How To Troubleshoot Common Snake Plant Problems

Hi everyone! I’m Monty Don and today we’re talking about snake plants, one of the most popular houseplants around. It’s easy to see why – they look great, are very low-maintenance, and come in a variety of shapes and sizes. Unfortunately, even with all these advantages there can be some problems with snake plants from time to time. Today I’m going to talk you through how to troubleshoot common issues so you can keep your plant looking fantastic.

Let me start by saying that snake plants have been grown for centuries as part of everyday life in many cultures. They were often placed outside homes or near doorways in an effort to bring good luck and protection; it was believed that anyone who entered would then benefit from the same positive energy. So it’s reassuring to know that if you take care of your own little piece of greenery, you’ll be able to reap the rewards too!

Brown Tips And Edges

As anyone who has ever owned a snake plant can attest, there’s nothing quite like the graceful beauty of its long sword-like leaves. However, when those same leaves start to exhibit brown tips and edges, it can leave you feeling deflated – as if your beloved companion is no longer flourishing in its environment. Understanding why this happens and how to prevent it will help you revive your plant and keep it looking healthy again.

One of the main causes of brown tips on snake plants is excess light. Even though these plants are hardy enough to withstand full sun for most of the day, too much light can cause them to become stressed out, leading to discoloration along their leaf margins. To avoid this problem, make sure that your snake plant isn’t placed near any direct sunlight sources or strong artificial lights.

Poor drainage is another factor that might be causing browning around the edges of your snake plant’s leaves. If water remains in contact with the foliage after watering, it could lead to root rot which could then result in discoloured patches appearing on the foliage itself. The best way to ensure proper drainage is by using a soil mix specifically designed for succulents, cacti and other drought tolerant plants – one that doesn’t hold onto moisture too tightly.

Soft Spots On Leaves

When it comes to snake plants, one of the most common problems is soft spots on leaves. These spots can appear as a result of many different things, but all have similar symptoms. In order to properly diagnose and treat this issue, you need to understand what causes it and how to prevent it.

First off, there are two main reasons that soft spots may occur on your snake plant’s leaves: poor soil drainage or excessive fertilizer levels. Poor soil drainage leads to waterlogging which prevents oxygen from getting into the roots of your plant, resulting in weakened and discolored foliage. On the other hand, if too much fertilizer has been applied then an excess build-up of salts can damage your plant’s cells, leading again to weakened areas in the foliage.

In order to avoid these issues, make sure that you provide adequate drainage by using well-draining potting mix with plenty of organic material such as peat moss or coconut coir included in the mix. Additionally, be very careful not to overfertilize; use only small amounts of balanced fertilizers at regular intervals throughout the year for optimal growth and health. Taking these steps will help ensure that your snake plant remains healthy for years to come!

Wilting Or Limp Leaves

Wilting or limp leaves on your snake plant can be a sign of distress. Unfortunately, the cause is almost always due to inadequate care from its owner – either too much water or drying air. The best way to determine if wilted or limp leaves are caused by underwatering or overwatering is to observe how quickly soil dries out and adjust accordingly.

First and foremost, inspect the soil for dryness – it should never remain bone dry for more than two days in a row. If the soil is consistently parched, then you are probably not watering enough; conversely, if you notice that the pot feels heavy with dampness even after one day since last watering, then you may have been providing too much water. In addition, check whether there’s any discoloration in the lower parts of stems and leaf edges as this could indicate nutrient deficiencies; try fertilizing your snake plant periodically throughout its growing season with an all-purpose liquid fertilizer diluted at half strength every other month.

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Lastly, ensure that where your snake plant resides has adequate humidity levels – around 40%-60% works best for most species– otherwise consider misting them regularly to maintain proper moisture content within their environment. Wilting or limp leaves can also be remedied by taking steps such as repotting into fresh soil and increasing ventilation through open windows or increased fan use.

Yellow Leaves

Moving on from wilting or limp leaves, let’s look at yellowing. If your snake plant is displaying discolored stems and/or yellowed leaves, this may be due to a nutrient deficiency in the soil. This can be rectified by feeding it with fertilizer every three months during its active growing season – spring and summer.

