As a plant parent, it is common to see wilting leaves in our houseplants…
Have you ever wonder what may cause those things to happen?
Or are you just the type that ignores it and move on?
Let’s take a look Yoto’s story!
My snake plant (good luck plant, mother-in-tongue, law’s devil’s tongue, Sansevieria) cried out..
“I’m Wilting and I Can’t Get Up!”
Wilting snake plant can be one of the most annoying problem on snake plant!
This plant has been in my possession for several years.
I’d just brought it in from a beautiful summer day outside and split it into two large pots.
For a few months, everything seemed fine.
Then it began to wilt, which is a cry for help from a wilting houseplant.
Sansevieria is a tough plant that’s found in offices and given to people who can kill almost anything.
Check this out:
A Healthy Sansevieria
Sansevieria comes in a wide range of varieties.
I took several photos while walking through the garden center and the Garfield Park Conservatory..
..which are included here.
Almost all of the plants have the distinctive tall and erect form.
The leaves of snake plants can be striped or marbled, bright to dull green, or yellow and white.
I believe I’ve even seen a chartreuse one.
The amount of light a plant requires may be influenced by its color.
I have some against the interior north walls of my house, where there is very little indirect light.
Others are in east-facing windows that get a lot of light.
Snake plants have thrived in a variety of environments..
..from full sun to dense shade; most thrive in consistent indirect light.
I usually use cactus mix, but I will occasionally use regular potting soil.
The latter was an example of what not to do..
..but that darn Sansevieria survived in rock hard soil for over two years.
We had one Sansevieria in the conservatory that had been placed under a hole in the roof..
..and had been water logged for several months.
It worked out perfectly.
As a result, snake plants are likely to survive poor soil conditions, at least for a while.
If you don’t have the right soil, light, and water conditions..
..you might get pests, root rot, or the dreaded wilt.
Vascular system, in plants, assemblage of conducting tissues and associated supportive fibres. Xylem tissue transports water and dissolved minerals to the leaves, and phloem tissue conducts food from the leaves to all parts of the plant.ENCYCLOPEDIA BRITANNICA
My Unique Situation
This is the point at which I admit all of the things I did with these sansevieria that were not up to par.
First, I left them outside in all kinds of weather – which seemed to work fine – and then..
..when I brought them back inside at the end of the summer,..
.. decided to divide them.
The first issue was that I replanted them too shallowly and without enough support..
..for the mature height of these plants.
Their health suffered an immediate setback, which I attributed to being re-potted.
I later tried to add some support by tying them up..
..but many of the leaves were already wilting and folding off to the side.
The first step
I could see that the roots were in good shape during transplantation..
..and that there were no wet areas of dying plant tissue or fungal growths.
There were no insects or infestations either.
On the plus side, I had a good soil mix and a good fertilizer balance.
I failed to use the proper container.
The Sansevieria pot is far too big for the number of plants it can hold.
It’s also far too long.
However, I prefer the larger base pot for the room it is in..
..which also helps to keep it from tipping over due to the dog.
Plus, I was smitten by the color blue.
This was an aesthetic decision, not one that was made with the plant’s health in mind.
A plant in an over-sized container may receive too much water, resulting in root rot, or not enough..
..if the roots are shallow (as with some succulents.)
They are placed in a west-facing window that receives a few hours of direct sunlight each (non-gray) day.
Filtered light is ideal.
There was no yellowing or discoloration of the leaves..
..which would indicate too much sunlight.
As a result, I felt at ease with the lighting on this pair of containers.
The containers are directly above the heat vent in the bay window.
The Causes Of Wilting Snake Plant
My research says thee possible reasons for wilting leaves on a Sansevieria plant are:
- Watering too much or too little
- Insufficient lighting (too little makes them flip over)
- Pestilence (such as thrips)
Overwatering is the most common issue with houseplants..
..so why should root rot be any different, especially in containers?
Check to see if the soil is moist or wet on the surface and down a few inches if you suspect root rot.
If you gently pull on one of the outer leaves and it easily comes off at the soil level..
..and the root stinks and is mushy, you’ve got root rot.
The best solution here is to toss out the rotten parts and repot what’s left in new soil.
I had been watering the plants every other day when they were outside..
..and every third or fourth day when they came inside up until this point.
“What?” my friends exclaimed.
Although I did not have root rot, I reduced my watering to once a week or less..
..as recommended by garden centers and websites.
This went on for several months, and the plants showed no signs of improvement.
I knew the soil was dry for several inches into the pot because I checked it with my hands.
This convinced me that the problem was not a lack of water.
Then I realized that my Sansevieria was requiring more water than usual due to a number of factors.
To begin with, the pots are too large..
..and the soil mix promotes drainage..
..so the water quickly runs to the bottom and doesn’t stay long enough for the plants to benefit.
Second, the containers are near the heat vent..
..increasing the need for water.
Finally, they’re in a well-lit area..
..which may indicate that there’s more water nearby.
So I turned around and began watering every four days, then every two days.
Watering refers to the application of 3-4 cups of water at a time..
..rather than a complete soaking.
While there are still some bent leaves..
..the plants do not have solid new growth or vibrant color.
I’m so glad they made it through all of these difficulties and told me when they were happy.
I check the soil every two weeks to make sure I’m not overwatering..
..and I apply cactus fertilizer every other week..
Too much fertilizer causes the tips of the leaves to turn brown
I also rotate the plants and make sure to prop up some of the leaves against the glass..
..they reach a height of 3 feet, so I believe they deserve some help.
Sansevieria, like many succulents, grows slowly..
..so it may take some time to figure out if something is wrong or if you fixed it.
To get your plant healthy, you may need to experiment with light exposure and watering.
So, for today’s parting shot, I’ve chosen the Zulu Sansevieria.
I like how the leaves are wide and tall.
Only a smidgeon of red runs along the edges of the leaves.
I can almost hear it begging me to repot it and take a piece home in the pot on the right.
As a result, I was perplexed as to what was going on..
..and sought answers from every source I could find on the internet.
Here’s what I discovered:
- Understand what “healthy” means for your plant.
- Determine what makes your situation unique. Consider the conditions in which your plant is growing (potting soil, container size, lighting, heat, and drafts).
- Learn about the causes of wilting in the plant you’re working with.
- Experiment and learn to listen to your plant – what other people tell you to do might not work for you.
I try ruled out lighting and thrips before moving on to watering experiments.
I thought it was fascinating that both over..
..and under-watering could cause the leaves to droop, bend, wilt, or wrinkle.
Check out more of our posts like this one here!
I hope you can now take care your snake carefully and grow it big!
Thanks for reading this article! Bye!