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snake plant dying

Snake Plant Dying – Causes and How to Save It

Why are your snake plants dying? Let us know the most common causes of why your snake plants are dying and how you can fix this issue!

For me, my snake plants are everything. Wish I had a bigger space, I could have included at least hundreds of snake plants, but alas, a townhouse life sometimes can make these wishes impossible.

But just like all other plants, snake plants have several issues that, if not addressed, eventually cause them to die. The most frequent causes of snake plant death include fungal problems, insect infestations, root rot, and exposure to extreme temperature changes.

It is very important to identify the specific cause so that you can fix it immediately. Now, let us know the causes for snake plants dying and how you can save a dying snake plant!

Signs of a dying snake plant:

Snake plants have a reputation for not dying, but as you are here we all know that that’s not always true. A lot of things can go wrong with those poor fellas if you don’t give them the care they deserve. Identifying early signs is important before learning the causes.

So, here is some of the prominent sign through which you can tell if your plant is really dying,

1. Smelly soil:

If you are getting a funky smell from the soil of your plant, it’s most definitely forming mold. But it’s not the mold you are smelling, it’s root rot and the plant itself.

2. White spots in the soil;

You can see white spots on the surface of the soil. The polka dot-like design might look good on your clothes but unfortunately for snake plants, it’s concerning. 

​Mold and fertilizer residue might be the two culprits that cause it.

3. Your plant is leaning:

If your plant is leaning gradually, it’s not always reaching for light action. Your plant can be leaning because underneath the soil its part is rotten and not strong enough to hold its place. 

4. Your snake plant is losing leaves:

leaf shedding can caused by various reasons, but it’s an early scream for help.

5. Discoloration: 

The color of the leaves would turn yellow or brown.

6. Pause in growth:

You will notice no growth for weeks.

Causes For Snake Plant Dying

Causes For Snake Plant Dying

One of the strongest plants you can grow at home is the snake plant. These plants have little maintenance requirements and can withstand the worst conditions. Snake plants, however, are prone to regular household risks and are not resistant to issues. However, you must determine the causes of their death and attempt to revive your plant before they pass away. Some of the factors that contributed to your plant’s dying are listed below!

1. Snake Plant Dying Due to Extreme Temperature

Snake plants like warm temperatures around them to grow healthy and effectively. However, they despise cool temperatures as the cold damages the cell walls within the snake plant if exposed to it. Further, due to dried and damaged cell walls, plants are not able to transfer water and nutrients from the soil to other parts of the plant to survive. This water stoppage will lead the plant to wither and perish away quickly.

How you can fix this issue

You can identify if your plant is exposed to extreme temperatures. If you find any mushy leaves or scarring on the leaves, then it indicates that the plant is out in extreme and unwanted conditions, which will harm its growth. So to avoid such a situation, you can prune the damaged leaves but remember that even over-pruning the snake plant can cause problems.


During heat waves move your plant to a shady spot. If you are unable to move the plant to a shady spot, bring the shade to your plant. The shade will lessen the water absorption and keep them cool.

2. Snake Plant Dying Due to Lack of Sunlight


Sunlight is essential for all plants to grow healthy and prepare food. Light plays a major role in plant development. If your plant doesn’t get enough light, it won’t be able to photosynthesize properly. Since without light food will not be properly prepared, and gradually the leaves will begin to yellow or turn brown. 

This situation will be most evident in snake plants with the most vibrant leaf variegation. They’ll start to degrade and change color to green. Even though it is not extremely harmful, it detracts from the plant’s overall appearance. Deprivation of the sunlight causes damage to the plant and can also slowly lead it to its death.

How you can fix this issue

Fortunately, the snake plant can tolerate a lot of light, which is one of the reasons it makes such a wonderful house guest. It can flourish in the soft illumination of a north-facing windowsill, but it can also stand brief exposure to direct sunlight. The optimal location for your plant should provide it with plenty of bright but indirect light. 

If there isn’t enough diffused natural light in your apartment, consider using artificial lighting for your snake plant. This is the area where your snake plant will flourish the most, leading to the healthiest development. Give the snake plant only the required amount of sunlight to perform its tasks and prevent any excess lighting from causing damage to it.

3. Snake Plant Dying Due to Overwatering


Water is essential to plants. If there isn’t any water available, then the plant won’t be able to thrive and grow as it should. Without water, the plant will gradually droop and wilt away since it is necessary for the delivery of all the minerals it needs to exist. But you have to be careful with the watering since there is a chance for the snake plants to be overwatered or underwatered, causing harm to the plant. So you must ensure that your plant receives the appropriate amount of water each day.

