How To Revive A Snake Plant (10 Problems & Solutions)

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So, your snake plant isn’t looking its best lately. Don’t panic! Even the hardiest of plants can hit a rough patch. Luckily, there are ways to breathe new life into your beloved house plant. Let’s dive into how to revive your snake plant and help it thrive again.

Overwatered snake plant in a pot high angle viewiStock

Signs Your Snake Plant Needs Help

Before we roll up our sleeves and get to work, let’s pinpoint the signs that your snake plant is crying out for some TLC:

Yellow Leaves

If your snake plant’s leaves are turning yellow, it’s a distress signal. This could be a sign of overwatering, underwatering, or even a pesky pest problem.

Yellowing leaves are often the first sign that something’s amiss with your snake plant. It’s like your plant’s way of saying, “Hey, I need some help over here!” But don’t worry, whether it’s caused by watering issues or pests, there is a way to fix it. Keep reading to find out how!

Brown Tips or Spots

Brown patches on those beautiful green leaves might mean your plant is getting too much or too little water, or it could be reacting to its environment.

If you have brown tips or spots on your snake plant’s leaves it can be a real eyesore. But there are steps you can take to turn things around and get those leaves looking lush and green again.

Mushy Leaves or Roots

A soft, mushy texture in the leaves or roots spells trouble. It’s likely your plant is drowning in too much water, leading to root rot.

Mushy leaves or roots are a clear sign that your snake plant is in distress. But don’t panic! With a few simple adjustments to your care routine, you can help your plant bounce back in no time.

Stunted Growth

Is your snake plant feeling a bit stuck? Lack of new growth could indicate it’s feeling cramped in its pot or lacking essential nutrients.

Stunted growth is every plant parent’s nightmare. But don’t stress, there are steps you can take to encourage healthy growth and give your snake plant the room it needs to thrive.

Wilting

Like us, plants wilt when they’re thirsty. But they can also wilt from overwatering or extreme temperatures.

Wilting leaves are a sure sign that your snake plant isn’t getting the hydration it needs. But don’t worry, there are ways to perk up those droopy leaves and get your plant back to its perky self.

Foul Odor from Soil

If your plant’s home smells less than fresh, it might be suffering from root rot caused by excess moisture.

A foul smell coming from your plant’s soil is never a good sign. But there are steps you can take to banish that odor and get your plant back on track.

General Decline in Health

Sometimes, your plant just looks under the weather overall, losing its vibrancy and vitality. It might be facing multiple issues at once.

When your snake plant is looking under the weather, it can be hard to know where to start. But again, don’t worry, we’re here to help you diagnose the problem and get your plant back to its happy, healthy self.

Spotting these warning signs early gives you a head start in rescuing your plant pal. Now, let’s roll up our sleeves and get to work!

snake plant dead brown leavesAnna Tarazevich / Pexels

Common Snake Plant Issues & How to Revive Them

Overwatering

Giving our beloved snake plants a bit too much love can sometimes backfire, resulting in mushy leaves and that unpleasant odor wafting from the soil. It’s like drowning them with kindness.

To revive an overwatered snake plant, it’s crucial to adjust our watering routine, allowing the soil to dry out between waterings. Think of it as giving your plant a chance to catch its breath. 

Repotting the plant in well-draining soil can also work wonders, providing it with a fresh start. 

For a reliable moisture meter to help gauge soil moisture accurately, check out this one on Amazon.

Underwatering

On the flip side, neglecting your plant’s hydration needs can leave it feeling parched and neglected. Signs of dehydration include drooping leaves and crispy leaf tips, like the plant’s way of saying, “Hey, I need a drink over here!” 

Establishing a consistent watering schedule and ensuring thorough moisture during each watering session can help your plant bounce back.

For those busy days when we can’t be there to water, a self-watering plant insert can be a lifesaver. 

Check out these colorful self-watering globes on Amazon!

Poor Drainage

Just like us, plant roots need room to breathe, and soggy soil isn’t doing them any favors. Poor drainage can suffocate the roots, leading to a slew of issues.

To combat this, repotting your plant in well-draining soil and ensuring proper drainage is essential. Elevating the pot with pot feet or adding a layer of gravel at the bottom can make all the difference. 

For a high-quality well-draining soil mix, this one on Amazon is perfect and made specifically for snake plants! 

Incorrect Light Conditions

Finding the perfect balance of light is key to a snake plant’s happiness. While they’re pretty forgiving, too little or too much light can throw them off balance. 

Signs of light deprivation include pale leaves, while too much light can lead to leaf discoloration. 

Positioning your snake plant in a spot with indirect sunlight or supplementing natural light with grow lights will revive it and keep it thriving. 

