Snake plants are currently one of the most coveted houseplants, as they complement modern interior design well.
Their sleek, upright, and luscious green leaves are an attractive addition to any home or office!
Apart from aesthetic reasons, Snake plants are also popular for their low maintenance.
Nevertheless, like with every other plant, these plants tend to experience leaf damage when not taken care of well.
This guide will discuss a few reasons that cause this leaf damage and offer tips to revive the plant again.
4 Types of Snake Plant Leaf Damage
When a Snake plant leaf is damaged, it shows in different ways.
The leaves might droop, turn brown, or curl.
Once the tip of the leaf is damaged, the leaf will not grow anymore.
Here are a few ways which can damage the leaves of a Snake plant and problems that you can avoid once you spot them:
1. Watering Issues
Snake plants are often overwatered.
When the soil becomes water-logged, the roots are damaged first, and this eventually affects the leaves.
To prevent the soil from becoming water-logged, plant the Snake plant in gritty and coarse soil such as soil that is suitable for cacti.
The plant should be watered regularly during its growing season, but the gap between watering can be increased from the fall to winter season.
The soil must remain dry before you water the plant again.
If you want to know if you are watering the plant correctly, check its leaves.
Green and shiny leaves are a sign that the plant is well-watered and healthy.
Dull leaves mean that your plant needs more water.
2. Leaf Damage Due To Cold
The right temperature can determine the growth of your plant.
Leaving the Snake plant in temperatures under 55F can cause leaf scarring and damage.
It is better to prevent the plant from such temperatures rather than wait for the leaves to scar, as this damage can be irreversible.
The ideal temperature for the Snake plant to thrive is 65F to 80F during the daytime and 55 and 70F at nighttime.
3. Pest Damage On The Leaves
When you have a Snake plant at home, you should expect the plant to get infested with spider mites or mealybugs at some point unless you are extremely careful.
These pests cause damage to the leaves by sucking the sap from the veins of the leaves and thereby weakening the plant.
To prevent these bugs from harming your plant, routinely examine the leaves for any damage.
Use a clean, damp cloth to wipe down the leaves once every two weeks or so.
When the infestation grows out of hand, it is better to remove the entire plant from your home as the pest control process is time-consuming, and the plant may infect other plants during the process.
Mealybugs can be picked out from the plant by hand or by using wipes with alcohol to wipe the plant down.
Spider mites are not easily noticeable.
So, to eliminate the pests, ensure that there is enough humidity surrounding the plant.
There are also substances like neem oil or dish soap that you can use to spray the plant once every two weeks until the pests are completely eliminated.
4. Fungal Issues
Red spots and webbed growth on Snake plant leaves are tell-tale signs of fungal problems that the plant may be facing.
Fungal issues in a plant are one of the main reasons the plant may die.
The plant can wilt, turn soft, brown, eventually die if not taken care of well.
The only way to avoid fungal problems is to ensure the best environment for the plant in terms of water, temperature, soil, and leaf maintenance.
The leaves of the plant have to be dry all the time so that no fungal issues arise.
3 Easy Tips To Save Damaged Snake Plant Leaf
As mentioned above, there are a plethora of reasons your Snake plant is experiencing leaf damage.
Luckily, Snake plants are easy to maintain, and the problems that cause leaf damage are quite straightforward.
Fixing the issues the plant is facing is just as easy and straightforward.
Here are some tips to help you revive the snake plant leaf:
1. Reduce Watering Times
It is natural to want to water your plant regularly, but remember that Snake plants do not enjoy sitting in water, and waterlogged roots damage the plant quickly.
Watering once a week is too much for a Snake plant.
Try to lengthen the gap between watering so that the soil is dry before you water again.
If the leaves are turning yellow or brown, that is the sign that you should not water frequently.
Once every 2-3 weeks is adequate to keep the plant hydrated.
2. Soil Issues
Even if you water your plant right on schedule, the soil might not be well-draining.
This can clog the roots, and the plant is probably sitting in damp soil for the majority of the time.
If you think this is the issue, dip your fingers into the soil to check if the soil is constantly damp.
Once you check the soil, replace the damp soil with fresh, well-draining soil.
Soil formulated for succulents, especially cacti, is the best well-draining soil for a snake plant.
This soil mimics the conditions of the natural conditions in which the Snake plant has evolved, which is why this soil is perfect for growing the plant.
3. Pot With Drainage Holes
It is not enough to plant the Snake plant in well-draining soil.
Pots with drainage holes are helpful when it comes to drain stagnant water in the pot properly.
If your plant is not already in well-draining soil, get one for it so that the soil and roots are not damp.
3 Things You Can Do To Avoid Snake Plant Leaf Damage
Leaf damage occurs when the Snake plant lacks something or is receiving an excess of a certain substance.
You need to find the right balance for your Snake plant, and you can avoid leaf damage!
If you are a first-time Snake plant owner, you are bound to make mistakes such as overwatering or planting the plant in the wrong type of soil.
Fortunately, most mistakes are reversible.
Apart from the basics, such as watering on time, providing sunlight, and gritty soil, you will need to practice a few extra steps to keep your plant happy.
- Pruning: Pruning helps the plant appear tidy. You can prune off leaves that are damaged beyond repair to maintain the rest of the plant.
- Regular Cleaning: Once in a while, with clean tissue paper, wipe the surface of the leaves so as to remove any dust and possibly even pests.
- Repotting: Ideally, it is necessary to repot your plant every once in a while, but since houseplants grow slower than outdoor plants, you can repot the snake plant every 2-3 years to keep it healthy.
Snake Plant Pruning Tips
If several of the Snake plant leaves are damaged due to a fungal or pest issue, you can prune them so that the damaged leaves will not sap the nutrients from the rest of the plant.
This will help keep the remaining leaves green and sleek.
Pruning a Snake plant can be done in a couple of simple steps:
- Use a sharp, clean tool for pruning.
- Cut the leaf stalks from the base, close to the soil. If the leaf is leaning over or badly damaged, you can pull it out easily without a tool, too.
On the whole, that’s how you should take care of your Snake plant.
Hopefully, the above suggestions and tips will help in preventing Snake plant leaf damage.
Moving on, let’s check out the FAQs below.
There is no use of damaged Snake plant leaves, so you should throw them out.
If the leaves were damaged due to pest infestation, dispose of the leaves outside the reach of other houseplants.
However, the fresh pruned leaves can be used for propagation.
It is not always necessary to prune the leaves of the Snake plant unless it is damaged severely.
You can always prune for aesthetic purposes but ensure that the plant does not get damaged in the process.
Cut Snake plant leaves only grow the same way again if they are young.
If you want a new plant, you can use pruned Snake plant leaves to propagate one.
Snake plants should not be misted at any time.
Belonging to the succulent family, these plants are better suited to a dry climate, and misting will only increase root rot and pest issues.
Just like other succulents such as the cactus, Snake plants store water in their long, thick leaves.
When the plant is overwatered, it turns soft and mushy, causing it to lose its uprightness.
Overwatering is a common issue in Snake plants, but the plant can be brought back to its normal condition with proper watering practices.
Over To You
Snake plant leaf damage is a common issue in this type of plant.
Since the leaves of these plants are quite prominent, they become an easy target for many internal and external issues.
However, as I shared above, it’s pretty easy to tackle these issues if you follow the basic guidelines regularly.
Meanwhile, if you are still not sure about this whole issue or have any queries in your mind, please ask them in the comments below.
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