Polka Dot Plant Crispy Leaves

You’re looking forward to seeing the growth of your new Pink Polka-dot plant. The leaves are beginning to turn crispy after a few weeks, though. You might start to wonder: What’s wrong, and why is my Polka Dot plant dying? Your Polka Dot Plant may suffer from crispy leaf syndrome, a common issue with Polka Dot plants, if it has crispy leaves.

This can be resolved by watering your plant more frequently and checking the humidity levels in your home. It is caused by a lack of water or by high levels of humidity. Repotting your plant into a pot with better drainage may be necessary if you notice that the problem is getting worse.

Besides this, there are other things you could notice, such on your Polka Dot plant; leaf tips brown is another symptom. In our guide, you can find all the things wrong with your plant, be it if your plant leaves, dry and crispy, or Polka Dot plant leaves turning brown. By the end, you’ll know most of the reasons why your infected leaves are suffering, and how you can fix the problems and save your plant. (Read White Spots On Cucumber Leaves – What To Do)

polka dot plant

What is a Polka Dot Plant?

Polka Dot plants are a type of succulent with white or light-colored dots on their leaves, and native to South Africa and other warm climates.

Polka Dot plants are easy to care for and look great in any garden. Polka Dot plant leaves are green with white dots, and as the plant matures, the leaves turn red, orange, and yellow.

Polka Dots thrive in potting soil or cactus mix and can be grown indoors or out. Between waterings, you need to let the soil dry, and as the plant grows, fertilize once per month in spring and summer.

Signs My Polka Dot Plant Is Unhealthy?

Wilting leaves, brown patches on the leaves, and a lack of new growth are the most common symptoms of an unhealthy polka dot plant.

Checking the soil is one of the first steps to take if you think your polka dot plant is unhealthy. The plant needs well-drained soil, as they don’t like soggy soil.

Too much moisture in the soil can cause root rot, which can be fatal to the plant as the root system can’t absorb nutrients.

The leaves will wilt if the soil becomes too dry.

Brown patches on the leaves are another sign. Polka Dot plant brown tips mean your polka dot plant is unhealthy, and many factors, such as direct sunlight exposure, pests, or diseases, can contribute to this.

Try moving the plant to a shadier location if you notice any brown leaves. If the problem continues, you might need to apply an insecticide or fungicide to the plant.

Another of the first signs your polka dot plant is unhealthy is a lack of new growth. A nutrient deficiency may cause your plant’s failure to produce new leaves or flowers.

Make sure your plant is receiving enough light and try adding organic fertilizer. If the brown leaves problem persists, you might need to repot the plant in new soil.

How To Save A Polka Dot Plant?

Inspect the leaves if your polka dot plant isn’t doing well initially.

If the plant wilts or starts to turn yellow, water or nutrients may be deficient. Here, you can try regular watering more frequently or soil fertilization.

Overwatering is a typical problem with polka-dot plants, thus, good drainage is vital. If the leaves are drooping, the plant might need some time to dry out after receiving too much water.

Check the soil’s moisture water to determine if your plant needs more water; if you have overly moist soil, wait until the soil dries in the top half inch before watering.

Besides watering problems with polka dot plants, other issues can be brought on by pests like aphids or spider mites.

You might need to give your polka dot plant more tender loving care if it still doesn’t look its best.

To help promote new growth, try moving it to a spot with more indirect sunlight and treat it to a light trim. (Read Peace Lily Leaves Turning Black – What To Do)

unhealthy polka plant

Is Your Bought Polka Dot Plant Dying?

Choose a healthy polka-dot plant with no brown spots or brown leaf tips. Brown leaves on your new plant signal it hasn’t enough light. Polka dot plants should be watered because they prefer bright, indirect sunlight rather than direct sun.

The colorful foliage and leaves can turn yellow and fall when over-watered. During the growing season, apply fertilizer every two weeks, and ensure you use a fertilizer for indoor plants.

You may find pests and diseases rarely affect polka dot plants, yet they are sensitive to temperature changes.

Here, your polka dot plant may lose leaves if you have a lack of humidity, or they have too much light.

To fix this, put your plant on a pebble tray or mist with water daily to raise the humidity level.

Usually grown indoors, polka dot plants can be planted outdoors in the right climate. You will need to bring your plant inside before any first frost as Polka Dot Plants cannot be left outside in the cold.

Save a Dying Polka Dot Plant from Root Rot

The best revival strategy will be selected based on the level of root rot or even its presence. Moving your plant to a warmer area to help with the quick loss of moisture from the soggy soil.

Before watering, allow the growing mixture to dry to a depth of 1 inch. Then, you can remove the root ball and set it on a bed of newspapers or magazines (non-glossy).

A completely soaked polka dot plant dying from root rot requires repotting.

