Ask a Question forum: What's wrong with this Snakeplant / Mother in law's tongue

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San Jose, CA
Dec 28, 2016 12:01 AM CST
This forum helped me reroot some coleus successfully, so I'm going to move onto my next problem.

This snake plant showed unhealthy signs 1..5 months ago a few weeks after I returned from a 1 month foreign trip.

Some leaves have yellow spot where the flesh is eaten away. SOme leaves are swollen where the outer edges have a milky yellowish texture. One leaf was super floppy on the top half, so I cut it.

When I got back it seemed ok, so I conclude that it shouldn't be the lack of water from my trip. Only after a few weeks after my return it had these symptoms. Maybe i overwatered it at some point. Another plant in the vicinity had a turn for the worse too, so maybe it was an infection/virus?

Any guidance appreciated

By the way, I had a good laugh when I learned the "mother in law's tongue" name of this plant
Thumb of 2016-12-28/craigsc/cf38ad
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Name: Philip Becker
Fresno California (Zone 8a)
Dec 29, 2016 10:34 AM CST
Im pertty sure it was to much water. You were gone for a month ! Then im gonna guess. When you got back you watered it. And didnt wait another month to water it again !
If im guessing right.
Thats a shame on you.
Mine. In house gets watered every
6 weeks year round. Doing great !
And if you arnt bottom watering.
Please do ! They do much better and you have less problems with them. YES 😎😎😎
I am curious about the hole in that one leaf ? All i can figure out is
::: Some vagrant bug came along, and was real hungry, so he took a bite, nern to be seen again !!! :::
Rolling on the floor laughing Rolling on the floor laughing Rolling on the floor laughing
Latter !!! 😎😎😎
Anything i say, could be misrepresented, or wrong.
Name: Elaine
Sarasota, Fl
The one constant in life is change
Cat Lover Master Gardener: Florida Tropicals Multi-Region Gardener Vegetable Grower Region: Florida
Herbs Orchids Birds Garden Ideas: Level 2 Garden Sages Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Dec 29, 2016 12:23 PM CST
The yellow edges on the leaves are supposed to be there. That's the coloration of the variety you have. All the mature leaves will get that color on them.

I agree with Philip, it probably was watered too much after you returned from your trip. These are desert plants and they store water in their leaves so they do fine with long dry intervals between watering.

If you want to "encourage" it a little bit without watering it too much, try using some very weak soluble fertilizer in a spray bottle and spray the leaves once a month or so. More often in summer when the light is higher and the house is warmer, or if you put it outdoors in the summer, keep it in the shade and away from sprinklers but do give it a little bit of plant food through the leaves. It will go gangbusters outside in the summer, with lots of new growth if you feed it. They like heat, humidity and a dry shady spot. They grow so well here in FL that people use them as hedges and border plants.

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." –Winston Churchill
Name: tarev
San Joaquin County, CA (Zone 9b)
Always count your blessings in life
Cat Lover Houseplants Plays in the sandbox Region: California Orchids Plant Lover: Loves 'em all!
Composter Cactus and Succulents Dragonflies Hummingbirder Amaryllis Container Gardener
Dec 29, 2016 2:26 PM CST
Hello Craig, I only do very gentle watering with my snake plants during the cool season. I tend to keep them on the drier side.

In very warm tropical areas, these plants grow very well, full sun or shade. It can even stand flooding, provided the temperatures are consistently warm to hot, like no temps below 70F.

But in our locations where temps fluctuate and sunlight duration goes short and much cooler in winter, adjustment of watering must be made. Grown indoors, have to be more watchful of its watering needs, it grows slower and returns vigor in Spring.

I see the other tips of your plant is doing okay, so the plant seems okay for now. Just do not be tempted to overwater. Personally I do not spray any fertilizer on my plants during winter. Best to do those in Spring, if you really have to, when it is back to its active growing phase.
Name: Lin
Southeast Florida (Zone 10a)

Region: United States of America Deer Region: Florida Charter ATP Member Million Pollinator Garden Challenge I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
Garden Procrastinator Birds Butterflies Bee Lover Hummingbirder Container Gardener
Dec 29, 2016 2:48 PM CST
Snake Plants (Sansevieria) are very drought tolerant plants and I agree, it's best to grow them on the dry side. Even if the top of the soil appears dry, the lower levels might still be holding moisture. The yellow color along the leaf edges is normal, many Sansieveria have yellow to cream variegated leaf margins:
Snake Plant (Sansevieria trifasciata)
Bird's Nest Snake Plant (Sansevieria trifasciata 'Golden Hahnii')
Snake plant (Sansevieria trifasciata 'Laurentii')
Bird's Nest Snake Plant (Sansevieria trifasciata 'Jade Dwarf Marginated')
Snake Plant (Sansevieria trifasciata 'Gold Flame')
~ Playing in the dirt is my therapy ... and I'm in therapy a lot! ~

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