Why is My Snake Plant Leaves Curling Outward – 11 Reasons & Fix

The main reason snake plant leaves curl outward is because they are drying out. If your plant has wrinkled, curled leaves with brown tips, it probably needs water. To be sure, stick your finger into the dirt and feel for wetness. If your plant feels dry, it needs water.

Curling leaves, especially those that curl outward, may be a sign of a number of problems, but dehydration is by far the most prevalent and important one.

  • Dehydration: Dehydration is the most frequent cause of snake plant leaves curling outward. These plants display indications of stress, such as curled and wrinkled leaf with brown edges, when they get insufficient water. Check the soil’s moisture level often to make sure your plant is receiving the hydration it needs. If the dirt seems dry after inserting your finger one to two inches into it, it’s time to add water.
  • Additional Potential Causes Although dryness is the main cause, other elements may also result in snake plant leaves curling:
  • Contrary to popular belief, overwatering or overfeeding may also result in curled leaves. Root rot may develop if you continually overwater your snake plant, therefore it’s crucial to create a balance and avoid doing so.
  • Pest infestations: As some pests feed on the plant, such as aphids, mealybugs, and spider mites, the leaves may curl. If you think your plant may be infested with bugs, carefully check it and take the necessary steps to get rid of the pests.
  • Insufficient Nutrients: Snake plants need certain nutrients to grow. A shortage of nitrogen may cause lower leaves to curl. By giving the plant a balanced fertilizer based on its requirements, you may solve this problem.
  • Environmental Stress: The plant may get stressed as a result of changes in the environment, such as rapid temperature reductions or exposure to drafts, which may cause leaf curling. Make sure the environment is steady and appropriate for your snake plant.

Understanding The Culprits Behind Outward Curling Leaves

Snake plants are prone to outward curling leaves due to various culprits. These can range from inadequate watering, nutrient deficiencies, low humidity, pest infestation, or even improper lighting. Identifying the cause is crucial for implementing the right fix to restore your snake plant’s health.

Snake plants, also known as Sansevierias, are popular indoor plants with striking foliage, often characterized by long, upright leaves. However, if you notice your snake plant’s leaves curling outward, it’s a sign that something may be amiss. In this section, we’ll explore some common reasons behind this issue and offer possible solutions to help you restore your plant’s health and beauty.


  • Excessive watering can lead to roots becoming waterlogged, causing stress to the plant and potentially resulting in outward curling leaves.
  • Overwatering prevents oxygen from reaching the roots, leading to root rot and overall poor plant health.
  • Signs of overwatering include yellowing leaves, soft and mushy roots, and a foul odor coming from the soil.


  • Insufficient watering can also lead to outward curling leaves as the plant attempts to conserve moisture and protect itself.
  • Lack of adequate hydration can cause the leaves to become dry, crispy, and prone to curling.
  • Signs of underwatering include dry soil, brittle leaves, slow growth, and a wilted appearance.

Improper Lighting:

  • Lack of proper lighting can affect the health and growth of snake plants, resulting in outward curling leaves.
  • Snake plants require moderate to bright indirect light to thrive. Insufficient light can cause leaves to curl or bend outward in search of more light.
  • On the other hand, exposure to direct sunlight for extended periods can also cause leaf curling and burn.

Also Read : Snake Plant Leaves Folding in Half or Inwards (Why Curled)

Improper Temperature And Humidity:

  • Extreme temperature fluctuations and low humidity levels can stress snake plants, leading to leaf curling.
  • Ideally, snake plants prefer temperatures between 70-90°F (21-32°C) and humidity levels around 40-50%.
  • Exposure to cold drafts or dry air can cause leaves to curl outward in an effort to conserve moisture.

Nutrient Deficiency:

  • Lack of essential nutrients can impact the overall health of snake plants, potentially resulting in curled leaves.
  • Key nutrients for snake plants include nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. Deficiencies can be caused by poor soil quality or lack of fertilization.
  • Signs of nutrient deficiencies include yellowing or browning of leaves, stunted growth, and curling.

Pests And Diseases:

  • Infestations by pests like spider mites, mealybugs, or scale insects can cause stress to snake plants, leading to leaf curling.
  • Fungal infections, such as root rot, can also affect the plant’s ability to absorb water properly, resulting in outward curling leaves.
  • Regular inspection and implementing appropriate pest control measures are crucial for maintaining healthy snake plants.

Pot Bound Roots:

  • Snake plants are slow-growing and can survive in crowded conditions, but if left undisturbed for too long, their roots can become bound within the pot.
  • Pot-bound roots may struggle to absorb water and nutrients effectively, leading to outward curling leaves.
  • Transplanting the snake plant into a slightly larger pot with fresh soil can alleviate this issue.

Why is My Snake Plant Leaves Curling Outward

As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases.

