An ideal houseplant is a Sansevieria, which removes airborne pollutants from a home. Since snake plants are hardy, they are easy to grow, but that does not mean they are without issues. In other words, what are snake plants’ problems?
Snake Plant Problems
Getting the moisture requirement right for snake plants is a common problem. Water is easily absorbed by the plant, causing it to experience ill health over time. Stunted growth, poor quality culture, root rot, and leaf loss are other common problems.
The following are some common snake plant problems:
The Growth Is Slow
It is normal for snake plants to grow to a height of 1-4 feet, although some species can reach more significant heights if grown under ideal conditions. As long as the relative humidity is about 40%, the plant is quite tolerant of fluctuations in light and temperature.
Snake plants have the disadvantage of having minimal growth when grown indoors (and at certain times of the year). Furthermore, the size of the pot limits how far the roots can spread and affects how many leaves grow. When the tips of a plant’s leaves are cut off, the leaves are unable to grow high.
Plants grown outdoors can grow taller and larger varieties, but it also depends on the species. If you want to reduce instances of slowed or stunted growth, you can take precautions not to damage the plant (especially its center).
Problems with Propagation
Several propagation problems face snake plants. There are people who prefer to use water and others who prefer cuttings. Most people can propagate their plants using water, but there is an increased risk of root rot due to overwatering.
Providing you know how to make a good cutting, you can also propagate snake plants using cuttings. When a cutting is incorrectly done, you run the risk of injuring your plant.
Root Rot Problems
Infections caused by fungi and root rot are common problems with snake plants. A large number of root rot cases are caused by overwatering. It’s recommended that you water snake plants a few times a month with minimal amounts of water.
In order to determine if your plant has root rot, check for the following symptoms:
- It may be that your plant is suffering from root rot if you notice that the soil around the roots smells bad. Simply scoop some soil close to the base of the plant (being careful not to damage the plant’s roots) and place it close to your nose. Your plant may suffer from a smelly potting medium, which requires immediate attention.
- Roots with mushy textures – Healthy snake plants have white rhizomes that are easily visible after digging a few inches into the soil. Imagine that you suspect your plant has a fungal infection. Checking the roots is recommended. The roots of snake plants tend to become mushy, brown, or flaky when they suffer root rot. Observe the roots’ texture and outward appearance, then feel them.
- Leaves with yellow or brown hues – Healthy snake plant leaves are green, with some varieties having additional variegation on the edges. Snake plant leaves that are yellow or brown might indicate overwatering, pests, or root rot. Before taking action, scrutinize your plant to determine the cause of the issue.
A snake plant’s sensitivity to moisture content in the soil makes overwatering a common issue. Plants such as snake plants are easily overwatered due to the signs of waterlogging resembling those of underwatering, which is very confusing.
The plant enters its dormant phase during the winter months, when it requires little water. If you don’t water your plant for a month, it will survive. Snake plants can suffer many problems from overwatering, including root rot, droopy leaves, stunted growth, etc.
Sansevieria should only be watered minimally and allowed to dry their top inch of soil between waterings. In any event, the type of potting mix and season will affect the outcome. Should you have questions about watering snake plant, you should consult a local botanist.
Sensitivity to Temperature
Plants that grow well in a variety of climates are snake plants. Despite being able to withstand harsh conditions, these plants are susceptible to sudden temperature and light changes.
Snake plants prefer temperatures between 55 and 85 degrees Fahrenheit. A high temperature may lead to brown rings appearing on leaf surfaces and causing the plant to become traumatized. Sansevieria leaves that are wrinkled indicate extreme heat.
Dark, brightly lit spaces are also preferred by the plants, as they like the dim indirect light. Despite their good adaptability to artificial lighting, they are an excellent indoor plant.
Leaves Falling Over
Snake plant leaves are long and pointy green leaves that are distinctive from other parts of the plant. There may be times when these leaves turn white, droop, or fall over. Snake plant symptoms such as these indicate that something is wrong, and you must act now to determine the source of the issue.
Falling snake leaves are caused by a variety of factors, including:
- Snake plants are prone to overwatering. Plants store water in their leaves, and when they take in too much water, the leaves can become heavy and droopy.
- In spite of low light intensities, snake plants can tolerate them for a considerable period of time. If they are placed in a dark room for a long time, the leaves might fall over. Low- and medium-light conditions are good for the plants, but they can also thrive under artificial lighting conditions, such as fluorescent and incandescent lights.
- Snake plant leaves can fall over due to poor potting materials. It is also important to consider your plants’ pot size when it comes to their health. Pots that are too big can breed fungi, cause root rot, and are prone to overwatering. Small vessels can cause root-bound (a condition in which the roots of the plant become tangled together, affecting their ability to take in nutrients and water).
Sword-shaped leaves are characteristic of a healthy snake plant. Snake plant leaves that curl indicate health problems, negligence, pest attacks, or overwatering. Knowing what is causing your plant’s leaves to curl is crucial to resolving the problem.
Shrimps are commonly found in plants and might curl the leaves and leave black spots on the leaves after feeding after eating. A magnifying glass is useful for checking for such spots on your plants.
If the leaves appear healthy, keep them, but you can also cut off the dead or excessively damaged ones. The leaves should be periodically wiped with a cotton band to remove pests and keep the leaves looking clean and shiny.
Disadvantages of Snake Plants
Snake plants also have other disadvantages that are related to their toxicity. Pets such as cats, dogs, and other animals in your household may be poisoned by the leaves. Snake plants have bitter leaves that are nearly indigestible.
Snake plants have other disadvantages as well, such as:
Snake Plants Are Toxic to Cats
Cats and other pets are poisoned by snake plants. As a result, pets are unable to ingest too much of the plant, thus reducing its toxicity. Cats with snake plant poisoning often complain of vomiting, diarrhea, drooling, nausea, and lack of appetite.
It’s likely that your cat ingested snake plant leaves if you notice similar symptoms on your pet (and have a snake plant nearby).
Snake Plants Are Toxic to Humans
The snake plant is also toxic to humans, especially to children and the uninformed. Ingesting two bites of the leaves is unlikely to lead to snake plant poisoning, but a child could accidentally ingest some (the leaves have a bitter taste, so it’s unlikely they’ll consume more) and suffer the consequences.
Humans who are poisoned by snake plants may experience nausea, vomiting, throat irritation, and mouth and nose irritation, among other symptoms. In most cases, the condition will fade with time, but a medical expert should be consulted if the problem is persistent.