Snake plant leaves splitting or cracking indicates serious problems with your snake plant care routine.
You need to fix the leaf cracking immediately because once all the leaves will split. Then you can’t do anything to revive their health.
Lack of moisture, overwatering, physical damage, loss of nutrients, low light, and extreme temperature are the main causes of leaf splitting in snake plants.
Below is the complete guide on this topic.
In the first section, you will learn about the causes and solutions. In the last part, you will know how you can prevent leaf cracking in snake plants.
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1. Why is Your Snake Plant Leaves are Splitting or Cracking?
Snake plant leaves are the main part of its attraction. It is very disappointing having a snake plant with damaged leaves.
But the good news is now we know the causes and solutions to snake plant leaf problems.
Below are the ways to fix them in a short period of time.
Let’s have a look:
(a) Lack of Boron in Soil
It is an important micronutrient that snake plants need for cell division and for the formation of cell walls.
In the absence of boron, the snake plant cell walls become weak and cannot support the leaf structure.
As a result, your snake plant leaves start splitting or cracking.
You do not need to add boron to the potting soil. Good fertile soil has all the essential micronutrients.
You just need to make sure of the easy availability of boron to plant roots.
Disturb pH of the soil inhibits the absorption of all the micronutrients, especially iron and boron.
Buy a soil pH testing kit to check the pH of your potting soil. The pH must be in between the 5.5 to 7.5 pH range.
If you think the potting soil does not have many micronutrients. Then you can add organic matter to your soil to increase the percentage of all micronutrients.
(b) Dry Air
Snake plants need a moderate percentage of humidity. In the absence of adequate moisture in the air snake plant leaves start cracking.
Because of low humidity, the leaves of the snake plants start losing their stored moisture.
This results in leaf splits and dark brown spots.
Low humidity also increases many other issues like yellowing of leaves, crispy snake plant leaf edges, brown spots, etc.
The solution is simple you need to increase the room humidity.
For that purpose, do the following things:
- Regularly mist clean water on snake plant leaves. Especially in the summer season.
- If you have a good budget then buy a plant humidifier. Place it next to your plant and it will maintain the healthy humidity levels.
- Those who are tight on their budget can use the traditional humidity-increasing method. It is very helpful on low-humid days. Take a pebble tray, fill it with water and place your snake plant pot over it.
Note: While misting water on snake plant leaves you have to be careful. Do not do it over because it will result in leaf fungus.
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(c) Excessive Use of Water
Snake plants do not need a high amount of water to grow like tropical plants. It is succulent and prefers a little bit of dryness in the soil to grow happily.
Excessive use of water can damage the snake plant leaves.
When you give too much water to your plant. Its roots absorb most of it to save them from root fungus.
Then roots send this water to snake plant leaves for storage. When the leaves get a high amount of water to store, they expand their cell walls.
This expansion of leaf tissues damages the cells and results in split leaves.
Check the soil moisture before watering your snake plant. The easy way is poking your finger in the soil.
Water only if the top 2 inches of the soil are dry.
The second most important thing is the quality of potting soil. Well-draining soil can save your plant in case of overwatering.
Expose your plant to morning sunlight if you think you overwatered it.
Place the pot in little dry conditions. Do not place snake plants in the bathroom or kitchen there we have high humidity than other parts of our home.
(d) Snake Plant Pests
Pests like Aphids and Mealybugs are the common enemies of succulents like snake plants. They suck the sap of the plant.
Hence your plant becomes nutrient deficient and its leaves become weak due to the loss of nutrients.
These pests tear the surface of leaves and you have big scars on them.
When your plant absorbs a good amount of water. These tiny scars get busted and the leaf split into two parts.
Regularly check your plants for pest infestations. Look under the leaves and near the leaf nodes. Inspect the leaves closely to see any unusual signs of infection.
Use rubbing alcohol to wipe the leaves.
In serve infestation, use insecticidal soap to rinse your plant. Then spray neem oil on the entire plant to help it heal fast.
Keep your plant separate from other plants. Cut off the damaged leaves and stems.
In order to prevent pest infestations spray neem oil twice a month.
