Many plant owners desire to decorate their indoor spaces with snake plants, as these are sturdy and easy to care for houseplants that can bring fresh and lush colors to an empty room. The plant has beautiful sword-like leaves that stand straight and can easily fill an empty corner inside a bedroom or outdoors.
Snake plants are proven to emit the highest oxygen levels among all houseplants, as they even emit oxygen at night, which is why snake plants can be placed in bedrooms and living rooms to maintain a surrounding healthy environment at all times.
Snake plants are low-maintenance houseplants, but that is the main reason many plant owners ignore their needs, as they believe the plant will recover from any environmental challenges without the help of its owners. The snake plant leaves are its main attraction, as they can grow up to 5 feet and stand tall and bold, holding lots of moisture within their thick structure so they can go for long periods without water.
A common problem that every snake plant owner faces at least once in their plant’s lifecycle is that the beautiful and erect leaves can sometimes sag and fall over. To keep snake plant leaves from falling over, one must consider the plant’s water levels, fertilizers, pests, and fungal diseases.
Snake plants are succulents, and their requirements are very different from your regular houseplants. They store water in their leaves and flourish in a dry environment.
If your snake plant leaves are falling over, pinpointing the exact problem that causes this can be difficult for a beginner houseplant owner. Fear not! Here, we will discuss six causes and their solutions to keep snake plant leaves from falling over.
1. Overwatering Your Snake Plant
Snake plants already have a lot of moisture retained within their thick leaves. They are succulents that naturally inhabit rocky and dry environments, which is why they can survive for long periods if you forget to water them.
Many plant owners overwater their houseplants, thinking they are getting dehydrated, just like outdoor plants. They do not know that overwatering is the main reason for root rot in a plant, a deadly fungal disease that can kill your plant if not treated immediately.
When you water your plant excessively, the roots drink up as much water as they need, but then the extra moisture saturates the plant soil, filling the air pockets responsible for providing oxygen to the roots.
When the roots are unable to breathe, they will begin to rot and turn into a smelly, slimy black mush. Normally the roots of a snake plant are white and firm, but if you neglect the root rot, it can damage the roots irreversibly until the whole plant succumbs and dies.
To keep snake plant leaves from falling over, you must be alert when the leaves start turning brown or yellow and develop a soft and mushy texture rather than their stiff and erect structure.
When the soil of the snake plant doesn’t drain properly and leads to root rot, it will eventually stop supporting the leaves, which in turn become too heavy to stand straight. As a result, the snake plant leaves go limp and fall under their weight.
2. Underwatering a Snake Plant
Taking your snake plant watering routine too far in the opposite direction can also cause immense damage to your beautiful houseplant. If a snake plant is one of those hard-to-kill plants resistant to drought conditions, it doesn’t mean you should stop watering it for months, thinking it will prevent any rotting diseases.
A snake plant can live up to six weeks without water because its succulent leaves retain enough moisture to support the whole plant. Still, no plant can live without water, and it is unwise to take your snake plant to such extremities that it drops its leaves as a last resort to indicate it is thirsty.
Due to dehydration, the common signs that a snake plant demonstrates are weak and crispy leaves that appear more brown and yellow in color than green. If you touch your snake plant leaves, which feel brittle and crispy on the edges, it means your plant needs water.
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3. Root Bound Snake Plant
To get your snake plant to stand up straight again, you must check whether the plant roots haven’t outgrown the container in which it is kept.
When a plant is root bound, it means that the root growth has reached extreme levels, growing so rapidly that they overlap each other, encircling the inside surface of the plant container and entangling themselves around each other.
A root-bound plant can choke and suffocate itself, as the roots are so densely packed in the small container that they leave no space for soil. This means that even if you water your plant, moisture wouldn’t be retained in the soil, leaving the roots dry and dehydrated, affecting its foliage.
