The snake plant (Sansevieria trifasciata) is easy to grow and hard to kill houseplant. It grows well in almost all types of weather conditions.
But in some cases, snake plant leaves start bending. This can be due to fungal disease, root damage, pest infestation, or wrong care practices.
The good news is you can easily fix the drooping snake plant leaves. If you know the best treatment plan.
In today’s post, you will learn what are the main causes of bending leaves in snake plants. How you can identify and solve the problem.
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1. Causes and Solution of Snake Plant Bending Leaves
There 6 reasons that are responsible for snake plant droopy leaves. They are discussed below with their solutions.
Keep reading to know everything about snake plant leaf problems.
(a) Too Small Container
If your snake plant is healthy but still has some leaves that are bent downwards. The small container and the overly grown plant are the cause.
In small containers snake plant roots become overcrowded. This blocks many normal functions of roots.
Stressed roots are not able to absorb a good amount of water and other essential nutrients from the soil.
But before switching the container you should measure the diameter of the old container. Because the new container should only be 2 inches wider than the current pot.
Too large pots will not solve the problem. In fact, extra-large containers increase the chances of overwatering and root rot.
Because they hold more potting soil and also absorb more water than required.
Commons Signs of root-bound snake plant:
- Potting soil drains out too quickly
- Roots coming out of the draining hole
- Less soil left in the plant pot
- More number of new shoots than normal
- Small cracks in the pot
- Your plant looks bigger for the pot
How to Solve Root Bound in Snake Plant?
The only best solution to the root bound problem is repotting your plant in a little wider container.
Following are the repotting steps:
- Water your plant 12 hours before repotting to lose the potting soil. Then gently tap on the sides of the pot and pull your plant upwards.
- Remove the old soil from the plant roots with the help of a cloth. Do not use your finger because you will then damage the root ball.
- Place your plant on the newspaper
- To prevent overwatering in the future you should use a terracotta plant pot.
- Now that your pot is ready you need to fill it with potting soil. The soil should be well-draining. Do not use the soil from the old pots.
- Cactus potting soil is best to use for growing snake plant
- Inspect the roots before planting them in the new pot. If you find some damaged roots, you can cut the damaged parts with sterilizes shears or a knife.
- Fill one-third of the container with new soil and place your plant in it. Fill the rest of the pot with soil. Gently tap the around the plant base.
- Now give some water to your plant and put the pot in indirect bright light.
(b) Wrong Soil and Poor Drainage
The right kind of soil is necessary to grow a healthy plant. Because soil is a growing medium for plants and they absorb everything from good fertile soil.
Some plant needs heavy soil but plants like snake plant need lightweight well-draining soil.
Because it is succulent, therefore, it needs less water and you need to choose the soil that holds less moisture for a long time.
This will reduce the watering applications and also the overwatering problem.
For good drainage, there should be draining holes in the plant container. These draining holes save plants when you accidentally give excessive water to your plants.
Wrong soil and plant containers without drainage holes result in damaged roots. This gives bending snake plant leaves.
How to Solve?
At first, you need to focus on the type and quality of the soil to straight snake plant bending leaves.
I use cactus potting soil for my succulent plants. You should also choose the cacti soil with a high percentage of vermiculite, perlite, and pumice.
If you are going to use regular garden soil.
Then add a few cups of compost in it and 1 cup of perlite to become it useful for droopy snake plants.
Secondly, you should choose plant pots with draining holes. In my opinion, you should use terracotta pots.
They are made from porous material and naturally drain extra water out of the pot through their tiny pores.
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(c) Temperature Stress
Keep the temperature between 70 to 95 degrees F for healthy and shining snake plant leaves.
Temperature above 95 F causes many problems to snake plant leaves. The leaves lose their moisture. It also makes the soil dry in a short time.
High temperature increases the water loss due to plant respiration, transpiration and evaporation while photosynthesis.
This results in wilted, floppy, and bend leaves.
Temperatures below 50 F also cause problems because snake plants are not frost resistant. They cannot tolerate the extreme cold for a long period of time.
Too cold temperature results in:
- Mushy and soft leaves
- Scars on leaves surface
- Leaves start dropping, bending, or falling over the pot.
