The snake plant keeps falling over, why is that? Here are the reasons why your snake plant is falling over:
- Fertilizer shortage
- Fungal diseases
You’re right. There are quite a few serious offenses that could lead to your snake plant sagging. Identifying exactly which mistake you’re making isn’t always easy, so I encourage you to read on. Here are some tips for correcting all of these snake plant care blunders!
Why Is Your Snake Plant Falling Over?
The snake plant tends to lean forward or tilt slightly, but some indoor gardeners say it’s perfectly normal. Leaves on Sansevieria trifasciata should be tall and erect.
There’s nothing wrong with those leaves drooping occasionally, but if they’re falling over to the point where your entire plant is tipped over, that’s not normal. Something is wrong with your snake plant if that is the case.
As I mentioned in the introduction, snake plant tipping can be caused by five different problems. Let’s review these five reasons.
Getting bad advice or misinterpreting good advice might explain why you have underwatered your snake plant.
As it’s well known, snake plants are among the hardest to kill houseplants because they don’t die easily. Even though snake plants are also succulents, they can survive for long periods without water, rivaling most other succulents.
Is it possible not to water your snake plant for a long period of time? Under optimal conditions, as long as six weeks.
Despite this, I cannot emphasize enough that the snake plant cannot survive without water completely. Even succulents cannot do it. After your snake plant’s soil has evaporated any remaining moisture, it will need more water immediately.
The snake plant tries to get your attention by slumping or falling over. Water is now the only thing it wants. You can easily miss signs of distress if you don’t know what to look for in the snake plant before it gets to that stage.
Here are a few examples:
- Feel the leaves wilting,
- Have you handled the leaves on occasions when they felt brittle?
- Has there been any yellowing or browning on the leaves?
- Snake plant leaves may have curled or feel crispy around the edges.
These are all signs that your snake plant is under water. A stunted growth is also a problem, but you’ll likely not notice it. Although snake plants are fast growers, a change in how fast they grow, over a long period of time, can slip right under the noses of even the most experienced indoor gardeners.
Although not watering your indoor garden as often as you want may seem neglectful, this is exactly what certain houseplants need.
You’ll cause your snake plant to fall over if you overwater instead of underwater, but you’ll also do so much more damage than that. You are killing your snake plant more and more each day if you water it every other day, or even daily.
Overwatering Your Snake Plant Can Cause Root Rot
The water that you water a healthy houseplant reaches the roots through the air pockets within the soil after hitting the soil’s surface. To support continued plant growth, the roots drink up water thirstily.
Yet, when you soak a plant in water, the soil gets saturated. Plant roots get oxygen from those air pockets that are filled with water.
A pool of water surrounds the roots, preventing them from breathing. While the plant will absorb the water, it won’t do so quickly enough. As a consequence, roots turn slimy, mushy, and black, instead of thick, white, and firm.
Rotting roots isn’t an overnight process. Initially, only the ends of the roots may be affected. The more you overwater your plant, the greater the chances of root death.
If root rot becomes severe, the snake plant will try to tell you something is wrong. Drooping, falling over, and wilting are all possible outcomes. Underwatering causes the snake plant leaves to turn brown or yellow with a soft texture rather than a crisp one. Snake plants are especially susceptible to root rot, so you should water them with a light hand.
Snake Plant Rootbound
You are not finished with watering your snake plant just because you have established a routine. Additionally, be careful not to let your snake plant become rootbound.
A plant that is rootbound has grown at an extreme rate. Aside from the bushy, leggy appearance of the plant’s foliage, the roots are also growing at a rapid pace.
However, they lack space to accommodate their growth, so they encircle the inside of their pot over and over again. Getting entangled with roots is another possibility.
This can certainly cause problems, as you can see. You can choke yourself off with the roots. In addition, when the roots of the plants are a dense maze, water cannot reach the roots as easily.
Plants that are severely rootbound can grow to the point where the roots engulf the soil and very little is left. Whenever you pour water into the pot, it reaches only a portion of the roots, so it appears that you are drowning your plant even though you aren’t.
Lack of Fertilizer or Nutrients
It’s amazing how beautiful plants can be. Water and sunlight, which we give them, are used for photosynthetic activity. Nonetheless, houseplants require nutrients just as much as we do for a healthy life.
Your Houseplants Will Need 3 Nutrients in Particular
- and potassium
The best way to supply snake plants with these nutrients is through fertilizer, although compost piles can also provide them. Plants like snakes do not require too much fertilizer.
During the snake plant’s active growing season in spring, you might consider fertilizing the plant to speed up its growth. In the summer, some indoor gardeners fertilize their Sansevieria a second time, but this is optional.
It is not optional to skip the fertilizer altogether. If you stopped eating certain foods or taking supplements containing certain nutrients, minerals, or vitamins, what would happen to you? You would develop a deficiency. Your indoor plants will do the same. If your snake plant is in this state, it is definitely at risk of falling over.
Snake plants may have a reputation for toughness, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t chinks in their armor. As a result, snake plants are prone to fungal diseases that can quickly kill the plant if not treated as soon as possible.
What fungal diseases affect snake plants? The subject of leaf browning on snake plants was covered in my previous post.
