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Snake Plant Drooping (Overwatering And Other Causes)

Snake plant is a very interesting and unusual succulent. Sometimes it is even difficult to determine what type of plant it belongs to. These days the popularity of the Snake plant is only increasing and more and more questions related to the health of this plant arise.

Root rot, dehydration, compact and poor soil, insufficient light, root-bound, and low temperature are the main factors for Snake plant drooping. To fix the drooping leaves water the Snake plant when the soil in the pot is completely dry. Provide an adequately sized pot with drained succulent soil. In addition, the Snake plant should receive at least 6 hours of indirect sunlight per day.

Root issues as a result of excessive watering

Root rot is a real disaster in the plant world. It can happen for a variety of reasons, but most often it happens if you water too often. If the roots are left in wet soil for a long time, they will sooner or later begin to rot. As a result, the internal pressure in the leaves will decrease and they will droop.

This is all the more true of the Snake plant. Because this plant is succulent and therefore has a lower tissue density. As a result, it is easier for fungal diseases and molds to attack it.

The reason for overwatering in most cases is watering the Snake plant on schedule. This is a critical error because in native conditions this plant is very often in completely dry soil.

Snake plant drooping

Snake plant drooping because of root rot.

Symptoms:

  • Leaves droop and turn yellow from the base.
  • Leaf tips shrivel up and turn brown.
  • The plant does not look healthy.
  • The potting soil is very moist and smells rotten.

Solution:

  • Remove the Snake plant from the pot and the soil.
  • Clean and wash the roots and remove any rotten parts of the plant.
  • Wash the wounds with a 10% aqueous solution of hydrogen peroxide.
  • Plant Snake plant in sterile succulent soil and don’t water it for several weeks. Then water it so that the water comes out through the drainage holes.
  • Check the soil moisture before each watering. Water the Snake plant only when the soil is 100% dry.
  • Avoid watering the Snake plant on a schedule.

Lack of water can cause Snake plant drooping

Dehydration can also cause the leaves of a Snake plant to droop even though it is succulent. The Snake plant contains relatively less water in its leaves than the Echeveria, for example. If you water very infrequently, the plant may not have enough internal water reserves and the leaves will start to shrivel and droop.

Although this does not always happen, the Snake plant is known to go about a month without water. But this depends on the health and size of the plant. A large Snake plant with succulent leaves, for example, can survive a drought much longer than a young, small plant.

Snake plant drooping because of dehydration.

Snake plant drooping because of dehydration.

Symptoms:

  • Leaves shrivel and turn pale.
  • Next, the leaves droop and begin to turn yellow. The tips of the leaves may begin to dry and turn brown.
  • Overall, the plant looks sluggish and falls apart.
  • The soil in the pot is very dry.

Solution:

  • Remove the dry leaves and the broken-off parts of the leaves.
  • Place a soil moisture meter in the pot where the Snake plant is growing or check the moisture content with your fingers.
  • Water the Snake plant when the soil in the pot is completely dry. But do not leave the plant without water for a long time.
  • Water generously, and let the excess water run out through the bottom perforations of the pot.
  • Usually, plants that grow in a place with a lot of sunlight or outdoors need to be watered more often because the soil dries out faster.
  • Reduce watering to a minimum during the late fall and winter months.

Not enough or too much light

The Snake plant is one of the few succulents that can tolerate partial shade. It is well known that this plant grows well without access to direct sun, but that does not mean it will thrive in total shade. The Snake plant needs plenty of bright light to grow vigorously. Otherwise, the plant will elongate and droop.

The second case is when there is too much light. The Snake plant can tolerate some direct sunlight, but if there is too much sun it can get burned. This is most common if the owners place the Snake plant on a south-facing window or take it outside in the summer.

Snake plant drooping because of not enough light.

Snake plant drooping because of not enough light.

Symptoms:

  • Leaves stretch out and become soft from lack of light.
  • The plant grows slowly and the leaves droop. Possible signs of fungal disease.
  • Leaves get brown-colored burns from too much sunlight.
  • Leaves turn yellow and droop.

Solution:

  • Place Snake plant on an east or west-facing window.
  • If placed in a south-facing room, place the Snake plant 10 feet from the window or to the side of the window.
  • If there is a lack of sunlight, install LED lighting.
  • The Snake plant should receive at least 6-8 hours of bright light per day.
  • Avoid putting the Snake plant outside in the blazing sun.
  • As you change locations, accustom the Snake plant to the new amount of light gradually.

Rootbound

Rootbound is the next major problem for many potted plants. It is a situation in which there are so many roots in the pot that there is nowhere for them to grow. The roots intertwine and begin to compete with each other, and they also begin to push the soil out of the pot.