(e) Sudden Changes in Temperature
To avoid cracked leaves in snake plants. You need to protect your plants from extreme temperatures.
The general temperature range is 55 to 85 degrees F.
When your plant is exposed to high temperatures or lower than the recommended range. This results in the cracking of leaves.
Too hot temperature causes dehydration and too cold weather causes small ring fungus holes in plant leaves.
Do not place your plant near heating vents or in front of the Air conditioner. Hot or cold winds can damage the snake plant leaves.
In hot summers arrange some shade for your outdoor growing snake plant.
Move them to a new location where they can get some shade along with indirect bright light.
I am using a temperature monitor to keep eye on my grow room temperature. It is a device easily available on Amazon.
(f) Wrong location
The location of a snake plant pot highly impacts its overall health. When you place your pot in high traffic location you will definitely face some issues.
Places like doorways and stairs are not recommended for this plant.
Because the passing people unconsciously disturb the plant space. This disturbs the plant growth cycle.
Due to continuous disturbance, the leaves become weak and cell walls split into two parts. This results in split leaves.
- Place them in corners, windowsills, or on tabletops. These places do not have frequent movements.
- Design a perfect and permanent place for your snake plants.
- Teach your folks to respect your plants. Tell them that your love your plants very much.
(g) Improper handling
Improper handling results in physical damage to your plants. When you frequently move your snake plant from one place to another place and you are not careful.
You will surely see leaf damage. This damages further develop into leaf splits.
Most of the snake plant leaf damage happens while relocating the plant from a sunny spot to a less bright place.
- Decide a fixed place for your plant and do not move it too much.
- Repot your plant carefully and use newspaper to place your plant on it.
- If you are cleaning the room then carefully move your plants outside one by one.
- Bring them back the same way you move them outside.
- Learn the proper lifting technique, put your hand on the sides of the pot and grab tightly.
(h) Your pets
Your pets might be the cause of splitting snake plant leaves. The reason is pets like to play with new things.
They love to play with or around the plants.
You need to teach them how to live around your plants. Once you will teach them, they will not touch your plants again.
- If your pets are naughty then it is best to place the plants in a safe location. Where they cannot reach them.
- Make a border fence around your plant that cats and dogs cannot jump.
- Give training to your pets
2. What You Can do to Prevent Snake Plant Leaves from Splitting?
Now is the time to know the preventive methods. If you follow the below tips your snake plant leaves will never split.
(a) Soil Quality
The quality of soil will decide your success story with snake plants. Make sure the potting soil has all the essential macro and micronutrients.
The pH of the soil must be between 5.5 to 7.5 pH.
Add a good amount of organic matter into the soil to increase its draining powers.
Use liquid fertilizer to increase its fertility.
(b) Perfect Location of Snake Plant
- Place your snake plant in indirect bright light. Makes sure the direct sunlight cannot touch the plant leaves.
- Also do not place your plant in overcrowded areas.
- Do not place it on stairs or near the door entrances.
(c) Controlled Watering Sessions
Before watering your plant always check the soil conditions. If you are a beginner or want perfect soil moisture reading.
Then buying a soil moisture testing kit is the best option.
Let the soil dry between watering applications to avoid overwatering-related problems in snake plants.
(d) Constant Inspection
Once you catch the problem in its early stage you can fix it easily.
Make a routine of checking your plants at the time of watering. Or fix a day in a week when you closely inspect your all houseplants.
This habit is very beneficial in order to grow disease-free healthy plants.
3. Should I Cut the Split Leaves of My Snake plant?
It is not necessary that you need to cut the split leaves of your snake plant. Leave them until you see new growth of leaves. Then you can cut them to save plant energy.
I want to make it clear that split leaves will not heal at any cost. Day after day they develop brown edges and die after a few weeks.
No doubt split leaves destroy the beautiful appearance of your plant.
If only 2 to 3 leaves are cracked then you can cut them the right away. But do not cut half of your plant.
This will make things worse and your plant will look ugly instead of damaged.
4. Will Snake Plant Leaves Heal?
No damaged snake plants will no heal. Any damage on leaves is permanent and you have to cut them to get rid of those ugly leaves.
Pruning is a necessary step when you have dry and damaged leaves on your houseplants.