Why Is My Syngonium Leaves Not Unfurling? [With 6 Solutions]

Under watering, Overexposure to Sun, Nutrient deficiency, Low humidity, Temperature fluctuation and Pest infestation are the main reasons why your Syngonium leaves are not unfurling.

But don’t be hopeless. Most gardeners have this problem with Syngonium plants, and with proper care, the plant can be restored to its former state very quickly.  

In this article, I will tell you how to normalize the curly leaves of your Syngonium plant in a very simple way. So why the delay?

Quick Fixing Guide

Syngonium Leaves Watering

Problem Solution 
Under wateringWater(2.5 inches deep) your plant once every eight to ten days.
Overexposure to SunModerate bright indirect sunlight is recommended.
Nutrient deficiencyUse potassium and magnesium-rich fertilizers.
Low humidity60-70% of humidity is best.
Temperature fluctuationMaintain a temperature around 70-90°F.
Pests infestationUse good quality insecticides.

Syngonium Leaves Curling – Reasons and What to Do!

Leaves Curling Problem on Syngonium Plant

1. Under Watering

Underwatering is the most common reason for Syngonium leaves not unfurling. This problem is caused by your lack of timely watering.

You must know that the process of making food is done in the leaves of plants. When your plant needs water but you don’t water it or water it too little, your plant can’t make enough food for it to grow.  

As a result, the leaves of your Syngonium plant will shrivel from lack of sufficient nutrients and the new leaves will not be able to attach themselves.

Control Measure

Syngonium plants can survive in low water. But that doesn’t mean it doesn’t need water at all. Water your plant once every eight to ten days.

Test your plant’s soil before watering. Insert a finger of your hand or a three to four-inch long stick two to two-and-a-half inches into the soil. If it feels wet then wait some more time. If dry, apply water two and a half inches deep.

Since Syngonium plants need water every few days, it is normal to forget to apply water on time. In that case, you can use an automatic watering machine (our pick: Upgraded DIY Automatic Drip Irrigation Kit).

Be careful with water. It is a wise decision to use rainwater instead of normal tap water.  However, if you have to use tap water, reserve it in a container for a day and then use it.

2. Overexposure to Sun

Although sunlight is essential for green plants, plants face various problems when exposed to excess sunlight. Syngonium leaves curling is one of them.

Whether indoors or outdoors, if you keep your Syngonium plant in a location that receives sunlight almost all day, this is a very dangerous decision. Plants do not need sunlight after a certain time of day. This unnecessary sunlight then interferes with the normal activity of the plant.  

As a result, the leaves of the plant curl and fall. If this continues for a long time, the color of the leaves first fades and then turns yellow.

Control Measure

Syngonium plants generally prefer moderate bright indirect sunlight. 6-7 hours of indirect sunlight is best for them. 

If your plant is indoors, place it in a spot where sunlight creates a light shade. It may be a little distance from your east-facing window.

If your plant is outdoors, you should choose a spot with less sunlight before planting. If the plant is already in a sunny location, you can use a shaded cloth to protect the plant from the sun.

Excess heat from the sun dries out your plant’s soil quickly. So you have to be careful about giving water to the plants on time. Spray the unfurling leaves of your plant with a freshwater spray in the morning or evening.

3. Nutrition Deficiency

Nutrients are essential for proper growth and other biochemical functions of Syngonium plants.  Lack of these nutrients causes various problems in plants.

Potassium and magnesium deficiency is one of the reasons why your Syngonium leaves won’t open.

Now the question is how to know which nutrient is deficient.  Magnesium deficiency causes the plant leaves to gradually curl and eventually turn green to yellowish in color.  

Potassium deficiency causes necrosis in plants. And the leaves are usually curled upwards which is not easily unfurling.

Control Measure

If you are sure that a nutritional deficiency is the cause of your plant’s leaves not opening, you will need to increase magnesium and potassium levels. 

The first thing you can do is replace the old soil in your pot and replant the plant in new soil.  If you do not want to go to this system, you can separately add magnesium sulfate fertilizer to the soil of the plant.

Plants usually obtain nutrients from the soil. So be careful in choosing the soil.

You can use a home remedy to increase the potassium levels in your soil. First, cut a ripe banana peel into very small pieces. Then bury the pieces in the soil of your tree. Water sprays with seaweed are also effective in increasing potassium in plants.

4. Low Humidity

Humidity is very important for Syngonium plants. Low humidity makes it possible for your Syngonium leaves not opening.  

If you keep your plant in a place with very low humidity like an AC room or kitchen, it will get dehydrated very easily. That will curl your plant’s leaves and reduce the chance of new leaves sprouting.