Improper Water Quality:

  • Poor water quality, specifically high levels of chlorine or fluoride, can adversely affect snake plants.
  • These chemicals can accumulate in the soil and lead to leaf curling and discoloration.
  • Using filtered or distilled water or allowing tap water to sit for 24 hours before watering can help mitigate this problem.

Airflow And Ventilation:

  • Inadequate airflow and poor ventilation can contribute to stagnant conditions around the snake plant, promoting leaf curling.
  • Ensure there is adequate space around the plant and consider using a fan to improve air circulation.
  • Additionally, avoid placing the snake plant near air conditioning or heating vents.

Chemical Exposure:

  • Exposure to certain chemicals, such as cleaning solutions or household toxins, can harm snake plants and cause leaf curling.
  • Keep your snake plant away from areas where chemicals are frequently used or stored.
  • If accidental exposure occurs, thoroughly rinse the affected leaves with clean water.

Stress Factors:

  • Snake plants can experience stress due to factors like frequent movements, improper handling, or sudden changes in their environment.
  • Stressors can lead to curled leaves as the plant tries to adapt and protect itself.
  • Maintaining a consistent and stable environment can help minimize stress on the snake plant.

Also Read : Snake Plant Leaves Bending – Causes And Solutions

By understanding the underlying causes of outward curling leaves in snake plants, you can take appropriate steps to rectify the issue and promote healthy growth. Remember to assess the specific conditions of your plant and adjust care accordingly. With proper attention and care, your snake plant will soon regain its vigor and show off its beautiful, upright leaves once more.

Eleven Reasons Why Your Snake Plant Leaves Are Curling Outward

Snake plant leaves curling outward can be due to several factors, such as overwatering, low humidity, inadequate light, or pests. Correcting these issues, adjusting watering habits, increasing humidity, providing sufficient light, and addressing any pest infestations can help restore your snake plant’s health.

Root Bound

  • Snake plants are known for their hardiness and ability to tolerate neglect, but if you notice that the leaves are curling outward, it could be a sign that your plant is root bound.
  • When a snake plant becomes root bound, the roots become overcrowded and can no longer spread out properly. This can lead to a lack of nutrients and water absorption, causing the leaves to curl.
  • To fix this issue, gently remove the snake plant from its pot and inspect the roots. If they are tightly wound around each other, it’s time to repot the plant into a larger container. Be sure to use well-draining soil and provide enough space for the roots to grow.

Snake Plant Leaves Curl Outward

Inadequate Drainage

  • Another common reason for snake plant leaves curling outward is inadequate drainage. If the soil doesn’t have proper drainage, excess water can accumulate around the roots and cause them to rot.
  • To prevent this, make sure your snake plant is potted in a container with drainage holes. Additionally, use a well-draining potting mix that allows excess water to flow through.
  • If you suspect your snake plant is experiencing drainage problems, carefully remove the plant from its pot and inspect the roots for signs of rot. If you notice any mushy or blackened roots, trim them off before repotting the plant in fresh soil with better drainage.

Lack Of Humidity

  • Snake plants are native to arid regions of West Africa and are accustomed to low humidity levels. However, in environments with extremely low humidity, the leaves can curl outward as a result of dehydration.
  • Increasing the humidity around your snake plant can help alleviate this issue. You can do this by grouping your plants together, using a humidifier, or placing a tray of water near the plant to increase the moisture in the air.
  • Another method is to mist the leaves of your snake plant with water regularly. This can provide temporary relief from the curling leaves and help keep the plant hydrated.

Temperature Extremes

  • Extreme temperature fluctuations can also cause snake plant leaves to curl outward. This can occur when the plant is exposed to cold drafts, direct sunlight, or excessively high temperatures.
  • Snake plants prefer temperatures between 60°F and 85°F (15°C – 29°C). Avoid placing your snake plant near air conditioning vents, windows with direct sunlight, or heating sources such as radiators or fireplaces.
  • If your snake plant has been exposed to extreme temperatures, it’s best to relocate it to a more suitable spot where it can thrive without being subjected to temperature extremes.

Pest Infestation

  • Snake plants are generally resistant to pests but can occasionally become infested with common houseplant pests such as spider mites, mealybugs, or aphids. These pests can cause stress to the plant, leading to curling leaves.
  • Inspect your snake plant regularly for any signs of pests, such as tiny webs, sticky residue, or visible insects. If infestation is detected, treat the plant with an appropriate insecticidal soap or neem oil to eliminate the pests.
  • Additionally, isolate the plant from other houseplants to prevent the infestation from spreading. Regularly cleaning the leaves with a soft cloth or sponge can also help keep pests at bay.

