Ask a Question forum: Snake Plant - Sansevieria Please HELP!

Views: 408, Replies: 17 » Jump to the end
Name: Chelsea
Denver, CO
Image
Chelseaestell
Jan 21, 2018 3:31 PM CST
I have an indoor Sansevieria I purchased about 10 months ago. It stays in my living room which gets pretty decent light. It's always been a slow grower, but has looked to be in decent health up until the start of fall and winter.

The past few months I have noticed the leave edges and tips become more and more brown.

The older leaves are also starting to bend in the middle and fall over. I'm also noticing some strange spots on the top of one of the oldest leaves. I've included pictures.

Can anyone give me some guidance, any direction at all? I'm baffled as to what is happening or what I am doing wrong and I am desperate to turn this around. Any advice is more than appreciated.
Thumb of 2018-01-21/Chelseaestell/54ac00
Thumb of 2018-01-21/Chelseaestell/296ef3
Thumb of 2018-01-21/Chelseaestell/4f61e8
Thumb of 2018-01-21/Chelseaestell/7f81f9
Thumb of 2018-01-21/Chelseaestell/aa8fd4
Thumb of 2018-01-21/Chelseaestell/b5205b
Thumb of 2018-01-21/Chelseaestell/493ffd

Name: Porkpal
Richmond, TX
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Keeper of Poultry Farmer Roses Raises cows
Garden Ideas: Level 2 Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier
porkpal
Jan 21, 2018 3:44 PM CST
Too much water if often an issue with succulents, especially in the winter. Could that be it?
Porkpal
Name: Chelsea
Denver, CO
Image
Chelseaestell
Jan 21, 2018 3:46 PM CST
I honestly thought it may have been the opposite as I've only watered 2-3 this whole winter season Sad do you think my soil is holding too much water or something?
Greece (Zone 10b)
Houseplants Foliage Fan Cactus and Succulents Tropicals Aroids Bromeliad
Orchids Region: Europe Garden Art Enjoys or suffers hot summers Dog Lover Cat Lover
Image
Faridat
Jan 21, 2018 3:53 PM CST
What about the temperature? Your soil seems alright to me, but your pot seems bigger than necessary. When was she repotted?
In some Native languages the term for plants translates to "those who take care of us."
Robin Wall Kimmerer
Name: Will Creed
NYC
Professional indoor plant consultan
Image
WillC
Jan 22, 2018 7:50 PM CST
Chelsea - Sansevierias have an unearned reputation for being easy plants, that are tough to kill. Indeed, they will thrive with near total neglect for a year or so, but then may rather suddenly start to fall apart.

I see yours was repotted into a fairly large pot with lots of fresh potting mix. These plants do not respond well to having their roots disturbed and it is easy to repot them incorrectly. Repotting into a large pot also substantially increases the chances of inadvertent overwatering.

The room may have "pretty decent light," but your plant really should be very close to the window. Going forward, water very lightly - maybe a half cup or less every week or so. Err on the side or dryness and never completely soak all of the soil. Improving the light is the most important consideration. Be patient and good luck.
Will Creed
Horticultural Help, NYC
www.HorticulturalHelp.com
I now have a book available on indoor plant care
Name: Dave
Southern wisconsin (Zone 5b)
Region: Wisconsin Peonies Bulbs Seed Starter Pollen collector Plant and/or Seed Trader
Hybridizer Daylilies Garden Photography Dog Lover Lilies Irises
Image
Nhra_20
Jan 22, 2018 8:11 PM CST
What about feeding it with a light fertilizer? Or a seaweed extract?
Name: Will Creed
NYC
Professional indoor plant consultan
Image
WillC
Jan 22, 2018 8:31 PM CST
Dave - Lack of nutrients is not the problem here. Fertilizer is not medicine and is intended only for healthy plants that are growing vigorously.
Will Creed
Horticultural Help, NYC
www.HorticulturalHelp.com
I now have a book available on indoor plant care
Name: Chelsea
Denver, CO
Image
Chelseaestell
Jan 23, 2018 12:19 AM CST
You guys all bring up very valid points! Thank you for taking the time to give me some feedback Smiling it was repotted only once when I brought it home from the store I purchased it from about 10 months ago. Unfortunately I didn't even think twice regarding the pot size, but now that it's mentioned I can understand that causing some stress.

The temperature in my house stays roughly at 70 degrees, with it sometimes dropping into the 60s if I'm gone for a prolonged period of time.