Fungal diseases and snake plants commonly cause three types of diseases:
- southern blight
- red leaf spot
Rust is different from what happens to corroded metal, at least not in this case. Plants that have reached maturity are typically affected by Phragmidium bacteria, though younger plants can also suffer damage.
Bacteria can be found under the snake plant’s leaves and around its stems. A white spot that looks raised is a sign of plant rust. White spots are the only things visible at first. Unless treated, rust spots turn brownish-orange for a while, then turn black as your snake plant is about to die.
The bacterium Sclerotium rolfsii is responsible for Southern blight, which occurs in soil. Snake plants do not necessarily fall over from rust, but southern blight will. Leaf discoloration is also visible (yellowing and browning are typically seen). Snake plants are doomed once they are infected by Sclerotium rolfsii since it can reach the roots.
You should also be aware of red leaf spot, a complex of fungal diseases that like warm, moist environments, including areas where you have soaked your snake plant. Infections of the leaves are caused by Helminthosporium pathogens, which cause red or brown spots.
How to Save Your Snake Plant from Droopy Leaves
Your snake plant has fallen over for a reason now that you think about it more than ever. Now you must fix your plant so you can hopefully save its life. My recommendation is to do the following.
Your Snake Plant Is Overwatered, So Dry It Out
Assume you have overwatered your snake plant and it is still holding on, but it is nearly dead. That’s great! The situation can probably still be saved.Reducing the amount of water you provide will not help at this point. Wet conditions must also be removed from the plant.Your snake plant needs to be removed from its present pot first. When removing a larger plant from its pot, I always suggest having a second person assist since many leaning snake plants are between 2 feet and 4 feet tall.Grab the snake plant at its base and do not pull it by the leaves when removing the pot! You poor plant is probably so tender and mushy right now that the leaves are about to fall off.Now that the snake plant is out of its pot, we can examine its roots.
Snake plants that have more white roots than black roots can be saved.It’s pretty obvious that the roots have rotted if they are mostly brown or black. You could still save your snake plant, but how much of it or how many of its leaves you will be able to save remains uncertain.Cut the brown or black roots with gardening shears until you reach the white part (but do not slice into the white roots themselves). Prior to using them on another plant, it is recommended that you disinfect your gardening shears.New soil and a new pot are needed for your snake plant. The new soil must be watered right away since it is bone-dry, after that, water the snake plant less frequently going forward.
Watering Schedules Aren’t Necessary, Feel the Soil Instead
What is the ideal watering schedule for your plant? Depending on the situation. During the hot months of spring, summer, and even early autumn, your snake plant will absorb water more quickly.As opposed to counting out the days in your head, I always recommend using the fingertip test instead. The fingertip test involves digging a clean finger into the soil and feeling how moist it is.Water your snake plant if there is no moisture there, even if it is only a couple of inches deep, immediately. In another day or two, maybe a couple of days, plan to water the plant when the soil is still damp. As long as the soil can dry out further, wet soil requires no further action.
Make Sure To Use Snake Plant Friendly Soil
Snake plants need a specific type of soil. What type should you use? A soilless potting mix that includes peat moss, coconut coir, perlite, vermiculite, bark, and/or sand is best for Sansevieria trifasciata or snake plant.Normal potting soil isn’t the best choice for snake plants. As a general rule, if you do not have any other option but to use regular potting soil, you should be fine. If you have time, money, and resources, you can always upgrade the potting soil to a species-specific potting soil. For those who prefer African violets, you can also use some soil mix. Check the ingredients of the mix to make sure they include the above ingredients.
Making Snake Plant Soil At Home Is Easy
Make a soil mix for your snake plant by following these steps:Combining one part gardening soil, one part peat moss, and two parts perlite or builders sand will yield the best results. This type of soil provides aeration to snake plants, while also draining well to reduce the risk of root rot.
Repot Your Snake Plant
Except for root rot, you shouldn’t have to repot your snake plant very often. It’s too much if you do it every year. Snake plants do not like being moved, as it can cause stress that can cause their leaves to fall off.Your snake plant should be moved every two years to a new pot. It’s up to you to decide whether to wait six years or not.
Prune the Roots
During the moving day of your snake plant, again I suggest you check its roots thoroughly. Instead of root rot (well, hopefully not), you’re looking for signs that your snake plant is becoming rootbound.If you can’t even pull the plant out of its pot, that indicates the roots have begun to stick to the sides. As soon as you free your snake plant, you’ll notice its telltale root spiral or tangle.Using clean gardening shears, cut back the roots considerably. If you want to prevent a second occurrence of the snake plant becoming rootbound, replace the pot more frequently than every six years.
Take Immediate Action if You Have a Fungal Infection
Fungal diseases are a major cause of snake plant death. Learn the symptoms of plant rust, southern blight, and red leaf spot so you can identify them early and keep your snake plant healthy. Use clean gardening shears to remove rust-affected leaves and disinfect them afterward. By doing so, you prevent the spread of the fungal disease to healthy plants. You need to remove your snake plant, dump all the soil, and replace it with fresh soil if it is suffering from southern blight.