If you’re like me, you adore your snake plant’s low-maintenance and upright appearance. But it’s a succulent with no stem.
The plant’s beautiful shape and maximum exposure to sunlight are dependent on its pointed leaves standing upright.
Snake plant leaves can bend, droop, or fall over for various reasons. You must grasp these multiple issues so that you can address them before it’s too late.
Bending leaves are an indication that your snake plant has outgrown its container due to its size and entanglement in its roots. You should repot your snake plant in a larger container 1-2 sizes larger. Common causes include cold injury, improper watering, pests, diseases, and poor lighting.
Why Are Leaves on My Snake Plant Bending?
A snake plant with bending, drooping, or wilting leaves is almost always an eyesore. What could possibly have gone wrong?
What options do you have? Here are the leading causes and solutions for snake plant leaves bending.
Has Your Snake Plant Outgrown Its Container?
If the leaves of your snake plant are bending, it is most likely because you have allowed it to grow too large for its container. As a result, you’ll probably discover that the roots have become overcrowded.
Bending leaves is your plant’s way of telling you that it needs a larger container. However, it is critical to ensure that the container is not too small before switching to a larger one.
Why? Your snake plant will be more vulnerable to local waterlogging if housed in a larger container. You are also more likely to overwater it if it grows in a larger-than-necessary pot.
How can you tell if your snake plant’s leaves are bending because it’s root-bound? First, look for the following other red flags:
- The growing medium drains too quickly, with water frequently pouring out the drainage holes. There is little to no soil available to hold the moisture.
- The roots that sprout from the drainage holes
- The pot keeps teetering on the verge of tipping over.
- Your snake plant has more plantlets or pups than usual.
- The pot’s sides are bulging, cracking, or bursting.
- The root ball is dense and tangled.
How to Fix a Rootbound Snake Plant
It’s easy: repot your snake plant. Here’s how to do it:
- Unpot your snake plant –To unpot your plant, gently tap or squeeze the sides of the pot. Remove as much soil as possible by shaking or brushing.
- Choose the right pot – I think a terracotta pot is preferable to a plastic container. Make it one or two sizes more significant than the previous container. At least one drainage hole should be present.
- Prepare the potting mix –As with all succulents, choose a cactus mix high in vermiculite, perlite, pumice, or other drainage materials (check the latest price on Amazon here).
- Clean up your plant – You should look for any indications of root rot. Snip off any plantlets and repot them separately from the mother plant. Don’t forget to remove any plant matter that is dry, dead, or diseased.
- Fill the pot and plant – You must first fill the container to about one-third of its capacity. Now, plant your snake plant, taking care not to bury the roots too deeply. Provide adequate growing conditions by covering with more potting mix.
Overwatering and Root Rot Causing Snake Plant Leaves to Bend
Snake plants are drought-tolerant and do not require much watering. But, on the other hand, this hardy succulent is more likely to die from overwatering than underwatering.
Overly wet soil can cause root damage and hinder the uptake of nutrients and water. This will lead to wilting and eventually to the leaves falling over.
A snake plant’s roots will rot if it’s allowed to sit in too much water. Likewise, a floppy, limp, or bent plant will have the same symptoms.
Overwatering and root rot in snake plants can also show the following symptoms:
- Stunted yellowed leaves
- The leaves will wilt and turn brown.
- The leaves become soft, squishy, mushy, or floppy at the base.
- The roots become mushy and brown.
- Mold growth in the soil
- The general plant is declining.
How to Fix an Overwatered Root Rot
Fortunately for you, snake plant leaves will regrow after the growing medium has been allowed to dry out for an extended period.
Generally, you should let the top inch or two of soil dry ultimately between irrigations. Then, during dormancy (winter and fall), reduce irrigation frequency to once every 1-2 months. (Source: North Carolina State University).
If you come across squishy, decayed brown roots, you’re in for a difficult task. Root rot has infected your snake plant! The best root treatment is to repot your snake plant in a new pot with a fresh potting mix.
