Live to Plant

What’s Causing my Chenille Plant to Die?

Updated: April 17, 2022

Chenille plants (Acalypha hispida) are popular houseplants known for their unique, fuzzy red or pink blooms. However, like all plants, they can become sickly and die if they aren’t given the proper care. If you’re noticing your chenille plant wilting, yellowing or dropping leaves, or showing other signs of distress, it’s important to identify the cause so you can take steps to save your plant.

Lack of Water

One of the most common reasons chenille plants die is due to underwatering. These plants require consistently moist soil, but not waterlogged soil. If the soil becomes too dry, the plant will start to wilt and drop leaves. In severe cases, the stems may even start to dry out and turn brown.

To prevent this from happening, make sure you’re watering your chenille plant regularly. Water deeply once a week or when the top inch of soil feels dry to the touch. Don’t let the plant sit in standing water, as this can lead to root rot.


While underwatering is a common problem for chenille plants, overwatering can be just as deadly. Overwatered chenille plants may develop yellow leaves or leaf drop, and the soil may have a foul odor.

If you suspect you’ve been overwatering your chenille plant, allow the soil to dry out completely before watering again. You may also need to repot your plant into fresh, well-draining soil to prevent further waterlogging.

Lack of Light

Chenille plants need bright, indirect light to thrive. If your plant is located in a dim corner or receives only a few hours of direct sunlight each day, it may start to show signs of decline.

To remedy this problem, move your chenille plant to a brighter location or invest in a grow light. Avoid placing the plant in direct sunlight, as this can scorch the leaves.

Cold Temperatures

Chenille plants are tropical plants and prefer warm, humid conditions. If the temperature drops below 60 degrees Fahrenheit, the plant may start to suffer. Signs of cold damage include wilting, yellowing leaves, and stunted growth.

To keep your chenille plant warm, place it in a room that stays above 60 degrees Fahrenheit. You may also need to mist the leaves regularly to increase humidity levels.


Pests such as spider mites, mealybugs, and whiteflies can all infest chenille plants and cause them to decline. Signs of pest damage include stippling on the leaves (tiny dots), webbing, and sticky residue on the leaves.

To get rid of pests, isolate your plant and treat it with an insecticidal soap or neem oil spray. Be sure to follow the instructions carefully and repeat the treatment every few weeks until the pests are gone.

Frequently Asked Questions

How often should I water my chenille plant?

Chenille plants should be watered deeply once a week or when the top inch of soil feels dry to the touch.

Why are my chenille plant’s leaves turning yellow?

Yellow leaves on a chenille plant can be caused by a variety of factors, including overwatering, underwatering, cold temperatures, or pest infestations.

How much light does my chenille plant need?

Chenille plants prefer bright, indirect light. They should not be placed in direct sunlight, as this can scorch their leaves.

What should I do if my chenille plant is wilting?

If your chenille plant is wilting, it may be due to underwatering or overwatering. Check the soil moisture level and adjust your watering schedule accordingly. If the soil is waterlogged, allow it to dry out completely before watering again.

Can I grow chenille plants outdoors?

Chenille plants are tropical plants and are best grown indoors. However, they can be grown outdoors in USDA zones 10-11, as long as they are protected from direct sunlight and cold temperatures.