Why Is My Snake Plant Dying? – Signs, Causes And Solution

Snake plant or Sansevieria is a mother in law tongue plant, it is an easy growing indoor plant and is able to thrive in many climatic conditions. It is also very popular among gardeners and plant lovers. It has sharp pointed leaves that look like the skin of a snake. This one grows in USDA zone 10 to 12 and tolerates drought and doesn’t get much impact on environment change. But Sometimes with less care you might see its leaves curling , turning yellow and brown. There are other problems, some leaves of the snake plant dying or the whole plant showing unknown signs of scratch or looking very drained. So I will discuss how to fix snake plant problems.

If your Snake plant is dying it can be caused by fungal infections, root rot, pest infestation. Other reason it may end up dying due to temperature up down and low exposure to light which causes your snake plant to start limp and die. To revive a snake plant from dying, apply a straightforward approach such as adjusting temperature, using fungicide, removing rotted roots and so on. Following this will definitely makes your snake plant revive soon.

I can also tell you how to you revive snake plant if the problem is in whole snake plant.

Each Problem requires different treatment and for that you need to understand what problem you are facing and we will make sure after reading this it will not happen again with your snake plant. I have written another article where I explained in detail if the problem is connected with snake plant leaves that becomes yellow then Read & learn from my experience.

Also Read : Snake Plant Leaves Turning YellowLearn(with My Experience)

Why Is My Snake Plant Dying?

1. Spider mites

These are the tiny little bugs that sit on the leaves and If they are indoors then it may increase the webs on the house.  They do eat the sap juice present inside the leaves and make it weak , you may see wounds spots after that. If spider mites are in large populations then it can become a big problem. Result in damage of leaves and weakening of the whole plant.

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Symptoms include yellowing of leaves , loss of green pigment, wounds can be seen. Spider webs all over the leaves and section making it look dusty.

How to Treat this problem: You can use insecticidal soap and spray on the leaves section or use a clean cloth and one by one start wiping the leaves carefully to make sure no damage to the leaves. Remove all the webs made by the spider and clean the area where the pot is located. Using water pressure on leaves gets rid of some spider mites. If infestation is heavy then you may need to cut some leaves.

Why Is My Snake Plant Dying
Why Is My Snake Plant Dying

Prevent it from Happening: Check for the places where spider mites are hiding , remove all the webs they have made nearby the pot area. Dusting can be done to clean the snake plant and its adjacent sides. Keep the leaves and soil be moist by spraying , spider mites mostly live in drought area.

2. Root Damage

The most common problem you see in snake plant is roots getting damaged because of rotting. It happens when the roots constantly sit on damp soil which leads to less air circulation inside the soil with that fungal growth starts to develop & root getting spoiled.

This wet soil encourages the growth of other big fungal problems like Rhizoctonia, pythium rot, phytophthora or funsarium which attack on roots and infect the whole plant.

Root will turn brown or soft and then it will be unable to absorb any further nutrients.

The main challenge is that you can’t tell if its roots are rotted because the roots stay inside the soil and it can’t be seen outside of the plant. In winters this problem can kill the plant and sometimes it occurs because of drainage holes being blocked and the whole plant getting affected.

Choosing a perfect pot can make things right but if drainage holes are the culprit then the snake plant has very minimal chances of survival. There are solutions which I will explain in a minute here.

First Snake plant soil needs to be well drained and the pot should have sufficient drainage holes to drain out water. You can also choose decorative pots as you also want to add beauty inside your house but remember to check if they are not having drainage problems.

Symptoms like browning of leaves or leaf turns pulpy is a sign that the roots have rotted quite hard. Root damage can also include yellowing of leaves , wilting , some might droop. Once you are aware of this issue you can start to counter root rot and try to solve it by following the solution I will be providing just below.

How to Treat this problem: The first thing to do is to repot your snake plant and replace the old soil with new one. You also also cut some of the portion of root which has been infected only if the damage is big. Also Remove those leaves that turn brown as they are not going to be normal and die soon so it’s good to prune them. you can also take healthy leaf cuttings and plant it in a new pot so it starts the root development & you get a new snake plant as backup.

How to Prevent it from happening: As you know snake plant can handle drought conditions so even if they don’t get water so some days it will still survive, but only in case of overwatering it will result in root rot. So before watering plants, always check 1-2 inch of soil at the top if it’s dry to verify if they need water or not.

In winters you don’t need to pour water often as with high humidity it takes water from air but you can still give them water every month or in 20 days. Snake plants main variety is not attractive when it’s young but variegated one is sure eye catchy that is why mostly you won’t give them much attention. But still you need to better care for them and provide them every requirement they want.

3. Blight Problems

Sclerotium rolfsii is the name of a parasite that causes Southern blight. This fungus can infect other houseplants that live indoors and grow in the balcony. They mostly thrive in moist climates and it has a record of infecting many plant species about 450 and more. It takes 7-10 days for symptoms to appear but it quickly infests the whole plant and leaves are mostly damaged and it spreads in stem sections also.

