Updated: April 2, 2022

The fishbone plant, also known as the herringbone plant or the ribcage plant, is a popular indoor plant with distinctive leaves that resemble a fishbone. It is a relatively easy plant to care for, but one common problem that many growers face is the curling of the leaves. This can be frustrating for many plant owners, but there are several reasons why this may happen.

Lack of Water

One of the most common reasons for curling leaves on your fishbone plant is a lack of water. This is because the fishbone plant requires consistent moisture to thrive. When there is not enough water in the soil, the leaves will start to curl inwards as a way of conserving moisture.


On the other hand, over-watering can also cause the leaves of your fishbone plant to curl. This is because too much water can lead to root rot, which in turn affects the health of the leaves. If you notice that your plant’s soil is consistently moist and the leaves are curling downwards, you may be over-watering your fishbone plant.


Fishbone plants are native to tropical regions and require high humidity levels to thrive. If the air in your home is too dry, it can cause the leaves of your fishbone plant to curl upwards. To combat this issue, consider placing a humidifier near your plant or misting its leaves with water regularly.


Another factor that can cause curling leaves on your fishbone plant is temperature fluctuations. These plants prefer temperatures between 60-80°F (15-27°C), so extreme heat or cold can stress them out and cause leaf curling.

Pest Infestation

It’s also possible for pest infestations to cause leaf curling on your fishbone plant. Spider mites and mealybugs are common pests that can cause this issue. If you notice any signs of pest infestation, such as webbing or small white bugs on your plant, it’s important to take action immediately to prevent further damage.

Lack of Nutrients

Finally, a lack of nutrients can also cause your fishbone plant’s leaves to curl. These plants require regular fertilization to ensure they are getting the proper nutrients they need to grow healthy and strong. If you haven’t fertilized your plant in a while, it may be time to give it a boost.

In summary, there are several reasons why the leaves of your fishbone plant may be curling. These include lack of water, over-watering, low humidity levels, temperature fluctuations, pest infestations, and lack of nutrients. By identifying the root cause of the issue and taking action to correct it, you can help your fishbone plant thrive.


Can I save my fishbone plant if its leaves are already severely curled?

It depends on the cause of the leaf curling. If it’s due to a lack of water or nutrients, you may be able to save your plant by providing it with what it needs. However, if the issue is due to root rot or pest infestation, it may be more difficult to save your plant.

How often should I water my fishbone plant?

It’s important to keep the soil consistently moist but not overly saturated. Watering once a week or whenever the top inch of soil feels dry is typically sufficient.

What type of fertilizer should I use for my fishbone plant?

A balanced fertilizer with equal parts nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium is ideal for fishbone plants. Fertilize once a month during the growing season (spring and summer) and reduce frequency during the dormant season (fall and winter).

How can I prevent pest infestations on my fishbone plant?

Regularly inspect your plant for signs of pests and take action immediately if you notice any. You can also use natural pest control methods such as neem oil or insecticidal soap to prevent infestations. Additionally, maintaining a clean and healthy environment for your plant can help prevent pest issues.