Why is my snake plant turning yellow

snake plant turning yellow

Your snake plant has decided to stop being a garden staple and become a weed in your home. You don’t know what happened, but it’s now refusing to grow the way you want it to, and that’s bad news for you. It doesn’t matter if it’s been six months or six years since you bought this plant; if its leaves are turning yellow, it needs some serious attention right away. In this article, we’ll talk about why this happens and how you can save your snake plant from becoming extinct in your home or office.

What is the Snake plant?

Why is my snake plant turning yellow

A snake plant, also known as mother-in-law’s tongue or Sansevieria trifasciata, is a tropical plant with dramatic leaves that grow upward and resemble fangs.

Snake plants thrive in sunny areas with very little water. If your snake plant starts to turn yellow on the edges of its leaves, you may need new soil or fertilizer for it to thrive again.

Important causes for snake plant turning yellow


Why is my snake plant turning yellow

Overwatering is the most common reason for yellow leaves on a snake plant. The plant needs to be watered when the soil feels dry, but not so frequently that it dries out. When you water your snake plant, make sure to let it drain well before you put it back in its container.

If your house has high humidity levels, this could also be causing your snake plant’s yellowing leaves. You may want to move your pot or add some ventilation if this is happening to you.

Overexposure of Sun

snake plant turning yellow

The first thing to consider when examining the reasons behind your snake plant’s yellowing leaves is whether or not it is thriving in its current environment. Snake plants are native to the tropics, therefore they need a lot of sunlight to thrive. If your snake plant doesn’t receive enough light, it will start becoming yellow and eventually die.

Once you have identified that your snake plant needs more light, try moving it closer to a window with direct sunlight shining through it or place it beside a brighter lamp. If this doesn’t seem to help after several days and nights of adjusting the position of your plant, try watering it more often during the day so that its leaves don’t dry out too quickly while they’re exposed to such intense heat and humidity outside their natural habitat (i.e., indoors).

Poor drainage system

snake plant turning yellow

If you’re watering your snake plant from the top, it will grow yellow leaves and may die. Snake plants need to be watered from the bottom, which is why they come with saucers.

The roots of a snake plant are located in the top portion of its clay pot, while its leaves sprout out of the bottom. When you water your plant from above—the most common way people water their plants—you risk drowning those roots if they sit in excess water for too long without draining out through drainage holes or into a saucer underneath. If this happens often enough, it can kill off those roots and cause yellowing leaves in your snake plant’s canopy (or “head”).


snake plant turning yellow

Over fertilization can cause the yellowing of leaves, which is not good for snake greeneries. If you have a healthy, thriving snake plant and you’re adding fertilizer to it regularly, then you might be overfeeding it. Snake plants are very easygoing when it comes to fertilizer but they don’t like being overfed. So if your snake plant is turning yellow and losing leaves, then there’s a good chance that this may be caused by an overfeeding issue.

The amount of water that your plant gets also affects how much fertilizer it needs at any given time (more on this below). If you keep your soil moist during all seasons—especially during winter—you probably don’t need as much additional fertilizer as someone who lets their soil dry out completely before watering again.

The best way to tell if your plant needs water or more nutrients is by looking at its leaves: if they’re turning yellow or becoming thinner than usual (or even curling), this means they’re lacking something (either water or nutrients).


snake plant turning yellow

For starters, it’s important to choose the right soil for your snake plant. Your plant’s roots will grow from the top of its pot, so you’ll want to make sure that your soil is well-drained and loose with ample air pockets for optimal drainage.

You’ll also want to keep in mind that your snake plant is a tropical or subtropical species, which means it requires high humidity levels and frequent watering (upwards of once every other day). In addition to this, its roots should never be allowed to sit in water or become waterlogged; if they do, they’ll rot and die. If you’re going away on vacation or something similar during this time period (and won’t be able to care for your plant), consider placing a small plastic bag over the top of its pot before watering it so as not to lose too much moisture through evaporation.

Fungal infection

snake plant turning yellow

The most common cause of yellowing in snake plants is a fungal infection called damping off. Damping off is caused by a fungus that attacks the stem and leaves, causing them to turn yellow and fall off. It can be prevented by providing good drainage and avoiding overwatering your plant.

Aging of plants

snake plant turning yellow

Your snake plant is likely just aging. Snake plants are slow-growing and have a relatively long life span. A young, new snake plant may grow up to three feet tall in its first year, but an older one will be around two feet tall or less. If you’ve had your plant for more than a couple of years, it might be showing signs of aging: yellowing leaves are common in older plants as they reach their full height and stop producing new ones.

In addition to being more prone to yellowing leaves due to age, old snake plants tend to be less tolerant of environmental changes than newer ones are—so if you’re seeing yellow leaves on your plant after bringing it home from the store or bringing it back indoors after growing outdoors all summer (or vice versa), this could be part of why they’re turning yellow.


snake plant turning yellow

A rootbound plant is one that has been planted in too small a pot. The roots become compacted and unable to grow freely, possibly because of improper watering or a poor drainage system. In this state, the soil doesn’t drain properly and water cannot be absorbed as it should, leading to yellowing leaves.

Insufficient light

snake plant turning yellow

Your first step is to make sure that you are giving your snake plant enough light. The amount of light they need varies by species, but you can use a light meter to determine whether or not your plant is getting enough light. If you don’t have a light meter, try placing your snake plant in different locations in your home and see which one gives it the most sunlight.