To help keep yellowing at bay:

  1. Ensure that you are not overwatering your snake plant as too much water will cause root rot which leads to yellow leaves;
  2. Make sure your pot has adequate drainage so any excess water can run away quickly;
  3. Feed the soil with an appropriate fertilizer for optimal health of the plant throughout its growth period.

The combination of good watering habits and regular fertilizing should help maintain healthy foliage coloration in your snake plants all year round – so don’t forget!

Fungal Infections

It’s heartbreaking when you look down at your snake plant and see the once vibrant green leaves now with signs of discoloration. It can be hard to know what to do next, but luckily there are some things we can try in order to diagnose and treat any issues your houseplant may have.

Fungal infections are one of the most common causes for leaf discoloration in snake plants, as well as many other plants. These infections occur when bacteria from wet soil accumulates around the base of the stem, causing a buildup of moisture that encourages fungal growth. The best way to prevent this is by ensuring that your soil has good drainage so that it doesn’t become over-saturated with water. Additionally, if you notice any yellowing or brown spots on your leaves, then these could be indicators of fungal infection and should be treated accordingly.

To help fight off an existing fungal infection, start by removing any affected leaves and disposing them away from other plants. Then apply a fungicide specifically designed for treating fungal diseases on both the top and bottom sides of each remaining leaf. If possible, increase air circulation around your plant by opening windows or using a fan to keep fresh air flowing through its environment. Finally, make sure not to overwater your plant – this will help reduce humidity levels which fungi thrive in.

Root Rot

I’m sure many of you have experienced root rot in your snake plants. Identifying it can be difficult, as it’s often characterised by yellowing leaves and wilting stems. To treat it, it’s important to remove any affected roots and repot your plant in fresh soil. With a bit of care and attention, your snake plant should make a full recovery!

Identifying Root Rot

Root rot is one of the most common problems with snake plants, and identifying it can be tricky. Browning surfaces and dying roots are key indicators that your plant might have root rot – so if you see these signs taken swift action. The best way to determine whether or not your plant has a root rot problem is by examining its roots. If they appear discolored or soft, then there’s a good chance that your snake plant is suffering from root rot.

You should also inspect the soil around your snake plant’s roots for any excess moisture or standing water as this could indicate an underlying issue such as overwatering or poor drainage. Additionally, check for mushy patches on the surface of the soil which may be another sign of too much watering. Finally, make sure to carefully remove any dead leaves or stems from the base of the plant to prevent further spread. It’s important to take all necessary precautions early on in order to protect your snake plant from further damage!

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Treating Root Rot

Now that you’ve identified the issue, it’s time to start treating your snake plant for root rot. First things first – check the soil drainage around your snake plant and make sure any excess water is drained away from its roots. If necessary, you should add more sand or gravel to the soil mix in order to improve drainage. It’s also important to reduce watering frequency and only give your snake plant enough water when it needs it.

Next, use a balanced fertilizer suitable for indoor plants like a liquid seaweed extract every two weeks during summertime – this will help keep your plant healthy and strong against further damage. Finally, if all else fails then try repotting your snake plant into new potting mix with fresh compost as this can often help revive an afflicted specimen. Just be sure not to overwater again after repotting! With these steps taken care of, hopefully you’ll soon see improvement in your beloved snake plant!


Overwatering is one of the most common problems that can occur with a snake plant. If you’re unsure if your plant has been overwatered, look for signs such as wilting leaves or yellow edges on the foliage. Excessive humidity and insufficient drainage are key indicators that this may be an issue.

To prevent overwatering in the future, it’s important to ensure your snake plant is watered correctly – not too much, nor too little. Here are five tips to help you get it right:

  • Check soil moisture before watering by sticking your finger into the top 2 inches of soil; only water when needed.
  • Water at room temperature and avoid using cold tap water which can damage roots over time.
  • Use containers with good drainage holes or saucers under pots so excess water can escape easily.
  • Aim to keep humidity levels low around the pot, especially during winter months when air tends to be drier indoors; mist occasionally but don’t spray directly onto the leaves.
  • Don’t let your snake plants sit in standing water – they love dry conditions more than moist ones!
    By following these simple steps, you’ll have healthy and happy snake plants all year round!


