If you feel that your snake plant is not growing. This means it is lacking something that it needs to thrive. There are many factors that directly impact the growth of plants. You need to identify the cause of your snake plant not growing and fix it.
In this article, I will explain How you can identify the cause and solve the problem.
Lack of light, damaged plant leaves, pests, and diseases are the common reasons for the Snake plants not growing. Other causes are overwatering, underwatering, and plant stress. Correct all these issues and your snake plant will thrive again.
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What to do if the snake plant does not grow?
One is your plant is lacking essential nutrients, light, and water. These three are the main essential things that every plant needs to grow.
The second thing is plant stress. Plants also feel stress like humans. Conditions like pest & diseases, temperature fluctuations, overwatering, and underwatering put a negative impact on their growth. They do in stress mode and stop growing.
Now that you know there are many reasons that are responsible for inhibiting snake plant growth. Therefore, you need to pay close attention to your plant to identify the main cause. Once you will find the problem then follow the solutions written in this post. Your snake plant will start growing again
Step By Step check the health status of snake plant
- Check the leaves they should be straight, green, and bright.
- Look for the pest infestation
- Check the leaves for common plant diseases
- If your plant is dropping leaves then it is infected by root fungus
- Lift the plant and check the bottom hole. If a snake plant is growing out of it then the root-bound is the cause.
What is the growth rate of snake plants?
Snake plants are slow growers. In ideal growing conditions, they grow 2 inches long in a year. With complete care, they can produce 6 to 7 new leaves per year.
There are many varieties that grow taller than others.
For example, Golden Hahnii species grow taller than most snake plant species (more than 12 inches straight up).
Winter is a dormancy period for plants. But some snake plants show a little bit of growth on winter days. This is totally normal and is a sign of a perfect growing environment.
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Why is my snake plant not growing?
Below are the common causes of a snake plant not growing. Read each section carefully and side by side inspect your plant. Try to quickly identify the main cause that is inhibiting the snake plant growth.
Insufficient light energy
People choose snake plants not because they look good but also because they are low-light plants. A snake plant needs less amount of light to grow than other houseplants. But this does not mean you can put them in very low bright areas.
Note: Your ceiling light is not enough for growing a snake plant. You need a bright light source for healthy plants.
It can survive in low light but does not produce new green leaves and leaf patterns.
Snake plants have hard leaves that can tolerate a few hours of direct sunlight. You can put the plant near a sunny window to speed up its growth. The morning sun rays are full of vitamins and are less intense. Your plant can easily absorb them.
If you do not have a sunny window then you can use grow lights. These man-made lights are very helpful in growing plants in the absence of sunlight.
An inexpensive 200 watts grow light will cost you around $50 to $85. Install it 24 inches above the plant and turn it ON. Choose LED grow lights because they consume less electric power and emit a full spectrum of light like the SUN.
Moreover, LEDs emit less heat and do not need any kind of maintenance.
Low room temperature
Snake plants like to thrive in temperature above 60 F. If due to any reason the room temperature drops below it. The snake plant starts suffering from cold.
The thick leaves store a high amount of water in them. That gives them bright green color and also helps them to produce leaf patterns.
The cold temperature in the room decreases the temperature of stored water. The Snake plant leaf tissues start dying due to cold weather and cold water.
Therefore, you need to maintain a room temperature above 60 F for a thriving snake plant.
Snake plants not growing due to damages leaves is the least common reason. The tip of the snake plant is called a leaf blade. These blades grow tall and increase the size of the leaf.
When they get damaged the plant tries to transport energy to the damaged part to grow it. But the broken path wastes the plant’s energy and the plant stops growing.
The only way to again kick-start snake plant growth is to cut and remove the damaged blade. This way you help your plant save its energy. Then the plant spends saved energy to produce more beautiful snake plant leaf blades.
Use sterilized sharp shears to cut the damaged snake plant leaves.
Underwatering is the common cause of snake plants not growing. Because the snake plants do not need much water. They can tolerate and grow in a little bit of dry conditions.
Because when you water them, they store enough water in their leaves for days.
But for a healthy plant, you need to follow the correct watering techniques.
I water my snake plants when the potting soil is about to completely dry. The problem with underwater snake plants is they don’t show low watering signs for weeks.
Whenever you see leaf curling, brown leaf tips, and dull color leaves. Immediately give water to your plant.
Overwatering is the second problem related to snake plant growth. When you give extra water to your snake plant the extra water gets collected at the base of the plant. This water invites many fungus problems. The biggest one is root fungus called root rot.
Leaf dropping and yellow snake plant leaves are common signs of root rot.
In this condition, you need to follow the below steps
- Take the plant out of its container without damaging the root ball.
- Remove the soil from the roots and look for the damaged part.
- Then take the sterilized sharp shears and cut the infected roots.
- At once you can cut 30% of the roots.
- Then throw the old potting soil and wash the plant pot.
- After that fill the same pot with new potting soil and plant your snake plant back in it.
- Do not give water to your plant for 24 hours.
- After that, you can follow the regular care routine.
Tightly packed roots
Snake plant roots need space to spread. They grow in a straight pattern. Rootbound is a rare common reason that stops the growth of snake plants.
Every plant needs healthy roots to grow. Suffocated roots become unable to absorb the required amount of water and nutrients.
They need fresh air for the proper functioning of their roots.
To avoid this problem, you should repot your snake plant on time. Repotting is required once every 2 years until the plant achieves its mature height. To repot it take the plant pot 2 inches wide and deep than the current plant pot.
Lack of nutrients
Snake plants do not need a high number of fertilizers. If you are using fertilized soil then you will not face this problem. Otherwise, you need to supply them with extra nutrients in the form of fertilizers to help in their growth.
Succulent and cactus fertilizers are best for snake plants. Buy a liquid nutrient bottle and follow the instruction to avoid over-fertilization.
I do not recommend adding compost in snake plant soil. Because the compost contained potting soil releasing an unpleasant smell. No one wants their home to smell unpleasant. The idea of adding compost is good for plants that you grow outside of your house.
Pests and diseases
Spider mites and mealybugs are two common snake plant pests that stunted their growth. These pests suck the juice from the plant leaves. Your plant becomes nutrient deficient and it won’t grow further.
To identify these pests, you need to inspect your plant in bright light. In low light, you cannot see these tiny insects. When you are sure about them then the next step is immediately taking action to kill them.
The simple solution is to take the rubbing alcohol pour it on cotton and wipe the leaves. This will kill them in seconds.
If the problem is served then you can buy an insecticidal soap and wash your plant using normal-temperature water.
The last option is extremely powerful and that is the use of commercial pesticides. For house plants, we do not use pesticide sprays. They are harmful to humans and we use them on outdoor plants only.
How to speed up snake plant growth?
To speed up its growth give it good care and an ideal growing environment. Low intense bright light is enough to full fill its lighting requirements. Fertilize it with succulent liquid fertilizer only twice a year. Repot it on time and always inspect it for pests when you give water.
It is normal for a snake plant not to grow in the winter season.
Most houseplants do not grow on cold winter days. We call it a dormancy period means the rest period of plants. but you need to follow the same caring routine throughout the year.
Note: Plants do not need fertilizers and required less water in the winter season than in summer.
Why isn’t my snake plant growing straight up?
Snake plants absorb light energy through their leaves. If you expose it to the light that is coming from the side. Then the plant leaves start growing in the same direction. Therefore, you need to install a grow light over the plant or move the plant pot every time you water in case of a sunny window.
This condition is called leggy growth when a plant starts growing toward the light source.
This means your plant needs more light energy and you should move it close to the light source. Your snake plant will start growing straight up.