Low humidity

Humidity is a crucial factor in the health of your snake plant. The plant needs high humidity to thrive, and this can be achieved by keeping it in a room with a humidifier. If you don’t have one, try misting your snake plant regularly with water or placing it next to another potted plant that will naturally increase its own humidity.

Cold air

snake plant turning yellow

Cold air can also cause yellowing of leaves, as well as browning and leaf drop. If you suspect that your snake plant is suffering from a lack of heating or freezing, try moving it to a warmer room for several days. If this does not improve its condition, take the plant outside for about an hour to assess how it reacts to the cold air.

Scarcity of water

snake plant turning yellow

The first thing to do is make sure your plant is getting enough water. If you don’t have a moisture meter, use your finger to check the soil: feel for dampness about an inch down; if it’s dry, water immediately. Watering once a week should be enough for most houseplants but keep in mind that soil may dry out faster during hot weather and if your house is very dry. It’s better to err on the side of watering too much rather than too little.


snake plant turning yellow

To prevent pests from becoming a problem, remove any yellow leaves and make sure to rinse the plant regularly. You can also try spraying the plant with water to remove dust and other particles that attract honeybees. If you notice any signs of infestation, such as white webs or insects on the snake plant, it may be time to bring in an expert for treatment.

Pests are attracted to the scent of snake plants and their color—especially bright green leaves. Some species of pests are also drawn in by their texture or shape: some bugs like hiding inside flower buds where they can access tender new growth without being easily disturbed by predators who might otherwise eat them up.

Deficiency of iron in the snake plants

If your snake plant has yellow leaves, it may be because of an iron deficiency. Iron is a micronutrient that is essential for the healthy growth of plants. Iron deficiency can be caused by over watering, poor drainage system, over-fertilization, and rootbound.

After you have identified the cause of your snake plant’s yellowing leaves, you need to remedy the problem before the problem gets worse and spreads to other parts of your houseplants.

How can we prevent a yellow snake plant?

Watering properly

Watering properly is one of the most important things you can do to keep your snake plant healthy. Water it when the soil is dry, and don’t let it sit in water. Soil should never be allowed to become completely dry between waterings, but should also never be allowed to remain wet for long periods of time; this will lead to root rot and other problems.

Clear drainage system

To determine if your plant’s roots are healthy, you should check its drainage system. If the soil is too tightly packed and water cannot drain properly, it will cause root rot.

To begin this process, remove the plant from its pot and remove any soil surrounding its root ball. Rinse off any dirt or debris that is stuck to the roots with warm water and inspect for any roots growing into the drainage holes of the pot (if there are any). If you find any, gently pull them out using a pair of tweezers so that they do not continue to damage the rest of your snake plant’s roots once they’ve begun to grow into those openings.

Provide enough sunlight

Make sure to provide enough sunlight for your snake plant. Snake plants thrive on bright light and require about 14 hours of sun per day. If your house is too dark, it’s best to keep them in a south-facing window or near a fluorescent light source.

You can tell if you’re providing enough sunlight by observing the leaves of your snake plant. The leaves will turn yellow if they aren’t getting enough light, but they will also turn brown and fall off when they are exposed to too much direct sunlight.

Proper fertilization

In addition to proper lighting, another important factor for your snake plant is the quality of soil and fertilizer you use. When shopping for a new potting mix, look for one that is made from organic materials such as peat moss or coconut coir. Alternatively, you can create your own mixture using equal parts of sand and composted bark (or add perlite if your potting mix is too heavy).

The type of fertilizer used on snake plants is also important: make sure it contains all the essential nutrients needed by plants including nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), potassium (K), calcium (Ca), and magnesium (Mg). Most balanced fertilizers have these elements already mixed together in just the right quantities but if yours doesn’t then add them separately according to package instructions into each watering cycle.

Give anti-fungal

If you’ve got yellowing leaves on your snake plant, there are several things you can do to reverse the process. You could try using an anti-fungal spray, powder, or drench. Anti-fungal root dips are another option for treating a snake plant that’s experiencing this issue.

Control pests

  • If you have a pest problem, you can use pesticides to kill them. However, this is not recommended because it will also kill the good insects that keep your snake plant healthy and free of pests.
  • Natural remedies. There are many natural remedies you can use to control pests on your snake plant:
  • Soap water spray – Spray the leaves and stems with a mixture of two tablespoons of dish soap in one gallon of water once every three months (do not apply when temperatures are below 50 degrees F).
  • Neem oil – Mix one teaspoon of neem oil into one-quart water and spray over the entire plant once per week until symptoms disappear; repeat as needed throughout the growing season (if using undiluted neem oil, follow label instructions).
  • Vinegar spray – Mix 1 part white vinegar to 3 parts water (do not use undiluted) and apply directly onto pests; repeat as needed throughout the growing season (if using undiluted vinegar, follow label instructions).


If you take good care of your snake plant, you’ll be able to keep it healthy and beautiful. The key is to pay attention to its needs and give it the right amount of light, water, and fertilizer. If your plant turns yellow and starts losing leaves, there may be something wrong with the environment around it. So check out this article for tips on how to fix that.

Read Also: Best Plants For Bedroom


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