Paddle plants (Kalanchoe thyrsiflora) are a beautiful addition to any home. They’re easy to care for and come in dark green. However, sometimes they can start to droop for no apparent reason.
The main reasons why your paddle plant is droopy include overwatering, underwatering, too much sun, insufficient light, poor drainage, overfertilization, humidity issues, pests, stem damage, and diseases.
Read on as we take a closer look at some of the main reasons why paddle plants become droopy. The article will also share useful remedies to counter the issue. Let’s get started.
Paddle plants are native to arid regions, so they’re used to getting by on very little water.
If you give these plants too much water, the roots can become overwhelmed, drown, and begin to rot.
This prevents the plant from taking up the nutrients it needs to grow, which makes it weak and sickly. In some cases, overwatering can even kill a plant.
So, how can you tell if you’re overwatering your plant?
Well, the best method is inspecting the top soil layer. If it looks and feels dry, your plant needs hydration. However, if it still looks and feels wet, you can wait.
Underwatering is a common mistake made by gardeners of all experience levels, but it’s easy to fix. An easy way to determine if your paddle plant isn’t getting enough water is to check the soil. If it looks and feels dry, it likely needs to be watered.
The amount of water your plant needs will depend on pot size and the type of soil you’re using, but as a general rule, you should water until the soil is evenly moist.
Once you’ve evenly watered your paddle plant, you should start to monitor the soil closely over the next few days. If it starts to dry out again, it’s advisable to increase your watering frequency. You can even use a moisture meter to ensure the soil stays moist.
3. Insufficient Light
When paddle plants droop, it could be because they’re not receiving enough light. If you suspect this is the case, try moving your plant to a sunnier spot. Paddle plants thrive in bright, indirect light, so a spot near a south-facing window should be perfect.
When grown indoors, they need bright light but should be shielded from direct sunlight, which can scorch their leaves. If your paddle plant is not getting enough light, it will also start to stretch out (known as etiolation) to reach the sun.
Etiolation usually makes the plant leggy and weak, which is often a sign that it is not getting enough light. To fix the problem, simply move your plant to a brighter location. If possible, place it near a window with bright but indirect sunlight. With proper care, your paddle plant should soon perk up.
4. Too Much Sun
If your paddle plant looks droopy, it’s likely getting too much sunlight. Paddle plants need bright light to grow, but if they’re getting direct sunlight for more than six hours a day, that can be too much.
Also, during the winter, your paddle plant probably didn’t get much sunlight. So, when you moved it outside for the summer, it was probably a shock to its system.
The plant leaves will start to turn yellow and brown, and the plant will start to droop. If this happens, move your plant to a spot that gets less sun. The paddle plant will probably recover within a few days.
5. Poor Drainage
Poor drainage might be to blame for the droopiness of your paddle plants. These plants need plenty of moisture to stay healthy. However, they also require well-aerated soil that drains quickly.
If your paddle plant’s roots are always immersed in waterlogged soil, there’s a good chance that root rot will develop, which often results in wilting. To improve drainage, mix some sand or perlite into the potting mix.
You can also make sure that the pot has drainage holes and use a bowl or saucer underneath to catch any water that flows out. Be sure to water the plant deeply but infrequently, letting the soil dry out somewhat between watering.
You can raise the pot on blocks or stones to promote airflow around the roots. With a little care and attention to detail, you can get your paddle plant to look green and vibrant again.
6. Insufficient Humidity
Your paddle plant is looking a little droopy, and you’re wondering if it’s because of the low humidity in your home. The lack of moisture in the air may be causing your plant to dry out, but there are a few other things that could be to blame.
Perhaps you’re watering your plant too much or not enough. Or, it could be that the light levels in your home are too high or low. All of these factors can affect a plant’s health, so it’s important to pay close attention to how your plants are doing and make changes as needed.
If you suspect that the low humidity is causing your paddle plant to droop, you can do a few things to increase the moisture in the air.
A humidifier is a highly effective way to increase moisture content in the air around your paddle plant. You can also fill a plant pot tray with water, fill it with stones, and then place the plant on top. Alternatively, gently water it with a spray bottle. Your paddle plant will respond to the increased humidity levels by perking up in a couple of days.
7. Over Fertilizing
Overfertilizing your paddle plant often leads to droopy leaves. When you fertilize your plant, you’re giving it a boost of nutrients it needs to process. As a result, an excess of nutrients can cause the plant to go into overdrive, leading to dehydration and droopy leaves.
If you think you may have overfertilized your plant, flush your potting mix with water to help leach out some of the excess nutrients.
Once you’ve done this, resume watering and fertilizing your plant according to the recommended schedule. With a little care, your plant will soon bounce back.
Your paddle plant may be droopy because it has mealybugs. These are tiny wingless insects that enjoy feeding on the leaves and stems. They cluster on stems and leaves and secrete a waxy substance that covers their bodies to protect them from insecticides.
Mealybugs can cause yellowing and wilting of leaves, stunted growth, and even death of plants. To get rid of mealybugs, gently wipe them off with a damp cloth or brush.
You can also use an alcohol-based solution, such as rubbing alcohol, neem oil, or horticultural oil. Be sure to follow the label directions carefully when using any of these products.
Another common culprit of droopiness in paddle plants is spider mites. These tiny pests thrive in dry conditions and can quickly infest a paddle plant. If you suspect that spider mites are the problem, take a close look at the undersides of the leaves. You likely have an infestation if you see tiny webbing, sticky residue, or specks of dirt.
To eliminate spider mites, start by misting the leaves with water. This will knock them off the plant and make it harder for them to survive. Alternatively, apply some pyrethrin or neem oil to the affected areas. This is a natural yet effective method of removing plant pests.
If neither of these methods works, then you may need to use a chemical insecticide.
9. Stem Damage
Stem damage is the paddle plant’s number one enemy. If your plant looks droopy, it’s likely because the stem has been damaged. The stem is responsible for carrying water and nutrients to the leaves, so the plant can’t function properly when damaged.
A few things can cause stem damage:
- An aphid, stem borer, or another pest infestation
- Root rot
- Physical injuries
To fix the problem, you need to identify the cause and then take steps to correct it. Once the stem is repaired, your plant should start to look better.
The presence of diseases can also lead to the drooping of paddle plant leaves. Several diseases make paddle plants droopy, including root rot, stem rot, and powdery mildew.
Root rot, as mentioned earlier, is caused by excessive water that damages the roots and negatively affects the uptake of water.
Stem rot is caused by bacteria or fungi that enter through wounds in the stems. On the other hand, powdery mildew is caused by a fungus that affects the leaves. A telltale sign of powdery mildew is the fine, lightly-colored powder it leaves behind.
These diseases can be difficult to treat, so it’s important to take preventive measures.
Another disease that can affect paddle plants is leaf spot. Leaf spot is caused by fungi or bacteria that grow on the leaves, causing them to turn brown or black.
If your plant has either of these diseases, it’s important to take action immediately. Otherwise, the plant will continue to decline and eventually die.
Make sure your paddle plant has well-drained soil, and water it only when the soil is dry. Avoid wounding the stems, and keep an eye out for powdery mildew. If you see any signs of disease, contact a plant doctor for treatment options.