Follow these steps:

  1. Take your polka-dot plant out of its pot.
  2. Gently tease the root ball to release the soil. Rinse the roots of extra dirt with a stream of running tap water. (Don’t use tap water to water your plant if you have hard water).
  3. Any soft, damaged, or dead roots should be pulled out. In contrast to rotten roots, which are soft and dark in color, healthy roots are firm and white.
  4. To treat any fungal infection in the roots, use a fungicide solution.
  5. Choose a new pot with lots of drainage holes. It is best to use a clay or terracotta container.
  6. Use an all-purpose, well-drained potting mix, high in organic matter.
  7. Before repotting, make sure the potting mix is sufficiently moist.
  8. Don’t give your plant too much direct sunlight and give it filtered or indirect light that is bright.
  9. To prevent a recurrence of the problem, decrease irrigation frequency. Then, water the topsoil once more after it has slightly dried out for a half inch.

Yellow leaves are a warning sign of decline in most indoor plants. No exception applies to your polka-dot plant. Frequently, the leaves closest to the soil are the first to die.

They are making space for new growth. This makes your plant look better and enables it to use its resources to its fullest potential.

You have a more severe problem if all your leaves are turning yellow. Your plant may have received too much water. (Read Azaleas Leaves Turning Brown – What To Do)

Frequently, the yellowed leaves wilt or turn brown or black. They’ll fall off and kill your plant if you don’t treat them.

Save Under-Watered Polka Dot Plant’s Leaves

Root rot is more challenging to manage than saving an underwatered Polka Dot plant. First, make sure there is enough drainage in the potting mix.

A completely dried-out soil has a low capacity to hold water. If you irrigate from above, the liquid will just flow right through.

You can fix this by watering from below:

  1. Add around 4-inches of distilled, rainwater, or filtered water in a sink.
  2. Allow the pot to rest in the bath (without the saucer), so the water reaches halfway up your pot.
  3. As it is soaks, it will absorb water, so after 45 minutes, add a little more water.
  4. Once the top inch of the potting mix is soaked, drain the sink.
  5. Give the excess liquid about 30 minutes to drain and once done, replace the saucer and put your plant back to its original location.
  6. Maintain a regular irrigation schedule to prevent repeating the same error.
  7. Every so often, use your index finger to check the potting mix. Between irrigations, let the soil dry out between half and an inch.

Improper Lighting

The health and growth of your plants depend on light. Leaf browning is a typical sign of inadequate lighting.

Overexposure to light can cause scorched leaves with brown leaves on the edges, especially if they are placed in direct sunlight.

A polka-dot plant will become bleached if it has been in direct sunlight. The leaves will crisp up and become brittle or crunchy. If nothing is done, the leaves will wilt and drop.

In contrast, most indoor polka-dot plants eventually die from a lack of light. They become leggy or floppy and pass away.

In addition, yellowing leaves will be apparent. It begins with older, lower foliage and progresses to higher-level leaves.

The plant’s overall growth will be stunted or slowed. This is because of its inability to produce food and energy because of a lack of light.

Some leaves, if not all of them, will turn pale or lose their vivid variegation. Your sick polka dot plant will shed most of its foliage as a last resort.

How to Fix:

Any damaged or dead foliage must be disposed of as soon as possible.

Be sure to keep it out of the sunlight’s direct rays. It thrives most in outside dappled light.

The answer is simple if there is too little light. Change the location of your polka-dot plant so that it receives lots of bright, filtered light. The area in front of a west-facing window works wonders.



Aphids are sap-sucking bugs that lounge on leaves and invade in the spring in high humidity levels. Sooty mold and aphid-honeydew-farming ants should be avoided as your plant can deform, wither, or die.


Mealybugs are fast-breeding sapsuckers. Warm, humid conditions are ideal. White waxy or cottony sticky colonies on leaves, stems, and roots. Stunted growth, sooty mold, and honeydew are symptoms, and leaves turning yellow before falling are symptoms. (Read White Spots On Tomato Leaves – What To Do)

Spider Mites

These tiny bugs make silky webs on the backs of leaves. They drink nutrient-rich foliage fluids, stunt growth, and leave holes in leaves and flowers. Brown or yellow foliage are key symptoms.

Powdery Mildew

Powdery mildew is common in an overwatered polka dot plant.

It will spread and cover the entire plant, including the stems. The foliage loses its variegation, turns brown, and droops, and the plant will begin to die.


  1. Avoid placing your polka-dot plant in a shady or shaded area.
  2. In humid, aerated environments, powdery mildew thrives. Therefore, space out your plants and prune them to improve air circulation.
  3. Remove and discard any leaves that have been severely damaged.
  4. Neem oil or a fungicide with a copper base can also control powdery mildew.

Polka Dot Plant Crispy Leaves (1)

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