Lack of water in potting soil turns snake plant leaves brown and crispy. I know snake plants can tolerate dryness for a long time. But when you completely forget to water it, this results in crispy edges.
To prevent dehydration, you need to learn how to water your snake plants. In this article, you will learn what are the main causes of snake plant crispy leaves and how you can fix them.
Below is the information that is useful to treat crispy leaves.
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Moisture loss in soil
Check the level of moisture in the potting soil if your snake plant leaf edges are turning brown and crispy.
These plants smartly store a high amount of water in the stem and thick leaves. When the soil becomes and grower does not water the plant.
Then the snake plant starts using this stored water. As result, your plant leaves become dehydrated. This turns them yellow and then brown.
Following are the low soil moisture signs:
Dry soil and wrinkled leaves
Cracks on topsoil surface
Brown leaf edges
Leaves turning yellow
How to water snake plants perfectly?
Snake plant needs more water in the summer season than in winter. Because the hot environment makes the soil dry in a few days.
To avoid low water levels, you need to soak the plant in water once 50% of the soil gets dry. This is the perfect watering technique for snake plants.
To check the soil moisture, you can use a pencil or chopstick. Insert it in the soil and if it slides cleanly from the pot then this means your plant needs water.
If this technique is hard for you then you can buy a soil moisture testing meter. This device is easy to use and is inexpensive.
You can buy it from Amazon or from your local garden store.
As I said while watering your snake plant you should soak it in the water. Then empty the drained water from the saucer.
Let the soil dry completely before the next watering application.
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Too much heat turns your snake plant crispy
Being a desert plant, your snake plant can tolerate the heat. But when we place it near the heating vents in the winter season.
This damages the plant leaves. They lose the water stored in leaves and this results in crispy snake plants.
This is the reason I always recommend rotating your plant pot so that all parts of it get equal light and heat.
This equal distribution of heat can save your plant from being crispy and brown
Firstly, move your snake plant to shade if it is not safe for your plant. Then start watering it frequently.
Because the summer heat can dry the soil quickly and save your plant you need to supply it with water.
But if the damage is temporary for example from the heatwave or heat shock. Then you need to move the plant in the shade.
Once it gets healthy again then you can place it back in its permanent place.
Note: Shade means indirect bright light.
For A-grade protection from heat, you can use terracotta plant pots. They have thick walls and the material has tiny pores.
Thick walls do not allow heat to enter the root zone and tiny pores absorb moisture from the surroundings. This keeps your plant temperature cool.
Extremely low humidity
Snake plants need humidity but not like tropical plants. 40% moisture in the air is sufficient to grow a healthy snake plant.
But when you put it in the air-conditioned room or your place heater near it. In both conditions, your plant starts losing its moisture.
Because heat and cool air reduce the moisture level in the room air.
The simple solution is to increase the room humidity and save your crispy snake plant. At first, you can mist water on your plant.
This will not increase the chances of root rot. 3 to 4 sprays are safe because snake plant leaves are thick with strong leaf tissues.
If it does not work then group the plants together. This technique will increase the humidity around the plants by 5%.
Because plants release water vapors in respiration.
The third method is a pebble tray, fill a tray with small pebbles and water. Then place the snake plant pot over it.
The last and most effective way of increasing humidity is using an electric plant humidifier or a general room humidifier.
I use a plant humidifier because it is inexpensive compared to the room humidifier and it is portable.
On low humid days, I move all my plants to a single room and turn ON the humidifier. I also use a hygrometer to monitor the level of moisture in the air.
Because too much humidity is also dangerous for all types of plants.
Sometimes our water authorities add chlorine and fluoride to tap water to kill the harmful bacteria. These chemicals make tap water suitable for human consumption.
But these chemicals are not required by plants. When we use this water chlorine and fluoride get collected at the base of the plant and damage the roots.
Damaged roots cannot transport the water to different parts of the plant. This results in dehydration and your snake plant leaves turn crispy.
Best water for snake plants
Filtered water is best for all types of plants including snake plants. You should use filtered water for watering it.
The second-best water is rainwater. Use rainwater barrels to collect it. You can store the rainwater for 20 days.
Use your tap water only if it does not contain the above-mentioned chemicals in it. To get rid of chlorine you can fill the bucket of water at night and place it in your room.
On the next days when the chlorine sits at the bottom then you can use the top half of the bucket water.
Too much Sunlight
Snake plants are best for low bright areas. A little bit of morning sunlight is good for the plant to keep it safe from, overwatering issues and to prevent pest infestation.
The powerful sun rays increase the temperature of the snake plant leaves and they lose their moisture. This turns them brown and crispy.
You should immediately change the location of your snake plant. These plants are perfect for less bright places. They can grow perfectly even in low light.
If you are exposing your plant to sunlight for a long time to increase its growth and leaf size. Then I suggest you practice this technique in the spring season.
Do not try to do this in the summer season.
It’s time to Repot
For repotting use potting mix that is based on sand and fast-draining soil. it should also contain a high amount of organic material. This material supplies a good amount of nutrients to the plant in the long run.
Do not forget that snake plant does not like to live in wet or soggy soil. This will result in root fungus.
You can use small rocks in the potting medium to increase the draining power of the soil. This also increases the aeration power of the potting mix.
Note: Rocks do not absorb water but allow it to move freely toward the drainage holes. Also, reduce the weight stress on snake plant roots by increasing the air pocket in the soil.
Repot your plant only if you are sure that damaged soil or depleted soil is making your snake plant crispy.
I use 1 part perlite + 1 part sand + 2 parts of potting soil. This mixture gives nice support and sometimes I add compost to reduce my fertilizer expenses.