Snake plants (Dracaena trifasciata) are famed for their stunning sword-shaped leaves and can even help to purify the air. They’re generally relatively low-maintenance plants but can suffer if the environmental conditions aren’t quite right. This article will explain why your snake plant is falling over and how to fix the problem at home.
Why is my Snake Plant Falling Over?
Your snake plant could be falling over for several reasons, including:
Overwatering and saturated soils can lead to root rot. This can cause leaves to turn limp and start flopping over. The leaves may also turn yellow and mushy, and the roots may not support the plant correctly.
Check whether the soil feels saturated, then lift the plant and check the roots. Remove any yellowing leaves or roots that are brown, mushy, or smelly. Repot your snake plant in fresh soil with extra drainage using perlite or sand.
Water your snake plant every 2 to 3 weeks during spring and summer as long as the soil feels dry.
Although snake plants are drought-tolerant succulents, they can still suffer from underwatering. Thirsty snake plants will have drooping leaves that feel brittle. The leaves may also start curling or turn brown or yellow.
Check whether the soil feels cracked and dry or is peeling away from the edge of the nursery pot. Gradually rehydrate the soil using small amounts of water over the next few days. Keep to a regular watering schedule to ensure that your snake plant doesn’t dry out too much.
Snake plants need well-draining soils that can still retain some moisture while providing enough support. Snake plants can grow up to 4 feet tall, so if the soil doesn’t anchor them, they may start falling over. Use soil mixes containing plenty of potting soil with amendments like perlite or sand, coco coir, and bark fines.
Incorrect Temperature or Humidity
Most types of snake plants like warm, stable temperatures between 60 and 90º and low to moderate humidity levels between 30 and 50%. However, snake plant leaves may start to flop in cold or humid conditions. Average household humidity should be sufficient for snake plants.
Cold drafts can cause snake plant leaves to droop or fall over. Snake plants cannot tolerate temperatures below 50ºF. Move your plant away from drafts caused by open windows or air vents.
Additionally, be careful locating your snake plants near particularly hot heat sources such as radiators.
Lack of Nutrients
If snake plants don’t get enough nutrients, they could start to droop or fall over. Fertilize snake plants (with organic feed or even homebrews such as coffee grounds) every other month during the spring and summer and avoid fertilizing during the winter. Repot snake plants every 1 to 3 years to provide fresh nutrients and stop them from becoming too root-bound. Under optimal growing conditions, snake plants may even flower.
Diseases or Pests
Diseases or pests like aphids, spider mites, and Southern blight can cause snake plant leaves to fall over. Eliminate pests using horticultural oils or insecticidal soap. Diseases can often be treated using neem oil or organic fungicides.
Snake plants can start falling over due to problems like overwatering, underwatering, pests and diseases, and incorrect temperature or humidity levels. Thankfully, most of these problems can be remedied easily.
For more, see our in-depth guide on where to position snake plants for optimal care and feng shui benefits in the home.
Andrew is the Editorial Director at Petal Republic. He holds a BSc degree in Plant Sciences and has trained professionally at leading floristry schools in London and Paris. In amongst overseeing a global editorial team, Andrew's a passionate content creator around all things flowers, floral design, gardening, and houseplants.
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