Why Your Chinese Money Plant’s Leaves Are Curling

Chinese money plant leaves curling
Chinese money plant leaves curling

6 Reasons Why Your Chinese Money Plant’s Leaves are Curling
(And how to prevent that happening)

The Chinese Money Plant is a beautiful plant with circular leaves. But sometimes, the leaves can curl.

Leaves curling inwards is usually caused by the temperature being too high, a lack of water, or a lack of nutrients.

Leaves curling outwards is usually caused by lighting being too low or too much water.

Today, I want to give you a guide on how you can tell why your Chinese Money Plant’s leaves are curling and what you can do about it. Because a plant as lovely as this needs to be taken care of properly.

Causes of leaf curling in Chinese Money Plants

New Leaves

When the Chinese Money plant first gets new leaves, you can probably expect to see some curling. At first, this may strike you as scary and something that needs to be sorted as soon as possible. However, most of the time, it will be nothing to worry about.

Most of the time, because of how the leaves grow, they will start off their life curled and take a few weeks to flatten out. Particularly when they’re located at the top of the plant. So if your leaves have just come into existence, don’t worry too much if they’re curled, as it will be a matter of time before they’re not anymore.

Low Lighting

However, a more controllable reason why the leaves of your Chinese Money Plant may be curled is that the lighting is too low.

As most of us will know, plants need lighting to be able to thrive. Because they turn light into energy via photosynthesis, if your plant does not get enough light, this can hurt the plant’s growth.

When the Chinese Money plant is not getting enough light, you may find that it curls outwards in an attempt to expose the surface area to what little light it can.

Over Watering

Watering a plant isn’t just good, it’s necessary. Without water, your plant will not be able to replenish it’s cells. However, you can always have too much of a good thing.

When the Chinese Money Plant has been given more water than it can handle, it may deal with it by expanding its leaves to maximize its ability to hold it.

Other signs that your Chinese Money plant has been overwatered include yellow leaves, water pooling in the soil, and root rot. Perhaps the issue is not that you’re overwatering it but that something else is wrong. Ask yourself the following questions.

Is the pot too large? Does the pot have enough drainage holes? Am I watering on a schedule or when it needs water? Is the soil well draining?

Make sure the top 2 inches of the soil are dry before watering again.


Just as overwatering can be bad for the Chinese money plant, overwatering can also have similar effects.

The mistake that most people make is to water it on a schedule. But this can mean you wet it before it’s absorbed the previous batch of water or you don’t water it enough. Instead, don’t water it until the top 2 inches of soil are dry.

Chucking a load of water onto soil that should’ve been watered weeks ago isn’t always a good thing. Your plant will be used to water scarcity and then suddenly have to adapt to a water abundance. This leads to leaves being deformed.


Many people think that the Chinese Money plant prefers warm temperatures. This is understandable, although not entirely accurate. In reality, this is a plant that likes to keep it cool.

The ideal temperature range for the Chinese Money Plant is between 14-18C. However, they have been known to survive in temperatures as low as 7C.

If the temperature your plant is in is too high, don’t drop the temperature too suddenly. Living on the equator, this plant is not used to sudden temperature changes. So make sure to lower the temperature slowly.

To avoid further temperature fluctuations, keep it away from doors, air conditioning, and heaters.


Humidity is rarely a massive factor in the curling of the Chinese Money Plant’s leaves. However, it is not as tolerant as other succulents to low levels of humidity.

The ideal humidity levels for the Chinese Money Plant is between 40-50%. Which is medium to high. However, they can tolerate humidity levels as low as 20%.

A sign that there is not enough humidity in a room is that leaves are starting to go brown.

Types of Chinese Money Plant leaf curling

You can tell the problem with your Chinese Money plant by looking at how the leaves are curling.


When the leaves are curling outwards, this is often referred to as doming, based on the fact the leaves start to resemble the shape of a dome.

The cause of this is usually either low lighting or overwatering.

If you’re noticing your plant is taking a long time to absorb the water you’re giving it, that could be a sign you’re giving it too much, or it’s not able to drain away the excess. But if the water levels seem okay, you might want to move your plant somewhere brighter.

Be careful to keep it out of direct sunlight as this can cause it to burn and scar.


Another type of curling that can happen to the Chinese Money plant is cupping. This is when the leaves start to curl inwards. The name “cupping” comes from the fact the leaves look a bit like a cup when they do this.

One cause of cupping is high temperatures. The plant will be changing its shape to let off as much heat energy as it can. But on the other hand, cupping can also be caused by draughts.

Should you underwater the plant, this can lead to cupping as it will change its shape to conserve as much water as possible. By creating the cup shape, the idea is that it will be better able to catch rainwater, even if it’s kept indoors.

And the final cause of cupping is nutrient deficiency. In the wild, plants get the nutrients when other plants die, and their nutrients leak into the soil to be absorbed by other plants. However, since this does not happen at home, you will need to ensure you give the plant a fertilizer at least once a year.


But of course, there will be times when you have a plant with both of these issues. Some of the leaves folded in, and other leaves folded out.

In this kind of scenario, there is usually more than one thing wrong with them. And chances are, you will need to take a serious look at how you’re caring for your plants. In the rare event that this happens, it’s not going to be just one thing that you need to change.

You should evaluate everything around the plant. The amount of water it’s getting. The humidity of the room. The temperature of the room. The nutrients you’re giving it. And any other factors that could impact the health of your plant.

It might be a challenge, but saving a plant at this stage is still possible.

What if the Chinese Money Plant is going yellow?

Perhaps you’re finding that, as well as curling, your leaves are also starting to go yellow. How does that happen, and what can you do about it?


The first reason for leaves going yellow is due to old age. Generally speaking, this is nothing to worry about and isn’t to say you’ve done anything wrong. However, that is not to say the problem should be ignored.


Another cause of yellow leaves is overwatering. As you can imagine, if overwatering causes your leaves to go yellow, the solution will be to water them less often.

You may also want to think about moving the plant to a bigger pot or putting it into some soil with better drainage. Make sure, if the top 2 inches of the soil is wet, it doesn’t get more water.

Nitrogen Deficiency 

And the final cause of yellow leaves is a deficiency of nitrogen. As mentioned earlier, plants in the wild get their nutrients (such as nitrogen) from other plants dying and leaking their nutrients into the soil to be absorbed.

But since your houseplants aren’t surrounded by dying plants, you will need to give them an artificial fertilizer.

Solution #1: Provide with Nitrogen

The best time to fertilize your Chinese Money plant would either be in the Spring or the Summer. Whilst you should fertilize it at least once a year, don’t do it outside of the spring and summer months as this will leave it unable to absorb the nutrients it needs to.

And also, don’t give it a too strong fertilizer as this can also damage it. A general houseplant fertilizer should do the trick.

Solution #2: Remove Yellow Leaves

If you’re still finding that your Chinese Money Plant is giving you yellow leaves, the only solution is to remove the leaves by hand. When you do this, make sure to cut them off using sharp and clean blades.

And once you follow my advice, you should find that your Chinese Money Plant has beautiful, flat leaves.

Photo by Karolina Kot from Pexels

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