What To Do When a Snake Plant Gets Too Tall?

snake plant getting too tall

Has your snake plant grown too tall? With long, gorgeous, wavy, bright green leaves and the ability to soak toxins from the air, the succulent is, indeed, a great addition to your home interior! Ideally, a snake plant must be 1 to 3 ft. tall when kept indoors, but sometimes, with your love and care, the plant reaches around 8 to 10 ft. and becomes untameable! No doubt, watching your beloved plant grow so well gives a good feeling, but have you ever thought about how you will manage to take care of such a big plant, especially if you have less-spacious premises? If you are in the same dilemma, you have come to the right place! Let’s find out all the best practices that can help keep your precious house plant in its ideal shape and length.


Your snake plant can appear leggy and tall if it does not get a suitable ambiance to absorb proper nutrients. On the other hand, if it gets a good environment, it will thrive astonishingly well, becoming as long as 8 to 10 ft. And in either case, pruning is the best way to maintain the healthy shape of your plant. Apart from pruning, you might also need to change the plant’s current care regimen, alter its position or repot it. But before conducting any practice, make sure to learn the reasons behind your plant’s unusually tall appearance. If you haven’t yet bought a snake plant, you can choose a small-size variety, including Futura Superba, Golden Hahnii, Moonshine, etc. These plants do not grow too tall even if they get in the ‘too good’ environment.

Why Has My Snake Plant Grown Too Tall?

Several aspects are responsible for a snake plant’s overgrowth. That makes it tough to figure out an effective solution to reshape your outgrown houseplant. Here are the causes –

  1. Suitable Environment

It might sound amusing, but when snake plants get excellent growing conditions, they grow around 8 to 10 ft. in height! Though snake plants are low-maintenance, when they get adequate sunlight, nutrients, and water, they take advantage, respond well, and grow exceptionally tall!

  1. Lack of Sunlight

While over-good growing conditions encourage your snake plant’s growth, inadequate sunlight can also push it to become tall and leggy. When your much-loved houseplant does not get sufficient sunlight, it grows tall to reach sunlight itself. Sometimes, the snake plants grow in a specific direction from where it senses the source of the light. As a result, your snake plant can grow very tall, but leaning on one side.

  1. Over Fertilizing

Fertilizing is good, but when you over-fertilize your snake plant, it can result in leggy growth. Generally, snake plants require a very little dose of fertilizer. However, if you overdo it, your plant is going to absorb all the nutrients, and the leaves grow 2 times faster within a short interval.

Best Practices To Reshape Your Overgrown Snake Plant

What to do when snake plants get too tall

You need to strictly follow a complete regime to bring back your snake plant to its former shape and beauty. For this, you can adopt a wide range of practices. As a snake plant parent, you must consider the options and choose the best one for your baby. Here are the different methods elaborated –

  1. Pruning

Pruning is the key to reshaping your tall and leggy snake plant. No matter for what reason, your plant has outgrown, prune it carefully to fix the shape.

If you’re pruning a plant for the first time, make sure to keep in mind the following tips:

  • Take sterilized and sharp scissors and cut the damaged or outgrown leaves carefully.
  • Alongside, prune out the leggy leaves.
  • Then discard the leaves, or you can also compost them.

After cutting down the large tall leaves, assess your plant from tip to toe. If you are satisfied with the result, you can skip the pruning process. Some plant owners choose to cut the upper side of the leaves, but it doesn’t look good. Moreover, make sure to keep the new fresh leaves intact and cut only the old large leaves.

Since snake plants support the propagation technique, you can use freshly cut leaves to grow new snake plants!

  1. Keep The Plant Away From Direct Sunlight

Your efforts of pruning the snake plants will wash away if you do not set up a suitable environment for your plant. Pruning is unquestionably the quickest solution to restore your plant’s shape. But it wouldn’t show any positive result in the long run unless you keep the plant away from direct sunlight.

Snake plants can easily survive in indirect light! So place the pot in such a place where it doesn’t get direct sunlight but gets sufficient light to stay fresh and healthy! This way, your plant will grow uninterruptedly but at a slower pace, staying at a suitable height.

  1. Don’t Fertilize Daily

Fertilizer helps to accelerate the growth of your snake plant. If you keep fertilizing your snake plant daily after pruning, it will keep growing fast. In no time, you’ll find that your beloved houseplant has reached its optimum height. So it’s ideal to stop feeding your plant for the first few weeks of the pruning session. And when you restart using fertilizer again, make sure to keep it within a limit. Also, reduce the level of nitrogen in the fertilizer to induce slow growth in your houseplant. The all-purpose plant fertilizer could be your ideal pick in this case!

  1. Repot Your Snake Plant

If the plant’s root has outgrown too, along with its leaves, repotting can help to fix the growth pace of your houseplant. While repotting, you don’t just need to prune the leaves but also the roots that have overgrown in the potting mix.

Pruning the plant on both sides can impact the plant’s growth positively. It will allow you to have control over its height. Pruning the roots once a year can keep your snake plant at its ideal size. Early spring is the best time to conduct the root pruning process. As the plant remains in its growth phase during spring and summer, it heals the damaged roots (because of pruning) quickly.

To prune the roots:

  • First, put the plant out of the pot.
  • Remove the soil mix from the roots using your fingers or with slightly warm water.
  • Then prune out the thinner root threads instead of the thicker ones.
  • Also, make sure to cut only ⅓ part of the root mass at a time.

When you finally give your plant a manageable shape, it’s time to repot it. Make sure to choose a pot that is larger than the previous one to support the plant’s further growth.

After repotting, keep rotating the pot so that all parts of your plant can get adequate light and grow equally. This can help prevent your plant from getting leggy and leaning on a specific side.

  1. Divide The Baby Plants

If you see small new plants in the pot of your overgrown snake plant, it clearly indicates that your plant is healthy. And by separating the baby plants from the mother plant, you can maintain the plant’s ideal shape and grow new plants at the same time!

FAQs About What To Do When Snake Plants Get Too Tall

Can I cut my snake plant from the top?

You can definitely choose to cut your snake plant from the top. However, it will snatch away your plant’s beauty. Also, sometimes cutting the plan from the upper side can create several obstacles before its growth. So pruning the leaves and roots is the most ideal choice for restoring your houseplant’s shape and size.

Why has my snake plant become leggy?

Snake plants get leggy when they overgrow or receive less sunlight. If you figure out the right reason behind the leggy condition of your plant and take necessary actions accordingly fast, you can easily fix the issue and make your plant stand straight and healthy once again!

How can I prevent my snake plant from drooping?

In case your snake plant falls over or gets droopy, there could possibly be two reasons – either it has grown too tall or it is underwater. If it’s due to its height, consider cutting down the overgrown droopy leaves. But if it’s because of underwatering, choose the correct watering regimen for your plant.

Final Words

Love and care can encourage even your slow-growing snake plant to outgrow your space! And showing the same level of love and effort, you can also help it get back to its shape. Overgrown snake plants become a mess to keep indoors. Sometimes it also droops or leans over due to its extremely large outgrowth, snatching away the real beauty of your plant. If you sense the outgrowing issue in your snake plant early and take all the suitable actions, just as mentioned in the write-up, you can fix it easily! A little pruning, re-planning its care regimen, and cutting off the dosage of the fertilizer is all it takes to keep your snake plant healthy, beautiful, and compact!

Have you ever witnessed your snake plant grow unusually tall? What practices do you follow to bring back its former cute shape? Share all your tips and tricks with us and other fellow plant owners in the comment box below!

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