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How To Fix Snake Plant Root Rot (Step By Step)

Plant cultivation isn’t always a walk in the park. Problems such as root rot can arise from time to time.

In this article, I’ll show you how to fix snake plant root rot and then show you how to prevent it from happening in the first place.

Preventative measures are always preferable to corrective measures, but if you’re reading this page, your snake plant is likely suffering from a problem.

The primary cause of snake plant root rot is excessive watering. Remove the infected soft and rotten root system with sterilized garden shears to fix the problem. After that, repot the plant in a new container filled with fresh new soil. To avoid standing water, ensure that the soil and pot have adequate drainage.

If you want more detail on how to deal with snake plant root rot read onwards. I’ll take you through how you can I’ll explain how to prevent root rot and treat it when it’s advanced.

Indoor potted snake plant showing root rot symptom

Signs of Snake Plant Root Rot

Any time the plant’s appearance changes, it’s a clear indication that something’s wrong. Root rot is so dangerous to your plant because its symptoms can often go unnoticed beneath the soil.

In most cases, the symptoms of snake plant root rot appear only after the disease has progressed to the point where it can be seen above the soil line.

Soft and Jelly-Like leaves

 Soft and Jelly Like Snake plant leaves
Soft and Jelly Like Snake plant leaves

This is the first sign that your snake plant sends from the excess of water. If you hold the leaf lightly you will notice this jelly-like aspect which is not normal, the leaves must have too much water inside. 

When the substrate (soil) is already dry, you should only water your snake plant once more. However, if the base of your plant is already wilting, you must take immediate action to protect it.

Dark, Soft Spots Near the Base or Stem

 Dark, Soft Spots Near the Base or Stem Indicates Root Rot
Dark, Soft Spots Near the Base or Stem Indicates Root Rot

Your snake plant’s roots are probably already rotting at this point. Remove the plant from the ground to see if the roots and stem are rotten, which is often the case.

Snake Plant Leaves Wilting

 Leaves Wilting Due to Root Rot
Leaves Wilting Due to Root Rot

Underwatering, low humidity, and root rot caused by overwatering are all possible causes of snake plant wilting. If you don’t know why or if everything else is fine, look for root rot symptoms.

Root rot damages the root’s ability to take in water, and your snake plant will exhibit the same symptoms as underwatering. 

Leaf wilting occurs when water is not supplied to the plant’s upper portion, where it is needed most.

Snake Plant Turning Yellow And Soft

Indoor potted snake plant leaves turning yellow and soft.

Both under and overwatering can cause snake plant leaves to turn yellow, but nutrient deficiency is also a factor.

However, if the leaf blades turn yellow and soft, you can conclude that it is due to overwatering or poor drainage. Even if you aren’t overwatering your plant, poor drainage can cause the roots to remain constantly wet.

Once you’ve ruled out the possibility, it’s time to check the roots. Check for the third sign of root rot below the soil if your snake plants have wilted and yellowed leaves.

Fungi thrive in damp soil, and snake plant roots begin to decay as a result. Rotting roots make it impossible to supply the nutrients that are essential for healthy growth. Overwatering or root rot causes the snake plant to turn yellow and mushy.

Black Mushy Roots

A snake plant with root rot has rotting roots and leaf bases; the rotted root has a black, mushy appearance. A normal root may be black, but it is strong and does not feel mushy in the hands when it is pressed.

Another telltale sign of root rot is a root that pulls away from the plant as soon as it comes into contact with your hands. Roots may not be completely rotten. Only a few of the plant’s roots may show signs of damage.

How To Save Snake Plant From Root Rot

Root rot kills snake plants. If your snake’s roots and stems are rotten, you should do the following:

  • Make a clean cut about 1cm above the rotted area with a pair of sharp scissors.
  • To prevent the growth of fungus, dust the cut with cinnamon powder.
  • If you don’t treat the wound, a small callus will form on the cut (a cone).
  • Plant in a new substrate after healing.
  • This way, you’ll have a new seedling, and the succulents will sprout easily once more.

Now, if the root rot is not severe or restricted to roots only then repotting is enough to save the plant:

  • Water the plant and the soil around it to make remove the plant easily.
  • Carefully remove your snake plant from its old pot and inpeact the roots for rotten signs.
  • Remove any roots that have become infected with root rot. Untangle the old roots and cut off any excess roots.
  • To ensure that no fungus spores remain, treat the cut roots with a fungicide solution.
  • Select a pot large enough to accommodate the plant’s growth. The root and shoot space should be 1-2 inches (3-6cm) larger than the pot. Snake plants can reach heights of up to 12 feet (20- 360cm). Their leaves are typically two feet long (60cm).
  • Cover the drainage holes with a porous material. Coffee filter paper, for example, allows the water to drain from the pot successfully.
  • Fill the new container with fresh new succulent soil and place the plant inside.

Watering After Repotting

After repotting, a snake plant should be thoroughly watered. This is due to the fact that the soil at the bottom will not contain enough water for the plant to survive. Maintain a moderate watering schedule to allow the plant to settle into the new soil.

