Alocasia Stems Bending? 10 Reasons Why and How to Fix It

When you buy Alocasias from the store, you expect them to stay upright. But not everyone has the same luck with their plants. Some stems bend over, some leaves droop, and some even fall over completely.

One of the most common problems you may encounter is your Alocasia stems bending. This usually happens because the plant becomes dehydrated and weakens. As a result, the stem begins to lose its vigor and collapse.

There are many other reasons for Alocasia stems bending. In this article, I’ll go over 9 common causes and how to fix each problem. Then I’ll share my top tips for growing healthy Alocasia plants that will last for years to come.

alocasia stems bending

Related Post:
100+ Alocasia Varieties With Names and Pictures

Why Are Alocasia Stems Bending?

Alocasias are beautiful plants that grow in tropical climates. Their stems bend when they don’t receive the proper care or the right growing environment. Among the reasons for Alocasia stems bending are:

  1. Underwatering
  2. Overwatering
  3. Lack of light
  4. Excess direct sunlight
  5. Lack of nutrition
  6. Overfertilization
  7. Root bound
  8. Stem damage
  9. Pests
  10. Transplant shock

1. Underwatering

If you’ve ever forgotten to water your plants, you’ll know that it’s not uncommon for them to start showing signs of stress. One of the most common symptoms is bent stems. You may think that your plant looks fine, but if you look closely at its stems, you might find that they are starting to droop and curl.

This happens because your plant needs water whenever the soil dries out. Watering regularly helps keep your plant hydrated, but sometimes you simply forget to give it any water. As a result, your plant starts to suffer from dehydration stress.

A thirsty plant will not have enough energy for healthy growth. Therefore, you should water your Alocasia whenever the top 2 inches of the soil goes dry. If you notice any signs of wilting, then you should water your Alocasia right away.

If you live in an extremely dry zone, then you should consider watering twice per week instead of weekly. Watering your Alocasia once per week is not enough to keep it hydrated in dry climates.

Make sure that you water your Alocasia regularly throughout the entire growing season. Never let the soil dry out until the bottom of the pot.

If you often find yourself forgetting to water your plant or away from your home, consider using a self-watering pot or self-watering system like the ones below to provide consistent moisture to your plant.

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Upgraded DIY Automatic Drip Irrigation Kit
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2. Overwatering

Alocasias are very sensitive plants. If you don’t pay close attention to the needs of your Alocasia, you may end up overwatering it.

You should never let your Alocasia sit in the water longer than its recommended time. You should only give it enough water to keep the soil moist at all times. If you do not, you risk damaging your alocasia.

Your Alocasia will struggle to grow properly if you overwater it. Waterlogged soil prevents the roots from getting sufficient oxygen, resulting in root rot. The rotten roots will not be able to absorb water and nutrients for the plant. As a result, the stems will also become weak and droopy.

To avoid damage to your Alocasia, make sure you water on a schedule. Give the plant enough water to keep it well-moistened throughout the day. Never let it sit in water for long periods of time.

If you often struggle with proper watering, consider using a moisture meter like the one below.

Our Pick
XLUX Soil Moisture Meter, Plant Water Monitor, Soil Hygrometer Sensor
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3. Lack of Light

Having dark leaves doesn’t mean your Alocasia is comfortable in a dark environment. Alocasias grow best in bright, indirect sunlight. However, if your Alocasia isn’t receiving enough light, it will start to look weak and tired. Stems may begin to droop and bend, and the plant may not be able to fully perform its daily photosynthesis.

You’ll notice that the leaves are droopy, bent, looking dull, and becoming discolored. These symptoms indicate that your Alocasia needs more light.

Move your Alocasia to brighter locations. Place it next to east-facing windows, if possible. East-facing windows let in more natural light than west-facing ones do.

To compensate for the lack of light in your house, grow lights are a great alternative to natural sunlight.

alocasia leaves drooping

4. Excess Direct Sunlight

Your Alocasias may start to droop their stems if they receive too much direct sunlight. Excessive sunlight can cause sunburns on the leaves, which can result in leaf and stem drooping.

Keep your alocasias several feet away from windows and doors if the sunlight shines directly onto them for prolonged hours. Alternatively, you can use sheer curtains to diffuse the direct sunlight.

5. Lack of Nutrition

Nutrient deficiency is a common problem among indoor houseplants. Most plants require certain nutrients to grow properly. However, most plants only receive those nutrients through the soil. If the soil loses nutrients, the plant will suffer.

A nutrient-deficient plant will show signs of weakness. Leaves may become yellowish or brownish. Stems may bend downward. These symptoms indicate that the plant needs additional nutrients.

