Home HouseplantsProblems & How To Fix Never Never Plant Leaves Curling: What This May Mean and What to Do

Never Never Plant Leaves Curling: What This May Mean and What to Do

by a Friendly Gardener
Leaves are curling on my never never plant

Last Updated on August 10, 2023 by a Friendly Gardener

The Ctenanthe bure-marxii amagris more commonly known as the ‘Never Never’ plant could be defined as the undervalued relation of the Prayer Plant group. Yet despite the fact that they may not be as common or popular as other family members, they are truly lovely houseplants. Members of the Marantaceae family, they are perennial evergreens native to Brazil.

As communicative houseplants, when foliage begins to curl, your Never Never plant is informing you that something is distressing it. The good thing about curling leaves is that it is usually a first signal, so you should have sufficient time to remedy the situation and restore your plant to full health.


Why Are My Never Never Plant Leaves Curling?

Never never plant leaves curling

Several environmental or care factors can cause Never Never plant curling leaves. The most common reasons include underwatering, low humidity levels, cold environmental temperatures, and intense direct sunlight exposure, although there can be a motive connected to nyctinasty which refers to the daily movements of these plants. Appreciated for the fishbone pattern on leaves, the foliage will fold up at night and reopen in the morning. Considered to be a bit fussy, the Never Never Plant is a delightful addition to indoor gardens when the conditions are right.



This is a common cause of Never Never plant curling leaves. Occasional forgetfulness when it comes to watering can be forgiven, but prolonged periods without water will stress your plant to the point that it will become apparent. Leaves may begin to turn brown and curl. Before you decide to douse your plant, make sure that this is the actual cause as excessive watering can create a whole list of new problems.


What to do

If you suspect underwatering, remove the plant from its container and examine the soil mix. When a plant is underwatered, the soil will feel sandy and crumble easily. Some roots may have acquired a crispy look and feel. If this is the case, begin by watering your plant daily in small doses for approximately a week before returning to a normal watering schedule. If you have difficulty deciding what proper watering is, acquire a moisture meter to measure soil moisture levels.


Low Humidity Levels

Never never plant leaves are curling

If leaves are beginning to curl and leaf tips are browning, then environmental humidity may be too low for your Never Never plant. These tropical gems suffer when indoor air is too dry, and this can be problematic in homes or offices with heating or air conditioning that also feature limited ventilation.


What to do

If humidity is causing leaf curling, there are several solutions for you to try. One of the simplest ways to combat low humidity is to mist your Never Never plant foliage every several days. It is not a permanent solution and does require continuous intervention, but it will aid your plant. Mist in the morning, so that excess moisture will evaporate during the day before the nighttime drop in temperatures. Another easy option is to shower your plant. Doing so at regular intervals will remove dust particles from leaves and can aid in removing any pests that visit. When showering a plant, use tepid water at medium to low pressure to prevent shock from cold or hot water and potential breakage of stems and leaves.

Another possibility is to place your plant in a space with more humidity such as a bathroom or a kitchen. Space humidifiers are ideal and may benefit other houseplants that you own. You may also wish to opt for a pebble tray. Place a tray filled with pretty stones and water beneath your plant’s container to raise the humidity in the immediate area.


Cold Environmental Temperatures

Leaves curling on never never plant

Any kind of extreme environmental temperature can create issues for your plant, however, as tropical natives, these plants prefer warm climates. Drafts are especially troublesome regardless of the indoor temperature. If temps drop below 60°F, this will harm the plant.


What to do

Avoid placing your Never Never plant near drafty doors or windows or in any location where drafts are frequent. Also, avoid spots where there is a significant drop in temperature during the evening hours. Consider acquiring a digital thermometer to verify the temperature in your home or office during the day and nighttime.


Intense Direct Sunlight Exposure

Never Never plant leaves curling can be a result of exposure to intense direct sunlight. This kind of light exposure will not only cause leaves to curl but may burn them as well. Scorched patches, unfortunately, are irreversible.


What to do

Change your Never Never Plant’s location providing it with partial shade or bright but indirect sunlight exposure. If leaves have been badly scorched remove them from the plant. The curling will resolve itself if the plant is receiving proper light.


Natural Movements and Curling Leaves

Never never plant folding leaves

The Never Never Plant will curl its leaves upward after sunset. At sunrise, the foliage begins to unfold. Occasionally a plant may experience some confusion in its movements and remain a bit cured during the daytime. This is a non-issue as these movements are natural to the plant. It’s essential to distinguish between the praying movement and curling due to stress in some form. If you are unsure about the curling, monitor your plant’s foliage for several days while making sure that your watering, light exposure, and environmental temperatures are optimal.


A Final Thought

Never never plant care

Never Never plant leaves curling can indicate that your plant has insufficient water or is receiving excess sunlight. Evaluate your plant’s location for light, temperature, and humidity levels and check the soil moisture, making any necessary adjustments.

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