Scindapsus (Satin Pothos) Leaves Curling (Causes & Easy Fixes)

satin pothos scindapsus leaves curling

Why are the leaves curling on your Scindapsus (also known as Satin Pothos or Silver Pothos), and how can you fix this problem quickly? 

The most common reason for leaves curling on Scindapsus is underwatering. Besides that, overfertilizing, temperature stress, root rot, being rootbound, low humidity, and pests can also make your Scindapsus curl its leaves. 

Curling leaves for a long period can stress your Scindapsus, stunt its growth, & can eventually kill your plant if left untreated. Read on to learn how to treat this quickly & easily. 

1. Underwatering

Scindapsus are great about letting us know when they are thirsty, and curling their leaves is an early sign (except for Treubii Dark Form which does not do this early). 

You may notice curling leaves on your Scindapsus when it was previously looking healthy. This could be a sign that your plant needs water.

What to do:

Check the soil first. Is it very dry to the bottom? Does your Scindapsus pot feel lighter in weight than usual? If you notice these signs accompanied by curling leaves, your plant is most likely being underwatered. 

Give your Scindapsus a thorough watering. They usually recover quickly. 

Then, check the soil regularly as it gradually dries out. If using a moisture meter, water your plant when you see a level of 1-3 on the meter. 

Try to water your Scindapsus before the leaves curl to avoid stress on the plant and stunted growth.

2. Overfertilizing

The leaves of your Scindapsus may curl if you have fertilized too often or if you have not diluted the fertilizer properly. This causes the plant to receive an excess of nutrients which leads to build-up.

What to do:

If you notice leaf curling, try recalling how often you’ve been fertilizing. Scindapsus plants only need to be fertilized once monthly during the growing seasons from spring to early fall

If you suspect you have overfertilized, replace the soil with a proper mixture that doesn’t contain additional fertilizer. 

Avoid fertilizing in the winter since your plant is unable to use extra nutrients due to decreased sunlight. 

3. Temperature Stress 

Scindapsus are excellent as houseplants because they enjoy the same temperatures as we do. However, they cannot tolerate temperatures outside of the range of 65-85°F (18-29°C).

What to do:

If your Scindapsus has been near a cold window or exposed to a cold draft, you will likely see your plant curl its leaves. Move your Scindapsus to a warmer location immediately as the plant is stressed. 

If your Scindapsus has been placed outdoors on a hot day or is being kept in a building or car without temperature control, it may be heat-stressed. Although these are tropical plants, they don’t tolerate temperatures above 85°F (29°C). 

In their native habitat, the Scindapsus grows in the understory of a tropical forest in partial shade and is not adapted to high temperatures. Move your Scindapsus out of the heat. 

After any type of temperature stress occurs, it is common that you might lose a few leaves. This is especially true for new leaves that were in the process of unfurling when the stress event occurred. 

These plants usually recover after being moved back into optimal temperatures. 

4. Root Rot

Scindapsus will often have curled leaves in the case of root rot, which is caused by overwatering or inadequate drainage. These plants are sensitive to root rot and can easily develop this if kept in wet soil for too long. 

What to do:

Check the soil of your plant for excessive moisture. Check the roots for possible signs of root rot. 

If this is the case, remove the rotted portions of the roots. Gently clean the remaining roots, and repot it in fresh well-draining soil. 

Place your Scindapsus in an area of your home with bright indirect light and good airflow. 

5. Being Rootbound

As your Scindapsus grows, the roots of the plant can become unruly and rootbound. This is especially true for the Scindapsus Pictus Exotica

When a Scindapsus first becomes rootbound in the pot, you likely won’t see any reaction. Over time, however, some of the roots won’t get adequate water due to the lack of space. 

What to do:

If you start noticing that your Scindapsus is drying out extra fast or that some of its leaves remain curled even after watering, you should inspect the roots. 

For a Scindapsus that is rootbound, repot and go up 1 pot size. The plant will usually recover quickly. 

6. Low Humidity

You’ll see a lot of opinions about whether or not a Scindapsus truly needs humidity in the home. This is because they are impressively resilient plants that adapt to varying humidity levels. 

However, the key takeaway is that they are tropical plants and grow best in a humidity of 50-70%

Low humidity may lead to curled leaves since the air is too dry. You may start seeing the leaves curling in humidity below 35% for common varieties of Scindapsus. 

This happens more frequently in the winter, as normal household humidity decreases with the use of central heat or radiators. 

What to do:

Provide a cool-mist humidifier for your Scindapsus to keep humidity preferably above 45% for the plant to thrive. If you have a Treubii Dark Form or Jade Satin, you’ll need to provide humidity of at least 55% to maintain plant health. 

While a humidifier is best for providing consistent humidity, you can try grouping plants together, misting, and placing them on a pebble tray with water.  

If you also enjoy the hobby of having fish tanks, your tropical plants will benefit greatly from the increased humidity provided by your fish tank. Keeping your plants in the same room as your tanks is a wise choice. 

7. Pests

Pests are what every houseplant enthusiast dreads. Unfortunately, pests can cause the leaves of your Scindapsus to curl.  

What to do:

If you notice leaves curling, inspect your plant for mealybugs, spider mites, and scale. Look for any areas of discoloration along with signs of an infestation. 

If you find any pests, clean your Scindapsus and treat it with diluted neem oil

FURTHER READING: A Complete Guide to Neem Oil for Indoor Plants


You can resolve curling leaves on your Scindapsus by watering consistently, avoiding overfertilizing and overwatering, keeping the temperature between 65 and 85°F (18-29°C), and giving the roots enough space, increasing humidity, and treating for pests. 

Thanks for reading, and we hope your Scindapsus returns to optimal health very soon! 

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