiration process, making it easier to maintain a suitable microclimate.

4. Avoid sunny areas

If you like to keep your plants on window sills, make sure to avoid windows with the strongest and brightest light. South-facing windows are generally not recommended for plants like Alocasias. The most suitable are east- and north-facing windows, as these only receive medium, indirect sunlight.

5. Use preventative measures against pests

As the old saying goes, prevention is better than cure. If you can implement certain measures to prevent plant pests and diseases, it will certainly save your plant from irreversible damage. Here is what you can do:

  • Always check your plants regularly. Inspect the leaves, stems, and soil from time to time, so that you can easily spot the early signs of infestation and take action right away.
  • Apply neem oil to the leaves once a month. This will prevent plant pests from attacking your Alocasia.
  • Apply insecticidal soap or neem oil as soon as you find pests on the leaves and stem.
  • You can also wipe the leaves with alcohol diluted in water to get rid of any bugs. Use one part rubbing alcohol to seven parts water to create a homemade insecticide solution.


There are many possible reasons your Alocasia’s leaves might droop. While the majority of reasons are linked to poor watering habits, other issues like pests and diseases might also be the cause and require serious attention. Be sure to consider all aspects of the problem and correct your care mistakes. With the right solution and growing conditions, your Alocasia should bounce back to health in a very short time!

Image: istockphoto.com / Alohapatty