Why is my snake plant dying might be a question that’s bugging you. It could be dying due to over or underwatering, poor drainage, insufficient and pathogens to name a few. The solutions range from changing watering schedules to changing pH.
In this article, we’ll examine potential issues and show you how simple it is to solve them if they do arise or completely prevent them if they do.
- What Are Possible Reasons Why Your Snake Plant Is Dying?
- How Can You Save a Dying Snake Plant?
What Are Possible Reasons Why Your Snake Plant Is Dying?
The possible reasons why our snake plant could be dying are watering issues, poor drainage, insufficient sunlight, incorrect pH and low temperatures. In order to accurately diagnose the problem you should observe the plant closely and take action according to what you see.
– You May Be Overwatering
Without question, when you are inexperienced at dealing with the snake plant, this is the issue you will encounter the most frequently. This particular plant does well in dry and semi-dry environments. Therefore, you must give it time to dry out completely between each watering. Discolored leaves are an early warning indicator – after that, it turns mushy and soft, and the foliage will soon wilt.
The plant is most at risk from what is happening below ground, whereas what is occurring above ground will be the first sign you notice. The roots will rot there, so they will no longer be able to provide the nutrients and minerals important to the leaves.
– You May Be Underwatering
Underwatering and overwatering might have similar indications and symptoms if you are not used to caring for snake plants. The foliage may droop and start turning yellow and generally appear unwell. Underwatering is very different from waterlogging in that the blades of an under-watered plant are not gooey.
Rather, they get crisper and more brittle. The commonality of the symptoms has a specific cause. The roots cannot deliver nutrients to a plant’s above-ground parts. The soil will also indicate that your troubles are due to underwatering rather than overwatering. Underwatering is a problem if the substance is dried and feels like dust.
– Drainage Is Insufficient
This problem should be top of your mind for your snake plant, for pretty much all plants you are growing or plants to grow indoors. The media of growth you decide to use can smother the roots if it fails to drain well, as well as storage for illness and other infections. It is a prevalent issue, which is surprising given how simple it is to prevent.
There are a few indications that the soil in your yard needs to be draining properly. The feeling comes first. It is nearly certainly a drainage issue if it seems wet or saturated. A second indication is the presence of slime or mold that starts to grow on the top of your plant. Lastly, you’ll know that your soil is not draining properly if it smells like a swamp.
– Insufficient Sunlight
Your plant will find it challenging to photosynthesize if it needs more light. The foliage will turn yellow or brown if food isn’t prepared adequately. The snake plants with the greatest colorful leaf variegation will show this off the most. They’ll start to deteriorate and turn green. Even though it is not particularly detrimental, the plant’s overall beauty is diminished.
Common pathogenic diseases have the potential to harm your plant. Small reddish-brown patches that start to emerge on the foliage of the snake plant may be the consequence of a pathogen. A fungal pathogenic infection can cause root rot, which might devastate your snake plant.
– Inappropriate Soil PH
Sometimes, certain plants can have difficulty properly taking in the minerals and nutrients whenever the soil they are growing in needs the right pH levels. For example, if your plant is not taking up enough iron, the result can be vein-to-vein yellowing in the leaves.
Snake plants do not enjoy even a slight amount of cold, and doing so could result in the plant’s demise. The leaves will collapse and swiftly become blue-black. People who take their snake plants outdoors during the summer and then need to return them inside before winter usually only face this issue.
– Pest issues
The snake plant isn’t a choice among insect pests due to the thick, waxy coating that covers its leaves. Sapsuckers could cause problems, and the two you would be most likely to run into are scale bugs and mealybugs. These two men use concealment as their main line of protection.
Mealybugs resemble little white tufts of hair, and an amateur gardener might not even recognize one as an insect at first glance. The gaps and fissures at the foot of the plant’s leaves are their favorite places to skulk around. Scale insects are a little more evident, albeit they first don’t resemble insects.
– Humidity Too Low
The snake plant is no different from other plants because it prefers a particular humidity level. Although these plants are native to dry environments, certain homes’ humidity levels may fall short of what they need, especially if a heating system is present. There is no need to be overwhelmingly concerned about this. You won’t have to go out and buy a mister or a sprinkling system immediately.
– Managing Dormancy
Most plants can sometimes go through a phase where their metabolism slows down drastically, and their growth rate is significantly reduced. Your snake plant looks to be dying at the moment. And so is the situation with the snake plant; this typically occurs during the colder winter months.
