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7 Causes of Snake Plant Leaves Dropping (And How To Fix)

The Snake plant is a fascinating and unique type of succulent. Figuring out its exact family can sometimes be a challenge. Its popularity is on the rise, sparking a growing interest in how to keep it healthy.

Droopy Snake plant leaves are usually caused by root rot or not enough light. To perk up those leaves, wait until the soil is totally dry before watering. Use a pot that’s the right size and has well-draining soil meant for succulents. Also, make sure your Snake plant gets at least 6 hours of bright, indirect sunlight every day.

1. Root Issues

Snake plant drooping

Snake plant drooping because of root rot.

If roots stay in soggy soil too long, they’ll start to rot. This leads to lower pressure inside the leaves, causing them to sag. This is especially true for the Snake plant, a succulent with less dense tissue, making it more vulnerable to fungal infections and mold.

Signs of trouble include droopy, yellowing leaves starting from the base, with leaf tips that shrivel and brown.

Here’s what you can do:

  • Take the Snake plant out of its pot.
  • Gently clean the roots, removing any decayed parts.
  • Treat the trimmed areas with a 10% hydrogen peroxide solution to disinfect.
  • Repot in sterile succulent soil, and avoid watering for the first few weeks.
  • Always check the soil’s dryness before watering. Only water when the soil is completely dry.

2. Light Issues

Snake plant drooping because of not enough light.

Snake plant drooping because of not enough light.

The Snake plant stands out among succulents for its ability to handle partial shade. Although it doesn’t need direct sunlight to grow, it won’t do well in complete darkness either. To keep it strong and healthy, the Snake plant requires lots of bright light. Without it, the plant tends to stretch, weaken, and droop.

Signs of insufficient light include leaves that stretch out, become softer, and droop. The plant’s growth may slow, and you might even notice symptoms of fungal infections.

Here’s what you can do:

  1. Position the Snake plant where it can get at least 6 hours of bright, indirect sunlight daily.
  2. If natural light is scarce, supplement with LED grow lights.
  3. Steer clear of placing your plant in direct, harsh sunlight to avoid scorching.
  4. When moving the plant to a brighter spot, do it gradually to help it adjust to the new light levels.

3. Lack of Water

Snake plant drooping because of dehydration.

Snake plant drooping because of dehydration.

Even though the Snake plant is a succulent, not watering it enough can lead to droopy leaves. Compared to plants like Echeveria, the Snake plant holds less water in its leaves. If it’s watered too sparingly, it might not have enough moisture stored, causing the leaves to shrivel and droop.

However, this situation is quite rare, as the Snake plant can typically last about a month without water.

The signs to look out for include leaves that shrivel up and lose their color, followed by drooping and yellowing. The tips of the leaves might start drying out and turning brown.

Here’s what you can do:

  1. Trim away any dry leaves.
  2. Check the soil to see if it’s dry.
  3. Water the Snake plant thoroughly once the soil is completely dry, allowing any excess to drain through the holes at the bottom of the pot.
  4. Do not leave Snake Plant in dry soil for long periods of time.

4. Rootbound

Snake plant drooping because of rootbound.

Snake plant drooping because of rootbound.

Becoming rootbound is a common issue for many houseplants, where the pot becomes too crowded with roots leaving no room for growth. The roots start to entangle and compete for space, even pushing soil out of the pot.

This situation leads to water running through the pot too quickly, preventing the plant from absorbing enough moisture. Consequently, the Snake plant can become dehydrated, causing its leaves to droop. Additionally, the lack of sufficient soil means fewer nutrients for the plant, affecting its health.

Here’s what you can do:

  1. Gently remove the Snake Plant from its pot and trim away up to 30% of the root ball from the bottom, being careful not to remove more than a third of the total root mass.
  2. Repot the Snake Plant into a container that’s 25-30% larger than the old one.

5. Temperature Stress

Snake plant drooping because of cold damage.

Snake plant drooping because of cold damage.

Another factor that can lead to the Snake plant’s leaves drooping is temperature stress. This often occurs if the plant is kept in too cold a temperature or exposed to chilly drafts. Appliances like air conditioners, fans, or refrigerators can also contribute to temperature stress, as even a short burst of cold air can harm the leaves.

Here’s what you can do:

  1. Trim off any parts of the leaves that are damaged.
  2. Relocate the Snake plant to a warmer area, where temperatures are consistently between 70-80°F (20-25°C).
  3. Make sure to keep the Snake plant away from direct contact with both cooling and heating devices.

6. Inappropriate Soil and Pot

Too big pot

Snake plant drooping because of a too big pot.

Soil that stays wet for too long is a poor choice for the Snake plant. Constantly moist soil leads to root rot, mimicking the symptoms of overwatering—resulting in droopy, yellowing leaves.

The issue can also arise if the pot lacks adequate drainage. Water may accumulate in the pot, even with drainage holes present, if they are too few or too small.

Here’s what you can do:

  1. Prune away the droopy leaves.
  2. Repot the Snake Plant in a sterile, well-draining succulent soil mix.
  3. Choose a pot that features at least four large drainage holes for effective water management.

7. Pest Damage

Mealybugs

Snake plant drooping because of mealybugs.

Mealybugs are a common issue for the Snake plant, targeting the base of the leaves, and occasionally, they may move to the middle part of the leaf. These pests suck the sap from the plant, leading to drooping in heavily infested leaves. Browning of the leaves is another potential consequence.

Spider mites pose another significant threat, thriving in dry indoor air and potentially covering the plant. They feed on the plant’s sap, causing leaves to turn pale green and droop.

Here’s what you can do:

  1. Thoroughly inspect the Snake plant, using a magnifying glass to spot any mites.
  2. Trim away any severely affected parts of the plant.
  3. Treat the Snake Plant with horticultural oil to combat the pests.
  4. Apply the oil treatment again after some time for best results.