If the soil structure allows for proper drainage, the water at the top of the layer should evaporate and the rest should sink down through the soil.

This is an important step because otherwise, the snake plant will not be able to absorb enough water to survive in its new environment.

Natural Remedies For Snake Plant Root Rot

Root rot can be treated with folk remedies if you act quickly. Folk remedies are effective only in the early stages of root rot.

To get the best results, apply the solutions to the lower portion of the plant and the soil’s surface. 

  • Potassium permanganate. Preparation of a pale pink potassium permanganate solution and a thorough soaking of the plant’s stem base are both required. It’s important to use a large amount of water to dilute the permanganate, or it could burn your snake plant.
  • Chalk and copper sulfate-based paste: You’ll need 3 tablespoons of powdered chalk, 1 tablespoon of copper sulphate, and 0.5 liters of water to make the mix. Mix them together until they form a cream-like liquid by stirring them together in a uniform manner. Apply this mixture to root rot-infected root systems now.
  • Wood ash and chalk: Equally mix the two ingredients. Apply the powder to the snake plant’s roots. Your plant should be fine at this early stage of root rot.

If you find root rot, you should replace all of the old soil with new soil. You must disinfect the soil with a potassium permanganate solution or boiling water.

Causes of Snake Plant Root Rot

Fortunately, root rot can be deadly to snake plants, but there are many ways to prevent it from happening in the first place, so don’t worry. In this way, you can keep your snake plant healthy and vibrant.


When it comes to root rot, this is one of the most common culprits. After all, watering your plants is what keeps them alive, isn’t it?

Despite this, excessive watering of a plant can be deadly, and you should exercise caution when watering their plants.

Overwatering snake plants can lead to root rot if the water in the soil around the plant’s roots becomes saturated. This water will accumulate and saturate the outside layer of the roots.

The constant amount of water pressed against the plant will cause it to suffer.

Plants can’t take in oxygen from the roots if they’re surrounded by so much water. Stomata on the leaves of the plant will then be its sole source of oxygen transfer.

Roots turn black when there is not enough oxygen in the soil. Only the roots will be affected because the water is preventing them from receiving oxygen. This will only lead to their demise.

If you have overwatered your snake plant, this article covers all you need to know.

Poor Drainage Causes Water Logging Condition

For your snake plant to thrive, it must be placed in a pot that provides it with enough water drainage. This means that you should only use pots that have enough depth and width for your snake plant to grow properly.

In addition to making sure your plant has enough room on the surface, it’s also important to ensure that its roots are well-protected beneath the surface of the soil.

This means that water will accumulate in the pot and begin to starve the plant of essential oxygen.

There must be holes at the bottom of a pot to allow excess water to drain away. 

However, if the soil is holding more water than necessary, water may still have difficulty reaching the bottom of the plant, even with adequate drainage at the plant’s base.

Compost/hummus and sand should make up about a third of good soil composition. Try using the cactus or succulent porting mix if your soil is so compact.

Extra Large Pot Causes Moisture Accumulation

The use of an extra-large pot can have negative effects when trying to grow a snake plant.

Although your natural instinct may be to give each plant a large pot to give it space to grow, a too-big pot can cause root rot. A pot that is 1-2 inches (3-6 cm) bigger than necessary will typically work well for your snake plant.

The reason that extra-large pots cause root rot is that any excess water will sit in the soil.

The snake plants’ roots will be too small to reach all corners of the pot and eventually the water across the pot will build up and cause root rot within the plant.

This can be deadly for the plant and once again shows the importance of a properly sized pot for your snake plant.

Low Temperature

Too low a temperature around the plant’s roots can cause root rot.

You should place your snake plant in a location that allows it to grow at the optimal temperature.

Roots may freeze and struggle to take in more oxygen via their roots, resulting in nutrient loss.

Watering In Dormant Period

Root rot can occur if you overwater your snake plant when it doesn’t need it. As the plant is sluggish and does not require a lot of extra water to survive or grow, this results in it taking in less water.

Because the plant isn’t using the extra water, it accumulates in the pot. Your plant should only receive additional water when it is in need of nutrients and sunlight.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do you revive a dying snake plant?

The best way to revive your snake plant is to cut off the root rot and allow the plaIn order to revive your snake plant, you must first cut off its rotting roots.

The plant should then be replanted in a new location, away from the root rot, where it can thrive.

Why does my snake plant have no roots?

If your snake plant has no roots the root rot may have completely finished its course and destroyed the roots entirely.

A snake plant with no roots may have succumbed to root rot, which has completely wiped out the plant’s roots. Taking a cutting from your current plant and planting it in a new location is the best option in this situation.

Does hydrogen peroxide kill root rot?

Using hydrogen peroxide to kill fungus on plants is an option. Root rot caused by a fungal infection can be treated with hydrogen peroxide.

In addition to killing bacteria and fungi, it releases oxygen into the soil as it decomposes. This is how hydrogen peroxide treats root rot.

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