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Why Are My Snake Plant Leaves Curling? (Causes+What To Do)

Snake plants grow lustrous and shiny leaves that will flourish with proper care. However, sometimes snake plants suffer from problems like the curling of leaves due to improper care routines. So in this article, we shall discuss why your snake plant leaves curling and how we can fix it. Let’s get started.

Overwatering is the primary cause of curly leaves in snake plants. When the soil is soggy, it suffocates the roots, stops the flow of nutrients, and draws away moisture from the leaves. Other suspected reasons could be over-fertilization, temperature stress, and inadequate lighting.

You need to check your snake plant closely to determine why the leaves are curling. The reason could be mild or severe, but there is no room for ignorance.

However, if you haven’t figure out the flaw in your care routine, then I would suggest reading this article till the end. We will go through all the possible problems and their fixes to get rid of curled leaves on your snake plant.

Also read: Why is my snake plant dying?



What causes curly leaves in the Snake plant?

Snake plants are low maintenance plants known for their sturdy nature. But if your plant is stressed out, it will give you signs through its leaves.

If your plant’s leaves are starting to curl, then it means something is wrong with your snake plant, and it’s crucial to understand what it is.

The hidden problems can make the plant go from curling leaves to stagnant growth, and then the plant will start wilting just within a few weeks if you take the problem lightly.

Continue reading to find out what are the potential reasons for the issue:

Inadequate watering

Both underwatering and overwatering can lead to curled leaves in snake plants.

Inadequate watering is one potential reason for curled leaves in snake plants. Snake plants are drought tolerant, so many planters feel that they can get away by underwatering them.

I’m afraid that’s not right, you need to be sensitive, and even if you have skipped one watering session, do not delay in the next. Due to lack of water, the thirsty snake plant leaves will curl and become dry. You will also notice brown tips in such conditions.

Give your plant a good drink from the soil and let the excess water drain out. Water them only when the soil is completely dry but without much delay.

In cases of overwatered Snake plant, the leaves curl downward from the stem to the tip. The plant can tolerate underwatering conditions for a few days but not excess moisture around the roots.

When the soil is soggy, the roots get drown in water and become dysfunctional, compromising the airflow. 

There could be other reasons for the soaked roots, such as improper drainage or small plants in large containers. Inadequate pot can prevent the draining of excess water, which leads to overwatered plants.

To fix the watering issues: Check the pot size and the drainage system in the pot, also be conscious while watering your plant. 

Let the soil dry out completely before watering them, move the plant to a warmer area so that the soil dries out fast, and prevent the soil from remaining moist for too long.

Also read: How often should you water your snake plant?



Root rot

Overwatering often leads to the root rot condition as the roots are soaked in water for too long. The fungus can attack the roots, the pathogens grow and rot the roots.

The roots are suffocated and cannot retain water which means the entire plant is not getting enough water to function.

You will find mushy, yellow, and curled leaves with brown stems on your snake plant suffering from root rot.

To fix the root rot, immediately start with repotting the plant. Use gloves and sterilized scissors to trim the plant’s damaged parts and repot in fresh, sterilized soil and pot.

Now keep the plant in good air circulation, warmer area, and a proper watering routine to make sure the excess water is drenched.

Over-fertilizing can cause severe damage to your snake plant because they are light feeders, and too much feeding can burn the roots.

The excess fertilizer will leave salt concentration in the soil, damaging the roots slowly and completely. The leaves burn, turn brown or curl inward due to over-fertilization.

You can solve this by drenching the soil with a strong stream of water for some time and letting the excess water drain out, making sure the plant is getting enough indirect sun all day long.

Only fertilize during the spring through summer and let the plant rest in sleep mode during the idle period. This will help you avoid an over-fertilized situation. Also, fertilize with balanced houseplant fertilizer for best results.

Also read: How to get rid of root rot in snake plant?

Temperature stress

Due to temperature stress, or primarily due to high-temperature levels consistently around your snake plant, the plant’s leaves start curling inward from the edge.

The warm environment around the snake plant will lead to rapid evaporation, due to which the leaves will curl to save the moisture, especially the upper leaves.

However, if too much heat can lead to curling, then so does low temperatures.

It would be best if you did not keep snake plants at low-temperature levels either. Because if such condition persists for too long, the leaves moisture freezes and it starts to curl.

You should monitor the plant temperature conditions consistently. You can use a furnace to increase the room temperature, making sure the plant is not too close to the furnace.

If the plant is near a window sill, Move the plant a little further away so that your plant can breathe and cool down.

Pest infestation

Pests such as mealybugs, spider mites, thrips, etc., could also be the potential reason for the curled leaves you have seen on your snake plant lately.

They suck the sap out of your plant’s leaves and stems, which leads to curled leaves.

These pests also transmit viruses from one plant to another and lead to stunted growth.

The sap is the food for the plant, and it also is the reason why the leaves are lustrous and lively.

You need to check the plant at regular intervals and immediately isolate the plant. Spray neem oil or horticulture oil on the plant till the problem persists. It will work without harming the plant.

Make sure to check the undersides of the leaves and spray the oil thoroughly. You should also eradicate the eggs to avoid future infestation.

Also read: How to get rid of pests in snake plant?

Inadequate lighting

Too much light is also a reason for curled leaves in snake plants. 

If the leaves are curled and have brown spots, then too much light could be the potential reason.

The leaves move away from the light source and curl downward to save themselves from the direct sun. They cannot tolerate long hours of direct sun, and leaves get directly affected due to the same.

The best way is to move the plant to a shaded spot where the plant gets 7-8 hours of indirect light in a day. You can also use sheer curtains to filter the direct sun if you don’t want to move the plant and see if that works for you.

Water the plant thoroughly when the soil is dry to bring back the plant in healthy conditions.

Note: Trim the burnt leaves because they will never turn green again.

If the lower leaves have curled upward, then the reason could be low light for a long time. Either the snake plant is not receiving enough light, or the top leaves are blocking the lower leaf’s light.

Move the plant to a better light source, or you can trim the plant a little. Trimming will also help stimulate new growth in the plant.

Also read: How much light do snake plant need?

How to prevent curly leaves in snake plant?

We all know that curled leaves will not kill our snake plant but can indeed cause harm. 

Now the harm is severe or mild is what we need to check and decide if we want our plants to be immunized from these harms.

A good planter knows their plant and prevents them from any harm inside out.

  • Take some time with your snake plant and know what they like and what they don’t. Keep a check to avoid any severe damage in the future.
  • The snake plant thrives in temperatures ranging from 70°F-90°F. Make sure to move them away from high or low-temperature areas.
  • You can use organic preventive measures to save the plant from pests and fungal attacks.
  • You can occasionally trim leaves from the plant, and the smarter thing to do would be trimming the stems to propagate them. 
    • You can propagate these clippings in the same plant to make it even bushier. That will improve the growth of new leaves and help you have a bushy plant.
  • Keeping the snake plant away from the windows will do a lot of work in preventing the plant from cold stress.
  • Keep the plant dry between watering and provide indirect sun all day for even and faster growth.
  • Feed with houseplant fertilizer once a month or two and avoid feeding during dormant periods.

Source: The University of Arkansas Division of AgricultureUniversity of Minnesota, Snake plant profile.

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