Why Are the Leaves of My Indoor Snake Plant Splitting?

While most people in the USA enjoy the refreshing and calming presence of different indoor potted house plants, not everyone has the time, resources, or means to care for a highly demanding indoor plant.

As a result, what initially began as a therapeutic and relaxing companionship leads to stress and frustration when the plant parent fails to keep their beloved potted house plant healthy and alive.

Hence, if you are someone who does enjoy caring for a potted house plant but does not have the time to water their plant every day, the Sansevieria or the snake plant is the ideal plant option for you.

However, just because a snake plant is a famously low-maintenance indoor planter, this doesn’t give you free rein to neglect your plant.

As a matter of fact, anytime the plant parent over waters their potted snake plant or grows it in a poor soil mix, its leaves begin to show signs of stress by splitting.

Eventually, if nothing is changed, premature plant death becomes unavoidable.

Why Are the Leaves of My Indoor Snake Plant Splitting?

While a majority of the American population, especially modern millennials, call themselves plant parents, some people don’t really care much for their plants.

Generally, potted house plant species are far more sensitive and susceptible to external environmental conditions than most outdoor plants.

While your outdoor plant may easily survive different seasons, harsh winds, and heavy rainfalls, a potted house plant will immediately begin to display signs of sickness or distress soon after its unique needs are neglected.

Hence, even though an indoor snake plant is well-known for being relatively easier to maintain than most other house plant species, deliberate neglect and incorrect care techniques will kill your snake plant.

Just as a human being will first show signs and symptoms of sickness before death, a potted snake plant will do the same.

One easy way to check for these signs and symptoms is to examine your potted snake plant’s leaves. If the leaves have begun to split at the ends or all the way through, your indoor planter is not doing well.

However, just as medication can prevent human health from deteriorating, proper treatment and the correct care measures can also save your potted snake plant from dying too soon.

Continue reading to learn more about what causes the leaves of a potted snake plant to split.

Let’s get started!

Also read: Best Organic Fertilizer for Houseplants

What Causes the Leaves of Your Potted Indoor Snake Plant to Split?

If the leaves of your potted indoor snake plant are beginning to split, there is no doubt that you have missed something when it comes to the plant’s unique care requirements.

The leaves will only split when they get excessively dry and dehydrated from the inside.

However, it is not always easy to identify the root cause of your snake plant’s deteriorating condition as multiple different practices can be responsible for it.

Hence, it is important to be well-informed about all the possible practices that may cause the leaves of your snake plant to split.

Some of these discouraged plant care practices are as follows:

Over Watering

When a plant parent loses a potted house plant due to underwatering, they usually make the mistake of overwatering all their other plants to save them from drying up and dying.

However, ironically, excess watering is one of the main reasons the leaves and stems of your potted house plant are drying up. Why is that?

In general, a snake plant can grow and thrive with very little water. Usually, the plant owner is advised to water their snake plant only once or twice every two weeks.

When the owner makes the mistake of overwatering their plant, an excellent medium for fungal growth develops in the snake plant’s soil.

As the fungus grows and spreads around the plant’s soil, it does not take long to spread all over the snake plant’s roots. This leads to root decay, which is often irreversible.

Since the roots of a plant are responsible for absorbing and transporting water to the plant, decayed roots can no longer perform this function.

As a result, with little or no water reaching the leaves of a potted snake plant, the leaves eventually begin to dry up due to dehydration. When nothing changes, the leaf begins to split from the top, the center, or even all the way through.

Dry External Conditions

All plants lose some of their water through an involuntary process called transpiration. When the water concentration inside the cells of the plant’s leaves is higher than the external environment, water molecules are forced to diffuse out of the leaf’s surface, down the concentration gradient.

Hence, if the air surrounding the potted snake plant is too dry and lacks sufficient moisture, water will begin to leave the plant’s leaves.

If the external dry conditions prevail for too long, the leaves begin to split due to excessive dehydration.

Check out: Which Tropical House Plant Is Poison for Cats?

Physical Damage

At times, plant parents get quite frustrated when they cannot figure out where they went wrong with their snake plant’s care routine.

Despite watering the plant as advised, the leaves are still splitting up. However, what could potentially cause that?

Usually, most plant parents are completely unaware that their pet roaming around the house could be the potential culprit. Some pets, especially house cats, have a highly curious and inquisitive nature.

These instincts cause them to inspect and even bite a potted house plant. As a result, the leaves may get damaged and might split as a result.

The same situation can occur when one has a young toddler crawling around the house. At this age, children are highly curious and try to touch and grab everything within their reach.

If your potted snake plants are within your child’s reach, their leaves may sustain physical damage and split due to this mishandling.

You can teach your children to not touch the plant. For your cats, you can use various methods, such as fencing the plant or disciplining them, to ensure they don’t make a mess of the plant’s pot and leaves.

Extreme External Temperatures

Although the potted snake plant grows best in warm conditions, extreme external temperatures can be dangerous.

When the snake plant is kept under the summer sun for an extended period, its leaves may begin to transpire some water to cool down its internal temperature.

If the plant loses too much water as a result of transpiration, the parched leaves will eventually split up and fall off.

The best solution for this problem is to keep the plant in areas where it receives some shade throughout the day. If you have to keep the plant in direct sunlight, keep it behind a curtain or something that will filter out the light.

This should ensure that the plant doesn’t dry up well before it’s supposed to, and you will be able to keep your plant around for a longer time.

Pest Infestation

Any time a potted house plant is under a pest infestation, curing it becomes quite challenging. This is because it is usually not easy to identify an ongoing infestation until it’s too late.

The pests often stick themselves to the plant’s leaves and begin to suck out the plant’s cell sap. Not only does this dehydrate the plant, but it also robs it of the energy needed to suck up more water and survive.

Eventually, an untreated pest infestation will lead to severe dehydration in the plant, resulting in its leaves splitting up.

Lack of Micronutrients in the Soil

The quality of the soil that the potted snake plant lives in will play a major role in how well the plant is able to grow.

If the soil lacks the proper micronutrients and nourishment needed by the snake plant, the roots will not be able to send the essential survival ingredients to the rest of the plant.

This can lead to stunted growth and can cause dehydration as the plant will not have the energy to move sufficient water around. As a result, the plant’s leaves will begin to dry up and will surely split.

Use fertilizer designed for your snake plant. You’ll find these at any plant store, and it will ensure that the soil has enough nutrients to keep your plant alive and thriving.

Also, don’t skimp on the plant’s water requirements. All these work together to help your plant get the nutrients it requires to stay healthy.

Final Thoughts

While most snake plants are able to display impressive tolerance and resistance to varying external conditions, there is always a limit to how much neglect a plant can take.

If you have a habit of overwatering your potted snake plant, or if your snake plant’s soil lacks micronutrients or has a boron deficiency, premature plant death is imminent.

Hence, it is incredibly important to be well informed about your potted house plant’s unique needs and care requirements, even when you have a highly tolerant snake plant. Take the necessary steps and enjoy a plant that adds a bit of greenery and a natural feel to your household.

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