There are many types of snake plants, most of which have a reputation for being hardy and tolerant of imperfect growing conditions. Low light and irregular watering are also no problem for these plants. They require some basic care even though mother in law’s tongue plants may seem tough. Leaving them neglected for too long may cause them to weaken and attract insects and diseases. Curled leaves are one of the symptoms that your snake is having trouble growing. Learn what causes snake plants to curl its leaves, how to treat it, and how to prevent it in the future.
It is common for some Sansevieria species to have a little bit of waviness along the leaf borders. Snake plants can have yellow, curling leaves that are naturally present in some cultivars. The edges of some Sansevieria species have a slight wave, such as Sansevieria trifasciata laurentii. The sister snake plant (Sansevieria trifasciata twist) exhibits yellow-bordered leaves that twist and turn as they grow.
Snake Plant Leaves Curl For What Reason?
Knowing what to look for in a plant makes it easy to deal with curling leaves. After you have determined the cause of the plant’s illness, you can take necessary steps to cure it. A thrips infestation is likely to be responsible for leaves curling on many varieties of snake plants. Curled and distorted leaves are classic signs of thrips infestations. There are tiny insects called Thrips that you may not even see. In addition to fungus infestation, you may notice curling leaves if your plants are under water.
We will look at how to identify the exact cause of each problem and how to fix it with ease.
Snake plants are most often afflicted by thrip infestations that cause curled leaves. Trips are tiny black insects that are nearly impossible to see without a magnifying glass. A twentieth-inch-long spider, they are almost one twentieth-inch long. There is, however, evidence of an infestation. When feeding on the leaves of snake plants, thrips can be identified by their pattern of feeding. The leaves and buds of snake plants infested with thrips have small black spots on them. Put a blank white sheet of paper under the plant and shake the leaves to identify them. The white surface is covered in black bugs. The pest can be confirmed using a magnifying glass if necessary. The sticky fly paper will also attract thrips to your snake plant.
You will also notice rough patches and curling leaves. It is caused by thrips eating the leaves and creating tiny wounds. They damage the plant tissues by penetrating the cell walls. There is no protection from these tiny black insects above ground, which attack the leaves, buds, and flowers. Leaves can be damaged by rips, but they can even kill your plant. Apart from that, these pests can also transmit some viral infections, so treating them early is crucial.
Once you identify the thrips infestation, you can begin the process of eliminating it. Here are some easy steps you can follow to treat your snake plant if you suspect it is infested with thrips.
- It is first necessary to isolate any snake plants infested with a parasite. Infections that spread quickly from one plant to another can be a result of cross-contamination between plants.
- Using a knife, cut off the infected leaves near the base of the plant. Prepare your kitchen knife or shears with a sharp, sterilized blade.
- Do not let them expose your other plants to infection by disposing of them safely.
- Using rubbing alcohol, wipe down any remaining leaves. You can clean each leaf with a cotton ball dipped in alcohol. You can substitute plain water for alcohol if you don’t have any.
- You should wipe both sides of each leaf and in between the crevices. Consequently, the majority of bugs will be eliminated from the plant.
- It may be necessary to repeat the treatment a couple of times over a month. There will be a few weeks before you see that the leaves are not curling anymore. When snake plants are treated early on, the plant is more likely to survive.
A thrips infestation can wipe out your snake plants even though snake plant problems are rare. You should look out for these signs and take immediate action if necessary. In case of thrips infestations that are beyond saving, you should properly destroy the plant. The entire plant should be disposed of far away from your other plants to prevent infection.
A fungus may cause snake plant leaves to curl due to a fungal infection. It is a sign of fungal infestation if you notice reddish brown lesions, white cottony mustard sized spheres, or a web-like growth in addition to curled leaves. Leaf color can become darker as disease progresses. The snake plant is affected by southern blight and red leaf spot, both fungi.
Fungal infestations are usually caused by too much moisture. Therefore, controlling water amount is key to treatment. To prevent the spread of disease, keep the foliage and soil dry. In addition to cutting down on watering, you can follow these tips.
- The affected areas can be wiped with water or alcohol when the fungus is in the initial stages. If the soil surface has also become whitish from fungal growth, replace the soil.
- The plant should be disposed of if the fungal issue is too severe. Make sure you do it safely so that it doesn’t affect other plants.
- The propagation method may be used if almost all of the foliage has been destroyed by the fungus but there are still a few leaves that remain unaffected. Remove the healthy leaves, wash them thoroughly and cut them into sections of 3-4 inches. After planting, water the parts regularly and plant them bottom-side down. The steps for propagation are detailed in this post.
