Why is My Snake Plant Turning White?: 6 Complete Reasons and Superb Fixing Tips!

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Why is my snake plant turning white?

Sometimes snake plants look bleached white because they are….

Overexposured to Sun

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Source: Getty Image

Your plant becomes completely white when it is in an area where it receives too much sunlight.

The intense sun literally bleaches the leaves and leaves them with no color.

Moving the plant out of direct sunlight should help immensely.

It won’t turn your snake plant’s leaves back to their original color, but it will…

…prevent any further bleaching from occurring.

That’s why my snake plant typically turns white!

Plants like snake plants need very little sunlight to thrive.

Keep them inside, where they will receive dappled or diffused sunlight.

Put your plant in a window that receives indirect sunlight like a north or north-east window.

A west or south window would not be the best spot for a plant.

The plant shouldn’t be exposed to strong light or heat.

If there’s too much sun, the leaves will burn and they’ll be turning white.

Temperature Trauma

Snake plants are very sensitive when it comes to changing temperature and environmental changes.

They grow best in specific temperature zones that are between 55°F and 85°F (13°C to 30°C).

Plants will go into trauma mode at temperatures above or below their ideal range.

There have been cases where white spots are accompanied by rings or halos of brown around them.

It is also hard to determine what is actually causing it.

It is possible for the plant to still grow normally even if it has white spots on its leaves.

When you suddenly move your plant from indoors to an outdoor terrace or balcony…

…where the sun is blazing, the temperature might be too hot for it, so it might shock it.

Keep it at the temperature it requires.

Let the lighting in your home adjust slowly to its needs.


It is true that overwatering will not turn your snake plant white, but it will discolor its leaves, leaving it a nasty yellow hue.

Root rot, a disease caused by overwatering, spreads fast, so make sure you clip any yellow leaves before the disease spreads.

I recommend waiting until the soil is completely dry before watering your plant if you suspect root rot.

Lack Of Potassium

Snake plants may not need sunlight or water, but they might benefit from the addition of vitamins, so add a few drops of a houseplant fertilizer to your water jug.

Only repeat the process twice a year or you may run the risk of having your plant damaged by fertilizer burn.

Stir until the soil is mixed well, and pour directly into plant soil.


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Source: Getty Image

Insects called Mealybugs are covered with a thick cottony covering.

This makes them look white. They hang around leaves and ingest all the nutrients.

Their clustering in a single spot or their spreading across the leaves makes them appear white in some areas.

Strangely enough, some people mistake this pest infestation, which is microscopic…

…for mold, since it appears white and fluffy when viewed at a distance.

Spider Mites

Snake plant turning white
Source: Getty Image

The mites themselves are brownish on the outside, and they are very tiny.

They build a fine web across the leaves.

A spider mite also consumes the sap of fleshy leaves and causes white spots, similarly to mealybugs.

Silk-like or fuzzy webbing on the plant hinders it from photosynthesizing.

Treating Pests

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Source: Getty Image

These pests tend to move around the undersides of the leaves and mostly hide.

You can use insecticidal soaps, miticides, and oils over the leaves.

You may also apply 50% vinegar and 50% water to the leaves and wipe them with a wet cloth.

In severe cases, it may not be a good idea to treat your plants repeatedly with insecticides.

In this case, you’ll have to say goodbye to your plants.

Treatment Methods for Pest Infestations

Visibility: Since the mealybugs are easily visible, you can physically pick them out or prune them.

The spider mites are microscopic and only their fine web is visible.

You cannot physically pick out the spider mites. 

Movement: Mealybugs cannot crawl very fast.

Therefore they are not able to spread around very rapidly.

If you suspect your plant has mites, place a paper underneath your plant and shake the leaves.

If they are present, they will move around rapidly indicating their presence.

Use spot treatment to get rid of mealybugs.

Spray or use a Q-tip to treat the area and repeat until the bugs are gone.

You may also use neem oil on their undersides or apply an insect-killing soap.

Miticides may not work very effectively on spider mites that have already laid eggs…

…so you’ll need to apply them at five-day intervals during the summer and at weekly intervals during the winter.

Please note that if you plan to use miticides, you must spray them immediately on the plant and not store them.