Overwatering is very common in snake plants. Also, this specific plant thrives well in dry and semi-dry conditions. Because of this, you must allow it to dry out between each watering. Yellowing leaves are a sign of impending danger. The leaves will rapidly wilt after it becomes mushy and soft.

Even while what is happening above ground will be the first warning you notice, the plant is most at risk from what is happening below ground. Because due to lack of water the roots will be decomposing, and they would not be able to supply the required nutrients and minerals that are crucial to the health of the leaves and plant leading them to their death bed.

How to Revive Overwaterd Snake Plant

First, to cure the over-watering situation in snake plants, you have to identify the actual problem that is damaging the plant, which is damp soil. After that, check the damage done to the plant. If it is not too much, then you can simply stop watering the plant and leave the soil to dry out. This will help your plant recover fast.

Another effective measure you can use is by building drainage holes in the plant container. Drainage holes allow excess water to pass through it easily leaving only the required amount to be absorbed by the snake plant according to its health. Also, watering differs from season to season. Like during summers they will need more water compared to winter.


No matter what year it is, whenever you water your tree make sure that the top few inches of the soil are bone dry.  Using a soil moisture meter is a smart way to tell the plant’s water needs.

If you think your snake plant is overwatered, here is a detailed guide.
How to save an overwatered snake plant

4. Snake Plant Dying Due to Root Rot

snake plant Root-Rot

The most prevalent cause of root rot in snake plants is overwatering, particularly during the winter. The roots deteriorate due to a lack of oxygen or an increase in soil fungus. Infected fungi can spread to plant roots in damp soils by growing and multiplying there. Because they can no longer absorb the nutrients needed for growth, healthy roots begin to degrade, becoming mushy and black.

The problem with root rot is that because it occurs below the soil’s surface and is invisible, it frequently goes unnoticed. A plant can be destroyed by root rot in about ten days under the right circumstances, such as in containers without drainage holes.

The symptoms will be that the roots first, causing them to become mushy and black, two classic signs of rot. The leaves begin to yellow, wilt, or droop as the root rot progresses, eventually turning mushy. If symptoms start to show on the leaves and are no longer treatable, the entire plant may be at risk.

How you can fix this issue

If you notice the issue in time, repot the plant. Remove as much of the unhealthy soil as you can, and then replace it with new, sterile potting soil. You can apply a root treatment that includes sprinkling sulfur powder over the healthy roots to help prevent reinfection.  

Additionally, sulfur makes the soil unfriendly to harmful bacteria and fungi. If root rot has significantly spread, cut the plant apart, keeping just the healthy sections. If the entire base is damaged, take cuttings from healthy leaves and root them to create a new plant.

5. Snake Plant Dying Due to Low Humidity

Different plants require different levels of humidity. A plant’s growth is influenced by its surroundings, temperature, and environment. Like other plants, the snake plant prefers a certain amount of humidity. Even though these plants are accustomed to dry areas, certain homes might not have the ideal humidity levels, especially if a heating system is present.

How you can fix this issue

One method to raise the humidity around your plants is to create plant islands, which are clusters of plants. Since every plant in the cluster is transpiring, a little microclimate will be automatically formed to raise the relative humidity in that region. 

Another is by putting stones in the plant saucer and adding water if your plant is standing up. When the plant pot is sitting on the pebbles, the water will have leaked out, but the plant will benefit from the water gently evaporating. These are two ways in which you can easily improve and increase the humidity level around your plant.

6. Snake Plant Dying Due to Lack Of Fertilization

Every plant needs fertilizer. They provide the plant with vital nutrients like potassium, nitrogen, and phosphorus that are lacking in regular soil. These nutrients are essential for the growth and development of the plant. Outdoor plants don’t require many fertilizers because they receive everything they need from the earth, but inside plants do, so fertilizers should be used.

The indoor snake plants after a certain point will exhaust all the nutrients from the soil. With a lack of nutrients, the plant will not receive any minerals that it needs to grow and develop, leading it to wither away gradually if not taken care of.

How you can fix this issue

Adding fertilizer is the easiest way to solve the problem. The main takeaway from this is that Snake Plants don’t require a lot of additional feeding. Utilize a balanced indoor plant fertilizer, and only feed your plants the prescribed quantity. Fertilize the plant during its growing period to increase its development. It is not necessary to fertilize the snake plants during winters.

7. Insects and Pests affecting the snake plants

This is a common problem faced by almost all indoor plants. The most popular insect found on the snake plants is mealybugs. Mealybugs have delicate, pink bodies that are covered in what seems to be cotton-like white wax. They often occur in colonies in modestly protected areas of the Snake Plant, such as on the leaves just below the soil surface.

