Learn / Ask The Landscape Professional
I have a snake plant that was my grandmother's, my mom's, and now mine. It's at least 40 years old and I've had it for 6 years now but in the past few months have noticed most of the leaves are bent in half or completely wilted. I know very little about house plants but would desperately like to save this plant! Do you have any suggestions? Thank you so much! Terry
Thank you for your question
on a popular houseplant, snake plant or Sansevieria.
"Snake Plant" (also called "Mother-In-Law's
Tongue") is a succulent, meaning that this plant
stores water in its leaves and rhizomes (a type of
thick root). Wilted leaves on snake plants can come
from two things: too much water or not enough. You
need to check how dry the soil is to help diagnose
the problem. Stick your finger down through the soil in
the pot. Properly watered snake plants will have dry soil
about 2/3 of the way down the pot, but not all the way to the
bottom. If the soil is dry all the way to the bottom of the pot,
the plant needs more water, but be careful not to overdo it.
If your snake plant is in located full sun, it only needs to be
watered about every 3-4 weeks. During the winter months it
only needs to be watered every 2 months. When you water
it, do not wet the crown of the plant (the base of the plant
near the soil where the leaves emerge). Watering this area
causes rot which, in turn could cause the leaves to wilt and
flop over. It is best to underwater and not overwater this
plant and to keep it in a high light window.
Snake plant grows best if its roots are densely matted within
the pot with just a little space for further growth.
Once its roots look like they are going to crack the
pot, then it is time to divide and repot, but use
pots that just fit the root system.
Snake plant really does not need to be fertilized,
but if you do, fertilize only one time in spring. Good
View As PDF
To view a PDF of this article, please
About Linda Lillie
Linda K. Lillie is the President of Sprigs & Twigs, Inc, the premier
landscape design and maintenance, tree care, lawn care, stonework, and carpentry
service provider in southeastern Connecticut since 1997. She is a graduate of
Connecticut College in Botany, a Connecticut Master Gardener and a national
award winning landscape designer for her landscape design and landscape installation work.