Geranium Leaf Curling: 5 Causes + Effective Solutions

You know what your geranium’s healthy leaves are supposed to look like: perfectly green, straight as a sword, and not straggly. So without any doubt, curled leaves are a sign that something is wrong with your geranium plants.

But the good news is, the leaf curling problem is completely curable. For that, first you have to know the reason behind the problem.

Irregular watering, Sunburn, Nutrition imbalance, Aphid infestation, and Blackleg disease are the causes of leaf curling problems.

Now you have to find out the main cause and take action accordingly. And in this article, you will get step-by-step guidelines to heal your geranium plant. So let’s dive into- 

Quick Fixes




Irregular WateringWater your plant two to three times a week according to the plant’s demand.
Sunburn5-7 hours of full sun and the rest of the time away from the sun is recommended.
Nutrition ImbalanceApply geranium special fertilizer or 20-20-20 peat-lite fertilizer.
Aphid InfestationUse a good quality insecticide.
Blackleg DiseasePrevention guides should be followed to keep the plant free from this disease.

Why are the Leaves on the Geranium Curling

curling leaves of Geranium

1. Irregular Watering

Geranium plants do not need to be watered daily, but if you water them irregularly, it is definitely harmful to your plants.

When your geranium plant doesn’t get enough water from the soil, it can’t keep up with the process of making food in its leaves. Which causes nutrient deficiency and curly leaves.

So, how do you know your plant is not getting enough water? It shows you some symptoms like wilting, yellowing and curly leaves, floppy stem and if remaining untreated for so long it will quickly die.

2. Sunburn

Sunburn is mainly caused by excessive exposure to sunlight. Although geranium is a sun loving plant, placing your geranium plant in a constantly sun shining place can cause sunburns. Sunburn is one of the causes of geranium leaves curling. 

We all know that sunlight is essential for the normal growth of plants. But that too has a range. The part of your plant that gets too much sunlight, disrupts the plant’s normal photosynthesis process. And that part slowly starts to curl.

Now the question is how can you be sure that the curled leaves of your tree are caused by sunburn? Take a close look at your plant, if the pigment looks faded, brown leaves occur and crispy or curly leaves are found then it must be for sunburn.

3. Nutrition Imbalance

The two nutrient variations most responsible for curling geranium leaves are nitrogen and potassium. Too much nitrogen and less potassium can cause geranium leaf curling.

Although nitrogen is the most essential element for plant growth. It is part of chlorophyll and helps in the process of photosynthesis. However, excess nitrogen causes toxicity in the plants body and results in dry leaves, dark green leaves, slow growth, and wilting like problems.

On the other hand, when nitrogen increases in your plants, potassium levels will decrease automatically. As a result, problems like chlorosis, and leaf drying will be more pronounced.

4. Aphid Infestation

Aphids are the biggest obstacle to the healthy growth of geranium plants. Aphids are insects that are few in number but cause great damage.

Aphids basically dehydrate the plant by sucking sap from the cells. And they do this continuously. As a result, the plant tries to absorb water from the soil to make up for the deficit, but it is unsuccessful. At a time the affected area first becomes rolled and later turns brown.

If dark yellow insects are visible on the undersides of curled leaves or around the plant, they are definitely aphids.

5. Blackleg Disease

Blackleg geranium sounds like a ghost story, right? In fact, it is very much like that. The blackleg disease is a problem that is usually noticed when your tree is severely damaged. 

It basically starts under the soil when the root of your plant is infected by the fungus. Later it gradually becomes visible on the upper side and problems such as black roots, black stems, mosaic brown spots on leaves, cupping leaves, and yellowing occur.

5 Effective Ways To Keep Geranium Leaves Healthy

beautiful and healthy geraniums leaves

1. Make a Plan Before Watering

Geranium plants prefer watering twice a week. However, this demand varies depending on the weather.  For example, your plants need less water in summer than in winter.  So you need to make a plan to water the plants properly.

You can water the plant two to three times a week according to the plant’s needs. To know the water demand you can use a moisture meter. (Our Pick: XLUX Soil Moisture Meter)

If that’s not possible, then apply a trick. 

