Curled leaves in snake plants indicate something is wrong and needs to be corrected quickly to save the plant. Water problems, root diseases, or something else can cause the problem. The good news is that there are some care remedies that can save the plant.
What Causes Snake Plant Leaves to Twist?
To ensure you provide the best solution, identify the specific reason why your snake plant leaves are curling. To find the root cause, you must look at the symptoms. Overwatering, underwatering, incorrect temperatures, and fungal infestation are some of these causes.
Snake plants can be seriously damaged if submerged for an extended period of time, even if drought-resistant. Underwater, your snake plant will not be able to carry out its normal physiological functions. Sansevieria would be unable to transport nutrients from the soil to other parts of the plant due to a lack of moisture.
Without water, the leaves will lose shape and curl up to conserve moisture. They may develop wrinkles in severe cases.
Unless the problem is addressed quickly, overwatering can kill snake plants. When the leaves of a snake plant begin to yellow and curl downward, it is overwatered. The root system of the plant becomes ineffective if it receives too much water, resulting in root rot. When the roots become dysfunctional, the leaves would not receive nutrients and water, making them curl or appear mushy and droopy.
Snake plants don’t require much light to thrive. It is possible, however, that they will show signs of curled leaves when not receiving enough light. For photosynthesis to occur, plants need light. The plant would not be able to produce its own food without it.
Sansevieria plants do not like extreme temperatures. Snake plants prefer temperatures between 55 and 85 degrees Fahrenheit. The process of transpiration is usually accelerated by high temperatures. If the plant loses more water than usual, its leaves are likely to curl.
A low temperature causes the water within the leaves to freeze and form crystals, which causes permanent damage to the leaves.
It’s not necessary to fertilize snake plants very often, and they can survive without any. During summer or growth periods, apply once every 1-2 months. The roots and leaves of these plants are damaged by excessive fertilizers.
As a result, their leaves curl inward or appear burnt when they can’t handle the additional nutrients any more.
Snake plants are susceptible to several types of fungi, such as southern blight and red leaf spot. If your plants develop web-like growth or discolored spots in black, white, red, or brown, your plants might be infected with a fungus.
The fungi spread quickly, and if you contact other infected plants, your plant may become infected.
Snake plants have problems with transplanting and propagation. The plant might take some time to adjust to its new environment and potting soil after repotting. Often, the roots suffer the most shock.
The snake plant may not be able to absorb water during this period, thus causing it to stop functioning. A snake plant whose leaves are twisting may be suffering from transplant shock, especially after repotting.
In plants, PH plays an important role in determining the amount of nutrients in the soil. The ideal range for a snake plant is between 5.5 and 7.5. Magnesium will be deficient in acidic soil or soils with low pH levels. Photosynthesis would not be possible without magnesium.
Therefore, lower or older leaves are likely to turn yellow or curl. Brown spots on sansevieria leaves can sometimes be caused by pH problems.
The Pot Is Too Small
Sansevieria need large or well-fitting pots to survive. Depending on the age of your snake plant, you should change the pot size. If the pot size isn’t changed as the
plant ages, the roots also grow and become rootbound.
Rootbound plants may curl their leaves, since the roots do not have enough room to expand, limiting their functioning and nutrient intake.
Fungal infections are accelerated by stagnant or excessive water. Root rot renders the leaves dysfunctional, so the roots are unable to supply the required nutrients, resulting in curling leaves.
We love thrips, mealybugs, and spider mites attacking snake plants. Trips are tiny black insects that are difficult to see without a magnifying glass. Plant pests damage the leaves of your plants by leaving rough, uneven patches.
Mealybugs and spider mites feed on the juices in snake plant leaves, making them curl and shrink. Pests can also make the leaves of your snake plant wrinkle if left untreated.
Types of Leaf Curl
Depending on the cause of the curl, snake plants curve differently. You might encounter the following curls:
Leaves Tips Curling Downwards
The plant tries to retain moisture by curling the tips or margins of its leaves. Overwatering and overfeeding are the primary causes of curling leaves.
