Why is My Calathea Sticky? (Solved)

If you’re a proud owner of a Calathea, you may have noticed some of its leaves feeling sticky.

This can be both alarming and worrisome, so you might be wondering why it’s happening and how to fix it.

Fortunately, this article will answer the question of why your Calathea has sticky leaves and provide solutions to help get your plant back to its healthy and vibrant self.

We’ll explore the causes of sticky leaves on Calatheas, from overwatering to insect infestations and low humidity levels, as well as how to adjust your watering schedule and inspect for pests.

Finally, we’ll look at ways to increase humidity levels to restore your Calathea to its lush and beautiful state.

Read on to learn more!.

Short Answer

Calathea plants are susceptible to high humidity levels, so when the humidity is too high or the plant is overwatered, it can cause the leaves to become sticky or even develop a fungus.

To prevent this, make sure you are properly managing the moisture in the soil and the humidity around the plant, as well as checking for pests that could be causing the issue.

You may also want to consider misting the leaves of your calathea with filtered water to help with humidity levels.

What Causes Sticky Leaves on a Calathea?

When it comes to calatheas, sticky leaves can be caused by a few different things.

Overwatering is one of the most common reasons for sticky leaves, as too much water can cause the plant to become waterlogged and lead to fungal diseases.

Insect infestations can also cause the leaves to become sticky, as some pests will produce a sugary substance as they feed on the plant.

Finally, a lack of humidity can lead to sticky leaves as the plant will start to draw moisture out of its own leaves in an attempt to stay hydrated.

To determine the cause of sticky leaves on a calathea, it is important to inspect the plant for signs of overwatering, pest infestations, and low humidity.

Overwatering can be identified by yellowing leaves, root rot, and soggy soil.

Insect infestations such as aphids, mealybugs, and spider mites can be identified by their presence on the leaves, while a lack of humidity can be identified by dry soil and wilting leaves.

Once the cause has been identified, it is important to adjust the watering schedule, inspect the plant for pests, and increase the humidity levels in the room to ensure the calathea gets the care it needs.

With the proper care, your calathea should be back to its healthy and vibrant self in no time.


When it comes to why your Calathea is sticky, one of the most likely culprits is overwatering.

When plants are overwatered, the leaves can become saturated with excess water and start to produce a sticky residue.

This is because the excess water can cause fungal and bacterial growth on the leaves, which can leave behind a waxy or slimy substance.

To prevent this from happening, it is important to check the soil of your Calathea before watering and make sure it is dry.

If the soil is already damp, it is best to wait until it has dried out before adding more water.

Additionally, make sure to avoid overwatering by carefully following the instructions on the label of your Calathea’s potting mix.

Insect Infestations

Insect infestations are one of the most common causes of sticky leaves on Calatheas.

When a plant is infested with aphids, scale, mealybugs, or spider mites, these pests can leave a sticky residue on the leaves from the honeydew they excrete as they feed.

This honeydew is a sign that your plant is in trouble and needs help.

First, it’s important to inspect your plant closely to look for signs of pests.

Aphids and mealybugs are small and can be difficult to spot, but they can often be found clustered on the underside of the leaves.

Scale insects may be more difficult to identify, but they often appear as small bumps or discolored patches on the leaves.

Spider mites are too small to be seen with the naked eye, but they can be detected by the fine webbing they create.

If you find signs of pests, you’ll need to take action to get rid of them.

A combination of horticultural oil and insecticidal soap should do the trick.

Simply mix these two products together and spray the mixture directly onto the affected leaves.

For severe infestations, you may need to repeat this process a few times to ensure that all of the pests have been eliminated.

Once the pests are gone, the sticky residue should disappear and your Calathea should start to look healthy and vibrant once again.

To prevent an infestation from happening again, try to keep your plant in a well-ventilated area and inspect it regularly for signs of pests.

Low Humidity Levels

When it comes to why your calathea is sticky, one of the most common culprits is low humidity levels in the room.

Calatheas are native to tropical climates and thrive in areas with high humidity.

When the air is dry and the humidity levels are too low, the leaves can become sticky and start to curl.

To increase the humidity levels, you can mist the leaves or use a humidifier.

Additionally, grouping your plants together can also help increase the humidity around them.

You can also place a tray of water near your plants or use a pebble tray to add humidity to the air.

By increasing the humidity levels, you can help keep your calatheas leaves healthy and free of stickiness.

Adjusting Watering Schedule

Calatheas are sensitive to how much water they receive, and overwatering is a common cause of sticky leaves.

If the plant is receiving too much water, the leaves will start to become sticky as the excess water accumulates on their surfaces.

To avoid this, it is important to adjust the watering schedule.

When watering your calathea, only provide enough water to keep the soil slightly moist.

Stick your finger into the soil to check for moisture and water only when the top few inches of the soil feel dry.

Additionally, you should always avoid allowing the bottom of the pot to become waterlogged, as this can cause root rot.

Make sure to use a pot with drainage holes in the bottom to allow excess water to escape.

By properly monitoring the soil moisture, you can ensure your calathea is receiving the right amount of water and prevent its leaves from becoming sticky.

Inspecting for Pests

When inspecting your Calathea for pests, it is important to look for signs of infestations.

Common signs of an infestation can include discoloration of the leaves, wilting, and sticky residue on the leaves.

If you notice any of these signs, it is important to take action to prevent the infestation from spreading.

The most common pests that can affect Calatheas include mealybugs, spider mites, aphids, and scale insects.

Mealybugs are small, soft-bodied insects that feed on plant sap, leaving behind a sticky residue.

Spider mites are tiny, red bugs that spin webs between the leaves of a plant, creating a silky film that can cause the leaves to become sticky.

Aphids are soft-bodied insects that feed on the sap of plants, causing them to discolor or curl.

Lastly, scale insects are small, hard-bodied insects that feed on the sap of plants, leaving behind a sticky residue.

To inspect for pests, it is important to look closely at the underside of the leaves as well as the stems.

If you do notice any signs of pests, it is important to take action right away.

You can treat your Calathea with a pesticide or insecticidal soap, however, it is important to read the instructions carefully before using any type of pesticide.

Additionally, you can also manually remove any pests from the plant with a cotton swab or a damp cloth.

Increasing Humidity Levels

Increasing humidity levels is an important step to solving the problem of a sticky calathea.

Ideally, calatheas should be grown in a humid environment, so its important to make sure the humidity levels in the room where your plant is located are between 40% and 50%.

You can increase the humidity levels in the room by using a humidifier, misting your calathea regularly, or placing a tray of water near the plant.

For example, if youre using a humidifier, make sure to set it to the highest setting and keep it running for at least 6 hours a day.

If youre misting your calathea, make sure to use warm water and mist it at least once a day.

And if youre using a tray of water, make sure to fill it up with water and place it near the calathea.

All of these methods will help increase the humidity in the room and help your calathea stay healthy and vibrant.

Final Thoughts

By understanding why and how your calatheas leaves become sticky, you can take the necessary steps to restore it to its healthy and vibrant state.

Adjusting the watering schedule, inspecting the plant for pests, and increasing the humidity levels in the room are all great ways to help your calathea thrive.

With dedication and commitment to proper care, you can ensure your calathea will be a beautiful addition to your home for years to come.

James Twitty

James is a software developer by trade, but his true passion lies in plants. He loves to be outside in nature and is always eager to learn more about the different species of plants he finds. He often experiments with growing and propagating different types of plants and herbs, and is always excited to share his knowledge with others.

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