Houseplants allow homeowners to bring nature indoors with minimal commitment. Most houseplants simply need adequate lighting, watering and monthly fertilization to thrive. However, curling leaves on a houseplant can indicate a problem that needs extra attention.
Both mealybugs and excessive light cause houseplant leaves to curl. Mealybugs also cause yellow or white spots on the foliage and a sticky substance on the plant or nearby furniture. Consider lighting if you find no sign of the flat, oval insects, which can measure from a speck to 1/3 inch in length, on the houseplant.
Plants vary widely in their lighting requirements, from direct sunlight all day long to just a few hours of indirect or filtered sunlight every day. Position houseplants to receive the optimal light for each particular species. Check plants for mealybugs before bringing them indoors. Keep new plants away from other house plants for at least one week while you watch for signs of mealybugs.
For lighting problems, simply move your houseplant to a more appropriate location. Dab mealybugs with alcohol, spray the plant off with a strong stream of water or spray the plant with an insecticide recommended for these pests.