Leaves Tips Curling Upwards
It is mainly the environment that causes leaves to curl upwards. Some of these conditions include light that is too close to the plant, temperature stress, extreme humidity, windburn, or a lack of air circulation.
Leaf Margin Curl
When the leaf margin curls downward, there may be a problem with the roots. Plants are overfed as a result of overnutrition. Incorrect temperatures, low oxygen levels in the roots, and any other issue can cause the leaf tips to curl downward.
Leaves Curling Inwards
A lack of nitrogen causes leaves to curl inward. The lower leaves are most affected by this curl variation. The leaves will first turn yellow and soft, then curl inward.
Sansevieria Curving Leaves Solutions
Your snake plant will be healthy once more once you know what is causing its leaves to curl.
You can prevent leaf curl on Sansevieria plants by doing the following:
Water Sansevieria Once Every 2-4 Weeks
It doesn’t take much water to revive plants that are underwatered. A small amount of water every two to four weeks is enough to satisfy its moisture requirements. The frequency of watering depends on potting mix quality, season, and pot size.
Before you begin to water it regularly, loosen the compacted soil. After a few days of correct watering, the leaves will begin to unfold.
Consider checking the root system if you suspect your plant’s leaves are curling due to overwatering. Remove the entire plant from the soil, and wash the roots to remove the soil. If there is a foul odor coming from the roots, it means the roots have been affected by root rot.
Remove the affected roots and disinfect them with charcoal powder or diluted hydrogen peroxide solution. Repot the snake plant using a new potting mix recommended for snake plants. To prevent further contamination, you can use a new pot or wash the old one. To keep the plant from dying, propagate the roots if they are severely damaged.
Provide Bright Indirect Light
Sansevieria prefers indirect, bright light. Due to the increased rate of dehydration, the snake plant’s leaves will turn brown and curl if placed under the scorching sun.
Move the plant to an area where it will receive bright indirect light in order to fix the curling leaves. It will do well in a window facing east in your house. As an alternative, you can use artificial LED grow lights to meet the lighting requirements.
Use Enough Fertilizer
A nitrogen-rich fertilizer will provide a continuous supply of nutrients. Consider organic fertilizer as it releases slowly, so you won’t over-fertilize. Follow the directions on the package to supply the plant with the recommended amount and prevent leaf-curl caused by salt-burn.
Maintain Temperature at 55-85°F
Keep your plant in the shade or somewhere with a lower temperature if you live in an area where the temperatures are extremely high. Avoid leaving plants outside in areas with temperatures below 50 degrees Fahrenheit.
Alternatively, you can cover the plants with a transparent sheet or blanket when you decide to leave them outside. Ensure the plant remains warm when kept indoors. Keep your plant at room temperature as much as possible. To keep Sansevieria healthy, keep its temperature between 55-85°F.
Transplant with a New Potting Mix
Keep your snake plant in partial shade after transplanting and water sparingly. It will need a few days to adjust to the new environment. Old potting mix may lack the nutrients needed to feed the plant. To ensure a snake plant’s full potential, choose nutrient-rich, well-draining soil.
Adjust the Soil pH to 5.5 to 7.5
Sansevieria prefers soil pH levels between 5.5 and 7.5. Curled leaves could indicate that the pH needs to be corrected in order to allow the plant to absorb nutrients effectively. If you are unsure whether the soil is good for your plant, use a probing soil pH tester to check its pH.
If your soil has a low pH, you will need to add hydrated lime to raise it. To lower pH levels, add lemon juice to the water before watering.
Snake plants are easy to keep pest-free. In the meantime, keep the infested plant away from other plants to prevent it from spreading. Next, remove any leaves that show signs of infection. Plant leaves should be wiped with a cloth soaked in alcohol.
Moreover, you can apply neem oil to ensure the pests will never return. Neem oil should be applied once a week. Snake plants leave curled leaves shouldn’t concern you. Your plant would be healthy once again if you took the proper measures.