– Soil Deficient in Nutrients
If the snake plant is grown in a pot, it will inevitably run out of the nourishment that was formerly in the soil sooner or later. Over time, this will cause the plant to develop more slowly and become less healthy. Your snake plant can appear to be dead at one time.
– Plant Is Root Bound
When a snake plant’s root ball fills the pot it was planted in, it is said to be “root bound”. As a result, the soil may lose its ability to retain moisture and the nutrients your plant needs to grow. The warning signals of withering snake plants will gradually emerge. These plants don’t require frequent repotting. Even with very tight roots, they are content.
Roots poking through the drainage holes, over the brim of the pot, or bulging when placed in a plastic container indicate that you must change the pot that you’re currently keeping your plant in. For an issue like this, you should ideally repot to a much larger pot where roots have room to grow and are not at risk of becoming entangled.
How Can You Save a Dying Snake Plant?
To save a dying snake plant you must first diagnose the problem properly and then take action such as watering correctly, correcting the soil pH, adjusting the temperature the plant is growing in, fixing the drainage and providing appropriate lighting.
– Water It Correctly
Confirming your assessment is the first step you should take if you believe excessive moisture impacts your plant. Feel the potting soil; if it seems extremely wet or soggy, you may be sure your diagnosis is accurate. If the damage is not too severe, stopping watering and letting the potting soil dry out should help your plant recover.
- It must be able to drain any extra water in the soil. Ensure the container has a draining hole and is not surrounded by a saucer filled with water. When the soil is entirely dry, wait a couple of extra days before watering it again.
- Pour water into the soil’s surface until it escapes through drainage holes. After that, let any remaining water drain before putting the plant back into the tray. Make sure the soil is super dry before you water it again. To accomplish this, bury your finger in the ground for two inches or more – your second knuckle is where this is located.
- Repeat the above watering procedure if the soil is unquestionably dry. Avoid the all-too-common pitfall of watering according to a schedule.Depending on its size, the season of the year, and its surroundings, your plants release water at varying rates. The greatest approach is to develop the ability only to sense the water and soil when they are completely dry.
- If root rot has advanced to a severe stage, you must tilt the plant out of the container and remove any loose, moist soil surrounding the roots. Afterward, take a pair of secateurs and remove any brown or slimy roots. The root ball should now be placed on a piece of newspaper and left to dry for a few days. Repotting your plant shouldn’t be considered until the root ball has thoroughly dried.
- Replant the plant in a container no bigger than it was originally using unrestricted garden soil, such as succulents or cacti mix. Even if the old topsoil has dried out, avoid using it again, and if you use the original container, clean it well before replanting. Take time rewatering your delicate plant because the potting mix may be slightly moist.
- Let it get used to its new surroundings; you won’t need to water it again until the soil is completely dry. Underwatering is much less likely to harm snake plants than overwatering does. You will only have to hydrate this shrub at least once every fourteen days during the growing season.
That will decrease to once a month during the dormant season and potentially even less frequently. This plant is used to going for extended periods without water, so it will recover rapidly if you resume a sustainable watering schedule. When it happens, you can continue using the approach that was recently used. You should ensure the soil is not so damaged that it can no longer retain some moisture after being watered. Consider repotting into new potting soil if the water runs through with little effect and the soil dries completely in hours.
– Fix the Drainage
The first thing to watch for when buying a new shrub is a drain hole at the bottom of the container. Your whole finger should fit into the hole without getting stuck. For a plant that is already potted, you can check whether the soil has drained by feeling the potting mix through the hole in the bottom.
More than simply having adequate drainage through to the opening in your plant pot is required. Additionally, the soil type itself should be very well drained. The most simple method is to look for cacti or succulent-specific soils, which you can easily find at any run-of-the-mill garden supply store.
If your nearby seller does not carry the type of soil you’re looking for, you can create your free-draining mix by incorporating three parts regular potting soil and two parts perlite or grit. Typically, indoor plants are potted in containers that have saucers or plates at their vases. Placing a container in its tray before it completely drains is a typical drainage mistake.
As the saucer fills with water, additional drainage is slowed. After watering, try to drain the soil completely; however, should the saucer under your pot collect water, tip it over to avoid any potential issues immediately.
– Provide the Best Lighting
The snake plant, luckily, is very light tolerant, making it one of the factors that makes it such a nice home visitor. It can thrive in indirect light from a north-facing windowsill but also tolerate short periods of direct sunlight.
