The famous snake plant is prone to problems…
Well, primarily they don’t. In fact They’re very easy to survive in neglect…
Nonetheless, these specific problems mentioned below are the most common ones…
… resulting from our wrong doings in gardening.
Hear it from Tanya!
This is my third snake plant that I have right now…
I know how shocking it is, especially because snake plants are relatively easy…
With my first snake plant, I overwatered it since I didn’t know how to water them at first…
While with the second one, I let them get infested by pests…
… because I didn’t really watch over them outdoors.
Now that I know how to take care of them…
… I’ve succeeded with my third for almost 4 years now!
Learning from mistakes…
That’s the best thing to do when it comes to gardening…
Without further ado, here’s the common snake plant problems you should be aware of!
Common Snake Plant Problems
Sansevieria spp. (snake plant) can be a safe option if a person doesn’t have a green thumb…
… since it requires little care and is relatively difficult to kill.
African native and common houseplant…
… it has sword-shaped leaves and is hardy in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 10 through 12.
However, there are still some problems that can affect the growth of this plant…
Too Much Water
Among the issues with snake plants is overwatering.
Waterlogged soil can lead to rotting roots and the decline of the plants.
In the water logged soils, water gets filled in the pores of the soil, so the oxygen concentration decreases in soil. O2 deficiency decrease growth and survival of plants growing in it.Iqra Akhtar and Naveela Nazir in Effect of Waterlogging and Drought Stress in Plants
Growing snake plants in well-drained, sandy, gritty soil, like cactus mix, can prevent this.
Water only very rarely in the early spring and late fall when growth slows down.
Test the soil whenever you water the plants on a drier side to detect whether or not it is getting enough water.
When you’re watering, keep an eye on the leaves to tell whether you’re doing a good job.
Green leaves indicate good watering, but dull leaves indicate you might need to add some more.
How does Overwatering Look Like?
It is often hard to detect the signs of root rot until they are too late..
..as the first signs develop underneath, on the roots themselves.
The symptoms eventually spread to the leaves..
..which become yellow, wilted or droop, eventually decaying.
If the root or base is impacted..
..it is best to repot the plant, remove and refresh the soil, and remove decaying roots.
A cutting from healthy leaves may be taken for propagation and the remaining plant discarded.
How To Fix Inconsistent Watering Issues
One of the easiest ways to water your snake plant properly is to use a routine…
… and monitor its health to see if it needs watering or if any other problems arise.
You should only water the soil and not the leaves when watering your snake plant.
If water falls on the leaves, they might become vulnerable to a fungal infection.
A fungal infection is the main cause of brown spots on snake plants.
Exposure to the right temperatures can make the difference…
… between a snake plant that looks healthy and one that leaves a scar on its leaves.
As this is a permanent condition, prevention is key.
Maintain the snake plant’s daytime temperatures between 60 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit..
..and nighttime temperatures between 55 and 70 degrees Fahrenheit.
How to Prevent Cold Damage Issues
You should avoid exposing your snake plants to temperatures below 55°F (12°C) to prevent cold damage.
The temperature in the summer should be between 65- 80°F/18- 27°C and at night between 55-70°F (12-21°C).
You can also give them a lot of sunbathes in summer and keep them inside during autumn and winter.
Infestations of mealybugs and spider mites are common on snake plants.
These pests suck sap from the plants, weakening them and causing small holes and shedding of the leaves.
Heavily infested plants are better off being discarded because pest control would become time consuming..
..and there will be the risk of infecting nearby plants.
Handpicking mealybugs or dabbing them with alcohol can be an effective control method.
Spider mites are best eliminated by washing them off the plant and increasing the humidity around the plant.
Biological control as well as insecticidal control are the other possible options for controlling pests.
How to Prevent Pest Infestation
Generally, it is recommended to check the leaves for any signs of infestation before handling the plant.
If it appears to be severely afflicted, it is best to dispose of the plant in order to prevent the spread of the pests.