The snake plant is a hardy and resilient species, but even the most robust of houseplants can suffer from too little or too much water. As we saw in the previous section on overwatering, it’s important to ensure that your soil isn’t overly boggy – too much moisture will create an unhealthy environment for your plants.

But under-watering can be just as dangerous. When the top layer of soil feels dry to the touch, give your snake plant a thorough drink. Make sure you’re not overfertilizing either: while extra nutrients are beneficial up to a point, they won’t help if there isn’t enough light or water available for them to do their job properly. A lack of adequate sunlight can also cause problems; aim for brighter spots with some shade throughout the day to keep your snake plant thriving.

No matter what type of care regime you choose, remember that consistency is key – don’t let any part of its needs slip through the cracks! With patience and attention to detail, you’ll soon have a healthy and vibrant specimen adorning your home.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Often Should I Water My Snake Plant?

Watering your snake plant is one of the most important things you can do to ensure it stays healthy and happy. When it comes to frequency, the rule of thumb is to water when the soil has become dry – usually once a week or every other week depending on climate and soil type. Aim for well-draining soil that won’t stay soggy for long periods; this will help prevent root rot and other problems caused by overwatering. So keep an eye out for signs that your snake needs more water, such as drooping leaves, and be sure to use a suitable potting mix designed specifically for succulents like Snake plants!

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What Is The Best Soil For My Snake Plant?

Growing a snake plant is like a fine art – the soil selection is critical for success. When selecting the best soil for your snake plant, you want something that allows for good drainage to prevent root rot and other issues. Consider using an organic potting mix with some added perlite or pumice for better aeration and water retention. Aiming for a light mixture that provides just enough support while allowing plenty of oxygen around the roots will help ensure its health and vitality in the long run.

Should I Fertilize My Snake Plant?

When it comes to your snake plant, fertilizing can be a tricky subject. It’s important to understand that while they don’t need much of it during the growing season, if you want your snake plant to thrive and reach its maximum potential, then occasional fertilizer is key. During dormant periods, however, your snake plant won’t need feeding at all – so make sure to adjust accordingly! In addition, if there’s a pest infestation present in your home or garden, you may need to cut down on the amount of fertilizer applied even more as pests feast on nutrients found in soil. So keep an eye out for any signs of trouble before adding extra nutrition into the mix.

Does My Snake Plant Need Direct Sunlight?

It’s no surprise that Snake Plants are incredibly resilient plants – they can survive in almost any environment. When it comes to sunlight, however, the level of shade tolerance and light intensity is important to consider. It doesn’t need direct sunlight to thrive; in fact too much sun exposure could actually be detrimental for your plant! Instead, place your snake plant near a bright window with some indirect sunlight or an area with low-light conditions as these will both be ideal environments for growth.

Is It Normal For The Snake Plant To Shed Its Leaves?

Yes, it is normal for a Snake plant to shed its leaves – much like an evergreen shedding needles in the fall! However, if your beloved Snake plant is losing more than just the occasional leaf, you may have a problem on your hands. Rotting roots or disease could be the culprit and preventative measures should be taken to ensure that these issues don’t worsen. Much like Monty Don would tell you, nurturing your Snake plants should involve regular checkups of their root system and carefully monitoring them for signs of distress. If we take good care of our foliage friends, they will reward us with years of green beauty and peace of mind knowing that we are providing them with a safe home.


In conclusion, caring for your snake plant is relatively simple and straightforward. With the right amount of attention and care, you can ensure that it remains healthy and thriving in its environment. The key to success lies in understanding the specific needs of your particular species and providing them with the correct levels of water, soil, sunlight and fertilization. By giving your plant just a little bit of extra TLC you will reap the rewards of having a stunning addition to your home or garden.

Caring for plants can be hugely rewarding and enjoyable – there’s something quite special about being able to nurture something from seedling stage all through to maturity. You’ll find contentment as you observe each leaf unfurl, watch flowers blossom into bloom or notice new growth emerging on an old stem – this is nature’s magic at work! So take pride in looking after your beloved snake plant; remember, even small steps taken with patience and love will help keep it happy for years to come.