In this era of technology where everything is made out of Wood and Stone, we sometimes feel suffocated in our own houses. Very few of us can afford to live in the Suburban areas or localities with great vegetation.
That is why many of us rely on gardening to make our houses a little bit greener than the grey world outside. Some are great at gardening some are not. Some can spend a lot of their free time in their garden.
But many of us are not so capable of affording that much time to take care of the green friends. Snake plant is the perfect plant for those people who cannot spend too much time on the maintenance of fancy garden plants and in this write-up you’ll find the reasons why your snake plant leaves are drooping?
Known by various colloquial names, this succulent is particularly renowned for its hardy nature. No wonder it is one of the most popular ornamental plants among home gardeners.
If you are looking for a plant to make your home greener that would not require you to tend to it all the time, snake plants are just what you need.
However, if you have any experience of gardening you probably already know that no matter how indestructible a plant might seem, at times it is bound to show symptoms that would leave you tearing your hair, wondering where you went wrong.
Well, snake plants are no exception. Even though these plants are generally hardy and do well even with little care, they are also prone to several different kinds of diseases and pests like root rot, mealybugs, Spider mites, and Southern Blight.
One of the most common problems, and probably the most disheartening and confusing one, is the sudden death of these gorgeous plants.
If you have been unlucky enough to suddenly notice drooping leaves on your snake plants, this dreaded problem has probably stepped into your gorgeous garden.
If your snake plant is dying, and you are at your wit’s end trying to figure out and solve the problem, you have come to the right place.
In this article, we have put together the most common causes of dying snake plants and have also suggested some of the most effective solutions. So read on and find out.
Also Read: Growing Sweet Peas in Hanging Baskets
Snake plants or Sansevieria trifasciata have many names by which they are known locally in many parts of the world, such as; ‘Mother-in-law’s tongue’, ‘Saint George’s sword’, ‘hǔwěilán’ in China, ‘paşa kılıcı’ in Turkey, ‘Lengua de vaca’ in Puerto Rico, etc.
Snake plant is an evergreen bushy plant with tall juicy meaty leaves that grow upwards from the rhizomes. It grows in extreme weather that is particularly dry and hot.
As Snake Plant is particularly known for withstanding drought with ease, it is a very common ornamental plant for those who can not take care of plants inside their home. On the contrary, it is pretty hard to kill.
You water them once in a while and forget about it. Unlike other plants, the snake plant gathers and stores oxygen during the day and releases at night.
So it can be placed near the bed or sofa to give your room a touch of green lush. Particularly for modern and edgy interior designs, the Snake plant is a great compliment.
The particular problem of Snake plant leaves drooping is very common among various types of Snake plants. Especially, those who don’t know a lot about this plant lookout for these symptoms.
Also Read: How to Grow Wheatgrass at Home without Soil?
Spotting a dying Snake plant is very easy. You have to keep in mind, leaves of these plants are juicy and meaty. They stand upright in the shape of a sword. From this reference point, some of the symptoms are as follows:
- If your snake plant is left in a drought-like environment for many days and it is underwatered, the leaves will start to look lifeless and weak one by one.
- If a plant is overwatered all the leaves will drop at the same time no matter when it was planted.
- The sword-like leaves usually have a green or yellow pointy tip. It may turn brown if leaves are starting to droop.
- The edges of the leaves will start to turn yellow from light green and feel drier than usual. After some days it may turn brown.
- The under-watered leaves will start to fold and twist forming curves and circles. The edges at the side will curl after turning yellow.
- If the above-mentioned symptoms are ignored for a long time the whole leaf will brown and become thin. If leaves turn crunchy there is no going back.
- If the growth of the plant is stunted or the height is too small, there must be something wrong with it. It is a result of a lack of nutrients and proper moisture.
Why My Mother in Law’s Tongue Plant is Dying?
Although maintaining a Snake plant is very easy, if the symptoms above are seen you should not take it lightly. If ignored for too long the rhizomes of the snake plant may dry up or rot. In that case, there is no scope for recovery.
Mainly there are 6 reasons behind the problem of leaves drooping.
#1 Watering Too Much
Snake plant is a meaty and juicy plant. The thick leaves that reserve water for the tree is usually rubbery. Most of the succulent plants do not need regular watering. Cactus-like houseplants or snake plants are no exception. Snake plants are native to West Africa where the weather is very hot and dry. They need the least amount of water you can imagine. You can easily over water the plant that will lead to a dangerous problem of root rotting.
#2 Drainage Issue and Soil Inadequacy
Maybe you are not overwatering your plant but still your plant seems to be turning pale in color. In that case, the issue must be the soil and the drainage system. A perfect drainage system for plants like the Snake plant would be tubs and containers with lots of holes. You can not let your soil get soggy inside. The soil for the Snake plant should always be almost dry but not too dry.