Symptoms : white layer appears on the leaves once fungus starts to infect it and then the leaf turns brown. In snake plant you may notice some leaves wilting and seems wet with white spots. Plant leaves will and slowly the whole plant will die if not resolved.

What to do? Southern blight can be treated with fungicide and in the market there are methyl bromides that are recommended but you can use any fungicide mostly. For like if only a leaf is damaged then remove that leaf only and then you don’t need chemicals to test your plant.

Prevent it from happening? Using the same old infected potting mix can affect your plant so always use fresh well draining soil which is free from any fungal disease.

4. Temperature change

Snake plant loves warm climates and it is native to African region where hot places exist and it is also a location for many of the succulent first born. With high humid winters you plant may encourage leaves getting damaged and its cell walls breaking from inside. This result in blockage of nutrients flow which helps the green color to be more green and plant to be more healthy. It also block the water path and it will lead to loss in moisture at the top which again lead to leaves wilting.

Symptoms are common like mushy , or scar on the leaves yellowing wilting or things that we see when plants are not watered well for days.

What to do now? You can just trim the leaves that are damaged and change the location of your snake plant to a healthy low to mid humid temperature area that may help it to recover. You can also cut half part of leaves which is infected (if scar is in top section), I generally don’t care about the beauty but care about the leaves that help to clean the indoor air. 

how to prevent it from happening?  Changing the location and providing them warm temperature in winters if it’s cold there. Also Don’t prune much, only trim those leaves that are infected.

Sansevieria Snake plant
Sansevieria Snake plant

5. Red Leaf Spots

It is a fungal infection named Drechslera erythrospila that is responsible for red leaf spots that happen on the leaves of snake plants. This problem occurs in summer or spring months when there is hot sun above the head, with warm temperature but it can also happen in other seasons.

Symptoms like red spots or small dotted redness can be seen in the leaf, tan at the center also seen with this type of problem.

What to do? Only thing that is applicable here is removing the leaf by pruning it , it will just stop the spread but for heavy infestation you can also use fungicide which is copper or sulfur based. first you can try removing the leaves if it didn’t work then try chemical treatment which will basically prevent any further spores.

Prevent it from happening? Snake plant leaves shouldn’t have water on the leaves for long; it should go inside the soil , avoiding any standing water. If your plant is outdoors for a while check them for any infection before taking them inside the house. It should get indirect light and not direct sun.

6. Mealybugs

They are pests that attack the snake plant , it came from the Pseudococcidae family that looks pink with a soft body and they have covered with white cotton type of material and this same thing prevents any damage to their body from hot climate. They are generally found in leaves that are curling to the soil top and they make big colonies.

Unarmored scale is also similar to this bug and they don’t have any protection which they have but have legs that help them roam freely. Citrus is also a mealybug type which happens to be found in this plant. This white cotton thing that has tiny eggs of an army of mealys that wake after some days.

Symptoms mostly appear on leaves and the leaves become weak as they eat the juice inside of the leaf. Mealybugs produce liquid that is the same as honeydew. If it was on a healthy snake plant then our plant would tolerate these tiny bugs but if infection is heavy then you need to treat it otherwise yellowing ,m doping or even curling of leaves can happen. It will reduce the nutrient and energy of the whole plant.

What to do? The best way to get rid of mealybugs are using a cotton ball and that needs to be dip in alcohol solution and starting cleaning the areas and removing the mealys but also you can remove it hand or wiping them with a water cloth (it works if infestation is in 1-2 leaves). Using alcohol sometimes damages the leaf and makes spots and holes on the leafy area. But in the case of snake plants they are strong enough to tolerate this rubbing alcohol but one uses this in one of the leaves. If it works then do it on other leaves.

You can also spray this in plants and this can be done every 7 to 10 days until there is no mealybug left.

How to prevent it from happening? You can check your snake plant daily and find if there is any pest infestation. If you find any of the on leaves first then remove that leaf or separate it out and apply a solution.

Buy Snake plant from ETSY(recommended)

Buy Snake plant from AMAZON

Also Read : Is Snake Plant Poisonous to Dogs?

Signs of a Dying Snake Plant – How to Identify

1. Leaf drooping and liming

The drooping and limp look of your snake plant’s leaves is one of the first indications that something is wrong. The once-tall and sturdy leaves may begin to droop and lose their rigidity. This symptom is a sign that something is interfering with the plant’s water balance when you see it. There are primarily two explanations for this:

(a) Overwatering

The roots of your snake plant may get saturated if you water it too regularly or if it is housed in a container with inadequate drainage. The leaves will therefore become hefty and mushy, which makes them prone to drooping and finally falling over.

(b) Submerging

However, if you often submerge your snake plant, the leaves may dry out and lose their turgidity. The leaves become wrinkly, crumpled, and curled due to this dehydration. The margins of the leaves might also get hard and brown.

2. Brown stains and fading

Brown patches and browning on the leaves of a snake plant are another unsettling symptom. This problem often has many causes, including:

(a) Pests and Illnesses:

Brown marks on the leaves might be a sign of the presence of pests like spider mites, mealybugs, or scale insects. Similar to bacterial infections, fungal infections may cause browning and discoloration of the leaves.

