Snake plant leaves tend to curl for several reasons, especially in the USA.
Sometimes, it happens due to overwatering, while at other times, underwatering could be the issue.
In some cases, the lack of sunlight also makes the leaves curl. Often, improper fertilizer use can also result in snake plant leaves curling.
The good news is that all these issues are solvable if you play your cards right. This blog post will examine why snake plant leaves curl and how to prevent that.
Underwatering is bad for several reasons. First, the lack of water hinders the physiological functions that keep a plant healthy.
Moreover, underwatering also keeps your snake plant from absorbing the nutrients it needs to thrive.
Furthermore, the absence of water prevents your snake plant from transferring the essentials to its leaves, which results in curling. Besides curling, you will also notice the leaves turning dry and brown toward the tips.
The solution is simple. The great news is that the snake plant doesn’t need too much water as long as it remains within a healthy environment.
Watering a snake plant once every three weeks is all you need to do. Doing so will give your plant the moisture it needs to grow and stay healthy.
The amount of water you give your plant depends on the season, the potting mix, and the pot size. Also, if the soil is too hard, you might want to soften it a little before watering.
You will observe your snake plant rejuvenating within a few days of watering. Make sure not to overwater, which is part of this article.
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Contrary to popular belief, your snake plant doesn’t need daily watering. Overwatering can cause fatal diseases in plants.
Sometimes, overwatering can be so bad that it becomes impossible to save a plant.
Overwatering can result in fungal growth within the root system of your snake plant. As a result, the whole system becomes defunct in little time, and root rot occurs.
Consequently, the physiological functions of your snake plant are hindered, and it fails to absorb vital nutrients, which results in the curling of the leaves.
If you feel your plant is overwatered, uprooting it is the only solution. Unpot your plant, and wash away the soil to inspect the root. If rot has occurred, you will catch a strong, pungent scent coming off from the root.
You must remove the infected parts and disinfect the rest with charcoal powder. Then, pot the plant with fresh, clean soil.
If the rot has gotten out of hand, you might have to propagate the plant.
Like water, light is also crucial to the growth and survival of plants, and the snake plant isn’t an exception.
While indoor light may suffice, it can be insufficient. A lack of sufficient light can also result in the leaves of your snake plants curling, which isn’t a pleasant sight.
Like other plants, the snake plant also needs light to continue the process of photosynthesis. Photosynthesis is the vital process that allows a plant to get the food it needs to survive.
When the process is hindered, the leaves run low on nutrition, which causes the curling of the leaves.
To troubleshoot this issue, place your snake plant near a window where it can receive its fair share of sunlight. The sun doesn’t shine much if you live in a locale.
Remember, the snake plant can survive perfectly with artificial light without any problems.
Improper Application of the Fertilizer
It is worth noting that snake plants don’t need frequent fertilizer applications. Applying the fertilizer to your snake plant once every two months is good enough.
The snake plant cannot handle too much fertilizer, and excessive fertilizer use can affect the root system. As a result, the leaves start curling.
Too much fertilizer can also make the leaves appear burned and discolored.
The kind of fertilizer matters a lot. You can either choose a nitrogen-rich fertilizer or some organic fertilizer.
These fertilizers are slowly released. Hence, they don’t overwhelm your plants, which means they won’t result in curled leaves.
Moreover, how you apply the fertilizer and what quantity matters a lot. Before feeding fertilizer to your plant, revisit the instructions on the packaging.
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High temperatures can expedite the transpiration process in snake plants. Consequently, the plant loses water, which results in curled leaves.
In the same way, low temperatures can also result in similar issues.
When the temperature is low, the water within the leaves tends to freeze. Frozen water within the leaves leads to permanent damage you cannot cure.
If you live in an area where the temperatures are too high or too low, keep your snake plants inside, where there is ample shade. For example, if the temperature in your area drops below 10°C, it is better to keep your plant inside.
As a result, your plant won’t have to deal with temperature stress, and you won’t find the leaves curling.
Wrong pH levels
The right soil pH level is extremely important, whether it is a snake plant or any other houseplant. The soil’s pH level for a snake plant must be between 5.5 and 7.5.
When the pH level drops below the bare minimum, the soil becomes acidic and loses its natural magnesium. The lack of magnesium prevents chlorophyll production, which results in the curling of the leaves.
Checking the pH levels of the soil is extremely important. Luckily, there are several pH-level testers available in the marketplace.
The wrong pH level affects the older leaves, as well as the ones that hang low. An easy way to increase the pH level of your soil is to add some hydrated lime to your ground.
On the contrary, if the pH level is higher than necessary, you can pour some lemon juice into the soil before the next watering session. The pH level will automatically go down.
Fungal infections are accelerated either by excess or by water stagnation. Soggy conditions can prevent the root from using oxygen, thus suffocating it completely. As a result, fungal growth occurs.
When root rot occurs, the entire root system gets damaged and eventually becomes defunct. This is fatal for a snake plant.
Root rot inhibits the way your snake plant gets its vital nutrients. The curling of the leaves is the most common symptom.
However, root rot is difficult to trace, and the plant doesn’t show symptoms immediately. It is already too late when you start seeing curly leaves. The good news is that you can still save the plant.
When you see the leaves curl, uproot the plant, and give the root system a thorough check. What you must do next has been discussed earlier on.
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It is not uncommon for a snake plant or any other plant to be transplanted into a new pot. However, transplanting from one pot to the next can be difficult for a snake plant.
If you have shifted a snake plant to a new pot, you will know it takes time before the root system can adjust to the new environment.
During the first few days, the snake plant doesn’t absorb enough water to carry on with its physiological functions. Curly leaves are the first sign of transplantation shock.
To make your snake plant come out of this transplantation shock, keep it partially in the shade and water it in moderation. After a few days, it will become accustomed to the new conditions and adapt accordingly.
Moreover, don’t use old soil when transplanting to a new pot. Old soil has an exhausted nutrient supply, which isn’t conducive to plant growth. You must use nutrient-rich soil that has better drainage.
Pest infestation is the least possible reason behind curling snake plant leaves, but you can’t factor it out.
Spider Mites and Mealybugs are the most common pests haunting the health of your snake plant. These pests suck the vital juices out of your plant, which results in curling.
It is easy to eliminate these pests. Wipe your snake plant with an alcohol-soak rag. You can even use neem oil.
If you want to ensure that your snake plant in the USA lives a long and healthy life, make sure your snake plant receives ample light. However, refrain from placing it in direct sunlight.
In spring and summer, you must water your snake plant moderately. However, it would help if you didn’t water it too much in winter, for the water gets frozen in the leaves, thus forming crystals.
Also, make sure there isn’t any water stagnation in the soil. The soil must drain out the excess water.
The snake plant doesn’t respond well to frequent temperature changes. Therefore, make sure to keep them inside in extreme temperatures.
To keep the insects at bay, you must occasionally mist and disinfect your snake plant. Also, don’t over fertilize your snake plant. Fertilizing once a month is good enough. Lastly, immediately opt for a new pot if you feel your plant is root bound.
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Hi! I’m Sophia, and I love plants – especially an expert in growing house plants. I stay in Chicago, United States of America, and through my blog and social media platforms, provide tips and tricks on how to grow healthy, vibrant plants indoors. Check out more here.