A snake plant (Sansevieria) with wrinkles is usually a sign that something is wrong. Snake plant shriveling and wilting is usually caused by water problems, but there are also other causes.
Although your snake plant’s leaves wrinkle most often due to either overwatering or insufficient water, you can also wrinkle your snake plant’s leaves by using the wrong soil or fertilizer.
Wrinkled Snake Plant Causes
It grows by forming dense stands through its creeping root system when it is in good health. Typically a mature plant has dark green leaves with light grey stripes, and its leaves are stiff. Two to six feet high, the leaves can grow.
When the environment is not favorable, the leaves begin to wrinkle.
A snake plant’s wrinkles can be caused by the following:
During spring and summer, your snake plant leaves will be darker and the grey stripes will be more obvious. During the hot summer months, the leaves tend to wrinkle. Due to high temperatures, sansevieria leaves can curl and shrink easily.
When a plant wilts or wrinkles, it is because it is losing more water than it is receiving. You can get snake plant leaves to curl and shrivel easily if you do not water it more frequently.
If you watered once during the cool season, you should increase the frequency during the hot season. In addition, it is important to avoid overwatering the snake plant because root rot is another serious problem that may arise.
When the fall comes, the snake plant goes dormant. Watering is less necessary at this point. During the winter, however, this state will not last and no growth will take place.
Increasing or reducing the frequency of watering your snake plant may not always be a good idea. Whether you need to water sansevieria depends on whether it’s the wet season, the dry season, or if it’s dormant.
When snake plants do not get enough water, their leaves will wrinkle. Moreover, snake plant leaves will exhibit brown tips when they are drying. Check the soil for stiffness or bone-dryness to determine if underwatering is causing the wrinkling.
A well-draining soil mix is ideal for snake plants, which are prone to both waterlogging and underwatering problems. When Sansevieria leaves are planted in soil that is not free-draining, they will wrinkle because of the risk of overwatering. In contrast, soil that does not hold water will lead to high water loss, resulting in wrinkled leaves.
Likewise, leaf wrinkles can occur in snake plants in soil that lacks minerals. This is why it is advisable to fertilize the snake plant when it is being planted. When your snake plant wrinkles, you may need to move it to another pot with fresh, well-drained, and mineral balanced soil.
Too Much Sunlight
Snake plants lose water at a high rate if they are exposed to too much sunlight, leaving their leaves wrinkled and curling. The leaves of your sanseveria will curl, wrinkle, and form brown tips when placed in bright direct sunlight.
You will also have a wrinkled snake plant if you move the plant into a dark spot. Plants that struggle to get enough light for photosynthesis lose texture easily.
So if you do not have a window facing east that gets adequate sunlight, move the plant outside periodically so that it can take advantage of the sun’s rays for photosynthesis.
Stress & Shock
Snake plants may suffer shock due to:
- The transportation process can be stressful
- Environment change
- Pets nibbling in the house
Snake plants start to wrinkle their leaves when they are stressed. It will gradually adapt to its new environment and flourish once again if you let it be.
Animals such as cats tend to play with and nibble at anything, so your snake plant can be damaged. As a result, if you have pets like cats in the house, you should hang your snake plant in a higher place where they cannot reach it.
Humidity and Temperature
Snake plants do not grow well in temperatures below 10 degrees.
Consequently, if you see wrinkles on your snake plant leaves in the winter, they are probably being affected by temperature and humidity changes.
The snake plant is also susceptible to extreme temperatures during the hot season. Dehydration causes the leaves to wrinkle when the temperature changes drastically.
During winter, you can save your snake plant by avoiding cold drafts.
Roots cannot grow properly in a small pot, resulting in stunted growth. You will notice that your snake plant is no longer growing.
A bigger pot, however, may result in overwatering of your plant, resulting in wrinkled leaves. Thus, make sure the pot you choose for your snake plant is the right size. It’s important to avoid overwatering the pot by ensuring it has good drainage.
It is common to see snake plants with root rot if they are overwatered. When the soil is overwatered, it becomes waterlogged, which causes the roots to rot. Your snake plant’s roots cannot absorb nutrients from waterlogged soil, preventing it from thriving.
When the leaves of your plant become yellow and wrinkled, it may have root rot. Therefore, stop watering everything and remove the dead roots from the snake plant. Using antifungals or charcoal powder, you can nurse your plant back to health after removing rotten roots.
Fertilizer is essential for plants to grow well. In addition to utilizing the nutrients provided by fertilizer, snake plants also thrive when they are fertilized. In contrast, if fertilizer is used in an incorrect amount or the wrong type, the situation is reversed. Whenever your leaves begin curling and drying, you should turn to your fertilizer.
You can resolve this issue by watering the plant regularly to flush out excess fertilizer. Changing the soil is also an option. Change the soil and add a well-balanced fertilizer to your snake plant.
How to Fix a Wrinkled Snake Plant
As soon as you discover what causes your snake plant leaves to wrinkle, you can fix the problem. After identifying the cause of wrinkling, here’s how you can fix the snake plant.
- If your snake plant wrinkles, water it once a month in the spring and once a week during the dry season. In sansevieria, this will fix the problem if it is caused by too much water or underwatering.
- Use a good drainage medium for planting sansevieria. Your snake plant will not wrinkle if the soil is well drained and has balanced minerals.
- When the plant is growing rapidly, you should only fertilize once every two or three months. Get the best results by using organic fertilizer.
- Put the wrinkling snake plant in a spot with bright indirect light. If you live in a hot area, place snake plants in shaded areas.
- You should increase humidity in the room where snake plants grow to prevent the leaves from wrinkling. A plant humidifier can also be used for this.
- You should keep your snake plant away from cold drafts. Place them in warmer areas of the house.
- Filtered water should be used to water the plant. You should not use filtered water to water snake plants as this can cause wrinkles.
The snake plant can be a tricky plant to grow, but if you think of the benefits it can bring to your home, you will be willing to do what it takes to keep it alive.