(b) Sunburn

The snake plant’s leaves may get charred by too much direct sunlight, which results in brown blotches and discolouration areas.

3. Leaf Yellowing

Snake plants are no different; yellowing leaves may be concerning to any plant owner. Your snake plant is usually in trouble when its leaves begin to turn yellow. The following are the main causes of yellowing leaves:

(a) Overwatering

One of the most frequent reasons of snake plant leaves becoming yellow is over watering, which may result in root rot.

(b) Submerging:

In contrast, if the plant doesn’t receive enough water, stress will result in the leaves becoming yellow and finally brown.

4. Root Issues

The state of a snake plant’s roots directly affects its overall health. On the health of the plant as a whole, root problems may have a big effect. Typical root-related issues include:

(a) Root rot

Root rot is a condition where the roots become mushy and unhealthy due to overwatering or insufficient drainage. It is possible for the plant to wither as a result of this situation depriving it of vital nutrients.

(b) Root Bound

A snake plant may find it difficult to obtain adequate water and nutrients when it outgrows its container and becomes root-bound, which may result in a deterioration in health.

How to Revive a Dying Snake Plant?

Reviving a dying snake plant may be difficult but rewarding. You must evaluate and solve certain care issues, such as temperature, lighting, watering, fertilization, and pest and disease prevention, in order to return this robust beauty to its previous splendor.

1. Temperature Is Important

Since snake plants are indigenous to areas with warm weather, it is essential to replicate their natural environment to encourage resurrection. Avoid cold gusts and sudden temperature changes with your snake plant since they might cause stress and ultimately deterioration. Try to keep the room at a constant temperature of 70°F to 90°F (21°C to 32°C) and stay away from places where the temperature fluctuates noticeably.

2. Illuminating Lighting

The secret to a flourishing snake plant is indirect light. Too little light may limit its development, while too much intense sunshine might sear its leaves. A few feet from a sunny window or in a room with strong, indirect light are good places to find a well-lit area with filtered or indirect sunlight. This will guarantee that your snake plant gets just the proper quantity of light for it to thrive.

3. The Technique of Watering

Plant owners often overwater their plants, despite their best intentions. It’s crucial to fix any watering difficulties if you want to save a dying snake plant. Start by sticking your finger approximately an inch deep into the soil to measure the moisture content. Only water when you can feel the top inch of soil is dry. Avoid allowing the plant to lie in wet soil, since this may cause root rot, one of the main causes of a snake plant’s decline.

4. The Spreading of New Beginnings

If your snake plant is showing significant indications of deterioration, it may be time to think about propagation as a possible cure. Pick good leaves for cuttings, then replant them in new soil. Your cherished snake plant will have a shot at a fresh beginning as a result of this procedure, which will produce new plants to take the place of the failing one.

5. Fertilization to Nourish

The appropriate nutrients may improve your snake plant’s general health and promote development. In the spring and summer, when houseplants are actively developing, apply a balanced liquid fertilizer. Avoid overfertilizing since this might create fertilizer burn and injure the plant by according to the label’s directions.

6. Management of Pests and Disease

Diseases and pests may worsen the state of sick snake plants, which makes them more susceptible to them. Check the leaves often for any indications of deformities or pests. If you see any pests, such mealybugs or spider mites, you should immediately isolate the afflicted plant and take the necessary steps to manage the infestation. Change the watering schedule to avoid too much moisture near the roots if there are fungus problems.

7. Pruning and trimming

Trim off any damaged, discolored, or decaying leaves to help the plant revive. Use pruning shears or sharp, sterilized scissors to make precise cuts with no ragged edges. Trimming the plant will focus its energy into healthy development in addition to improving its look.

8. Repotting Without Stress

Repotting is another approach to give a dying snake plant new life, but it must be done carefully. Choose a somewhat bigger container with good drainage and a potting mix that drains quickly. Untangle the roots of the plant, take care not to bury it too deeply in the new pot, and gently remove it from the previous one. Before returning to routine maintenance, give the plant some time to adjust to its new location.


Final words

I hope you get the answer on “How Do You Revive a Dying Snake Plant?” and if you want to read more info on snake plant check below.

Similar Posts:

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Snake Plant Leaves Folding in Half or Inwards (Why Curled & Fix)

Snake Plant Soil Mix Recipe – Best For Sansevieria

What Size Pot Does A Snake Plant Need? (Best Planters For Sansevieria)

Copright Notice: The content is first published in lotusmagus.com website, if you are seeing this article in other website then it has been copied fully. Lotusmagus is a website about plants and flowers by Amelia Clark. Copyright Marked

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Amelia Clark

I'm Amelia Clark, a seasoned florist and gardening specialist with more than 15 years of practical expertise. Following the completion of my formal education, I dedicated myself to a flourishing career in floristry, acquiring extensive understanding of diverse flower species and their ideal cultivation requirements. Additionally, I possess exceptional skills as a writer and public speaker, having successfully published numerous works and delivered engaging presentations at various local garden clubs and conferences.

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