Your plant should ideally be placed such that it receives bright yet indirect light. Try artificial lighting for your snake plant if you need more indirect natural light in your apartment. Your snake plant will thrive in this location the most, and as a result, it will produce the healthiest growth. You must transition gradually to place your plant outside during the warmer months. Place the plant in the daylight for a few hours daily to get used to its surroundings and avoid shock.
– Clear Pathogens
For planting your indoor plants, always use fresh, sterilized potting soil. When repotting your snake plant, please don’t reuse the old potting soil and throw it away. Last but not least, some of the germs might persist inside the pot. Wash it thoroughly and add a capful of bleaching agent to the water you are using to wash it before transplanting it in a pot.
If the disease has not been allowed to grow too firmly established, these plants typically recover after being transplanted into healthy soil.
– Inappropriate Soil pH
It’s important to note that the snake plant can tolerate various pH values, from 4.5 to 8.5. The ideal range for the pH level of your soil or potting mix should be between 5.5 and 7.5. When utilizing specialized potting soil, it ought to fall within this range.
The pH usually becomes excessively acidic if peat moss is used, but since we want to avoid too much moisture retention and are trying for a cactus-like mix, this should be fine. You can get a soil test kit and examine the levels if you’re worried that an inappropriate pH level causes your plants’ issues.
The optimal temperature spectrum for snake plants is between 65 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit, which is simple to maintain in a typical home. If you place the plant in an environment below 55 degrees Fahrenheit, it will begin to act dissatisfied.
– Past Issues
Always use a soft cloth and rubbing alcohol to remove the mealybugs from the leaves. It will be harder to locate them than to get rid of them. Because they are a little tougher, scale insects may require being scraped away with a blunt knife or your fingernail. By observing them closely, it is possible to prevent the establishment of both of these pests.
Keeping the leaves clean and aiding in preventing these pests requires routine wiping with a moderately damp cloth. If you adhere to these guidelines, using pesticides shouldn’t be necessary. Remember that a strong plant is much less likely to be attacked from the start.
– Fix Humidity
Plant islands, which are collections of plants, are one technique to increase the moisture around your plants. All of the plants in the group are transpiring, so a little microenvironment will naturally be created to increase the dampness in that area. Suppose your plant is upright; layer stones in the plant tray and add water. The liquid will be out of the potted plant when it rests on the stones, but it will profit from the liquid evaporating.
– Manage Dormancy Efficiently
Anticipate your plant to slow down in the northern latitudes around late October and March. Being aware of dormancy is crucial since, during this time, your plant will need considerably less watering and no fertilizer. The same method of touching the garden soil before adding more water should be followed. Half as often as it was throughout the growing season should now be the case.
– Soil Deficient in Nutrients
The solution is as simple as adding fertilizer. The major lesson here is that snake plants only need a little sense of supplemental feeding. Apply a mixed house plant fertilizer and only provide the recommended feeding per packet. Only feed during the growing season; do not feed for the rest of the year.
– Repotting for Root-Bound Plants
You should transplant your plant into a larger container if it is exhibiting indications of distress or has exceeded the size of the pot it is in.
One way to check if your plant has root rot is to tip it out of the pot. You can trim back any brown or reddish roots until you reach pure, white root material. Utilize one of the gardening solutions that we’ve already discussed and place your plant in its new, clean container.
Refrain from feeling compelled to hydrate the plant right away. Give the plant time to settle in since the soil has enough moisture to endure for a few days. After the soil has dried out properly, continue by feeling using your fingers for the dampness and water. You must give your plant the best conditions possible at this point, particularly if it is recuperating from such a near-death experience.
Please keep it in a well-lit area that is not direct. The stress that your plant is experiencing can be added to if it is exposed to excessive sunlight. Always ensure that the humidity is at its ideal level and the temperature is moderately high.
Since snake plants are extremely resilient, what you read is frequently the worst-case situation. Therefore, these plants will generally be free of any inconvenience, but you must remember the following:
- The most common cause of snake plants dying is watering issues – over or under-watering.
- Stress can also be due to incorrect lighting or pathogens or inappropriate pH.
- In order to save the plant you must first “diagnose” the problem correctly and then take the relevant steps to remedy it.
Finally, stay alert and on the lookout for pests and illnesses to rescue your plant before it perishes. Remember that finding a solution quickly enough can save you from losing your prized plant after spending too much time on it, which would be heartbreaking.
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