Why Is Your Snake Plant Falling Over?
The snake plant’s leaves may be saggy, which is considered perfectly normal for indoor potted plants in many cases. However, it should be tall, erect, and healthy.
It’s okay to have your snake plant droop a little once in awhile, but if the leaves are drooping too much it isn’t normal . If this is the case then something is amiss.
The causes of snake plant tipping mentioned in the introduction will help you determine what’s wrong with your Sansevieria trifasciata.
Underwatering a Snake Plant
Perhaps you have received some bad advice or have misinterpreted some good advice if you’ve found yourself underwatering your snake plant.
The truth is, snake plants are regularly ranked among the hardest-to-kill houseplants because they do not die easily and can go for shockingly long periods without water, rivaling many other succulents in the family. Snake plants belong to the succulent family.
Under optimal circumstances, a snake plant can go up to six weeks without watering.
Despite this, snake plants can’t go without water completely. Not even succulents can. After the soil evaporates any remaining moisture, your snake plant needs water ASAP.
In the last-ditch effort to get your attention, the snake plant drops or falls over. By this point, it’s screaming out for water.
In addition, the snake plant will reveal signs of distress which you might not see if you don’t know what to look for.
- Do the leaves feel weak?
- Do the leaves feel brittle on the occasions in which you handle them?
- Have you seen some discoloration throughout the leaves, such as browning or yellowing?
- Have the snake plant’s leaves have curled or feel crispy at the edges?
That is all signs your snake plant is being drowned. Stunted growth is another one, but good luck noticing it.
Despite snake plants being fast-growing plants, a change in how fast they’re growing, over a long period of time, may sneak by even experienced indoor gardeners.
Overwatering a Snake Plant
You may feel it is neglectful to your indoor garden to not water it as often as you would like, but that is just what certain houseplants require.
If you turn your watering habits sideways, watering your snake plants excessively instead of underwatering, you’ll certainly lead to their falling over. However, you’ll also do more damage than that.
The more often you water your snake plant, the worse it gets. If you’re watering it every other day, it’ll kill it.
Even if you have a good rhythm with watering your snake plant, you can still be vulnerable to root rot if your snake plant becomes root bound.
A plant that is rootbound has grown at such a rapid pace that it appears to have leggy, bushy foliage. Its roots, however, are most likely growing at a frantic pace.
Even so, they grow into the pot over and over again because there is no way to spread out their roots. The roots can also wrap around themselves, getting entangled.
The roots can be choked off causing the crop to die. Water must also pass through extremely dense clumps of roots in order to reach the plant’s roots.
Root-bound plants become so large that their roots engulf the entire pot, so that water only reaches a small portion of their roots, making it seem as if you are underwatering your plants.
Lack of Fertilizer or Nutrients
It is amazing how plants use water and sunlight we provide them to synthesize food. Yet they require nutrients as well to remain healthy.
Its reputation as a hardy plant may precede it, but that doesn’t mean it’s impervious to its own limitations. As an example, the snake plant is very vulnerable to fungal diseases, which can be deadly to the plant if not addressed right away.
Three types of fungal diseases are commonly seen in snake plants and fungal diseases in general:
- southern blight
- red leaf spot
Rust isn’t the same thing as corroded metal, at least not in this case. The Phragmidium bacteria most often affects mature plants but can also harm younger plants.
Check the leaves of your snake plant and the stems for any rust-causing bacteria. If you spot any white spots that look raised, you have plant rust.
At first, the rust spots are just white. Over time, they change to brownish-orange, and then to black as your snake plant approaches death.
Southern blight is caused by a type of bacteria called the Sclerotium rolfsii, which can live in your snake plant’s soil. While rust does not cause it to fall over, southern blight will. Leaf discoloration may also be seen (typically browning, but also yellowing). Once the roots are penetrated, the snake plant is doomed.
The snake plant will also show signs of red leaf spot, which is a complex of fungal diseases that thrive in warm, moist locations around watering. Helminthosporium pathogens attack the leaves, causing brownish-red spots.
How to Save Your Snake Plant from Droopy Leaves
You can now understand why your snake plant might have fallen over. It is now time for you to fix it so it can hopefully survive for many years to come. This is what I recommend you do.
Dry out Your Overwatered Snake Plant
It might be possible to not lose your snake plant if you haven’t overwatered it nearly to death, but if it holds on, that’s great!
You need to take the plant out of its wet conditions as well at this point. You can’t simply cut back on the watering.
Let’s start by removing your snake plant from its current pot. I always recommend having a second person on hand when you remove a plant such as a snake plant because they usually grow 2 to 4 feet tall.
Please do not pull the leaves off the snake plant when removing it from its pot. Hold the plant at its base instead. Your poor plant is most likely tender and mushy during this time.
It is now time to examine the roots of your snake plant. If more white roots are visible than black ones, your snake plant is savable.
If the roots are mostly black or brown then they have rotted pretty well. You could possibly save your snake plant’s life, but how much of it or how many leaves, is still up for debate.
Cut the brown or black roots off from the white part using clean gardening shears (do not slice into the white roots themselves). Disinfect your shears before using them again on another plant.
Please place your snake plant in a clean pot with fresh soil right away. You will need to water your snake plant immediately since it is in bone-dry soil, but please water your snake plant less frequently after that.
Ditch a Watering Schedule and Feel the Soil Instead
Your snake plant’s moisture needs are completely dependent on the phases of the year. It will absorb water faster during the spring, summer, and even early autumn.
Sansevieria plants may need watering around every two weeks during spring, summer, and early autumn. During other times of the year, though, you may not need to water the plant at all.
You can use the fingertip test rather than counting days with your head. When you use the fingertip test, you plunk a clean finger into the soil for a moment or two to gauge its level of moisture.
When you miss watering your snake plant for even a few inches, or even a few days, you need to water it right now. Watering the plant simply means to allow the soil to dry out further. When it’s damp, just water it again in a few days.
Make Sure To Use “Snake Plant-Friendly Soil” If Possible
What kind of soil should you use for your snake plant? Snake plants prefer soilless mixes, containing peat moss, coconut coir, perlite, vermiculite, bark, and/or sand.
A snake plant’s favorite potting soil is regular ol’ potting soil, but it’s ok if that’s all you have. You can always upgrade to more “species specific” potting soil when you have the time, money and resources.
If that doesn’t work, then there is a soil mix that contains all of the above listed ingredients. Just make sure that you check the label to see what they are.