Why Is My Snake Plant Drooping?

Sanseveria, AKA snake plant or mother-in-law’s tongue, is known for being a super tough plant that is difficult to kill (the ultimate plant for beginner plant collectors). However, there are certain things that can cause a snake plant’s leaves to droop or fall over completely.

Snake plants’ leaves may droop over when some of their growing conditions are not right. Their leaves droop from root rot due to overwatering, incorrect soil conditions, or being root-bound. Snake plants that are exposed to low temperatures or get too little or too much light can also droop.

This article will help you determine the cause of your snake plant’s drooping leaves and explain how to rescue a drooping snake plant. Most times, it is possible to revive a snake plant that is struggling because these are such hardy, resilient plants.

What Causes Snake Plants’ Leaves To Droop?

There are five main reasons that a snake plants’ leaves may appear droopy:

  1. Root rot because of improper watering regime
  2. Soil that does not have enough drainage
  3. Getting too little light
  4. Being root bound
  5. Exposure to low temperatures

Overwatering Snake Plants Causes Droopy Leaves

Overwatering Snake Plant

Snake plants have thick, semi-succulent leaves. They are native to arid regions of Africa that receive little rainfall and have long periods of drought. Therefore, snake plants are well-adapted to growing in dry, rocky soil.

Because they are adapted to these conditions, snake plants are highly susceptible to overwatering. People often overwater snake plants because they water them along with other houseplants on a weekly schedule.

Overwatering leads to a fungal disease in the soil called root rot. This causes the leaves to look wilted and droop over.

Watering a snake plant once a month during spring and summer is usually enough. You should water even less frequently in winter when the plant’s growth slows down.

It is important to check that the soil has almost completely dried before watering. To be 100% sure whether or not to water, use a soil probe to check the soil moisture.

Snake Plants Hate Soil With Too Little Drainage

If you plant your snake plant in soil that is too heavy and does not have adequate drainage, you will have an issue with boggy soil and root rot, even if you water your snake plant on an appropriate schedule.

If soil does not have enough air spaces between the particles, excess water is not able to drain out of the pot fast enough. The soil holds too much moisture and smothers the snake plants roots, causing the leaves to droop.

When you water a snake plant, you should see water coming out of the pot’s drainage holes almost immediately. If this is not the case, the soil you are growing your snake plant in may be the issue.

The ideal potting mixture for snake plants is a 50/50 combination of regular, organic potting soil and perlite. The perlite aerates the soil, improving its drainage capacity.

Reader Also Checked: How To Propagate Snake Plant (Sansevieria): 3 Effective Methods

Snake Plants Droop When They Don’t Get Enough Light

After overwatering and inadequate drainage, low lighting conditions is the third most common reason for droopy snake plant leaves. Many people jokingly say that a snake plant is so resilient it could grow in a cupboard. Well, it can’t.

Snake plants require medium to bright light to thrive. While they do not enjoy harsh, direct sunlight, they are equally unhappy in dark shade. When snake plants are put in a dark bathroom or in the far corner of a room, the leaves often droop due to not getting enough light.

The optimal position for a snake plant is in an east- or west-facing window. In a sunny spot, the pattern on the foliage will look its best, and leaves will grow tall and upright.

If you want to grow your snake plant in a south-facing window, place it at least 10 feet away. This will protect it from direct sunshine all day long, which is too intense and will also cause the foliage to droop.

Drooping snake plant

When Snake Plants Get Root Bound The Leaves Droop

If you have eliminated over-watering, incorrect soil, and improper lighting as possible causes, the next most likely reason that your snake plant’s leaves are drooping is due to being root-bound.

Even though snake plants do not need to be repotted as frequently as other houseplants, like philodendrons and pothos, they do still need their roots trimmed and to be repotted from time to time.

Generally, it is advisable to repot a snake plant every 3 to 5 years. When the roots fill up most of the pot, they grow together tightly and eventually, the root system strangles itself because it cannot take up water or nutrients. This is when snake plants’ leaves droop.

Snake Plants’ Leaves Droop At Low Temperatures

The last reason that snake plants leaves may droop is prolonged exposure to low temperatures. Snake plants are tropical plants that need heat to thrive. If they do not get enough warmth, the leaves will start to droop. Snake plants are not at all frost hardy.

You should keep your snake plant in a room that stays above 50 degrees F (10 degrees C). If you keep your snake plant near a window, you should move it further away during the cold winter months. The temperature near the window is often colder than the rest of the room.

How To Revive A Drooping Snake Plant

Thankfully, snake plants are super resilient and, with the right care, can bounce back from a bit of neglect. Once you have figured out why your snake plant’s leaves are drooping, here is what to do to rescue it:

Rescue An Overwatered Snake Plant

In the case of a snake plant suffering from root rot due to overwatering, you should follow these steps:

  • First, let the plant’s soil dry out completely.
  • Mix one part 3% hydrogen peroxide with 2 parts water.
  • For three months, water your snake plant with this solution to kill the root fungus.

In severe cases of root rot, you will need to take the plant out of the pot, remove brown, mushy roots, and repot it in a fresh, free-draining potting mixture. From this point on, always allow the soil to dry before watering.

Change Your Snake Plant’s Soil

Why Is My Snake Plant Drooping changing soil

If your watering regime is appropriate, and you have determined that slow-draining soil is the issue causing your snake plant’s leaves to droop, you should repot it into the appropriate type of soil.

Move Your Snake Plant To A Sunnier Spot

The solution to a droopy snake plant that is not getting enough light is simple: just move it to a position with brighter light. Snake plants thrive when they get partial sun or dappled shade.

Moving your snake plant from a very dark spot to a very sunny spot can shock the plant. Move it gradually, exposing it to one or two more hours of sunlight per day until you reach the amount of sun it will get in its new location

Repot A Root Bound Snake Plant

If your snake plant is strangling itself in its pot, it is time to repot it into a larger container or trim the rootstock. Here’s how:

  • Gently invert the pot to remove your snake plant.
  • If the roots are clumped together, and the rootstock feels solid, gently tease them apart with your fingers.
  • Lay the snake plant on its side to trim the roots. You will need to use a sharp, clean knife or pair of scissors.
  • Continue teasing the root mass apart and trim off bits of the root so that the root system branches outwards. Do not carve the root mass into smaller pieces from the outside.
  • When the roots look healthy, repot the snake plant into its original pot or into a new, slighter bigger pot.

Keep Your Snake Plant Warm

If exposure to chilly temperatures is what is causing your snake plant’s leaves to droop, you need to move it to a room that is warmer. Snake plants thrive when kept between 60- and 90-degrees F (16 to 32 degrees C).

Do not place your snake plant near air vents and keep it away from drafts. Snake plants can tolerate temperature fluctuations, but they cannot cope with extreme cold (below 50 degrees F or 10 degrees C).

Read more: Sansevieria Sayuri: Top Tips For This Rare Plant

Conclusion: Why Is My Snake Plant Drooping?

Snake plants may droop for various reasons, but most often, it is possible to fix this if you can determine the reason that the leaves are drooping. These resilient plants can bounce back from being overwatered, cold-stressed, starved of light, and growing in the wrong soil.