All this leads to the fact that the water quickly runs out during watering and the plant does not have time to absorb enough moisture. As a result, the Snake plant begins to suffer from dehydration, and the leaves droop. In addition, not enough soil in the pot will cause a deficiency of nutrients, which also harms the health of the plant.

Snake plant drooping because of rootbound.

Snake plant drooping because of rootbound.

Symptoms:

  • The soil in the pot is very tough. Water quickly runs down the walls of the pot and the root but does not stay in the ground.
  • Leaves droop, shrivel, and turn yellow.
  • The color of the leaves is not bright but pale.
  • Snake plant grows more slowly than usual.

Solution:

  • Pull the plant out of the pot and check how many roots are there.
  • If it has many roots then transplant the Snake plant into a larger container. The new pot should be 50-70% larger.
  • Another solution is to cut off part of the root system. Cut off the bottom part of the root ball, but not more than 30% of the whole root mass.

Temperature stress

The next reason the Snake plant can drop its leaves is temperature stress. In most cases, this happens because the temperature is too low. Perhaps the plant was close to a door or window when it was cold enough outside. Or you took the Snake plant outside in the summer but the temperature dropped too low at night.

Even the air conditioner, fan, or refrigerator can be the cause of temperature stress. A few minutes of cold airflow can damage the leaves.

Much rarer, but still possible, is damage to the leaves as a result of extreme heat. This sometimes happens in the summer if the plant is outside, even in the shade. Very high temperatures can cause the leaves of any plant to droop. At the same time, the soil in the pot can be moist, which means that the plant will not feel the lack of water.

Snake plant drooping because of cold damage.

Snake plant drooping because of cold damage.

Symptoms:

  • Leaves droop and may become slightly translucent.
  • The plant falls apart.
  • Yellow or brown spots may appear on the leaves.
  • Snake plant becomes more susceptible to disease.

Solution:

  • Assess damage from cold damage.
  • If the plant is severely damaged, tear off the undamaged parts and re-root them.
  • If the damage is minor, remove the damaged parts of the leaves.
  • Move the Snake plant to a warm room where the temperature should be between 70-80 °F (20-25 °C).
  • Avoid placing Snake plant close to cooling or heating appliances.

Inappropriate soil and pot

Soil that retains moisture for a long time is absolutely not suitable for growing the Snake plant. Because staying in constantly moist soil, the roots begin to rot and you get the same effect as with overwatering – the leaves will begin to droop and turn yellow.

This can also happen if the pot has no drainage holes. Water can stagnate in the pot even if the holes are there but they are too few or very small.

Another common problem is when the Snake plant grows in a pot that is too large. In that case, the soil will stay wet for a long time, because the amount of soil is large, and a small plant is not able to absorb so much moisture. As a result, root rot can occur.

Snake plant drooping because of too big pot.

Snake plant drooping because of a too big pot.

Symptoms:

  • Water does not drain well from the pot.
  • The soil stays wet for long periods of time.
  • Leaves turn yellow and droop.
  • The base of the leaves has brown signs of rot.
  • The pot is 3 times larger than the plant.

Solution:

  • Remove the drooping leaves.
  • Transplant the Snake plant into sterile and drained succulent soil. Or mix 50% potting soil with 50% perlite and use this potting soil mixture for planting.
  • Use a pot with at least 4 large diameter drainage holes.
  • The pot should not be more than 3-4 times the size of the Snake plant.

Pest damage

One of the most common pests that affect the Snake plant is mealybugs. These insects attack the base of the leaves, but less often they can spread to the middle part of the leaf. They feed on the sap of the plant and those leaves whose base is most affected begin to droop. Other effects, such as browning of the leaves, are also possible.

The second dangerous pest is spider mites. They are very fond of dry room air and can spread quite a bit. The mites also feed on the sap of the Snake plant. The result of this pest is pale green and droopy leaves.

Snake plant drooping because of mealybugs.

Snake plant drooping because of mealybugs.

Symptoms:

  • White dust and white clumps are visible on the plant, these are mealybugs.
  • Leaves droop and turn yellow.
  • The plant grows very slowly.
  • Small whitish insects and fine cobwebs are present on the back of the leaves. These are spider mites.
  • Leaves droop and turn pale.

Solution:

  • Inspect the Snake plant very carefully. Use a magnifying glass to look for mites.
  • Remove any badly damaged parts of the plant.
  • Against the mealybugs dilute 2 teaspoons dish soap in half a gallon of water and add 2 tablespoons of Neem oil. Mix all the ingredients and spray on the plant.
  • Use a special product called acaricide against mites.