One of the very common issues among Snake Plant keepers is Snake plant leaves falling over. Snake plants are a sturdy and succulent type of plant and hence are mostly preferred by every gardener to add to their collection. All you need to learn is a few things about the upkeep of these plants. We figure out the causes and solutions for snake plant leaves falling over, plus other essential nuts and bolts of nurturing snake plants. So, if you have a snake plant, this guide is a must-read for you.
More About Snake Plant
Belonging to the family of Asparagaceae, snake plants are most commonly found in household plants. They are also known by some other interesting names like Dracaena Trifasciata and Mother-in-law’s tongue. Snake plants are native to West Africa. These plants are called snake plants because their long dense vertical leaves make them look like a snake. The basic essence of its growth lies in the rhizome (For novices in gardening vocabulary, Rhizomes are snake plant roots responsible for the growth of such evergreen perennial plants). When matured, the color of the leaves turns dark green or sometimes gray-green, reaching a height of around 2 to 5 ft tall and up to 2.5 inches wide.
It is amazing to know the fact that this plant needs less water because the Crassulacean Acid present in it prevents it from dying under drought conditions. Also, the Stomata of leaves will open at night only, so that water evaporation will not take place under the sun in the daytime. More interestingly, Snake plants bloom also. Its flowers are although non-fragrant but look beautiful to bring a smile to your face. Greenish white or cream, flower petals are a bit sticky.
Why Snake Plant Leaves Are Falling Over?
Plant lovers or we can say, house gardeners have great zeal to be surrounded by greenery but they are not experts to take care of them perfectly. This is the reason that most house gardeners do not know why snake plant leaves are falling over? Let us find out possible reasons behind the falling of snake plant leaves.
Falling leaves of the plant is an indication that something is wrong and thus it slows down the growth of the plant. The snake plant is a succulent plant and so is featured to store water in its leaves. Thus, able to grow and bloom even in a dry environment. Like all other succulent plants, the snake plant is also prone to root rot, if overwatered. When roots start rotting, they would not be able to support the leaves to grow, and as a result snake plant leaves fall over.
Not only that, it is evident that being a succulent plant, snake plants also store water through leaves. Due to overwatering the plant, leaves have to hold an excessive quantity of water. In other words, it can be said that leaves would not be able to carry their weight.
Due To Soil Damage
Underwatered or Overwatered snake plants make the soil soggy and the soil requires more oxygen and nutrients. Even healthy snake plant roots start rotting because of the fungus and bacteria so developed in the soil. If you know what do snake plant roots look like, it will be easier for you to differentiate between rotten roots and healthy snake plant roots. Normally, snake plant roots look pale and black but due to rotting, it becomes mushy, soggy, and blackish-brown in color. All in all, falling leaves are a sign of root rot deep inside the pot.
Another problem is Rootbound. Rootbound is a situation when roots leave no space to grow further. This happens when the pot is too small to occupy the new growth in the roots. As a result, falling leaves indicate that you should check deep inside the roots.
Light is the main source of growth for these plants. If kept in the dark without any light source for a long period, it might be that their leaves start falling over. On the other hand, if too much exposure to direct sunlight is given, that will also be harmful to the plant. So, it is better to keep the plant in such a place where it receives proper bright light indirectly from the Sun.
When the snake plant does not receive proper natural lighting, leaves start bending and drooping in search of some light source. Starting from weakening, slowly the leaves start falling.
Incorrect Potting Practices
If watering and light are proper and still leaves of the snake plant are dropping, another possible reason could be incorrect potting. Due to incorrect potting, rootbound becomes a serious issue and hurdle in the growth of the plant. Snake plants do not need to re-pot frequently. If repotting is done very often, it may lead to the rotting of roots. Also, an oversized pot is not good for the health of plants.
One more reason which manages to seek the least attention from the gardeners is the changing temperature of the surroundings. It is strongly recommended that you do not keep the snake plant under Air conditioning or heating vent. This will severely affect the growth of the plant with changing seasons and temperatures accordingly. Therefore, keep the plant in such a place in your house garden where the temperature all year round stays stable and has plenty of indirect sunlight.
Solution To Prevent Snake Plants Leave From Falling Over
Knowing the problem is of no help unless you find a solution for it. Following are a few workarounds that anyone can do at home without expert help, which will surely help in preventing falling leaves of the Snake plant.
Give the Right Amount of Water
The quantity and frequency of the water you are pouring into the snake plant are crucial. Water the snake plant such that the soil becomes moist but not wet. To get an idea of how much water a snake plant needs at a time that post-watering, around 2 to 3 inches of soil should remain dry to touch.
If the plant is kept outdoors and is exposed to the Sun for a longer period, the frequency of water can be increased. Ideally, snake plants need watering once every 3 weeks. You should continue watering the plant until the water comes out of the drain hole at the bottom of the plant. During the winter season, the frequency increases to once a month.
If you have found that your snake plant is overwatered, then you can still have a chance to save it. First of all check the roots, if the roots start turning into black color, this indicates that the plant is ill.
Perfect Soil Mix
The right soil mix and perfect soil type reduce the rate of falling leaves of the snake plant. Fast draining soil is good for the healthy growth of this plant. If you are using a regular soil type, make a mixture of your own. Add 2 portions of soil, 1 portion of coarse sand, and 1 portion of perlite. Also, make sure you take a pot one size plus the requirement because it will prevent Rootbound. Do not use any kind of fertilizer in the soil. Succulent plants usually do not need fertilizers to grow. However, organic fertilizers can be an option but only if needed.
Expose To The Required Light
If the plant is kept indoors, keep it near the window or balcony facing the south direction in winters and for the remaining days of the year, keep it facing the East direction. Receiving direct sunlight may harm the plant. Overexposure to sunlight may cause sunburn and leaves become pale. At least 5 to 6 hours of indirect light is suggested by the experts. One may also make use of a green net to cover the plants on hot sunny days of summer.
Prune Droopy Leaves & Roots
Once the leaves have fallen or dropped, there is no way out but to remove them. Pruning droopy leaves encourage new leaves to replace them. Also, if the roots have rotten, you should wash the roots, trim the good healthier part and try to grow them in a separate pot with proper drainage of excessive water.
Snake Plants or Sansevieria is a beautiful plant that demands very little attention of yours. All you need to do is keep it at the right place where indirect sunlight is there and well-drained soil is ensured. This guide compiles all the necessary guidelines to keep the snake plant tip top and freshen up with its greenish leaves. To further clarify, there are some FAQs we receive from different sources. Let them answer here.