How To Revive a Dying Snake Plant (8 Symptoms and Treatments)

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The Snake Plant, the Dracaena trifasciata (formerly known as Sansevieria trifasciata), is a tough and resilient indoor plant that can survive in almost any environment.

They’re also one of the easiest plants to grow indoors, making them perfect for beginners.

However, sometimes even the most resilient plants can have problems.

There might be many reasons a Snake plant looks unhealthy or dies, but don’t worry, there are solutions for almost every problem.

This article will discuss the causes and symptoms of Snake Plant problems and how to revive a Snake Plant.

8 Signs and Treatments of a Dying Snake Plant

A few telltale symptoms indicate your Snake plant is in trouble and needs some help.

It’s essential to treat the plant as soon as possible to prevent it from dying.

The following are some of the most common signs that your Snake plant is struggling and the best way to fix them.

1) Leaves Turning Brown

One of the most common signs that a Snake plant is dying is when its leaves turn brown.

Some plants have brown leaf tips or edges as part of their natural growth pattern.

However, if your Snake plant has significantly more brown leaves than normal, then it is probably dying in need of help.

This is usually due to the succulent being overwatered.

Also, if the plant is in direct sunlight, the green leaves may turn brown due to sunburn.

How to Treat It

To revive a Snake plant with brown leaves, you should place it in indirect sunlight and water the plant less frequently.

If the brown leaves are due to overwatering, you should also reduce watering until the problem disappears.

Make sure that the soil is always dry before watering it again.

Also, make sure that you are using a pot with proper drainage to prevent overwatering.

If the brown color is due to sunburn, you will need to move it out of direct sunlight and provide more shade.

Succulents thrive in indirect sunlight, so they should still get some light but not be in direct sunlight.

Also, make sure that there are no warm objects like lamps nearby which could cause the plant to overheat.

2) Leaves Turning Yellow

Like with brown leaves, if you start to see a lot of yellow leaves on your Snake plant, it is likely to die.

This is usually due to the succulent being underwatered or not getting enough light or too much sunlight.

It’s important not to ignore these warning signs because if you leave them for too long, your Snake plant may die even with treatment.

How to Treat It

To revive a Snake plant with yellow leaves, you should place it in bright indirect light and water the plant more frequently.

If the yellow leaves are due to not getting enough light or too much sunlight, you should move the plant to a new location where it can get more light but not direct sunlight.

If the yellow leaves are due to underwatering, you should increase waterings until the problem disappears.

Make sure that the soil is always dry before watering it again, and wait until the top inch of soil is dry before watering.

Also, make sure that you are using well-draining soil and a pot with proper drainage to prevent overwatering.

3) Withering Leaves

Snake plants can naturally wither or droop their leaves due to stress.

However, if your Snake plant leaves are wilting and yellow for an extended period, then it is dying and needs help.

This symptom usually occurs due to underwatering, overwatering, or over-fertilization.

But also, it could be a sign that the plant is getting too much direct sunlight.

How to Treat It

If your Snake plant is exhibiting wilting leaves, you should first remove it from any direct sunlight.

Then, place it in a shaded area and water the plant more frequently.

If the wilting leaves are due to underwatering, then you should increase waterings until the problem goes away.

If the wilting leaves are due to overwatering, you should decrease water until the problem disappears.

Just make sure that the potting soil is always dry before watering it again, and wait until the top inch of soil is dry before watering.

If the wilting leaves are due to overfertilization, you should remove any excess fertilizer.

Also, try not fertilizing your plant for a few weeks to see if the problem goes away on its own.

4) Leaves Curling

If you see your Snake plant leaves starting to curl, it may begin to die.

However, not always curling leaves means death; it could also mean that the plant is stressed.

This symptom usually occurs due to environmental changes, like sudden changes in temperature or humidity.

If your succulent starts curling its leaves and you haven’t changed anything in the environment, then it may be a sign of overwatering or pests.

How to Treat It

If your Snake plant is showing signs of overwatering, you should stop watering it for a couple of weeks.

If the problem persists, you may need to repot the plant in a well-draining fresh potting mix.

You can also try increasing the humidity around the plant by placing it near a humidifier or spraying it with water a few times a week.

If the plant is infested with pests, then you will need to take action and get rid of the pests.

