Snake plant sunburn can be treated using different gardening methods, including removing the affected leaves, moving the plant away from direct sunlight, repotting the plant, and adjusting the watering frequency.
If you follow these techniques, the plant will get better in 3-4 weeks. That said, the extent of revival depends on the condition of the plant, and you need to assess it before deciding the plan of action.
In this guide, you will learn the primary cause, signs, and solutions to treat the sunburn problem in Snake plants. So, let’s get started.
Primary Cause Of Sunburn In Snake Plants
As the name suggests, the sunburn happens due to overexposure to direct sunlight. And it is the primary reason for this issue.
When you keep the Snake plant in intensive sunlight, its leaves get affected easily and show some early signs on their surfaces. Sometimes, lack of watering can also exacerbate the issue in your plant.
You can prevent further damage and revive the plant by examining the leaves. Once you know the signs, you can develop a strategy to deal with the sunburn issue in Snake plants.
Seasonality Factor In Snake Plant Sun Damage
You will see such an issue in the summer and spring seasons. During these months, the plants get the most sunlight, especially when you move your indoor plants outside.
Although moving your plants outside after the winter season is a good gardening strategy, it can cause many issues with your plants. The sunburn issue is just one issue that you often get to see with such gardening practices.
Snake Plant Sunburn Signs
Here are the signs to know your Snake plant is getting too much sun –
- Brown tips on the leaves – The tips and edges of the Snake plant leaves turn brown when they’re exposed to direct sun.
- Dried leaves – The leaves turn dry if you keep the plant in the sun for too long.
- White foliage – Some of the leaves will look faded due to the high intensity of sunlight. This is another sign of sunburn in your Snake plant.
- Droopy leaves – The leaves will droop when the plant is kept under the sun for a long.
- Wilting leaves – If the plant is already under the fungus attack and gets too much sun simultaneously, you will notice wilting leaves.
- Yellow wrinkled leaves – Underwatering and harsh sunlight lead to wrinkles and discoloration on some green-colored Snake plant leaves.
- Dry soil in the pot – Prolonged exposure to intensive sunlight can make the soil turn dry in the pot. It is another sign of sunburn in Snake plants.
- Uneven growth in leaves – If you keep the plant in the sun during the day and move it inside in the evening, you will observe uneven growth in leaves.
- No growth or slow growth in the plant – Sluggish growth is a sign of a sunburned Snake plant. However, you will also need to look at other possible causes.
- No new Snake plant pups for months – Snake plant will stop producing new pups if it’s under stress because of sunburned leaves. During this phase, the plant will remain dormant and focus on survival.
With these noticeable signs, you can identify the sunburn problem in your Snake plant. Of course, some of the above signs are not a direct indication of the issue. So, you will need to look for other indicators to confirm the issue.
How To Treat Snake Plant Sunburn
Here’s a list of things you should do to fix this issue –
1. Inspect The Leaf Damage
Yes, check for the leaf damage!
In this first step, you should inspect the plant thoroughly, as it will help in identifying the amount of damage caused by sun exposure.
If there are just a couple of leaves with sunburn spots, you can probably neglect them. However, if there are more such leaves on the Snake plant, you should consider some of the other suggestions shared in this guide.
Note: You should take a close look at the sunburn spots on the plant, as there might be fungal spots as well.
Now, if you are not sure, the spots will have a slightly orange or brown color, and the fungal spots will probably look white, gray, or black in color. You need to identify the color of these spots so that you can eliminate some other possibilities.
2. Remove The Sunburnt Leaves From Your Snake Plant
If you see a lot of damaged leaves on the plant, it’d be best to remove them from the stem entirely.
Now, this may not be required in most cases, as the sunburnt issue only leaves spots and marks on the leaf. It won’t damage the leaf completely.
So, if you allow such leaves to grow further, they will have no issues completing their life cycles.
Of course, there might be some leaves where you will see larger patches of sunburn issues, and you may need to remove these leaves from the plant.
Other than that, if you feel the damaged leaves don’t complement your decor, you can remove such leaves altogether. For the removal process, use sharp scissors to cut the entire leaf.
3. Propagate The Damaged Leaves
I know the pruning and cutting part is the hardest thing for a true plant lover.
But what if you don’t have any other option than to get rid of such leaves?
In such cases, you should try to propagate the leaves. Yes, the Snake plant can be propagated through leaves.
Simply place the cut leaves in a glass of water or a container and keep changing the water every couple of days.
If things work out in your favor, you will see root formation at the bottom of these leaves. It may take a few weeks to see the arrival of new growth on such leaves, so you need to be a little patient during this period.
Once you see the new roots, you can plant these leaves in new pots and grow them like any other Snake plant.