How Much Light Is It Getting?
Mother-in-law’s tongue enjoys the sunlight. However, it tolerates a wide range of light levels, from direct bright light to complete shade.
Leaf scorch can still occur if exposed to too much direct sunlight. In addition, leaves may fall over due to the soil drying out too quickly and losing turgor pressure.
On the other hand, a lack of light can harm the leaves of your snake plant. As a result, you can expect a sluggish growth rate and some floppiness from these plants.
Similarly, snake plant leaves bend in the direction of the light source if it is not given enough light. At the same time, they’ll lose their vibrant green color and eye-catching pattern.
Another sign of insufficient light is leggy or sparse growth.
Your snake plant will be the happiest in bright, indirect sunlight. You must avoid too dark corners or outside where it’ll be hit by direct sun.
Snake Plant Leaves Bending due to Temperature/Cold/Frost Stress
Snake plants are heat tolerant to a moderate degree. They thrive at 70 to 90°F (21-32°C).
Temperatures above will cause heat to accumulate in the growing medium, causing root damage. It will also hasten moisture loss via evaporation, transpiration, and respiration. As a result, the leaves will become wilted, floppy, and bend.
Unfortunately, snake plants have a low tolerance for frost and cold. Temperatures below 50°F (10°C) will, in fact, kill your snake plant.
Cold injury resulting from frosting and cold drafts will manifest in a variety of ways:
- Scarring of leaves
- Leaves become mushy, limp, and soft.
- Leaves may develop light brown bruises and begin bending, drooping, or falling over.
- If affected, the roots will become soft and mushy.
Treatment and Management
Unfortunately, leaves that have been damaged by temperature stress and frost will not recover. If they make your snake plant look unappealing, remove them with a sharp, sterilized tool.
Relocate your snake plant to a warm location that maintains a temperature range of 70-90°F (21-32°C). In addition, it should be away from both cold and hot drafts.
Snake Plant Leaves Bending Because of Pest Infestation
Mealybugs, spider mites, thrips, aphids, and other common bugs can infest indoor snake plants. These pests frequently eat or suck the sap from leaves.
If the infestation is severe enough, vital leaf fluids and tissue are lost, causing the leaves to wilt and bend due to the damage.
Furthermore, these bugs may weaken your snake plant and make it susceptible to disease.
How to Remove Snake Plant Pests
- Some bugs, particularly mealybugs, can be manually removed.
- One of the safest and most effective ways to get rid of pests is to use neem oil.
- Increase the humidity, and you’ll be able to get rid of the bugs. This method is most effective against spider mites.
- Biological controls such as parasitic lacewings and other natural predators can be used.
Snake plants, on the whole, are disease-free. However, if the growing conditions are poor, they can be infected with various bacterial and fungal diseases.
The following are the most common fungal problems that can cause leaves to droop or fall over:
- Red leaf spot disease
- Southern blight
- Crown rot occurs if you let water splash on the rosette
- Root and stem rot
Treatment, Control, and Management
- Use copper or sulfur-based fungicides during the early stages of infection.
- Remove and discard diseased plants.
- Avoid overwatering, water splashing, or irrigating from above.
How Do You Fix a Bent Snake Plant Leaf?
From past experience, I’ve discovered that the leaves on the outside tend to bend or fall over. Usually, the middle leaves remain upright.
As a result, if the bending leaves are few and won’t harm the health of your snake plant, you should remove them.
The good news is that you prop the bending leaves by keeping them anchored to a stake. I prefer using jute string (Check the latest price on Amazon here) to hold them upright.
How Do I Make My Snake Plant Grow Straight?
The best way to make your snake plant grow straight is to reduce the chances of bending. You can do so by:
- Adopting a proper watering schedule
- Using a well-draining growing medium for potting
- Providing a bright, indirect light source
- Stay away from direct sunlight, cold drafts, and frost.
- Temperatures of 70-90°F (21-32°C) are ideal.
- Every 2-3 years, repotting is required.