- Chemical fungicides, in general, are not always effective in eliminating fungus. Their spread can, however, be controlled effectively. As a preventative measure, chemical control for fungus is more effective than as a treatment.
Symptoms of watering problems and their effects on snake plants are always confusing, as they can show similar symptoms for both underwatering and overwatering. In dry weather, Sansevieria leaves curl. The fleshy, succulent leaves of snake plants store water. Without enough water, the leaves begin to lose their shape and curl. Brown tips and dry brown edges on leaves are also symptoms of underwatering.
Too much water in the soil can cause snake plants to suffer from drought symptoms. As a result of root decay, the plant cannot absorb water. Overwatering is more common than underwatering among indoor plants. Plants do not always suffer from too much water, however. Frequently watering the plants or not draining containers well can also cause symptoms of overwatering. The leaves of snake plants can curl downward if they are overwatered. Leaves may become mushy and droopy along with curling. Yellowing is also possible.
The best way to identify this problem is by checking the soil and its moisture content. The issue of overwatering might be caused by clay-based soils. It might be the opposite if it’s too loose and doesn’t hold any water. Using a moisture meter, check the exact moisture content. If you put your finger in the soil, you can see how wet or dry it is by feeling it 1 to 2 inches deep. This should be done 3-4 days after you’ve watered the plant.
You will need to make sure that the underlying problem is addressed in order to fix your snake plant leaves.
- Remove your plant from its pot in order to determine whether it has root rot. The roots can rot if they are overwatered.
- If this is the case, remove the dark, mushy rotten parts as well as damaged leaves.
- Check the quality of your potting mix. Add proper additives if it’s too loose. Details about different soil ingredients can be found in this post. In contrast, if the soil is dense and it has caused the rot, it should be discarded. Make sure the soil is fresh.
- Plant your new potting mix in the pot and repot your plant.
- Adapt your irrigation schedule according to the season.
Measures for After Care and Prevention
Stress is caused by treating snake plants with chemicals or repotting them to prevent the spread. As a result of the treatments, the plant can become weak, which may result in more problems. The best way to prevent your snake plant from having curling leaves is to take good care of it. Strong, healthy plants are less likely to succumb to pest infestations. Your plant will remain healthy and durable if you follow a good care regimen that takes into account its various habitat requirements.
The Sansevieria doesn’t need to be watered every day. Plants with drought tolerance need only a few drops of water a week. They grow fastest in spring and summer. This is the time when you should feed them and make sure they have access to water. Reducing watering in the winter, on the other hand, is recommended. So that the soil doesn’t completely dry out, you need to water it just enough. You should empty your drainage tray after watering. In this way, the plant won’t remain in the water.
Lighting and Temperature Requirements
Sunlight filtered through a window is ideal for snake plants. In the afternoon, direct sunlight may be too harsh for the plants. You should not suddenly move them from a low light area to a bright sunny one. When transferring plants, do it slowly. You should also avoid placing snake plants in deeply shadowed corners of your home.
It is best to maintain a room temperature of 40-50% and a humidity of around 40%-50% for snake plants. Temperatures between 50°F and 85°F (10°C and 29°C) are ideal for them. The plants of Sansevieria are tropical and don’t do well in cold weather, however. They may develop scarring and damage on the leaves if the temperature falls below 45-50° F. If the roots are not kept dry, winter frost can even kill the plant.
The Perfect Soil Mix
The roots of snake plants should not stay wet for too long. The roots of plants can rot in waterlogged soil. This plant requires a well-draining, sandy soil. The best soil ingredients are pumice, perlite, coco coir, gravel, peat, chicken grit, etc. In addition to making the potting mix coarse, the additives retain a little moisture that plants need. Potting mix should include such ingredients in at least half of it. For the remaining part, regular soil can be used.
There is no such thing as a permanent potting mix. Decomposition of organic materials, erosion of soil nutrients, deterioration of soil. Wasted potting soil can’t drain water well and becomes compacted, which leads to soggy soil. Every two to three years, repotter snake plants to renew the soil.
During the growing period, feed your Sansevieria at most once every month. Fertilizing your plants is best done in the spring and summer. If you live in a warmer climate, you can feed the plant all year round. Winter is the best time to avoid fertilizing.
Grass fertilizers and liquid fertilizers work great for snake plants. Dilutions of any balanced fertilizer can be used. Keep your plants from overfeeding.