Control Measure

Syngonium plants generally prefer high humidity. 60-70% of humidity is best for them

Protect your plants from too hot or cold air. Don’t keep it in an AC room or any place where the moisture level is too low. 

Generally, our houses have low humidity levels. So you have to ensure the required humidity level by doing something else.

Regular misting can be an effective way for increasing the moisture level of your plants.

Apart from this, there are other ways to increase the humidity level. You can keep your plant at a little distance from other plants in the garden. This will also increase the humidity level of your plants.

But it is best to use a good quality humidifier (our pick). It will perfectly control the humidity of your environment.

5. Temperature Fluctuations

Although the temperature is essential for plants, high temperatures and extremely low temperatures are harmful to your Syngonium plants. 

Syngonium leaves usually begin to curl at temperatures below 70°F. The same problem occurs at temperatures above 90°F.

Control Measure

Maintaining an optimum temperature (70-90°F) is the key to solving this problem.

Keep your plant in a temperature-controlled location. Maybe it is too cold or too hot in your area. Then it is better to use a digital temperature controller.

If your area is neither too hot nor too cold, you can control the temperature of the room yourself by adopting some tricks like ensuring adequate sunlight in the room, cleaning the ventilators in the room if they are dirty, and providing adequate air circulation in the room.

6. Pests Infestation

Mealybugs and aphids are the main enemies of Syngonium plants. Both these types of sap-sucking insects are responsible for the defoliation of Syngonium plants.

By draining sap from the cells, they completely dry the plant. They continue to do this. In an effort to make up for the shortage, the plant attempts to absorb water from the soil but is ineffective. The damaged area gradually rolls over and eventually turns brown over time.

So how do you identify aphids and mealybugs?

Aphids are unmistakably present if dark yellow insects may be seen around the plant or on the undersides of curled leaves. Mealybugs are white insects without legs or wings.

Control Measure

If you want to get rid of insecticides, you need to take quick action. But first of all the paste needs to be identified.

A good quality insecticide can easily solve your problem. There are several insecticides available in the market called mulberry aphid and mealybug killers.  

You may not want to use synthetic chemicals. In that case, you can make an organic insecticide at home. Here I am sharing a recipe.

  • #Recipe 1- Dormant Oil Insecticides Recipe

Raw Materials 

Solution of dish soap, Vegetable oil, and Water.


  • First, take a medium-sized pot and add 3 tablespoons of dish soap solution with 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil.
  • Gently shake the mixture for at least 5 minutes.
  • Then mix the solution with 200 ml of water. 
  • Spray it every day morning and evening for one week.

Follow the tips below to avoid repeated pest infestations.

  1. Apply sufficient water to the plant.
  2. Fertilize your plants at a certain time to keep them healthy.
  3. Before bringing plants indoors, inspect them for illnesses.
  4. Verify the soil’s quality before planting, and then add compost.
  5. If there is a possibility of a virus attack, protect your plant with aluminum foil.
  6. Ensure adequate airflow.
  7. Remove any contaminated bodily parts with caution if they are present.

Frequently Asked Questions(FAQs)

q: how long does it take for a Syngonium leaf to unfurl?

Ans: It depends on the care. If you take good care of the plant and there are no other problems with the plant, it can take up to two weeks. However, if your plant does not get a suitable environment, its leaves may remain curled for a long time.

q: How can I increase humidity for my Syngonium plant?

Ans: You can increase humidity for your Syngonium plant by misting it regularly, placing a tray of water nearby, using a humidifier, or grouping plants together to create a microclimate of higher humidity.

Q: What kind of lighting conditions does Syngonium require?

Ans: Syngonium plants thrive in bright, indirect light. Direct sunlight can cause leaf burn and damage to the plant.

Q: How often should I water my Syngonium plant?

Ans: Syngonium plants prefer to be kept evenly moist but not waterlogged. It’s best to water them when the top inch of soil feels dry to the touch.

Q: What does overwatering Syngonium look like?

Ans: Syngonium plants exhibit some symptoms of overwatering. First, the leaves start to fade. It gradually turns yellow and slowly dries to brown.

Final Word

It turns out that Syngonium plants are defoliating for a very simple reason. So the first thing to do is to try to find the exact cause without panicking.  

Once the main cause is identified, you can easily fix your tree by following the above rules. 

This article is equally applicable to all varieties of Syngonium plants. Hope you get your plant back on track soon.

Happy gardening.

James Rivenburg
James Rivenburg
James Rivenburg

James Rivenburg is the founder of plantandpest.com, 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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