Snake Plant Root Rot: The Signs and the Ultimate Prevention (2021)

You may notice that your snake plant is not growing well. It is instead dying. Your snake plant may be dying for many reasons. There are several reasons for this, including root rot. Snake plants’ roots can rot, so why is this the case? Then how can it be saved and what should be done to prevent this from happening? The following information will be provided to you.

Root Rot

Overwatering can cause the roots of your snake plant to rot. Due to an overgrowth of soil fungus, the roots die back due to a lack of oxygen. A soggy soil encourages the growth of Phytophthora, Pythium, Fusarium, and Rhizoctonia. The infection spreads into the roots and then infects the plant. As a result, the roots that were once healthy will become brown and mushy because they will die and cannot absorb nutrients.

Since snake plants have roots under the soil surface, when they rot they are not visible. Despite this, root rot can still be identified based on some symptoms as you will see below.

Root Rot Symptoms

Root rot is characterized by brown and mushy roots. The roots are, however, under the surface of the soil, so they cannot be seen. As a result, you will see yellow, wilting, drooping and mushy foliage on your snake plant. Symptoms appearing on the leaves may mean that the problem has passed the point of remedy and may have the potential to harm the entire plant.

Nevertheless, if you are able to catch the symptoms early enough, you may be able to save your snake plant if you follow these steps.

The Best Way to Save a Snake Plant with Root Rot

Repotting your snake plant might be a good idea. You should then remove the infected soil as soon as possible and replace it with fresh, clean potting soil. You can add a root treatment with beneficial mycorrhizal species or dust the healthy roots with sulfur powder to prevent reinfection. As a result of adding beneficial mycorrhizae, there is a reduction in the growth of fungi and bacteria in the soil; sulfur also reduces the availability of nutrients and, therefore, the growth of pathogens that cause root rot.

It is possible to cut the plant, and only keep the healthy parts, if root rot has spread dramatically. Taking cuttings from healthy foliage to propagate another snake plant is an option if the whole base is affected.

How to Prevent Root Rot

If you want to prevent root rot from happening to your snake plant, make sure you water it at the correct time. Once the top 2″ to 4″ of the soil has dried completely, you can water your snake plant. During the cooler months or winter, when the plant is dormant, you need to water it every 1 to 2 months.

Snake plant is suitable for lazy people because even if you forget to water it regularly or are lazy to water it, it will still survive without water for 3 weeks or more even if it lived in arid and warm conditions.

Overwatering Snake Plant

Overwatering is one of the reasons why snake plant roots rot, as you have read above. In addition to root rot, there are other signs of overwatering. You can see them here.

  • It appears that your snake plant leaves are soggy or mushy.
  • Brown spots are visible.
  • Your snake plants are wilting.
  • As the leaves turn yellow, they become soft.
  • Leaves fall to the ground.
  • Snake plants have brown leaves at the tips.

If you find one or more of the signs above in your snake plants, it can mean that they have been overwatered.

What Overwatering Does to Roots

Roots need oxygen for proper functioning to function in soil, where pockets of air are found. Roots of plants will die if oxygen is not available. When the soil is saturated with water, oxygen is pushed to the surface, so the roots can’t receive oxygen.

Too much water in the bottom of a pot can also soften roots and cause them to become susceptible to soilborne fungi and bacteria. The pathogens will eat the root tissue of the plant, which limits the amount of water available to the rest of the plant.

Choosing the Right Pot to Avoid Overwatering

Overwatering can be prevented by having the right pot for your snake plant. Make sure you have drainage holes in your pot. As a result, if your pot does not have drainage holes, water will sit in the pot and cause root rot. In addition, it will prevent salts and other potentially dangerous minerals from being flushed out. For a healthy snake plant, drainage holes are very important.

As well as the drainage holes, choose a pot made from a material that is water resistant. It is important to note that plastic pots or glazed ceramic pots can retain moisture longer than unglazed ceramic pots. For plants that are sensitive to overwatering, you should choose a ceramic pot rather than a plastic one.

Snake Plants Can Be Dried Out If Overwatered

Have you overwatered your snake plant? In that case, drain the water from the top of the pot and from the drainage plate. After that, you need to let the plant dry out. Once at least half of the potting medium is dry, you can dry it out. It is imperative, however, that you do not allow the soil to become too dry where the snake plant separates from the pot, when you dry the snake plant out.

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