snake plant leaves falling over
Snake plant, popularly known as mother-in-law’s tongue, is preferred by plant lovers worldwide for its striking, tall, and upright leaves. While it is well-known as a hardy and forgiving plant, snake plant leaves falling over are not uncommon.
Are you also facing a similar issue? Are your snake plant leaves falling over? What is causing your snake plant leaves to limp?
We will answer all these questions and suggest some easy prevention tips in this article.
Why are the leaves of my snake plant falling over?
The beauty of the snake plant lies in its tall, erect leaves that give it its iconic appearance. If you notice your snake plant leaves falling over, you may be committing one or more of these mistakes –
- Improper lighting
- Lack of fertilizer
- Its rootbound
- Fungal disease
Let us learn about these in detail.
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Some of us feel we neglect our plants if we do not water them regularly, but that is precisely what some of our houseplants need. If you water your snake plant daily, you may slowly kill it. Overwatering causes root rot, which can damage your plant permanently.
When you overwater a plant, the soil gets saturated, and the air pockets that are supposed to provide the plant with oxygen get filled with water. When these roots are unable to breathe, they begin to rot. They turn slimy, mushy, and black and you may notice your snake plant leaves falling over.
Root rot is not an overnight process. Initially, only a part of the roots is affected. Your plant will give you the indication that all is not well by drooping or falling leaves.
Your snake plant cannot survive without water. While you should avoid overwatering your snake plant, underwatering is an equally big no-no. If there is no moisture in the soil, the roots cannot soak up water and nourish the plant. Drooping leaves is a sign from your plant that it needs more attention. Some of the other indications that you are underwatering your snake plant include –
- Brittle leaves
- Browning and yellowing throughout the leaves
- The leaves feel weak
- Curled leaves that feel crispy at the edges
Though snake plant is a hardy plant, this does not mean you can grow it in an area with no light. Improper and inadequate lighting is one of the most common causes of snake plant leaves falling over. Snake plant leaves tend to fall over when kept in the dark for a long time.
However, this does not mean that you should keep your snake plant in direct sunlight. This light is too strong and can also lead to leaves drooping.
Find an area in your home that receives plenty of indirect sunlight.
If your snake plant’s leaves are falling over, it may not be getting enough heat. Snake plants need temperatures above 50 degrees Fahrenheit to stay healthy.
Your home may be warm during winters, but it is cold outside. The temperature by the window may be harder than the rest of the room. So place your plant away from the window and closer to the source of the heat.
Lack of fertilizer
Besides sunlight and water, snake plants need nutrients like phosphorus, nitrogen, and potassium to thrive. If these nutrients are not provided to the plant, your plant will become weak, and its leaves may fall over.
Just like overwatering is harmful to your snake plant, overfertilization also negatively affects it. Excessive fertilization affects the fertility of the soil. It increases the soil’s heat level and even causes a build-up of salts. Overfertilization harms the plant and leads to droopy leaves.
Being root bound
If you have been careful about watering, lighting, and fertilizing your plant, and still your snake plant leaves are falling over, your plant may be root bound. This term is used for plants where the roots take up the entire space of the plant and form a web. Lift your pot and check if the roots are coming out of the drainage hole. This is your hint to re-pot your snake plant.
Snake plant is susceptible to fungal disease, which can damage and eventually kill the plant. The common fungal infections that affect the snake plant are rust, southern blight, and red leaf spot.
Look below the leaves of the snake plant, around its stems.
- It is the first sign of plant rust if you notice raised white spots.
- If you notice leaf yellowing and browning, it is a sign of southern blight.
- If you notice red spots on your plant, it is a sign of red leaf spots.
What to do about drooping snake plant (prevention tips)
Follow a proper watering routine
There is no fixed rule for watering snake plants. You may need to change your watering schedule depending on the season. The best method to avoid overwatering or underwatering your snake plant is to check the moisture level in the soil before you water. If the top layer of the planter soil is dry to touch, it is time to water your snake plant.
Use a well-draining potting soil
Always plant your snake plant in a pot that has a drainage hole. Use a fast-draining potting mix that is usually used for succulents.
You can also make a potting mix at home. Mix one part gardening soil, one part peat moss, and two parts perlite. This mix will provide aeration that your snake plant needs and proper drainage.
Place your plant in a well-lit area
The best place to keep your snake plant is near a west or east-facing window. Keep your plant a few feet away from the window to avoid excessive light.
When changing the position of your plant from a shady area to a well-lit area, you should do it gradually. Shift it to a medium-lit place before you move it to bright light.
Repot root-bound plants
If your plant is root bound, shift it to a pot that is one size bigger. Do not shift it to a planter that is too big for the plant as it may hold on to excessive moisture, leading to root rot.
You do not need to re-pot your snake plant too often. Once in three years is enough for most snake plants.
Prune the roots
When you are re-potting the plant, check the roots for root rot. Prune away any parts of the root that show signs of root rot.
Treat fungal disease
If fungal disease is the reason for your snake leaves falling over, you must treat it immediately.
- Cut the infected parts of the plant.
- Spray neem oil to bring your plant back to its former health.
- Spray sulfur dust on the infected areas.
Should I cut drooping snake plant leaves?
Snake plants are resilient plants. Following the above-given steps will make your plant bounces back to health, and its leaves will stop drooping. You can prop up the leaves with a stake till the plant regains its health, and the leaves will start growing upright again.
However, if you have addressed all the issues and some of the leaves are still drooping, prune them. This will encourage healthy leaves to grow in their place.
Follow these simple steps to prune the leaves of your snake plant –
Get all the tools ready
You will need sharp pruners, rubbing alcohol, and a clean surface with plenty of space. Always clean your pruners with rubbing alcohol before you begin pruning. It is easy to spread disease from one plant to another if it is not cleaned correctly. Pruning can be messy, so choose a spot with plenty of space.
Remove damaged leaves
Identify the damaged or deformed leaves that you want to prune. Unsure that removing these will make your plant appear lopsided. Don’t remove parts of the leaves. You may be tempted to remove the dry parts of the leaves and leave the rest of the leaf. This is not effective as the cut end will become brown and increase the risk of disease for the plant.
Always cut the snake plant leaf all the way up to the soil level. Make clean cuts that are straight across.
Can I grow a new snake plant from cuttings?
It is easy to grow snake plants in soil and water from leaf cuttings. However, you should avoid using damaged leaves for propagation. Always take healthy snake plant leaves to grow new snake plants. It may take time, but it is easy to grow snake plants from leaf cuttings.
Final thoughts on snake plant leaves falling over
I hope my article has answered all your questions about snake plant leaves falling over. The snake plant is the happiest when you leave it alone in a nice bright spot indoors and don’t overwater it. Too much or too little watering, improper lighting, temperature issues, too much or too little fertilization, fungal disease, and being root bound can cause your snake plant leaves to fall over. Provide favorable conditions, and your snake plant will be healthy again. Leave a comment if you have any more questions on why your snake plant leaves are falling over.
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