Why Are the Leaves On My Prayer Plant Wrinkled??

Photo: David Clode

Prayer Plant (Maranta Leuconeura) is one of our favorite houseplants, but as a tropical it can be slightly pickier than other plants in terms of care requirements.

Like any good prima donna your Prayer Plant can be a drama queen at times, so pull out the popcorn and get ready! 😜

Are you worried because you're seeing the leaves on your Prayer Plant curl up or develop wrinkles?

If this sounds like you then read on!

Why Does My Prayer Plant Have Wrinkly Leaves?

If your plant has leaves with ends that are wrinkled or curling chances are the following could be happening:

  • Insufficient light
  • Too much or too little water
  • Low humidity
  • Low temperature

These issues are usally made worse in the winter in colder climates - if you're in a warm tropical environment you should have an easier time with Prayer Plant care.

Prayer Plants come from the tropics, and in that environment the plant would get intense sunlight underneath the canopy, plenty of rain, and ample humidity.

The closer you can replicate those conditions the better, so be prepared to spend a bit more time caring for your Prayer Plant than other plants like succulents that thrive on neglect.

How to Get Rid of Wrinkles / Curls On Prayer Plant Leaves

Tip #1: Improve Lighting

The closer you can get to bright, indirect sunlight the better as Prayer Plant is a native of the Brazillian rainforest.

If you don't have any large, bright windows you may have to look in to getting a full spectrum LED grow light - there are many excellent options on the market.

We recommend the gooseneck style grow lights that are on stands as they offer many possibilities for positioning over your Maranta.

If you do have a warm window that gets plenty of light we recommend moving your Maranta to that location immediately.

Tip #2: Adjust Watering

Again, given that Prayer Plant is a jungle plant it has different watering requirements than other plants such as succulents.

With Maranta it's a case of: 'not to wet, not too dry'. It likes soil that is somewhat moist but not sopping wet.

You'll need to water it slightly more often in spring and summer, and its water requirements are reduced in winter.

Use a moisture meter if you are unsure about how much water to give your Prayer Plant.

In terms of temperature lukewarm water is best.

Tip #3: Increase Humidity

House plants such as Maranta Leuconeura (Prayer Plant) are accustomed to a moist, humid environment.

To replicate the jungle environment at home you can mist your plant periodically, or keep a humidifier nearby.

Always use lukewarm water when misting.


Prayer Plants are one of the most interesting houseplants one can own. With leaves that move constantly you'll never see the same plant twice!

To avoid the issue of developing curly or wrinkly leaves on your Maranta simply adjust your light, watering, humidity and temperature regime and you'll be good to go.

If you're looking for a new houseplant to add to your collection that is a bit of a prima donna, but not too much, then consider a Prayer Plant... they have just the right amount of sassiness to keep things interesting! 😜


N.C. State Extension - Gardener Plant Toolbox

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About The Sassy Plant

Hi, we're Dan & Kat. We love plants and gardening and wanted to share what we've learned along the way with you. The Sassy Plant is a cheeky take on plants, gardening and home. Go here to learn more about us. We hope you enjoy!