Snake plants are believed to be unkillable by people because of a houseplant myth. It is true that snake plants are less sensitive than many of their houseplant friends, but they can still suffer if their environment or care isn’t right. Snake plants are unhappy due to overwatering, drainage issues, lighting problems, low temperatures, and pest infestation.
Most houseplants suffer from improper watering, and snake plants are no exception. By overwatering, their leaf tips will turn brown, their roots will rot, and their leaves will become unstable and mushy.
Your snake plant doesn’t need to be watered more than once a week during the growing season. Once a month is definitely enough during the colder months. Knowing your plants is a great way to learn about them, as they are all so different from one another. It’s a good idea to pick up your snake plant before and after watering so you’ll know how much it weighs when it needs water. You can also check the moisture in the top of the soil before watering. When doing this, take care not to injure yourself on the leaf tips. We know from experience!
We have a little tip for watering snake plants: always water from the bottom. This will encourage the roots to grow downwards, increasing plant stability.
The drainage in your pot may also be the cause of your snake plant’s death. Even though you could be watering the correct amount, if your pot isn’t draining the water properly, the soil could become waterlogged.
You can very easily improve the drainage in your soil by mixing in a small amount of perlite, which will allow water to more easily flow through and out of the drainage holes of your pots (also make sure your pots have drainage holes).
A simple way to make sure that your drainage holes are never obstructed by soil or loose debris is to add a few small stones or pebbles to the bottom of your pots.
Snake plants should be balanced properly. Although they are low-light plants, particularly dark corners will stunt their growth and mean that their pattern will become bland over time. If your snake plant’s leaves are drooping a little, it may be because it is not getting enough light. This won’t often be the cause of death for your snake plant as long as it gets some sunlight during the day.
In fact, too much sunlight could be to blame for the decline of your snake plant. The snake plant can tolerate a variety of lighting conditions, but dislike bright, direct sunlight for more than an hour a day. Unfortunately, direct sunlight can burn and dry out the leaves irreversibly.
A snake plant placed near a south-facing window could receive too much sunlight each day. Try moving your plant a few feet away from the window, or to an east or west-facing window.
Snake plants can also be affected by cold temperatures and drafts. Since they dislike cold air, make sure that it is not placed near drafty doors or windows. Your snake plant is at the right temperature inside your home, but drafts coming in from outside may be colder, harming the health of your plant. The spot where your snake plant is located can always be checked with a digital thermometer.
Pest infestation is a slightly less common reason why your snake plant might be dying. It is possible for mealybugs to attack your plants. The majority of mealybugs live at the bottom of the leaf, where they are most protected.
We recommend giving your snake plant a good shower if mealybugs are found on it. As they have hardy leaves, they can withstand a shower better than other plants that are more delicate. An organic insecticide can also be used to protect your snake plant.
If you notice any other plants in the room with pests, make sure to check them as well. Your snake plant (and any other infected plant) will need to be separated from the rest of your houseplants in order to avoid spreading mealybugs.