Snake Plant Wilting - Knowledgebase Question

New York, NY
Avatar for Nancy_Agabab
Question by Nancy_Agabab
October 25, 1998
My once lush, multi-fronded Snake Plant has lost many leaves - they've wilted or dried up and I can't imagine what happened. It was happy for several years. I noticed that a lot of the root centers of the clusters have popped out of the soil, I try to re-bury them and moisten the soil to get them reconnected but they don't "take". Also - for propagation I thought you snipped 3" leaf tips and simply placed them in soil. But I notice those 3" pieces eventually wilt and keel over. What gives? How do I keep a snake plant alive and healthy?

Answer from NGA
October 25, 1998
Photo by Paul2032
There are a couple things that could be causing the problem. First of all, I'd suspect overwatering. From your description of them wilting, it sounds like they could be rotting. Snake plants don't like too much moisture--they should be planted in a very well-drained mix (like a cactus mix) and watered sparingly. Though they can tolerate low light levels, they do better with some sunshine. And the lower the light level, the less water they'll need. The plants also need very little in the way of fertilizer. If you applied fertilizer regularly, that may be affecting the plant. Cold temperatures can also damage the plant.

Normally snake plants need repotting only every three or four years. If it's been that long, you could try repotting. But that's probably not the problem, and with a larger pot there's more chance of overwatering.

To propagate the plant, you should be able to take a leaf and cut it into 3" sections (they don't all have to be from the leaf tip.) Place these sections into moist sand, making sure that you orient them the same way as they were on the leaf--that is, that you are placing the lower edge in the sand. Again, overwatering, or a potting mix that holds too much water, may be causing the problem.

Unfortunately, the plant grows so slowly that it could take a long time to regain its lush appearance. It might pay to start over with a new one. Hope this helps!

You must be signed in before you can post questions or answers. Click here to join!

« Return to the Garden Knowledgebase Homepage

Member Login:

( No account? Join now! )

Today's site banner is by Paul2032 and is called "Kalanchoe"

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.