Among the most common ways to eliminate snake plant pests…
… are through washing them off and applying chemical pest control or natural pest control.
Avoid pests through:
This solution of dish soap and water can dehydrate spider mites and aphids.
It’s made by mixing five tablespoons of dish soap with four cups of water and spraying it on infected plants.
Neem Oil Spray
This natural insecticide can be derived from the seeds of the neem tree that is indigenous to Indian soil.
It is widely used in agriculture to get rid of mites, scale, and aphids among other insects.
A solution that combines water and 70 percent isopropyl alcohol can effectively repel insects from houseplants.
Use 1 or 2 cups of the solution for it.
Snake plants are more susceptible to fungal problems than other plants.
For instance, southern blight and red leaf spots cause reddish-brown lesions…
… while rust and bacterial leaf spots produce brown spots on their leaves.
Snake plant may be susceptible to fungal diseases such as southern blight and red leaf spot.
These problems can be recognized from the plant’s appearance.
Leaves usually exhibit patches of reddish-brown or sunken lesions.
The leaves may also show a white web-like growth that eventually turns dark brown and hardens.
Fungal problems can cause the snake plant to wilt, rot, and die, so keeping them at bay should be a priority.
Maintain proper cultural methods; keep the leaves dry, monitor your watering, and make sure the soil is well-drained.
Red Leaf Spot
The fungal disease red leaf spot, also called Helminthosporium disease..
..is actually a collection of fungal diseases which thrive in warm and wet environments.
The large spores caused by red leaf spot are often shaped like cigars.
As its name suggests, the spots of this fungal disease are usually reddish or brownish-red.
Red Leaf Spot Treatment
It is possible to treat these reddish-brown spots by cutting the infected leaves so they do not spread to other areas.
It can also be treated by spraying copper and sulfur fungicides.
Southern blight–also known as southern root rot or southern wilt–infests the soil.
It is a result of a fungus species called Sclerotium rolfsii which invades underneath the soil line or right at the line.
Just as the fungus can cause red leaf spot when it grows in warm climates or warm environments…
… the Sclerotium rolfsii prefers warm environments.
If your snake plant has southern blight, it might look droopy…
… with leaves that start yellow but can turn light brown without treatment.
Eventually, your plant will collapse and eventually die as the fungus wraps around the roots…
… and invades the entire soil of your snake plant.
Treating Southern Blight
You can control southern blights using heat treatment and fungicides…
… as it may cause the rotting of the blades if left untreated.
You should cut off the rot at least an inch below the injury site.
Sansevierias are prone to this type of fungus/bacteria that spreads when leaves get wet.
Don’t water the leaves but only the soil.
Rust is the third fungal disease to be on the lookout for.
I don’t mean rust like the kind that results from metals becoming exposed to water too long.
Rust, also known as Phragmidium, is a fungal disease that most often affects lawns…
… tomatoes, beans, snapdragons, and daylilies, but it may also affect snake plants.
It occurs more usually in mature plants, but not always.
Early on, the fungal infection may present as white spots near the snake plant’s stems and beneath its leaves.
The white spots soon turn orange-brown and turn black as the infection progresses and the snake plant dies.
Like red leaf spots, rust can be treated effectively by removing the infected part, as well as that part of the other plant.
You should also avoid allowing water to contact the infected plant, so the rust does not spread.
If you take care of your Snake Plant, it will take care of you.
In addition to releasing oxygen into the air, the Snake Plant also acts as a purifier.
According to Nasa, Sansevieria Laurentii is one of the best air-purifying houseplants…
… and it is great at filtering out toxins such as formaldehyde and xylene.
Carbon dioxide is converted into oxygen during the night, which makes it a wonderful bedroom plant.
This information will help you to continue caring for and enjoying your Snake Plant over time.
These are just a few more things to keep in mind if you’re growing your own snake plant.
Please let me know if I missed anything!
If you have any questions about your snake plant (or any of your houseplants) that I did not answer here..
..please contact me!
You always have my full support.
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Have an awesome gardening journey!