Why Snake Plant Die? All Causes, Symptoms, And Treatments (2021)

Why snake plant die? This question comes out because snake plants are claimed to be both hardy succulents that are nearly indestructible. However, snake plants are susceptible to the same problems as other plants, so you’re left scratching your head in confusion, trying to figure out why your snake plant die.

Causes And Symptoms

Why does snake plant die? Root rot, exposure to extreme temperature changes, insect infestations, or fungal problems are all common reasons why snake plants die. Identifying and treating snake plant problems is generally fairly straightforward and most issues can be handled easily. Find out how snake plants succumb to ailments and how to treat them to solve the issue as soon as possible.

Root Rot

In the winter months, overwatering is the most common cause of root rot in Snake Plants. A lack of oxygen or the overgrowth of a soil fungus causes the roots to die back. Phytophthora, Pythium, Rhizoctonia, and Fusarium are fungi that thrive in soggy soils and multiply, infecting plants. When roots are dead, they become brown and mushy because they are unable to take in nutrients.

Because root rot often happens under the soil’s surface and is out of sight, it often goes unnoticed. It can kill a whole plant in ten days if conditions are perfect, such as in a pot without drainage holes. The snake plant won’t survive in pots without drainage holes, but there are several solutions that might not immediately come to mind.  Snake plants need a pot that drains well, but you still want them to look good and add to the beauty of your home. Snake plants may thrive in decorative pots with ample drainage, but personally, I prefer to set them on drip trays or inside decorative planters.

Symptoms And Treatment

Symptoms are visible on the roots first, turning them brown and mushy, which are classic signs of rot. The leaves are yellowed, wilted, or drooped by root rot, and then turn mushy. By the time symptoms appear in the leaves, the problem may be beyond repair, putting the entire plant at risk.

Snake plants that are caught early enough could be repotted. Add in as much fresh, clean potting soil as possible to remove the infected soil. For prevention of re-infection, set up a root treatment of beneficial mycorrhizial species, or dust the roots with sulfur powder. By creating a hostile environment for unwanted bacteria and fungi, beneficial mycorrhizae help protect plants; sulfur makes soils acidic, making some nutrients less available and reducing the food supply for pathogens.

You should dissect the plant if the roots have spread significantly. Keep only the healthy parts. Plants can be propagated from healthy cuttings if the whole base is damaged. It is best to water plants after the top 2 to 4 inches of soil have dried out. During the cooler months of the year when the Snake Plant is dormant, you may need to only water it every 1-2 months. Even the least attentive gardener can grow snake plants. It is safe to let them go for weeks without watering. As your snake plant can easily withstand 3 weeks without water, even in warm, arid climates, so you don’t have to worry about keeping them moist when you’re on vacation.

Exposure To Extreme Temperatures

Why snake plant die? Snake plants originate in West Africa and prefer warm temperatures, just like other succulents. When leaves are exposed to cold temperatures, their cell walls are damaged. Damage to the water and nutrient pathways stops the roots from absorbing water, resulting in the plant’s death due to drought.

Symptoms And Treatment

A plant’s leaves may have scarring or yellowing, as well as mushy leaves, although it hasn’t been overwatered. If a leaf is heavily damaged, prune it, making sure to keep the healthy foliage intact because over-pruning stresses the plant more. Snake plants do best in temperatures between 60 °F and 80 °F during the daytime and 55 °F to 70 °F during the night.


Mealybug is one of the culprits that cause why snake plant die. These soft-bodied, pink insects are covered by a white, waxy, almost cotton-like material. In addition to keeping them warm, the cottony fluff also prevents moisture loss. A Mealybug colony can be found on the leaves of a snake plant near the soil surface, in somewhat protected areas. Mealybugs do not have scale covering, but they do have legs that remain attached throughout their life cycle, enabling them to move. The citrus mealybug is the most common species of mealybug found on succulent plants, such as the Snake Plant. The eggs are laid inside white cottony threads and then perish within 5 – 10 days.

Symptoms And Treatment

Mealybugs inject a toxin into leaves when they feed on the plant’s fluid, which results in deformed or stunted leaf growth. Additionally, mealybugs excrete honeydew, a sugary, sticky liquid that encourages sooty mold growth. It is possible for healthy plants to survive a slight infestation as long as their health is overall good. When leaves are not treated, they become yellow, curled, and fall off.

Snake Plants can be treated for mealybugs by picking the adults and egg masses off or wiping them with rubbing alcohol-soaked cloths or cotton swabs. Make sure to spot test an inconspicuous area of your plant before using rubbing alcohol; Snake Plant leaves are typically strong enough to withstand rubbing alcohol, but it is best to double check. As soon as you bring new plants into your house, carefully inspect them, since mealybugs are easily transported from one plant to the next. Protect healthy plants from infected plants by quarantining them.

Spider Mites

The tiny sucking insects feed on the undersides of leaves, causing havoc to indoor houseplants. Snake Plants have a waxy coating on the leaves, which spider mites open to access the internal fluids. Oftentimes, a heavy infestation of spider mites will not be noticed until plants show physical symptoms of damage; this is one of the biggest challenges associated with spider mites.

Symptoms And Treatment

Leaves can be stippled with discoloration, or turn yellow overall. Plants may also display fine spider webs between leaves or at the base of the plant. To remove spider mites, spray your plant with water or insecticidal soap, then wipe the leaves with a clean, soft cloth. The plant can also be turned upside down in the shower, sink, or washbasin and washed with tepid water. The leaves affected by a severe infestation need to be pruned. Snake Plant leaves should be dusted regularly to prevent spider mite nests from forming. Additionally, keep your plants fresher by maintaining higher humidity. Spider mites like dry conditions and these mites may be one of reasons why snake plant die.

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