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Snake Plant Turning Yellow & Brown – Why Yellowing(How to Fix)

If you are searching for Snake plant turning yellow & brown problem so before that let me tell you Snake plants or Sansevieria trifasciata are known to tolerate harsh conditions & they are extremely easy to grow and caring is minimal. But if These plants are not placed in an ideal environment or don’t provide proper nutrients then they start showing some uneven symptoms. One Such is yellowing of leaves. This can be solved but before that you need to know why it happens in the first place.

Snake Plant Leaves turning Yellow 

Snake Plant Turning Yellow

Number one reason why Snake plant leaves turning yellow & brown is due to overwatering, consistent damp soil. Also Nutrients Deficiency turn foliage color to yellow in snake plant. There are many other problems that affect the snake plant leaves to turn yellow from tips or from the middle lower part. If you didn’t change the soil for years then it could be a reason as soil begins to harden which causes root rot because of excess water. To save yellowing snake plant, you must stop watering it more often and let it dry completely in sunlight or partial shade. If it didn’t work you can use new potting mix to transplant it in a newer pot.

Let’s Read One by one each problem and fix the issue. Here are some of the reasons for yellowing of snake plant :

 

  1. Overwatering
  2. Old Leaves
  3. Nutrient Deficiency
  4. More Light
  5. Root rotting
  6. Consistent Damp Soil
  7. Repotting Needed

1 . Overwatering

The Number one reason why snake plant leaves turning yellow is due to overwatering. This excess water is supplied to soil for roots but when soil is flooded with water then snake plant roots can’t breathe air, shortage of air circulation leads to bacterial infection. Again this leads to root rot once the problem starts it will not supply water to the leaves on the snake plant that would lead to yellowing snake plants. 

I would recommend taking out the whole plant from the pot and checking the roots. If it rotted partially it can be saved once you use a new potting mix and repot it in a new pot. It would take time to recover but ultimately it will revive successfully.

What if the whole root is rotted that time you can just cut off the healthy leaves from your existing plant and repot it in a new container. Most of the parts of the snake plant can be propagated. Cut leaves in half can be propagated, non infected roots can be propagated, rhizomes can be propagated if not infected.

2 . Old Leaves

Sometimes the oldest leaf will turn yellow and drop , this is a natural process and happens with every snake plant. If this is not the reason then Check below.

3 . Nutrient Deficiency

If snake plant leaves yellowing occuring in one leaf or any older leaf then prune them off. One such leaf is just taking nutrients from the plant and even water. It will waste the nutrients going to other leaves and plants will work hard to repair this one.

If yellowing is spreading in other leaves and it is clearly seen then it must have nutrient deficiency so either use a test kit to check NPK ,pH ratio for the plant but still it will not tell you whether it is deficient in manganese , iron or zinc.

The best option to fix this is using Epsom salts or any fertilizer, it will repair the yellowing and turn it into green again. I am assuming you have maintained the water and given sufficient light then it will solve the issue.

4 . Low Light

If you have placed it in a shade or corner of the house where it was not getting enough light then this could be another reason for yellowing of leaves. To Fix this use Place it near the window or where sun rays drop daily for 2-4 hours.

5 . Root rotting

This is the common problem in snake plants where overwatering is involved and if you have a defective container where draining holes do not drain out water correctly. Soil is another reason if it is not flexible enough to pass the water.

To fix this , Water snake plants when needed. Check the pot holes if it’s not blocked with sand or soil. Use well draining potting mix ( Succulent and Cactus Mix , I Recommend) and 20% blend with perlite to get good drainage.

6 . Consistent Damp Soil

If you are watering too much and making your soil stay in water every day then it will cause root rot and it will result in yellow leaves.

7 . Repotting Needed

If you are a person who didn’t repotted the snake plant for years now. I have seen people complaining about snake plants but when asked if they have repotted it with fresh soil mix then they answer like ” No they didn’t”. So in this case soil becomes too tight to drain water and you need to change the soil once every year. It just encourages the health of your snake plant.

I hope your plant becomes healthy & all information is provided with my own experience & some help from other people. 

