Why Is My Snake Plant Drooping Or Falling Over? Causes And How To Fix It

Why Is My Snake Plant Drooping Or Falling Over

Snake plant, scientifically known as Sansevieria and commonly known as mother-in-law plant, is preferred by plant lovers across the world for its tall and upright leaves. So if your snake plant is falling over, it means there is something wrong with it. But why is it happening? Why is my snake plant drooping? We’ll answer all your questions in this article.

Why Is My Snake Plant Or Mother In Law Plant Drooping?

When you’re growing a plant under your roof, it becomes your responsibility to provide care and proper growing condition to it. Snake plants are robust and forgiving plants with hardly any demands. So people tend to take them for granted, which results in droopy leaves. Sometimes, it’s due to insufficient light and other times it’s due to an irregular watering routine. Below we’ve discussed some of the most likely causes behind the drooping of your snake plant.

  1. Irregular Or Incorrect Watering:

Snake plant or Sansevieria is a succulent, with thick leaves. It’s the robust structure that allows it to survive in arid regions of the West African tropics. Therefore, it does not respond well to excess watering. There’s a huge chance of root rot when the soil is soggy. And root rot eventually leads to droopy snake plants, followed by yellow leaves.

Improper or irregular watering can also stress out the snake plant. For instance, if you’re used to watering your snake plant in the morning, but some days you forget to do that. This can lead to stressed-out snake plant, which presents itself as droopy leaves.

What Can You Do About It?

First and foremost, you need to go easy with the watering. Water your snake plant when the top few inches of the soil are completely dry. You need to water it well enough so that excess of it moves out through the drainage hole of the plant. We would suggest you water the inside edges of the pot. This will keep the leaves dry. And ensure to drain completely before putting it on the drainage saucer.

Also, always plant your Sansevieria or any other plant in a pot that has a drainage hole. Using a fast-draining potting mix formulated especially for succulents will also enhance the drainage capacity of your plant.

Experts recommend watering the plant every two to three weeks. But if you’ve placed the plant on the window sill or near a heat vent, you may have to water it a bit more frequently, say once in ten days. During winters, you need to water it sparingly, only if you notice that the leaves are wilting. Once a month would be more than enough.

  1. Improper Lightning:

Snake plants are strong and hardy plants, which can survive in most conditions. But just because they are hardy, doesn’t mean you can try growing it in a packed space with no light. This is one of the most common causes of a droopy snake plant. Snake plant starts falling over when it is kept in a dark environment for a long period of time. Even the leaves become dull and the pattern also changes when it’s given insufficient light.

Snake plant or mother-in-law tongue plant can easily handle bright light, but not direct light that generally comes from south-facing windows. These kinds of light are too strong and can also lead to drooping of the leaves. Therefore, both excess and insufficient light can cause your mother-in-law tongue plant to droop or fall over.

What Can You Do About It?

The best placement for snake plants for receiving light would be the west or east-facing window. You can go for the north-facing window as well, but long periods of light coming through it can affect its health and structure. So the key here is to maintain balance. During winters, a southern exposure would be your best bet. But make sure you keep it a few feet from the window. Excessive light is also detrimental to their well-being.

You also need to take care of your plant when you are shifting its place. The transition should be done slowly, because your plant may not respond well to drastic changes. If you want to move your plant to a better lit area from a shady place, do it gradually. Introduce it first to a medium-lit area and then to bright light. You can even make use of curtains to filter or shield direct bright light.

  1. Root Bound:

If you’ve been careful with both lightning and watering, then there are high chances that your plant is root-bound. Rootbound is a term used for plants that have their roots bound by some kind of barrier. The roots take up the entire space in the pot, creating a kind of web. You will find roots poking through the drainage hole in case of root-bound and that’s your hint to fix it.

What Can You Do About It?

If the cause is root bound, only repotting can save your plant. When you’re repotting, ensure to pick one size bigger pot than the present one. And do not go for too large ones as pots that are way much bigger than your plant tend to hold an excessive amount of moisture, which can cause root rot.

Note: Snake plant does not require repotting for a long time, as long as five years.

  1. Excess Humidity:

As discussed before, snake plants do not need too much water or moisture to grow and stay healthy. While they are not moisture-loving plants, you need to maintain a certain level so that your plant thrives in the best possible condition. The ideal humidity level for a snake plant is 40%. So when the humidity levels cross 60%, it affects the leaves of the snake plant.

What Can You Do About It?

Your goal here should be to maintain the ideal humidity level for your Sansevieria. If you’re unsure about the humidity level in your house, we would suggest you invest in a humidifier. These come in really handy. I have this amazing humidifier that I purchased from Amazon. It’s worth every penny.