You need to take a three to four inch stick for the experiment. Insert one-third of the stick into the soil of the pot. If it is found wet after taking out then there is no need to water the plant.

Soil and pot selection are also important for proper watering. Geranium plants generally prefer well-drained and loose soil with plenty of organic matter. At the same time, to avoid waterlogging, you need to choose the right size container and ensure that the container has three to four holes to drain excess water.

2. Protect Your Plants From Excess Sunlight

Geranium prefers 5-7 hours of full sunlight in a day. So the rest of the time you need to keep your plant away from the sun. If it’s inside your room, you can simply place your plant next to a light-filled window (south facing) at certain times and the rest of the time elsewhere or you can use shade cloth.

If your plant is outside of your room, you will need to consider the shade of another tree or you have to plant it in a semi-shaded location with full morning sun.

Sometimes you may not be able to ensure enough sunlight for the plants due to weather conditions. Then you can use an LED plant growing light.

3. Ensure Proper Nutrition

200 to 250 ppm of nitrogen is typically recommended for geraniums when fertilizing them. Geranium special or 15-15-15 and 20-20-20 fertilizers are best for your plants. A good quality fertilizer will ensure adequate nutrition for your plants. (our pick: Geranium Fertilizer by EZ-GRO)

If your plant is outdoors, only mix fertilizer into the soil when planting the plant in the spring.  After three months, give the fertilizer once again at half the rate of the first. If the plant is indoors, mix fertilizer with the potting soil only once during the growing season.

Over-fertilizing should never be done. This will increase the concentration of iron and manganese in your potting soil. Which will curl your leaves more. Also, don’t fertilize during hot weather, it can burn the plant.

4. Use Best Quality Insecticides

Before exterminating aphids, you must first identify them.  Notice the curled leaves around the geranium plant. Aphids are usually very small and pear-shaped. Their skin color is usually yellow, brown, or grey. And they produce a sticky substance on tree branches.

A good quality insecticide is the best way to kill aphids. You can easily make it at home.  Here I am sharing with you a homemade pesticide recipe.

#Recipe 1- Dormant Oil Recipe


Liquid dishwasher, Sunflower oil, Water.


  • Take a little pot and mix 1 teaspoon of the dishwasher with 2 teaspoons of sunflower oil.
  • Shake the mixture gently.
  • Add 2-3 spoons of the prepared mixture with 250 ml water and spray it twice a day for one week.

5. Prevention

Since blackleg disease takes a long time to diagnose and it has no effective treatment, the emphasis should be on prevention rather than cure. Follow the instructions below to keep geranium plants free from blackleg disease.

  • Give fresh water spray every morning and evening. 
  • Keep Your Plants Healthy by Fertilizing.
  • Check for diseases on plants before bringing them indoors.
  • Before planting, check the soil quality and add compost.
  • Cover your plant with aluminum foil if there is any risk of virus attack.
  • Ensure good air circulation.
  • If any part of the body is infected, remove it carefully.

Frequently Asked Questions(FAQs)

What do Overwatered geraniums look like?

Geraniums typically have yellow leaves at the bottom when they are overwatered. They could also get water patches that appear pale. In that case, you should stop watering.

Why are the buds on my geraniums turning brown?

The main reason for this is excess water accumulation at the base of the plant. Slight cutting of the affected limb can be a temporary solution. To get rid of this problem, use well-drained soil.


Curling geranium leaves is not a problem in itself but a symptom of other problems. So if you can identify the main problem then reviving your tree will be much easier.

This fixes guide is similarly effective for the other varieties of geranium like Bigroot Geranium, Mourning widow, Bloody Crane’s-bill, Meadow geranium, Geranium nodosum, Geranium renardii, Garden geranium, Pelargonium zonale, Ivy geranium, etc. Happy gardening.

James Rivenburg
James Rivenburg
James Rivenburg

James Rivenburg is the founder of, a passionate gardener with valuable experience and knowledge gained through trial and error. The website has a large community of followers who trust his tips and techniques and have succeeded with his advice. He is always Committed to helping others create a beautiful and healthy garden.

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