The flapjack plant is a gorgeous succulent with big blushing paddle-like leaves.

This is an easy plant to look after but if it’s not being cared for the way it likes, it will often let you know by curling those big beautiful leaves.

Why Is My Flapjack Plant Curling?

A flapjack plant with big blushing leaves

Curling usually occurs when your flapjack plant has been allowed to dry out too much.

To avoid this, water deeply as soon as the soil has fully dried out and then wait for the soil to dry out again before re-watering.

But there are other less common causes for your flapjack plant to begin curling.

These include overwatering, pests, temperature shock, and too little light.

It could also be a result of over-feeding it, so try not to add too much fertilizer to your flapjack plant’s pot all in one go.


If you are underwatering your flapjack plant, you might well see its leaves curling up.

These plants like to be in well-draining soil and allowed to dry out in between waterings, but they don’t like to get too dry.

You need to find a fine balance to keep these plants happy.

If you notice the leaves curling, it is slightly more likely to be from lack of water.

The plant stores water in its leaves, so if it hasn’t got enough and they are drying out, your flapjack plant will start to curl up.

You should check how dry the soil is, and then provide a good drink.

If the soil feels bone-dry and leaves are curling, it’s time to give water.


Overwatering will kill your flapjack plant much faster than underwatering, so check that the soil isn’t wet.

Consistently wet soil can starve your plant of oxygen (as the roots are sitting in water, not air) and cause root rot, which will both kill the plant as well.

Too much water could contribute to curled leaves, so don’t just reach for the water straight away.

If your flapjack plant has been overwatered its leaves will also look translucent and feel mushy.

If your plant is curling up, it’s a good idea to check whether the soil is wet or dry, and then water your plant if it needs it, or re-pot it into dry compost if it’s too wet.

To allow your plant’s roots to dry out between watering, you’ll also want to use a well-drained succulent potting soil mix and a pot with good drainage.

Related Article: Why Is My Cactus Growing Leaves?


In some instances, pests can cause your flapjack plant to curl, especially if there is a serious infestation.

They will be feeding on your plant’s nutrients and water reserves and could make it quite sick.

Aphids and mites are common pests, along with mealybugs.

Check your plant’s leaves for signs of pests, such as little black spots, white balls of fluff, or spider webs.

Many small pests can be removed by giving your plant a good wash, or you can treat it with neem oil or rubbing alcohol.

Temperature Shock

Flapjack plants that are grown indoors are unlikely to suffer from temperature shock, but it can certainly contribute to curly leaves and an unhappy plant.

If the temperature has recently dropped where you live, check whether your plant is suffering from cold damage.

If your flapjack plant is an outdoor plant, you can try bringing it indoors if you have somewhere to put it.

If space is a problem, make sure you cover it up with a cloche each night to protect it from the cold.

Indoors, make sure that your flapjack plant isn’t touching a frosty window or exposed to a strong, cold draft.

Temperature shock isn’t very likely to damage an indoor plant, but if the liquid in the leaves freezes, it could do, and this will result in curling leaves.

Too Little Light

If you have recently moved your flapjack plant and it has started to curl up unhappily, check the light levels of its new position.

If leaves are curling downward it often means that your flapjack plant is looking for more exposure to sunlight by maximizing leaf surface area.

An upwards curl on the leaves may mean that it is getting enough light exposure.

These plants like plenty of sunlight, so if you have repositioned it in a shady spot, it may either start to grow leggy, spindly leaves trying to stretch toward the light, or it may start to curl up.

Try to move it closer to a window so it can get more sun each day, and you may notice an improvement in the leaves.

If you can’t get it closer to a window, consider installing a grow lamp to ensure it’s getting as much light as it needs.

Position outdoors flapjack plants to take advantage of plenty of sun, and keep an eye on any that are in shady spots.

When kept outdoors, flapjack plants do well in full direct sun or light shade (once acclimatized to it).

When kept indoors these plants grow best in bright indirect light.

They can also handle some weaker morning sunlight.

However, avoid strong direct light during the summer months, as it may scorch the plant’s leaves.

Final Thoughts

Too little light, temperature shock, pests, and the wrong quantity of water are the most likely reasons for a flapjack plant to curl up.

When you notice flapjack plant’s leaves starting to curl, make sure you take swift action; things like over-watering need to be addressed quickly before they can damage the plant.

Curly leaves are a bad sign, so check all the conditions and correct as many as possible to ensure your plant can recover.