  1. Over-Fertilization:

We can’t mention this enough. Snake plants are strong and hardy and they can thrive and survive for a long period of time without any food or water. It’s when you overfeed and overwater your plant, it starts acting up inside out. Excess fertilization affects the fertility of the soil, increases its heat level, and even leads to the buildup of salts. This affects the health of the plants, which results in droopy leaves.

What Can You Do About It?

Anything in excess is bad and the same holds true for fertilizers. You’re doing your plant no good by overfeeding it. It makes things difficult for them. You can fertilize your mother-in-law’s tongue plant during summer and spring with a two-month gap in between. Avoid fertilizing during winters as it’s a resting period for them.

Go for an all-purpose fertilizer for your Sansevieria and put a layer of compost on the soil. You also need to water the plant properly so that the fertilizer mixes well with the soil. Avoid overwatering though.

  1. Root Rot:

As discussed earlier, excess moisture in the soil can eventually lead to root rot, which can cause droopy leaves in Sansevieria.

What Can You Do About It?

If you think there are chances of root rot in the soil, we would suggest you add 3% hydrogen peroxide to the water and spray on the plant for 2 to 3 months. This will kill all kinds of fungal growth and pathogens that contribute to root rot. If the root rot is beyond repair, you’ll need to repot your plant in fresh soil.

  1. Poorly Drained Soil:

If you’re careful about your watering routine, but the soil still stays wet, you may want to take a look at the potting mix. If the soil mix is too heavy, it might be unable to drain excess water. Heavy soil mix holds water for a long time, thereby drowning the soil. And drowning of soil is often accompanied by root rot. This causes the plant to fall out of the foliage.

What Can You Do About It?

To check the drainage capability of the soil, keep a look at it while watering. If the water comes out immediately or within minutes, it’s well-drained soil. If the water takes a long time to come out, the soil is poorly drained.

Ensure that you pick well-drained and aerated soil mix for your snake plant. You can make well-drained soil by mixing half perlite and a handful of worm compost into the soil. If you’re too apprehensive about making soil mix yourself, you can purchase readymade ones formulated especially for succulents.

  1. Change In Temperature:

Snake plants can thrive well at temperatures of 50°F or more. Anything below 50°F can stress out the plant, which manifests itself as drooping leaves. Regular fluctuation in temperature can also stress out your snake place. This is common among people who frequently move from one location to another. Snake plants do not react well to sudden shifts in temperature, as it affects their system. Change in weather can also stress out your plant.

What Can You Do About It?

You need to ensure that your snake plant is introduced gradually to weather changes so that it doesn’t stress it out. During winters, you can place your snake plant near a heating system like a furnace to provide them their ideal temperature. But keep in mind that getting too much heat from the heating system can also lead to droopy and brown leaves.

During summers, if there’s too much heat or light coming from the windows or door, place the snake plant at a place where it isn’t subjected to direct, bright light. You can consider keeping your plant at the center of the room also.

  1. Insect Infestation:

Pest infestation is one of the worst things to happen to your plant. It doesn’t stop at one issue. One problem leads to another and so on. Snake plants can attract insects easily, especially when are kept in unfavorable conditions or if they are watered frequently. Sometimes, snake plants get insects and pests from other infested plants.

If not taken care of in time, pest infestation can even kill a plant. It starts with the drooping of foliage as the plant loses energy with the pests sucking their sap all the time.

What Can You Do About It?

First and foremost, cut off the rotten roots and damaged leaves and plant in fresh soil and pot if you want to save your plant. Ensure that you’ve sterilized the pot and soil well and sprits hydrogen peroxide and water solution on it. You can even use insecticides for a couple of weeks to terminate the pests immediately.

Apart from insecticides and pesticides, you can even go for organic methods to kick off the infestation. Neem oil, cinnamon powder, and horticulture oil are the best natural options for controlling pest infestation. Do not overwater or over-fertilize your plant as it will make the condition worse.

Some More Tips To Fix Drooping Leaves Of Snake Plant Or Mother-in-law Tongue Plant

  • Use porous soil and porous container for your snake plant.
  • Prune the damaged leaves and keep removing the debris to keep your plant in the best possible condition.
  • Do not mist your snake plant. Sansevieria do not like water sitting on them. Occasional misting can be done to maintain the humidity level.
  • Snake plants are toxic to pets and even humans when they are ingested. So make sure you keep them away from their reach.

We hope our article answers all your questions about the drooping of snake plants. To sum it up, all you need to do is provide favorable growing conditions to your snake plant, with well-drained soil and sufficient lightning and it will be hale and hearty. If you have any questions on why your snake plant is falling over, leave us a comment below.

2 thoughts on “Why Is My Snake Plant Drooping Or Falling Over? Causes And How To Fix It”

  1. My huge snake plant has reached several feet tall but the the taller leaves bent over in half.
    Can I brace the leaves with sticks so they may recover or is that a lost cause? Should I cut the leaves off at the base? Will the cuttings be suitable for new growth in dirt or water?
    Please advise.


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