#3 Untrimmed and Bound Root
It is just not the case of Snake plants, most of the house plants suffer from root bound after they have outgrown their given tub, pot, or container. House plants, if healthy, usually need root trimming or repotting occasionally. Although snake plants are usually fine with mild root bounds. As long as the rhizomes beneath the leaves are healthy there is no issue whatsoever.
But when the roots get too messy and complex the plant becomes unhealthy and the green leaves start to droop. The tightly bound roots can strangle themselves causing girdling that may lead to rot and other diseases usually unforeseen. Unlike other house plants that need repotting annually, snake plants need repotting every 4 to 5 years. If repotting seems too resource-draining for you can just cut the tips of the old long roots and give it a trim. Thus the container can fit more soil. There should be half the amount of soil and half the amount of roots in a pot.
#4 The Problem with The Sun
It may sound a little odd but even though Snake plants are used to drought and desert-like climate, It can start to droop because of the heat. If your plant is slightly under-watered or lacks nutrients, too much sun can affect its leaves. The leaves will burn up the reserve water in no time and start to droop. If your watering schedule is up to the mark, then your plant is not receiving enough heat. That will also lead to the same problem.
#5 In-house Light
Snake plants usually survive well in shades. A little sun can help them more if provided. But too little light can be harmful to the plant. Usually grown in the house snake plants do not get enough light in the bedroom or living room. It may lead to drooping.
#6 Pesky Pests
Snake plants that get weakened by the above-mentioned problems get easily infested by pests. Drooping leaves can easily be infested with spider mites or mealy bugs. Dying Snake plants can also house fungus gnats that are the larva of fruit fly-like insects that come out of soggy soil.
If you have been bearing with us and have read this far, you know everything there is to know about the snake plant leaves drooping.
However, the mere knowledge of the problem will not solve it. It is you who has to take the initiative to revive the lost beauty and liveliness of your snake plants.
Wondering how? Well, that depends upon what has been troubling your plants. The first step to take is therefore identification of the problem. Here’s a list of some of the most effective steps to take for solving this issue.
#1 Dry out the plants
In case the problem with your snake plants has been overwatering, the best solution is to dry the plants up. Snake plants need watering once every two to four weeks.
Overwatering them is one of the easiest things to do. To make sure that you do not go wrong with watering your plants, you need to make it a practice to give your plants a dry spell between two consecutive watering. Make sure that not only the surface but up to at least 3 inches of the soil is completely wet before watering again. Do not water these plants unless the leaves look wilted and the soil is devoid of moisture.
#2 Dealing with Root rot
Root rot can mostly be cured by letting the soil dry out. However, in certain situations, you might need to do a little more than that. In case the problem of root rot has become severe, you might need to change the pot in which the plants are growing. Plant them in a pot with dry soil and remove the roots that look mushy or are dead. To kill off root fungus, you can use a solution of 3% hydrogen peroxide and spray it on the roots for about three months.
#3 Fixing the drainage
If you are certain that you do not overwater but your snake plants are still drooping, it is probably your soil which is spoiling the game. The soil in which your snake plants are growing might have a drainage issue because of which it is retaining more water than the plants require. The only solution to this problem is to report your plants using a well-drained, porous soil this time. You can use a potting mix specifically suited to succulents or just add perlite and compost to your regular potting soil.
#4 Lack of heat
Snake plants need sufficient heat in order to be able to thrive. In case your plants are being made to live in temperatures under 50°F, they are going to protest by dropping their leaves. Especially in cooler weather conditions do not leave your snake plants near the window. Instead place them close to some source of heat, keeping them as far away from the air outside as possible. Also, make sure that the plant receives sufficient rainfall. Placing it in a warm, sunny location is vital for its growth and survival.
#5 Sacrificing the leaves that are already beyond repair
You must keep in mind that once the leaves of your snake plants have been damaged beyond repair, you cannot do much. In such cases, it is wise to sacrifice the infected leaves to make room for fresh new leaves that can rejuvenate the plant. You can either cut off the rotten or dead leaves after new ones arrive, or leave them to die on their own.
If you choose to cut off the dead leaves, do wait for the new leaves to appear as otherwise, you might end up killing your plant. Cut the leaves exactly where the rotten part ends. These are not going to regrow, but if you cut too much, your plants might not be able to photosynthesize enough light and suffer from lack of nourishment.
That was it for this article. We hope you found it helpful. We will always keep you updated with everything green!!
Khaja Moinuddin, a computer science graduate, finds joy in gardening and homesteading. Join him on this blog as he shares his experiences in homesteading, gardening, and composting