Also Read : Why is My Snake Plant Leaves Skinny? – 7 Causes & Fix

Nutrient Deficiency

  • Nutrient deficiencies can manifest in snake plants through curling leaves and overall poor growth. Lack of essential nutrients like nitrogen, potassium, or magnesium can lead to leaf deformation.
  • To address this issue, consider using a balanced houseplant fertilizer and follow the recommended dosage. Apply the fertilizer during the plant’s active growing season, which is typically spring and summer.
  • Be cautious not to overfertilize, as excessive nutrients can also harm the snake plant. Always water the plant before applying fertilizer to avoid burning the roots.

Chemical Exposure

  • Snake plants are sensitive to chemical exposure, including airborne pollutants and chemicals from cleaning products. Continuous exposure to these substances can cause the leaves to curl outward.
  • To prevent chemical damage, avoid placing your snake plant near areas with heavy traffic or pollution. Keep it away from household cleaners or aerosol sprays.
  • If you suspect chemical exposure is the cause of leaf curling, move the plant to a cleaner and less polluted area. You can also gently wipe the leaves with a damp cloth to remove any residue.

Physical Damage

  • Physical damage can also result in the curling of snake plant leaves. This damage can occur from accidentally bumping or mishandling the plant, causing stress to its leaves and roots.
  • To prevent physical damage, be careful when moving or handling your snake plant. Avoid placing it in areas where it can be easily bumped or knocked over.
  • If you notice curling leaves due to physical damage, remove any severely damaged leaves and provide a stable environment for the plant to recover.

Lack Of Air Circulation

  • Snake plants require adequate air circulation to thrive. Insufficient airflow around the plant can lead to humidity buildup and stagnant air, causing the leaves to curl outward.
  • Ensure that your snake plant is located in an area with good air circulation. Avoid placing it in corners or areas with limited airflow.
  • You can improve air circulation by using a small fan near the plant or by periodically opening windows to allow fresh air to flow through the room.

Inconsistent Watering Schedule

  • Inconsistent watering can also contribute to snake plant leaf curling. Overwatering or underwatering can cause stress to the plant, resulting in curled leaves.
  • It’s important to establish a watering routine that suits your snake plant’s needs. Allow the soil to dry out between waterings, and avoid keeping the plant in standing water.
  • To determine if your snake plant needs water, insert your finger about an inch into the soil. If it feels dry at that depth, it’s time to water. However, if it still feels moist, it’s best to wait a little longer.

Genetic Factors

  • In some cases, the curling of snake plant leaves can be attributed to genetic factors. Certain varieties of snake plants may naturally have curling or twisted leaves, even under ideal growing conditions.
  • If you’ve ruled out other environmental factors and your snake plant continues to have curling leaves, it might simply be a characteristic of its specific variety.
  • Embrace the unique traits of your snake plant and continue to provide it with proper care, ensuring good light, adequate watering, and suitable temperature and humidity levels.

Fixing The Outward Curling Of Snake Plant Leaves

Snake plant leaves curling outward can be caused by various factors, such as over-watering, low light, or root rot. To fix this issue, adjust watering frequency, provide adequate sunlight, and inspect the roots for any signs of decay. Additionally, repotting in well-draining soil may help restore the plant’s health.

If you’ve noticed that the leaves of your snake plant are curling outward, don’t fret! This common issue can be addressed by implementing a few simple fixes. By identifying the root cause of the problem and taking appropriate measures, you can restore your plant’s health and beauty.

Here are 11 effective ways to fix the outward curling of snake plant leaves:

Repotting The Plant:

Sometimes, snake plants become root-bound, causing their leaves to curl outward. To remedy this, consider repotting your plant in a larger container. Follow these steps to ensure a successful repotting process:

  • Gently remove the plant from its current pot.
  • Examine the roots for any signs of rot or damage.
  • Choose a pot that is one size larger and has good drainage.
  • Place fresh potting soil in the new pot and nestle the plant’s roots into it.
  • Firmly pack the soil around the roots and water the plant thoroughly.

Adjusting Watering Schedule:

Improper watering can lead to leaf curling in snake plants. To address this issue, it’s crucial to adjust your watering schedule. Follow these guidelines for watering your snake plant correctly:

  • Allow the soil to dry partially between waterings, as overwatering can cause root rot.
  • Stick your finger an inch into the soil to check for moisture before watering.
  • Water the plant thoroughly, ensuring that excess water drains out of the pot.
  • Empty the drainage saucer to prevent the plant from sitting in standing water.

Also Read : Should I Cut Drooping Snake Plant Leaves? 5 Reasons 

Providing Adequate Lighting:

Insufficient or excessive light can cause snake plant leaves to curl outward. Therefore, it’s essential to provide your plant with the right amount of light. Use the following tips to ensure proper lighting conditions:

  • Place your snake plant in a bright spot with indirect sunlight.
  • Avoid exposing the plant to direct sunlight, as it can scorch the leaves.
  • If your plant is not receiving enough light, consider moving it closer to a window or providing artificial light using grow lights.