Will - I took your advice and moved it to the sunniest corner of the room and am crossing my fingers to see some improvement. Thanks again guys. I will definitely be updating again, seeking some more solid guidance to bring some stealth back to this one as I really do have high hopes.
[Last edited by Chelseaestell - Jan 23, 2018 12:20 AM (+)]
Give a thumbs up | Quote | Post #1626560 (8)
Name: Sue Taylor
Northumberland, UK
Charter ATP Member Bookworm Amaryllis Houseplants Annuals Garden Photography
Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Foliage Fan Bulbs Bee Lover Frogs and Toads Container Gardener
Image
kniphofia
Jan 23, 2018 12:38 AM CST
I actually think your problem might be dryness. What is your watering regimen? I have over 20 Sansevieria and although they aren't in active growth during winter (I'm in the UK) they are still in a centrally heated house so I water mine, but more sparingly than during summer ie less frequently. I would have a look at your plant's roots. Some of the leaves are creasing and that is usually a sign of dryness. If your plants are getting good light and are in a 70F temperature they need water.
If the roots are filling the pot and look dry give the plant a thorough watering.
Definitely no feeding, especially in winter. Fertilizing a failing plant is not recommended.
Name: Tiffany purpleinopp
Opp, AL 🌵🌷⚘🌹🌻 (Zone 8b)
Houseplants Organic Gardener Composter Region: Gulf Coast Miniature Gardening Native Plants and Wildflowers
Tropicals Butterflies Garden Sages Cactus and Succulents Plant Identifier Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
Image
purpleinopp
Jan 24, 2018 9:28 AM CST
As long as the new pups are healthy, the shriveling of the older rosette is not cause for concern. Normal monocarpic behavior. The bent leaves look like mechanical damage.
👀😁😂 - SMILE! -☺😎☻☮👌✌∞☯🐣🐦🐔🐝🍯🐾
The less I interfere, the more balance mother nature provides.
👒🎄👣🏡🍃🍂🌾🌿🍁❦❧ 🍃🍁🍂🌾🌻🌸🌼🌹🌽❀☀🌺
☕👓 The only way to succeed is to try.
Name: Chelsea
Denver, CO
Image
Chelseaestell
Mar 19, 2018 1:41 AM CST
Thank you guys so much for your responses! Smiling I started giving it about a half cup or so every week as Will recommended and I'm seeing tremendous progress. It's the beginning of spring here in Denver and we're getting more sunlight, so I moved it to a sunnier location and those two factors have definitely helped.

I really want this little guy to survive, and everyone's advice has been immensely helpful. So I'm interested in getting furthur opinion - I am seeing lots of new growth and I am wondering when is a good time to replace the soil? The soil feels dusty and I recently bought an all organic/perlite mix that my other plants seem to love. Any fertilizing advice?

I am also noticing weird brown notches in the leaves, like splits and crusted tips. Any advice or direction would be very much so appreciated! Here are some photos of the updated growth, some of those weird dry spots, as well as the fertilizer I have. Looking forward to some advice :)
Thumb of 2018-03-19/Chelseaestell/0b83a4
Thumb of 2018-03-19/Chelseaestell/b1cf80
Thumb of 2018-03-19/Chelseaestell/319a73
Thumb of 2018-03-19/Chelseaestell/84f56b
Thumb of 2018-03-19/Chelseaestell/d9d668
Thumb of 2018-03-19/Chelseaestell/c0c7b4
Name: Will Creed
NYC
Professional indoor plant consultan
Image
WillC
Mar 19, 2018 5:23 AM CST
Good to learn that your Snake Plant is doing better, Chelsea! This is a plant where doing less is almost always better; it thrives on neglect.

Definitely, do NOT replace the soil. If you do, you will set it way back. the soil is dusty because you are allowing it to dry out in between waterings, as you should. It also does not need fertilizer. As I said, less is more with this plant, with the exception of sunlight.

The spots you see are blemishes and have no specific cause that can be remedied.
Will Creed
Horticultural Help, NYC
www.HorticulturalHelp.com
I now have a book available on indoor plant care
Name: Tiffany purpleinopp
Opp, AL 🌵🌷⚘🌹🌻 (Zone 8b)
Houseplants Organic Gardener Composter Region: Gulf Coast Miniature Gardening Native Plants and Wildflowers
Tropicals Butterflies Garden Sages Cactus and Succulents Plant Identifier Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
Image
purpleinopp
Mar 19, 2018 7:56 AM CST
What is meant by set it way back? I change the soil of my plants twice per year and always having plenty of room to grow causes them to grow so quickly that I have boxes of extra plants that need homes each fall. The space available for them in my house does not increase but the amount of plant mass is at least doubled every year.

Chelsea, what is your motivation for wanting to change the soil? This plant looks happy, albeit thirsty, with plenty of room to expand laterally in the way of growing new pups.

Some of the warping of the leaves could be from being too dry if the soil is truly getting so dry that there is literally no moisture left in it. Being able to survive a drought does not mean that a plant won't suffer damage from the experience. Sans do not thrive on drought, and will grow much more quickly if the soil is not allowed to become completely dry.