How you can fix this issue

They pose a great threat to the plant’s life. If not taken care of early, then it will destroy the complete plant. So to remove them, simply wipe off the underside of the snake plant leaves using a cloth with some rubbing alcohol. Be careful while doing it to avoid any damage to the snake plants.

Another common insect that attacks snake plants is spider mites. By residing on the undersides of leaves, these tiny sucking bugs kill indoor houseplants. Snake plant leaves have a waxy layer that spider mites can pierce to get to the internal fluids they feed on. They are usually not noticed until it causes any physical damage to the plant.

To get rid of the spider mites, spray water or insecticidal soap on your plant. Then, using a clean, soft cloth, gently wipe the leaves down. You can also turn the plant over and use lukewarm water in the shower, sink, or bathroom to gently wash the leaves. If the infestation is severe, the injured leaves must be trimmed off.


Keeping a keen eye and time-to-time scrutiny of the plant is the only way to tell if they are infected and prevent it before the situation gets out of hand.

How To Save A Dying Snake Plant?

How To Save A Dying Snake Plant?

Snake plants are easy to care for, but that doesn’t mean they will not be attacked by situations that will cause them to be in a difficult state. However, we can avoid such a stage by taking effective measures to revive a dying snake plant. We have listed below some steps that you can perform to save your dying snake plant. 

Step 1: Firstly, remove or cut the damaged part of the snake plant. Here, cut the bottoms of your leaves off well above the yellowed ends to say goodbye to their decaying ends. In what appears to be a healthy portion, you want to make a straight cut-through. 

Even though there’s no way to tell if a fungus or bacteria has entered the plant’s system as a result of the rot. Before moving on to the next stage, let your cut leaves sit for 24 hours to call us over.

Step 2:  Once the infected part is removed from the plant, then you have to prepare the potting mix. The potting mix should contain all the required nutrients and minerals to increase its development. Remember to control the fertilization so that you do not overdo it causing the plant any harm. 

Step 3: After the mix is ready, then fill the new container with the freshly made potting mixture and then place the plant. Be careful while doing it to avoid any damage to the plant. 

Step 4: The last step is watering the snake plant. Snake plants do not require too much water or care as a matter of fact but are regular with the watering. Once or twice every week will be effective. Especially during the growing period, the snake plant should be thoroughly watered and fertilized for faster growth. Always be attentive towards your plant so that you can prevent it from any harm or death.

How to Fix Mushy Leaves of Snake Plant

If your snake plant leaves are soft mushy and soggy, you must read this guide on soft mushy and soggy leaves guide about snake plant.


Q1. Should I cut off dying leaves from a snake plant?

Ans. Dead leaves on the snake plant need to be removed as soon as you can to stop the issue from getting worse. If you see that the issue is affecting half of the leaf, you should take this action. The snake plant’s leaves should be trimmed with neat, precise scissors. The leaves should be trimmed one inch above the point where the stem intersects. The ideal solution is to remove the leaves.

​Q2. What is killing my snake plant?

Ans. The most common reasons why snake plants die include fungus problems, insect problems, root rot, and exposure to drastic temperature changes. Snake plant troubleshooting is typically straightforward, and the vast majority of problems may be swiftly found and fixed. The sooner the issue is identified and handled, the less likely it is to harm the snake plant.

Q3. What does an overwatered snake plant look like?

Ans. Depending on where the excess water collects, droopy snake plant leaves can be one of the first indications of overwatering. The leaves begin to sag and become limp, heavy, and heavy enough to fall over. mushy or soft leaves. Snake plants that have received too much water will have soft, mushy leaves.

Q4. Can snake plants come back to life?

Ans. Snake plants with yellow leaves can be revived by putting them in bright indirect light and giving them more regular waterings. You should transfer the plant to a new position where it can get more light but not direct sunlight if the yellow leaves are a result of not getting enough light or too much sunlight.


Given how hardy snake plants are, what you just read is frequently the worst-case scenario. These plants will typically operate without incident. Even while snake plants are quite durable and easy to maintain, they have some drawbacks. It’s probably time to take action if your snake plant starts displaying any of the aforementioned symptoms. 

Fortunately, most of the succulent revival techniques are simple to comprehend. However, if the plant still doesn’t begin to show symptoms of recovery after a week or two, it might be time to give up and either buy a new one or attempt to spread the old one. 

I hope the above-provided information was helpful to you and cleared all your doubts regarding the topic. If you have any extra information that you know related to this topic, feel free to comment down below, and don’t forget to share this article with your family and friends!

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One comment

  1. Susan

    This was very helpful
    I will give up and get another

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