Should I Remove Yellow Leaves from Snake Plant?

Discoloured leaves don’t beautify your space. But, if you think removing yellow leaves from snake plant will stop other leaves from turning yellow, then you’re wrong.

To stop yellowing of leaves, you must diagnose the root cause and revive the plant.

Most of the times, you don’t have to worry about yellow leaves. Old leaves turn yellow before falling off. It is a natural process.

You can remove yellow leaves from snake plant. This will promote growth of new leaves. When you cut or trim old leaves, plant will shift its focus from yellow leaves to new leaf growth.

Cut only those leaves that are completely yellow.

Before proceedings to remove yellow leaves, you should reach the root cause of this plant disorder.

Often overwatering is held responsible for discoloured leaves. However, underwatered snake plant, pests and diseases can also turn green leaves to yellow.

Why Should I Remove Yellow Leaves from Snake Plants?

  • Yellow leaves ruin your plant’s appearance. Removing them will make the plant look beautiful.
  • Weak, dead and yellow leaves are prone to pest attacks. You should remove them to protect other plant leaves from infection.
  • Regular pruning of old leaves will allow the plant to concentrate on growth of other leaves.

Most indoor plants are grown to beautify the space. Yellow colored leaves don’t look good on houseplants.

But, you should let the leaf to turn yellow completely. When it loses its green color (chlorophyll), snake plant will absorb nutrients left in yellow leaves.

Those discolored leaves can be removed easily without knife.

Pests attack weak or dead leaves. Removing them will avoid any pest infestation.

How to remove yellow leaves from snake plants?

Remove those leaves that are turned to yellow completely, without any green color on it.

With zero chlorophyll and no nutrients left, cutting these discolored leaves don’t affect plant’s health.

Ensure to cut yellow leaves at the base, where it meets the stem. Uneven cutting may attract pests or bacterial infestation.

Removing yellow leaves from Snake Plant – Will it stop the spread of plant disease?

It is important to diagnose the root cause of yellowing of leaves. Only then you must proceed further.

If the discolored leaves are due to plant diseases or pests, then removing affected leaves will stop the spread of diseases to some extent.

In case of overwatering, underwatering and insufficient sunlight, removing yellow leaves won’t stop other leaves from turning yellow.

As mentioned above, if yellowing of foliage is due to natural process then removing of leaves that turned to yellow color won’t harm your plant.

What Causes Yellowing of Leaves in Snake Plant?

Only when you know the mere cause of yellowing, removing of yellowing leaves will be helpful.

There are various disorders that may turn your green foliage to yellow.

Most common causes include infrequent watering, choosing wrong potting soil mix, insufficient sunlight and temperature.

Before diving into these gardening disorders, as a gardener it’s your responsibility to provide essential requirement of your snake plant.

Snake plant is regarded as one of the easy to grow houseplant. It is drought tolerant and can go without water for 2 months in winter.

  • This houseplant does well in warmer climates and need to be protected from cold weather.
  • Water the snake plant only when you notice the growing medium is dry by 1-2 inches.
  • Potting soil must be well drained; you can add coconut coir, worm castings and garden soil to improve aeration.

Now that you know what your indoor plant needs. Let’s check causes of yellowing leaves.


Most new gardeners water their indoor plants regularly. As these plants get low light they don’t need frequent watering.

Without sufficient sunlight, excess water gets settled under the roots resulting in root rot and yellowing of leaves.

Water the snake plant only when the potting soil is dry. You can check this by inspecting with your index finger.

Don’t water the plant if you find the soil is moist.


Leaves start to droop and turn yellow, when you don’t give enough water.

This plant is drought resistant, but it too needs water at regular intervals.

Plants go underwatered when you’re on an unplanned vacation.

You can avoid it by asking your neighbor to water your plants or arrange drop irrigation system.

However, you can easily revive the plant if it’s not too late.

Start watering generously and allow the roots to uptake water and nutrients.


These indoor plants can grow in low light, but when you move them under indirect sunlight, it will boost their growth.

Snake plant needs indirect sunlight to grow. It can take direct sunlight in early morning.

But, when it is repeatedly exposed to direct sunlight for longer time, leaves start to burn.

Choose the location of container where it gets adequate amount of sunlight.


This houseplant like warmer climate and don’t like cold drafts.

Fluctuation in temperature often results in discolored leaves.

Move the container to a better location that maintains ideal temperature.


Potting soil mix in which you grow will essential nutrients like nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium that boosts snake plant growth.

When you fertilize the plant frequently, excess salts can burn roots and cause yellow leaves.

In winter months, you don’t have to fertilize your snake plant.

However, during growing season you can fertilize this house plant once or twice in a month.

Use balanced fertilizer.

Nutrients Deficiency

Similar to over-fertilizing, not providing enough nutrients and minerals will result in yellowing of leaves, stunted plant growth and leggy stem.

Plant leaves gets green color from a pigment called chlorophyll. Nitrogen in the potting soil helps in chlorophyll formation.  Low levels of nitrogen can turn your plant foliage yellow.

Choosing Wrong Potting Soil

Growing soil is every essential for plants. Apart from strengthening plant roots, it helps lock moisture and hold nutrients.

Soil that don’t drain excess water can result in overwatering and root rot.

For instance, clay soil isn’t good at draining excess water. Choose clay soil without amendment can harm your snake plant.

Pests and Disease

Bacterial or fungal infestation can turn your green foliage to yellow.

If you don’t get rid of this infection, it can spread to other parts of the plant and eventually to other houseplants.

Should I remove yellow leaves from snake plant?

Yes, you can remove yellow leaves and your snake plant will continue to grow. But, remove only those leaves that are completely yellow.

Can yellow leaves on snake plant turn green again?

It is not true that you can turn yellow colored leaves to green in all cases. Snake plant leaves that are completely yellow can’t turn back to green.

However, gardening disorders like nutritional deficiency, overwatering or underwatering if revived can allow leaves with yellow spots to turn green again.

Snake plant leaves turning yellow- is it natural?

Old leaves of all plants turn yellow and then fall off.

It is natural process. But, if you notice other distress like drooping leaves, stunted growth or rotting smell from roots, then you must take necessary action to diagnose the cause.

Final Words

Removing yellow leaves from snake plant can actually benefit the plant.

However, as a gardener you must know the cause of yellowing.

If only older leaves of snake plant are turning yellow and remaining new leaves are green, then it is not a concern.

As mentioned above, yellowing of leaves can also be caused due to excess water, underwater, low levels of nutrients, over use of fertilizers and insufficient sunlight. You must know the cause of yellowing.

If left unnoticed, your plant may have to face the consequences.