How to Solve?
You should always remember one thing leaves damaged by the temperature, never turn green again.
So, you should cut them before they turn brown or invite other problems.
Wear garden gloves and sterilize the tools before and after use.
Try to maintain the snake plant grow room temperature between the ideal range (60 to 95 degrees F). In winter move your snake plants to a warm room.
Note: Do not turn ON the heat where you put your snake plant. Heat will make the plant dehydrated in a few hours and increase the problem.
(d) Bending leaves due to Diseases
Generally, snake plants are disease resistant but they are not disease-proof. Use of infected tools while working on them.
The use of contaminated water, dirt, and dust near the plant pot increases the chances of fungal infections.
This fungal infection damages the leaf tissues and leaves become weak to hold their weight. As a result, they fall over the pot.
Below is a list of fungal diseases:
- Southern Blight
- Root Rot
- Crown Rot
- Leaf fungus
- Red Leaf spot
How to Solve?
Stop overwatering your plant and use fungicides to treat fungus diseases.
it is best to use copper-based fungicides. They are easily available on Amazon.
(e) Light and Bending Leaves
We all know mother-in-law’s tongue needs bright light for proper growth. But it cannot tolerate direct sun rays.
Even if the light is coming from an indirect source and is extremely bright. It can scorch the leaves and make the soil dry quickly.
The damaged leaves and dry soil both contribute to cracking or splitting snake plant leaves. Cracked leaves automatically bend due to weakness and split leaf tissues.
Whereas in low light areas your snake will grow slow and in very low light condition it becomes leggy.
It stretched its leaves towards the source of light. This indicates that you need to give more bright light.
The current amount of light is not sufficient for its growth and good health.
How to Solve?
- Do not place your snake plant in dark corners and also do not expose it to direct bright light.
- You should place it a few feet away from the sunny window.
- Where light energy is not sufficient for the plant. You can use grow lights to full its light needs.
- Your plant will grow happily and never face bending leaves situations in perfect light conditions.
(f) Root Rot due to Overwatering
Succulents like snake plants need less water than other houseplants. This is the reason we recommend cactus soil for growing them.
In waterlogged soil, the soft root ball of the plant gets damaged. A fungus builds up occurs and starts eating the root ball.
This slower the absorption of nutrients and water.
Your plant becomes dehydrated and nutrient deficient.
Weak plants cannot stand straight in their pots. As a result, your snake plant leaves fall over the pot.
- Stunted or slower growth
- Yellow leaves
- Brown leaf edges
- Mushy smell
- Fungus growth in the soil
- Floppy, drooping or bending leaves
- Damages roots
- Foul smell from the potting soil
- Waterlogged soil
How to Solve?
You should allow the growing medium to dry out before you water it again.
Once the potting soil becomes dry your snake plant will regrow new leaves.
To prevent overwatering, you need to let the top 2 inches of the soil dry between watering applications.
Also, use a well-draining growing medium that does not hold much water for a long time.
Add perlite to the soil to keep it loose, lightweight, and beneficial for the snake plant’s overall health.
(g) Pest infestation
Aphids, mealybugs, and scales are common snake plant pests. If your plant is infected you will definitely face bending or falling leaves.
Because these pests make tiny cuts in the leaves and lay their eggs.
They need the sap of the plant to live. This makes your plant sick and the cuts in the leaves make the leaf tissues very weak.
Hence leaves become weak and cannot hold their weight and fall over the pot.
How to Solve?
- Use rubbing alcohol and manually wipe the aphids and mealybugs
- Regularly spray neem oil on the plants to keep them protected
- Keep the plant pot clean and remove the dry, dead leaves
- In worst cases, use copper fungicides.
2. How do I help my snake plant grow straight?
If you really want to help your plant to grow its leaves straight then follow the below tips:
- Learn correct watering techniques
- Expose your plant to indirect bright light only
- Use well-draining potting soil
- Use terra cotta plant pots
- Maintain the temperature between 70 to 95 degrees F
- Repot your plant on time. once in 2 years
- Regularly prune dead leaves
- Keep the plant pot and surroundings clean.