If your snake plant leaves are falling over after a period of healthy growth, it means that your plant is root bound, as the roots are not transporting enough water to the leaves, which can dehydrate and fall off.
4. Lighting Issues
While snake plants prefer to live in dry environments, you should provide indirect and filtered sunlight when they are kept as houseplants. Placing your snake plant directly in front of a window that exposes your plant to intense sunlight can burn or scorch your snake plant leaves, a phenomenon known as leaf burn.
The discoloration of snake plant leaves indicates leaf burn, and if the leaves are scorched and damaged beyond repair, they can wither and eventually fall over.
On the other hand, if a snake plant is not receiving enough light necessary for its proper nourishment and growth, the leaves can strain towards the nearest light source. When a snake plant is kept in a dark corner, it will try to bend its leaves to get closer to a light source, which causes the leaves to appear leaning rather than maintaining their upright position.
When the snake plant leaves are forced to move due to insufficient lighting, they start getting weak, and if the leaves are bent to an odd angle for a long time, they can snap and eventually fall over.
5. Temperature Sensitivity of Snake Plants
Even though snake plants are used to living in harsh environments, sudden temperature fluctuations can affect their proper growth and appearance. If a snake plant is placed near a heating or air conditioning vent, it is subjected to regular temperature changes, which cause leaves to droop.
Position your snake plant in an area with having stable temperature range between 55°F to 85°F. Keep it away from a ventilation source like fans or blowers, and place your snake plant in indirect sunlight where the plant can be exposed to stable temperatures.
Excessively high temperatures can cause brown rings to appear on a snake plant and sometimes cause wrinkling leaves. On the other hand, considerable periods of low light can cause the leaves to bend and fall from the plant.
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6. Inadequate and Excessive Fertilization
Overfeeding is a very common mistake that many snake plant owners make, creating an even worse condition for the plant than underfeeding. Snake plants need fertilizers only twice a year in their growing season. The plant is native to poor, rocky soil conditions. Therefore you should never overstress your snake plant by over-fertilizing it, especially if it is dealing with other problems like leaf burn and pest infestation.
Overfertilization causes soil buildup, which can alter the pH levels, leading to droopy snake plant leaves.
Similarly, an inadequate supply of fertilizers can lead to harmful deficiencies in your snake plant, affecting its functioning from the inside out. Nitrogen is specifically important for leaf growth and appearance, indicating that its deficiency can also be one reason snake plant leaves fall over.
Can I Recover My Snake Plant From Drooping?
If you correctly identify and solve the problem causing your snake plant leaves to droop and fall over, you can absolutely get your snake plant to stand up straight once again.
If a leaf is crooked or bent over, try straightening it with additional support or use soil to prop it up. Snake plant leaves that have gone mushy and lost all color are beyond repair and cannot come back to life. It would be best to cut those dead plant leaves so that others can grow and thrive properly.
Give your plant a weekly turn so that every side is exposed to the light source, preventing the snake plant leaves from bending or drooping to get closer to sunlight.
If you have overwatered your snake plant, you can change its potting mix and check the roots for root rot or other fungal diseases. If the snake plant is root bound, shift it to a bigger plant container, and add some potting mix so that your snake plant can breathe again.
All the different factors discussed above eventually lead to the snake plant leaves falling over and drooping, so you must recognize the problem and solve it before it damages this lovely houseplant beyond repair.
You may like more articles on house plants:
- Are Dieffenbachia Toxic To Cats?
- Can You Grow Dieffenbachia From Cuttings?
- How to Keep Cats from Pooping in Your House Plants?
- Houseplants That Like Wet Soil
- How to Transport a House Plant During a Move?
- Why Are the Leaves of My Potted Indoor Snake Plant Splitting?
- 10 Reasons Why Snake Plant Leaves Are Turning White
- Snake Plant Leaves Curling [9 Reasons & Fixes]
- Snake Plant Not Growing – 8 Reasons & How to Fix
- Snake Plant Spider Mites
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.