Increasing Humidity:

Snake plants originate from tropical regions and prefer a humid environment. If the air in your home is too dry, your plant may experience leaf curling. Here’s how you can increase humidity levels for your snake plant:

  • Group your plants together to create a microclimate with higher humidity.
  • Place a tray filled with water near the plant to increase moisture in the air.
  • Use a humidifier to raise the overall humidity in the room.

Controlling Temperature:

Extreme temperature fluctuations can stress snake plants, leading to leaf curling. Maintaining a stable temperature range is essential for their well-being. Follow these recommendations to control the temperature for your snake plant:

  • Keep the plant away from drafty windows and doors.
  • Maintain a comfortable temperature between 60-85°F (15-29°C) throughout the year.
  • Avoid exposing the plant to cold drafts or hot air from heating vents.

Treating Pest Infestation:

Pests like spider mites and mealybugs can attack snake plants, causing the leaves to curl outward. To combat these pests effectively, try the following methods:

  • Inspect your plant regularly for signs of pests, such as webs, sticky residue, or visible insects.
  • Use an insecticidal soap or neem oil solution to eliminate pests.
  • For severe infestations, isolate the plant and consider using a systemic insecticide.

Correcting Nutrient Deficiencies:

Nutrient deficiencies can manifest as leaf curling in snake plants. To address this issue, ensure your plant receives the necessary nutrients. Try these remedies for correcting nutrient deficiencies:

  • Use a balanced, slow-release fertilizer specifically formulated for houseplants.
  • Apply the fertilizer according to the product instructions, usually every few months during the growing season.
  • Consider supplementing with a diluted liquid fertilizer for quick nutrient absorption.

Minimizing Chemical Exposure:

Chemical exposure, such as airborne pollutants or contact with cleaning products, can harm snake plants, resulting in leaf curling. To minimize chemical exposure, follow these precautions:

  • Keep your snake plant away from areas with heavy smoke or fumes.
  • Avoid using harsh cleaning chemicals near the plant.
  • Opt for natural or plant-based cleaners when interacting with or cleaning around your snake plant.

Protecting From Physical Damage:

Physical damage, such as accidental bumps or cuts, can cause snake plant leaves to curl outward. To protect your plant from such harm, employ these preventive measures:

  • Place your snake plant in an area with limited foot traffic or where it is less likely to be bumped.
  • Trim off any damaged or curled leaves to promote healthy growth.
  • Be cautious when moving or handling your snake plant to avoid causing physical damage.

Enhancing Air Circulation:

Insufficient airflow around your snake plant can lead to leaf curling. To improve air circulation, consider these suggestions:

  • Avoid overcrowding plants in one area, as it restricts airflow.
  • Place your snake plant near a gently oscillating fan to enhance air movement.
  • Open windows or use a small fan to ensure proper ventilation in the room.

Implementing Consistent Care Routine:

Providing consistent care is essential for the overall well-being of your snake plant. Establish a routine that includes the following practices:

  • Regularly check your snake plant for any signs of stress or issues.
  • Water the plant on a consistent schedule, allowing the soil to partially dry between waterings.
  • Remove any dead or yellowing leaves promptly.


By following these recommendations and giving your snake plant the care it needs, you can address the outward curling of its leaves and restore its vitality. Remember, patience and consistency are key to successfully resolving this issue.

Frequently Asked Questions Of Why Is My Snake Plant Leaves Curling Outward – 11 Reasons & Fix

How Do You Fix Curling Snake Plant Leaves?

To fix curling snake plant leaves, provide adequate lighting, water sparingly and ensure proper drainage.

Will Curled Snake Plant Leaves Uncurl?

Yes, curled snake plant leaves can uncurl over time with proper care and attention.

How Do You Fix A Sick Snake Plant?

To fix a sick snake plant, remove any damaged leaves, provide adequate sunlight and water, and avoid overwatering.

What Does An Overwatered Snake Plant Look Like?

An overwatered snake plant may appear wilted, with yellowing or mushy leaves and root rot issues.


We have explored the various reasons why snake plant leaves curl outward and learned how to fix the issue. Remember, ensuring proper light, temperature, and humidity levels is crucial for your plant’s health. Incorrect watering practices, such as overwatering or underwatering, can also result in curling leaves.

Additionally, pests and diseases should not be overlooked as potential culprits. By closely examining your snake plant and following the recommended tips, you can address the specific cause of the curling leaves and take appropriate action. Remember to be patient, as it may take some time for your plant to rebound.

Following these guidelines will help you maintain a healthy, vibrant snake plant that will bring beauty and freshness to your indoor space for years to come.

© 2024 Lotusmagus.com. All rights reserved. This content is protected by copyright. Visit Lotusmagus.com for more information.

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. Check our Social media Profiles: Facebook Page, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Youtube, Instagram Tumblr

Recent Posts