Tips to Prevent Snake Plant Leaves from Turning White

  • Experiencing scorching heat causes the leaves to turn white.
  • If you spot pest infestations, do your best to remove them.
  • Keep your gardening tools and items clean at all times.
  • Wet leaves promote fungus.
  • Pour water directly into the soil with a jug with a thin spout.
  • Make sure you use clean, filtered water to avoid salt build-ups.
  • Get to know your plant’s life cycle and work with it.
  • You may also have scars or injuries if your plant is old.
  • Sometimes it’s the plant’s variegation.

Sum Up

If your plant has white stripes, it may not always mean something is wrong.

The White Striped Sansevieria (White Striped snake plant) has striking white variegations.

The snake plant comes in 70 or more varieties.

Variegation is natural, and should not be a cause for concern. It is healthy to have variegation.

Nurture your plants well, and nature will take care of the rest.

Frequently Asked Questions Around Snake Plant Turning White

What Does It Mean When a Plant Turns White?

A plant that turns white is usually indicative of a deficiency in one or more nutrients.

This might be the case if the plant does not receive enough of an essential mineral, such as iron, calcium, potassium, or magnesium.

If this is the case for your plants and you are unable to correct the issue through supplementation…

…then it may be necessary to switch them over to a different type of fertilizer.

Some other reasons why a plant might turn white include Blossom-End Rot (BER)…

…Verticillium Wilt (VW), Pythian Blight (PB), Apple Scab (AS) and Eutypa Root Knot Virus infection.

When troubleshooting these issues, always consult your local garden center professional…

…or extension agent for help determining what corrective measures need to be taken.

What do You do When Plant Leaves Turn White?

Plant leaves may turn white as a result of various factors, including environmental stress and diseases.

When this happens, it is important to take action before the problem becomes worse.

First, try to identify the cause of the leaf loss by checking for symptoms such as yellowing or wilting.

If you cannot find any other reason why your plant is losing leaves…

…then you may need to treat the plant with an appropriate pesticide or herbicide.

Once you have identified and treated the issue, be sure to water abundantly…

…and fertilize regularly in order not let it spread further into your plants’ system.

Additionally, make sure that there are no competing plants in close proximity…

…that could be affecting your Plant’s health negatively.

Why is My Plant Losing Colors?

There are a few potential causes for your plant’s color to start fading, and each one needs to be investigated.

One likely culprit is overwatering; if you’re dispensing water too liberally…

…or allowing it to stay on the leaves long after it has been sprayed..,

…this will eventually deprive the plants of sunlight and lead to chlorosis (a reduction in green pigment).

Overwatering can also cause fungal overgrowth, affecting roots and leaves’ growth and development.

Another common issue is poor air circulation; when air isn’t able to circulate freely…

through the planting area, it accumulates moisture…

…at the base of plants where microbial action takes place.

This allows harmful bacteria and fungi mature rapidly..,

…leading to yellow leaf tips or whole leaves that turn brown or black as a result.

Finally, stagnant water may foster algae growth (which turns green)..,

…decreased photosynthesis by plant cells due to high levels of salt…

…accumulation from pond scum buildup, or both.

It’s important not only check your watering schedule but also to ensure adequate…

…airflow throughout your garden so all parts of the plant receive equal exposure to light and oxygen.

What does White on Leaves Mean?

This term is used to describe when the leaves on a plant are white.

This happens as a result of the water content in the leaves being reduced..,

…and it usually precedes leaf dropping (when all or most of the leaves on a tree or shrub fall off).

The opposite condition is called green On Leaves..,

…which is when too much water is present in the leaves and they become bloated and go purple.

How do I Get My Plant Green Again?

There are a few different steps that you can take to get your plants green again.

You may need to water them more often, fertilize them, or use organic…

supplements like husk worms or vinegar.

Husk worms eat the leaves and flowers of plants and turn their waste into black…

…soil which is rich in nutrients for new growth.

Vinegar has been used as a gardener’s preservative for centuries and is loaded with beneficial acids that assist in plant growth.

While these methods might not be suitable for all types of plants…,

they are typically one step that will help your garden start looking brighter again!

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