To avoid nutrient deficiencies, you should regularly apply fertilizer to your houseplant. You can do this by applying a balanced 20:20:20 NPK liquid fertilizer once every week during the growing season. Fertilizer is necessary to give your plant the proper nutrition it requires. You can buy fertilizer online or at your local garden center.

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6. Overfertilization

Alocasias are heavy feeders that require lots of fertilizer to thrive. However, overfertilizing can cause problems, including burning roots, deformed leaves and bent stems.

To avoid these problems, only add enough fertilizer to meet the needs of your plant. Don’t apply more than needed, and don’t apply fertilizer during times when your plant isn’t growing.

To avoid nutrient burn, try using a slow-release fertilizer instead of a quick-release fertilizer. Slow-release fertilizers will provide nutrients gradually over several weeks, rather than releasing them all at once.

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You should also monitor your plant closely and remove it from its pot if you notice any symptoms of fertilizer burn. If you notice burnt roots, you’ll know that you’ve overdone it.

Scraping away the topsoil is the most effective method of removing excess fertilizer salts from the soil. After doing this, rinse your Alocasia under running water 3-4 times to remove any remaining fertilizer salts.

7. Root Bound

If you’ve had your Alocasia plant for a long time without repotting, chances are that it is root bound. Root bound means that the roots of the plant are growing in a circular pattern instead of spreading outwards.

As a result, the plant becomes stunted and starts showing symptoms of poor health, including bending stems and drooping leaves. Repotting is necessary to prevent this problem from occurring.

Repotting involves removing the old pot and replacing it with a larger one. This allows the roots to spread out and grow properly. So, if you have any Alocasias that have been sitting in the same pot for a few years, it’s time to repot them.

alocasia stem drooping

8. Stem Damage

Alocasia plants are delicate and are prone to getting bent or broken stems. If you notice that your Alocasia has bent stems from damage, you should try to fix it right away.

The easiest way to fix bent stems is to wrap them with tape. Wrap the stem with florist tape, electrical tape, or regular duct tape. The tape helps to stabilize the stem and keeps the plant upright while it heals.

9. Pests

Alocasias are susceptible to pests, so it’s important to keep them away from any kind of pest. These pests suck the sap of fleshly stems causing them to become weak and develop different problems like bending stems, so it’s essential to remove them as soon as you notice them.

Mealybugs, aphids, scales, spider mites and thrips are common pests that can damage your Alocasia. All of these pests prefer moist conditions and low light levels. Therefore, it’s important to provide your Alocasia with the right growing conditions and adequate lighting.

You should also regularly inspect your Alocasia for signs of pests. If you find any, it’s vital to remove them as soon they show up. Otherwise, they’ll continue to grow and multiply until they’ve destroyed all your houseplants.

Neem oil is a natural pesticide that works well against pests. Simply add neem oil to water, and spray it onto your plants. Spray every two weeks until the pests disappear.

10. Transplant Shock

Alocasias are very sensitive to changes in their environment. When you move your Alocasia from its original container, it may not adapt to the new environment right away. Instead, it may experience symptoms such as wilted leaves, yellowed leaves, and bent stems. These problems are caused by the difference between the current conditions and the previous conditions.

In order to prevent transplant shock, don’t damage the roots of your Alocasia when repotting it. If you do remove the roots, remove some of the leaves as well. By reducing the leaf-to-root ratio, the plant recovers from transplant shock more easily because it is kept in relative balance.

If possible, you should use the same potting mix that you used before repotting it. Changing potting mixes has adverse effects on your plants. Also, don’t transplant your Alocasia just after blooming. The Alocasia is quite weak at this point and cannot handle the stress of moving it.

why are alocasia stems bending

Frequently Asked Questions

How do you keep Alocasia upright?

Due to their slender stems, Alocasia leaves can become top-heavy. Plants that droop may be lacking light, water, or nutrients, or they may have too much or too little water in the soil. In the meantime, you can stake the stems while the plant recovers, but the plant will right itself over time

Does Alocasia need support?

Despite their thin stems, most healthy Alocasia plants don’t require stakes. You can tie up your plant to a stake if it’s looking droopy – but you should also try to find out what’s causing it. Ensure that it receives the right amount of light and water.

Why is my Alocasia drooping after repotting?

The reason that an Alocasia plant droops after repotting is probably transplant shock. When Alocasia plants are improperly repotted, they experience transplant shock. It is common for plants to get shocked when they are moved to a new pot. Repotting usually disturbs the roots.

When transplanting your Alocasia, be careful not to damage its roots. Maintain the same conditions as before so that your Alocasia won’t experience transplant shock.