It looks like it is in an unglazed pot, which should ameliorate almost any concern about overwatering. The porous material makes it possible for roots to access oxygen all around the edge of the soil, not just at the surface or drain hole. Unless the pot is sitting in a tub of water, &/or your soil has a lot of silicone "moisture control" crystals in it, there's not much cause to worry about overwatering in an unglazed clay pot.
👀😁😂 - SMILE! -☺😎☻☮👌✌∞☯🐣🐦🐔🐝🍯🐾
The less I interfere, the more balance mother nature provides.
👒🎄👣🏡🍃🍂🌾🌿🍁❦❧ 🍃🍁🍂🌾🌻🌸🌼🌹🌽❀☀🌺
☕👓 The only way to succeed is to try.
Name: Jude
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (Zone 6a)
Cat Lover Tomato Heads Plant and/or Seed Trader Frogs and Toads Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Bee Lover
Enjoys or suffers cold winters Winter Sowing Butterflies Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
Image
obliqua
Mar 19, 2018 8:43 AM CST


"The spots you see are blemishes and have no specific cause that can be remedied." Added by Will C :

is probably the best response to your question regarding the cosmetic issues on the leaf.
Name: mikelzz
stamford ct (Zone 6a)
Image
mikelzz
Mar 19, 2018 2:53 PM CST
purpleinopp

I agree ,,it is too dry ,,,, and in a pot that much larger ,,when you water it ,,it will take too long for it to dry out , unless it is a clay pot
they do best being repotted into a pot just slightly larger than the one it is in ,,,, and if you change out a bit of the soil occasionally they can stay in the same pot for quite a long time ..

once they get pot bound they will bloom, very fragrant night-scented flowers
I grow then in the hottest sun in the house .


Thumb of 2018-03-19/mikelzz/3082d3


Thumb of 2018-03-19/mikelzz/ee3138


Thumb of 2018-03-19/mikelzz/1c528b


Thumb of 2018-03-19/mikelzz/d05a9a

Name: Chelsea
Denver, CO
Image
Chelseaestell
Mar 20, 2018 10:12 AM CST
I really appreciate the feedback Smiling

I will definitely continue with the same tlc, as it has made such a positive difference in the past few weeks.

I had no specific reason to change out the soil other than reading that some people like to change it during the springtime. Wasn't sure if that would be beneficial. I'm going to go with no like Will said, and continue on with light waterings.

I'm so very glad to hear the spots are not something worrisome, thanks again for checking out my pictures and giving me some guidance here. I have desperately wanted to make this little guy look healthier, and with the advice, I can finally say that day has come!

Even though I made the mistake of putting it in a pot a bit too large for its size when I first got it, I'm guessing it's probably best to just leave it be and let it stay in that pot? I would love to see it grow larger so that wouldn't be an issue. I don't want to disturb it, I will just be aware of the pot size aspect in the future.

I am extremely appreciative of all the feedback and guidance! Thanks so much for taking the time to get back to me. It is so very exciting to finally see some new growth Smiling you guys helped me save my little guy! I will definitely be reaching out again when it comes to my others. I just brought home a pothos that I am determined keep alive and well. I am excited to see what all you guys have to say to help me learn the best ways I can tend to these beauty's. Thank you so so much! :)
Name: mikelzz
stamford ct (Zone 6a)
Image
mikelzz
Mar 20, 2018 10:23 AM CST


why not just add some other small plants or a taller one to that same pot ? mix several kinds together .

their roots are small and I am certain your plant would like some company ..................
Name: Yardenman
Maryland (Zone 7a)
Image
Yardenman
Mar 20, 2018 10:30 AM CST
I'm going to say something odd about snake plants. I had 2 large pots of them. One I pulled out the whole overgrown batch and brutally cut the entangled roots into a dozen chunks and stuck them into potting soil in 6" pots last October.

I don't water them much and only aquarium water. They get modest light. They are all thriving and sending up new shoots.
Thumb of 2018-03-20/Yardenman/b90d4e

The other pot is sitting in the living room, overcrowded and completely ignored in a wide shallow pot. I have not given it a drop of water for months. It is also thriving.

Both pots were from a cheap store 15 years ago. It takes real effort to kill them. They were overwatered unmerifully in the office. I didn't know for years, but a co-worker kept pouring water in the pots "to help the poor things since I wasn't". They survived that. I hardly ever watered them after I brought them home. They survived that, too.

They are harder to kill than poison ivy.

« Garden.org Homepage
« Back to the top
« Forums List
« Ask a Question forum
Only the members of the Members group may reply to this thread.

Member Login:

Username:

Password:

[ Join now ]

Today's site banner is by GaNinFl and is called "Old Mill Courtyard"