These 2 below pictures of my snake plant growing with money plant(haha).

Snake Plant(lotusmagus.com) 

snake plant (Sansevieria trifasciata)
snake plant (Sansevieria trifasciata)

Below one I took picture from someone else garden , the leaves are pretty healthy & wide, Some of the leaves burned because it was placed in direct sunlight. But what I notices is the strength of leaves, how robust it become tells me that it has grown pretty good.

snake plant Sansevieria trifasciata
Sansevieria trifasciata (snake plant)

 

Prevention and Treatment

To prevent anything bad from happening to your snake plant is giving it a warmer place and making sure you are not pouring too much water on it. These plants love indirect bright light and are able to grow very beautifully there but As I have grown these plants for 3 years now I can tell you they can easily handle the morning sunlight and it doesn’t affect its leaves overall. What You will notice after putting them in the morning sun is that the growth rate of snake plants has increased and they will look more healthy.

Now If you put them in outdoor sunlight in morning then they need more water so i suggest once a week is enough but you can do twice a week if it gets too much sunlight and the soil feels dry. 

  1. I have tested my snake plants direct sun(At least 5-6 hours light) and it just incremented the leaf growth , yes I do see some little bit of leaves getting brown but the growth and leave strength is unbelievable. I tested it because I have over 20+ plants so if you have only 1-2 then stick to indoor growing and providing them indirect light is the best option and minimize the watering. Always check the top 1-2 inch soil if it’s dry then give water otherwise don’t.
  2. Changing the soil once every year will refresh the nutrients deficiency plants are facing.
  3. Removing the damaged leaves will resolve its appearance.
  4. Avoid Consistent damp soil in snake plants

Also Read – Is Snake Plant Poisonous to Dogs?

Other Varieties

Snake plant is cultivated and its other variety has naturally yellow leaves. Some Sansevieria trifasciata have curly leaves and are twisted to grow more. Some variety the flower type growth that they don’t grow upright but only shapes like a flower and widen the like its blooming.

FAQ’s

Should I cut the yellow leaves off my snake plant?

Snake plant problems when its leaves start showing symptoms. If you have yellow leaves on it, it can be cut off in half because there is no point growing it further. those leaves won’t turn green and it will stay that way then turn to brown and drop. This foliage may invite pest or bacterial infection if it stays in touch with soil once the leaf drowns to the top part of the soil. 

Want to learn About North American Style Gardening methods? Check out this Book by Edward C. Smith

You can’t reverse the yellow leaves but you can prevent it from happening. As I said in this article, the most common reason could be overwatering, if you check the moisture in soil before watering and this problem will not come in future.

Can I save a yellowing snake plant?

Yes, Snake plant yellowing is a big problem but the good news is you can prevent it from happening. First, know the reason why leaves turn yellow, whether it is overwatering, low nutrient issues, root rot, or too much sunlight. There are so many reasons, each of which are described by me in this article above. Please check and find what causes your snake plant to yellow.

About Snake Plant

Sansevieria trifasciata or Snake plant on one such plant that can be easily grown by a beginner gardener. It is hardy to Zone 9b to 11 and it is grown as houseplant even thrives in outdoor bright light area. They have upright long green leaves that’s look like skin of a snake. They thrive in drought climates and can stay alive without water for many days because they store water in their leaves for long. 

They are easy to grow , even propagate of snake plant is easy, cutting is generally not required. Snake plants have been popular because of a study done by NASA where it took many indoor plants and pushed air pollutants and gases and tested out how plants are able to purify those air. Many of the indoor plants show positive results like snake plants are able to clean the toxic air inside the chamber and it proved that this plant does purify indoor bad air. Also This plant do release oxygen at night.

Buy Snake plant from ETSY(recommended)

Buy Snake plant from AMAZON

Also Read –  What is Snake Plant and Why Is it Called mother-in-law’s tongue Plant?

Final Thoughts

Yellow snake plant problem is common but the solution once you get it it will surely help you in future. I Hope you get the solution by reading all the problems I provided on “Snake Plant Leaves turning Yellow “, If you want to see other posts please check below.

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