Now, isn’t that a cool idea? So, don’t just throw away the damaged leaves. Try to revive them again through this simple propagation method.
For more detailed propagation instructions, watch the following video –
4. Move Your Main Plant To A Shaded Place
Coming back to the fixing part, you should consider moving your plant to a shaded place in your home.
This is the most effective way to save your Snake plant from harsh sunlight.
In most other scenarios, you can fix the issue with multiple solutions, but that’s not the case with the sunburn problem. It’s pretty much an external factor, which can only be solved if you place the affected plant indoors.
So, try to find a place in your house where you get decent sunlight throughout the day. It shouldn’t be direct light, though. You can place the plant in a partially shaded place as well.
5. Water The Plant
When you keep the plant under the sun for too long, the water content in the soil starts depleting too.
Even though the Snake plant is a succulent plant and doesn’t require a lot of water, you should water the plant well. When you move the plant from outside to an indoor place, the pot will not have enough water for the plant.
When you water such a plant, it will help alleviate the stress levels of your plant. More importantly, the plant will get back to its growth phase again.
Note: The watering task doesn’t help directly in solving the sunburn issue.
In fact, the sunburn spots will not disappear from the leaves at all. However, if you water the plant, it will ease things up for the entire internal system.
6. Observe The Plant For A Few Weeks
Once you move the plant inside and take good care of it, you should see improvement in the plant’s growth.
Most likely, the plant will not have any sunburn problems after allowing it to grow in a shaded place for a while. Still, you should observe the plant for a few weeks.
You should check for any possible signs of slow growth or any other related issues in your plant.
Note: You might see droopy leaves during the initial weeks, and that’s quite common to see when the plant stays in the sun for too long. These leaves will look alright after a few weeks. So, you don’t have to worry too much about it.
7. Gradually Move The Plant To A Sunny Place
When you feel the plant is not showing any signs of further sunburn damage, you can slowly move it back to the sunny place.
As you know, the Snake plant does well in a well-lit place, so it’d be a good idea to relocate it to its earlier place. However, the only thing you need to see here is the outside temperature and the intensity of the sun.
If the conditions look favorable, you can perform this task without any issues. This way, the plant will have a much better environment to grow in for the next few months.
Note: This is pretty much an optional step. If your plant is doing alright in a new place, and you don’t feel like moving it again, you don’t have to put it back in a sunny place. This step is only useful for those who live in relatively cooler places where the winters are harsher than summers.
8. Stop Fertilizing Your Plant
This is another rookie mistake that many people make when they move their plants out.
When the plants are already under freeze or cold shock, you shouldn’t fertilize them at this stage. In the early weeks, you should only concentrate on providing regular water and enough sunlight to such plants.
If you follow these two suggestions for a few weeks, the plant will get back to its natural growth phase. Also, when you put the same plant under the sun or expose it to direct light, it will need some time to get accustomed to the new environment.
So, it’s always better to wait for a few months to see how the plant behaves in a hot and sunny environment.
If you provide fertilizers at this stage, it will have a negative impact on the overall growth of the plant. It may even cause root burn in some of the plants if it’s already under stress.
Since there is no real way to reverse the sunburn spots or scars on the surface of the leaves, you should always think of avoiding this type of issue.
Now, here are two useful ways that might prove effective –
1. Provide Indirect Sunlight To The Plant
The Snake plant is known to do well in indoor conditions.
So, in most cases, there is no need to move the plant outside at all. If you can follow this simple rule, you will never have an issue like sunburnt leaves on the plant.
2. Plan Before Moving The Snake Plant Outside
In case you don’t have a choice, you must move the plant outdoors during the sunny seasons. But it needs to be planned accordingly.
Check out the temperatures around your place and take a look at the forecast for the next few weeks too. If things look good, you can move the plant outside.
So, plan things in advance, and you won’t see any leaf burn or droopy leaves issues in your plant for the upcoming season.
Yes, the plants can recover from sunburn, but you won’t be able to remove the spots or patches from the leaves. These things will remain the same or get worse in some of the leaves of your plant.
If the leaves of your Snake plant look droopy or thin, it’s a sign that the plant is getting more sunlight than required. You may also see discoloration in some of the leaves.
Also, you can take a quick look at the soil of the potted plant. If it looks absolutely dry, it’s another indication of too much sun.
The Snake plant often appears burnt due to excess sunlight and excessive use of fertilizers. However, the first reason is the most common one, and you should try to fix it as soon as possible.
Yes, if the leaves are damaged a lot, remove them from the plant.
Typically, the sunburned plants appear dull, with some of the leaves showing patches of dark brown colors. You may also see the same thing on the edges of the leaves, as they might start turning brown as well.