There are many ways to do this, but some standard methods include using a pesticide or an insecticidal soap.

If the leaves are still curling after trying these methods, then it is likely that the succulent has root rot.

In this case, you will need to trim the damaged roots and repot the plant in a fresh soil mix and give it some time to recover.

5) Drooping Leaves

If your Snake plant leaves start drooping, it is usually a sign of overwatering, but it could also be a sign of root rot.

Also, cold drafts can cause the leaves to droop, especially in the winter cold weather.

If you see this symptom on your snake plant and it hasn’t been exposed to cold drafts or overwatered, then inspect its roots for root rot.

The roots will be mushy when they have rotted, and there may also be some black spots on them.

How to Treat It

If you see that your Snake plant’s leaves are drooping and it may have root rot, then you should try trimming the damaged roots and repotting the plant in a fresh soil mix.

Make sure the pot has a drainage hole and that you water the plant sparingly until its new roots have grown.

If the leaves are drooping because of overwatering, you should stop watering it for a couple of weeks.

After that, you can water it more frequently with smaller amounts of water.

If the leaves droop because of a cold draft, you can try moving the plant to a warmer area.

But avoid putting it right next to the heater because that will overheat the plant.

If you want, you can also cover some of its leaves with a bag or burlap sack if they are exposed to protect them from cold drafts.

6) Leaves Falling Off

If your succulent leaves start falling off, it is usually a sign of overwatering, but it could also be a sign of pests or diseases.

Overwatering can cause the roots to rot, making the plant vulnerable to pests and diseases.

If you see this symptom on your snake plant, inspect its roots for signs of root rot (mushy or blackened areas) and check it carefully for bugs underneath its leaves.

How to Treat It

If the leaves are falling off because of overwatering, then you should stop watering it for a couple of weeks.

After that, you can water it more frequently with smaller amounts of water.

If the leaves are falling off because of pests, you should try to identify the bug and then eliminate it from your snake plant.

The most common pests are mealybugs, spider mites, and scale insects.

If the leaves are falling off because of a disease, you should try to identify the disease and treat it with a fungicide or insecticide.

If root rot is the problem, you should try trimming away any damaged roots, repotting them into a new potting mix, and watering sparingly.

The good news is that snake plants are very forgiving, and they will usually grow back if you treat their rotting roots or get rid of a pest infestation.

If your plant only lost a couple of leaves, then it shouldn’t be too difficult to revive it, as long as you catch its problems early on.

7) White Spots on the Leaves

If you see white spots on the leaves of your snake plant, it is usually a sign of a fungal infection.

White spots on succulents are most commonly caused by a fungal disease called powdery mildew.

This disease causes a white powder to form on the leaves, and it can eventually lead to the death of the plant.

How to Treat It

If you see that your snake plant has white spots, you should treat it with a fungicide.

The best way to get rid of powdery mildew on succulents is by using neem oil or lavender oil, but be careful not to use too much!

I recommend only putting one drop on each affected leaf and then repeating the process in two weeks if needed.

If your plant has many white spots, you may need to use this treatment a few times.

You should also try cleaning the leaves with a damp cloth and removing dead or dying leaves.

8) Soft and Mushy Roots

If the roots of your snake plant are soft and mushy, it is usually a sign that they have rotted.

Rotting roots are usually a sign of overwatering, but pests or diseases can also cause them.

How to Treat It

When the roots are soft and mushy, you must remove the plant from its pot and trim away the rotten roots.

Then, repot the plant in fresh soil and don’t water it for a week.

After a week, you can start to water the plant lightly and slowly increase the amount of water over time.

Ensure that the potting soil is completely dry before watering your snake plant again.

You should also inspect the plant for any other signs of disease or pests.

If you are careful with your watering, this snake plant will grow back stronger than ever!

If it is too late and there is no hope left for the dying snake plant, you can start from scratch by propagating a new Snake plant from a leaf cutting.

Final Thoughts

Snake plants are incredibly resilient and easy to care for, but even they have their limits.

If your snake plant is starting to show any of the symptoms listed above, it is probably time to intervene.

Luckily, most of the treatments to revive succulents are simple and straightforward.

However, if the plant does not show any sign of improvement after a week or two, it might be time to give up and buy a new one or try to propagate the old one.