For a reliable grow light, check out this one on Amazon!

Pests

Dealing with unwanted pests can be a nightmare for any plant parent. Whether it’s spider mites or mealybugs, these critters can wreak havoc on your plant’s health.

Regular inspections and natural remedies like insecticidal soap or neem oil can help keep them at bay. 

For an effective insecticidal soap, consider this one on Amazon.

Temperature Extremes

Plants prefer to keep their cool, just like us. Extreme temperatures can stress them out and make them more susceptible to diseases and pests. 

Maintaining a stable environment by shielding them from drafts and extreme heat or cold is crucial.

Poor Air Circulation

Stagnant air can create the perfect breeding ground for fungal issues, which is the last thing we want for our plants. 

Improving air circulation by placing a fan nearby or opening windows can help revive your snake plant and keep it happy and healthy. 

Pot Bound

Just like us, snake plants need room to stretch their roots. Being pot-bound can stunt their growth and leave them feeling cramped.

Repotting your plant into a larger container and giving it some breathing room can work wonders. 

For a spacious and durable plant pot, check out this one on Amazon.

Disease

Diseases can spread like wildfire if we’re not careful, so staying vigilant is key. 

Regularly inspecting your snake plant for signs of illness and promptly treating affected areas can help keep it healthy. 

Chemical Exposure

Plants aren’t fans of harsh chemicals, so it’s essential to keep things clean and green. Avoiding exposure to chemical cleaners and pesticides can help protect your plants from harm. 

Opting for plant-safe cleaning solutions can ensure it stays happy and healthy. 

Snake plant with striking, colorful pointed leaves.YayImages

Preventative Measures for Thriving Snake Plants

Now that you know how to revive your snake plant, let’s keep it healthy and thriving by following these proactive strategies:

Consistent Monitoring

Stay ahead of any potential issues by regularly checking on your plant. Make it a habit to inspect your snake plant, ensuring you catch any problems early on. 

By staying proactive, you can nip issues in the bud and maintain your plant’s health.

Optimal Watering Practices

Maintain the perfect hydration balance by sticking to a consistent watering routine. Observe how your plant responds to watering and adjust as needed. 

Consider using tools like self-watering pots or moisture meters for precise watering control.

Well-Draining Soil Maintenance

Keep your plant’s soil in tiptop shape to prevent dreaded root rot. Opt for high-quality, well-draining potting mix and refresh the soil regularly. 

Enhance drainage by incorporating perlite or coarse sand, promoting healthy root development and overall plant health.

Appropriate Pot Size

Allow your plant room to stretch its roots by upgrading its pot when necessary. Select a container with ample drainage and space for your plant to thrive. 

Repotting into a larger pot ensures your plant has the freedom it needs to flourish.

Strategic Placement

Find the ideal location in your home for your plant to thrive. Consider factors like light exposure and airflow when deciding where to place it.

Shield your plant from chilly drafts and direct sunlight to prevent stress, allowing it to thrive in its environment.

Pest Prevention

Keep pests away with regular inspections and preventative measures. Employ natural remedies like neem oil or insecticidal soap to deter pests.

Introducing beneficial insects can also help keep pest populations in check without resorting to harsh chemicals.

Humidity Management

Maintain optimal humidity levels to keep your plant happy and healthy. Consider using a humidifier or setting up a water tray nearby to boost humidity levels.

Regular misting can also create a more favorable environment, supporting your plant’s growth and well-being. 

Seasonal Adjustments

Adapt your care routine to accommodate your plant’s changing needs throughout the year. Adjust watering frequency, light exposure, and other care practices based on seasonal shifts.

By staying in tune with your plant’s needs, you can ensure its continued growth and vitality.

Regular Cleaning

Keep your plant squeaky clean by removing dust and debris regularly. Wipe down the leaves with a damp cloth to prevent pest infestations and promote proper airflow.

During cleaning sessions, inspect your plant for any signs of disease or pests, taking swift action to address any issues that arise.

Educate Yourself

Empower yourself with knowledge about your snake plant’s care requirements. Dive into research on watering preferences, light requirements, and common pests and diseases. 

Stay informed by connecting with plant communities, attending workshops, and learning from reputable sources. 

By educating yourself, you can provide the best possible care for your plant and ensure it thrives for years to come.

Dracaena trifasciata or mother-in-law's tongue snake plant in a a clay pot on a white isolated backgroundYayImages

Conclusion

Saving a struggling snake plant takes patience and know-how, but with the right approach, you can successfully revive it. By addressing underlying issues and taking preventative measures, you’ll set your plant up for long-term success. So, roll up your sleeves, grab your watering can, and get ready to watch your snake plant thrive once more!

10 best ways to revive snake plants before it's too late.
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