The Snake plant grows too tall primarily because of a lack of sunlight.
But other issues can accelerate upward growth, and you need to know how to address them properly.
Besides, it can be a difficult task to manage a plant that’s constantly growing. So, what’s the most effective way to tackle this issue?
Let’s find out below.
Why Is My Snake Plant Too Tall?
Here are some of the reasons for the overgrowth in your Snake plant –
1. Lack Of Sunlight
As mentioned earlier, one of the primary reasons for the overgrowth of Snake plants is a lack of sunlight.
When there’s not enough light, the plant tries to compensate by growing taller. It also grows in a direction that allows it to receive more light. This is why you often see Snake plants that are leaning to one side.
This mostly happens in indoor conditions where the plant doesn’t get sufficient light from the sun.
2. Suitable Growing Conditions
Unlike the above situation, sometimes Snake plants grow too tall because the conditions are just too good for them.
If you’re providing your plant with ideal growing conditions – adequate sunlight, water, and nutrients – then it will respond by growing taller.
Although this plant doesn’t require much care, it will still take advantage of the situation and grow to its fullest potential.
3. Overfertilizing The Plant
Fertilizers can be great for plants, but too much of a good thing can quickly turn into a bad thing.
Moreover, the Snake plant doesn’t require a lot of fertilizer, to begin with. So, if you’re overdoing it, the plant will absorb them anyway, which can lead to leggy growth.
It also happens during the growth phase when the plant is trying to develop new leaves. If too much fertilizer is used, it can cause the leaves to grow faster in a short period.
What To Do When Snake Plant Gets Too Tall?
Here are some of the effective ways through which you can tackle this issue successfully –
1. Prune The Overgrown Leaves
As I said earlier, pruning is the key to fixing the tall Snake plant. If you don’t prune it, you will have to deal with overgrowth and bug issues.
In case you are not sure about the process, here’s what you need to do –
- Look for leaves that are either damaged or growing tall.
- Cut the leggy leaves using sharp scissors.
- Discard or compost the leaves as needed.
Once you remove the unwanted leaves, examine the plant again. If you are satisfied with the results, you can stop the pruning process.
Alternatively, you can also cut the top of the leaves, as shown below. It does prevent the plant from growing its leaves in an upward direction, but I don’t recommend this method.
When you cut the leaves from the top, they don’t look aesthetically pleasing. Apart from that, it may also affect the growth of your plant.
Important: Do not remove the fresh leaves from the plant. These leaves are essential for the plant as they help maintain the overall growth rate. Also, the fresh leaves often keep the plant strong, which means you will not see any bugs or pests on it for an extended period.
Tip: The Snake plant supports leaf propagation, which means you can use the pruned leaves to propagate new plants in your indoor garden.
Watch the following video by Planterina to learn more about Snake plant propagation –
2. Move The Plant Away From Sunlight
Even though pruning is a quick solution to get your plant back in shape, you will have to follow some other methods to retain the size in the future.
So, what are these methods?
The first thing you can do in this process is move the plant far away from direct sunlight. Since this plant is known to thrive in natural light, you should try to prevent sunlight from reaching the plant. Of course, you don’t have to keep it in a completely dark room.
But try to find a place where it won’t be exposed to too much light. Otherwise, it will continue to grow rapidly, and there won’t be any use in pruning this plant.
3. Stop Fertilizing Your Plant Regularly
Fertilizers are not going to help you in this case, either.
So, it’d be better to stop feeding this plant for at least a few months. If you continue providing fertilizers to such a plant, it won’t stop growing. It will try to reach the optimum height, especially when other conditions are just perfect for its growth.
Furthermore, the fertilizers you use for this plant shouldn’t be nitrogen-rich. These fertilizers are generally suitable for plants where you wish to see large or lush green leaves.
When using it for the Snake plant, try to limit its usage to a particular stage of the plant’s life. In general, though, you can go for the all-purpose fertilizer for this plant.
4. Repot The Plant
Repotting can give you an excellent opportunity to correct the plant’s growth.
When you are thinking of repotting, you should prune the plant first. And it’s just not about the leaf pruning. It would help if you also pruned the roots that might have been overgrown in the soil.
When you prune the plant in both ways, you can manage its size to a great extent. Then, the repotting task would be the last step you need to do for this plant.
While repotting, you can also go for a medium-sized pot. This will help contain the future growth of the plant.
5. Divide The Plant
If it’s an overgrown plant, there is a possibility that you might have multiple plants in the same pot. This might be a good thing in general.
But, in this case, you should try to separate the new plants from the mother plant. This way, you can focus on the main plant better. Also, if you wish, you can discard the tall plant or put it in your outdoor garden.
That said, you should check the laws for planting the Snake plant in outdoor places. As per the Brisbane City Council, Snake plants are considered invasive species in Queensland, New South Wales, and Northern regions of Australia. So, it’s always wise to get permission from your local authorities before growing such plants.
These are the few things you can do to manage a tall Snake plant. Moving on, let’s take a look at the following FAQs section.
You can cut the tops of the Snake plant, but, as mentioned earlier, they won’t look pretty later.
Also, some leaves may turn completely yellow and dry out once you remove the tops. So, be careful when you think of carrying out such activity on your plant.
If the plant is falling over, it is either overgrown or underwatered.
Fix these conditions, and you should have a sturdy plant in your home garden. There might also be an overwatering situation in the plant, leading to such an issue.
The Snake plant turns leggy because of the lack of sunlight or overgrowth. Both these factors can be fixed easily if you attend to this problem in time.
The sideways growth is a perfect example of irregular watering and the plant receiving the sunlight from one direction. If this is the case with your plant, you should rectify the problem immediately.
Yes, you can cut off the droopy Snake plant leaves.
However, you should ensure the leaves are either damaged or dead. Do not cut off the fresh ones from your thriving plant because it might take a long time for the plant to produce new leaves.