How to fix curling snake plant leaves

11 Way Causes Of Snake Plant Leaves Curling And Solutions

A snake plant is a popular houseplant that is known for its easy care. However, sometimes snake plants can experience issues, such as leaves curling. There are a number of potential causes for this problem, including incorrect watering, low humidity, or pests…Here’s 11 possible causes of snake plant leaves curling and their solutions.

Causes of snake plant leaves curling

There is no one answer to why snake plant leaves curling. However, there are several factors that can contribute. Some of these include:


This is the most likely reason for the curling of the leaves of the snake plant. If you submerge the snake plant, it will not be able to perform its normal physiological functions.

Without water, snake plant roots cannot absorb essential nutrients from the soil. Because nutrients remain in water in soluble form.

Even without water, it cannot transfer vital substances to the leaves. As a result, the leaves of your snake plant will appear wrinkled and, in severe cases, wrinkled. The brown tips of snake plants are another common symptom underwater.


Overwatering can be fatal to your snake plant, and sometimes it becomes impossible to save the plant. In addition to yellowing, curled leaves are also a sign of an overwatered snake plant.

If you overwater your snake plant, it can become infected with root rot. Eventually, the root system will become dysfunctional due to root rot.

Therefore, it cannot absorb water and nutrients to maintain its normal physiological functions. As a result, the leaves of the snake plant may curl up.

Lack of light

Indoor lighting levels are sufficient for your snake plants to thrive. But if it doesn’t get minimal light, it can develop symptoms like leaf curl.

Like other plants, snake plants need some light to continue the photosynthesis process. We know this is a necessary process in preparing food for plants. Without food, snake plant leaves cannot thrive and exhibit curling symptoms.

Improper fertilizer application

Snake plants do not require frequent fertilization. During the summer or growing season, fertilizing every 1-2 months is sufficient to meet nutrient needs.

Overuse of fertilizers can damage roots and leaves. The leaves of snake plants cannot handle the excess nutrients and develop symptoms such as burning or curling.

Snake plant leaves curling tips fixing
Snake plant leaves curling tips fixing (By Istockphoto)

Temperature stress

Extreme temperatures can cause the leaves of snake plants to curl. When the temperature is high, it accelerates the transpiration process.

As a result, plants lose more water than normal. As a result, the loss of moisture causes the snake leaves to curl.

On the other hand, low temperatures can have the same effect on snake plants. Due to the low temperature, the water in the leaves freezes and forms crystals. This can cause permanent damage to the leaves of the snake plant.

Incorrect pH

Correct pH is very important for any houseplant soil. Because the pH of the soil determines the availability of nutrients present in the soil. The optimum pH range for snake plant soil is between 5.5 and 7.5.

Magnesium (Mg) is not available when pH is low or soil is acidic. This prevents the leaves from producing chlorophyll, which is essential for photosynthesis. As a result, symptoms such as yellowing and curling appear on the lower or older leaves.

Fungal infestation

There are several types of fungi, such as southern rot and red spot, that can damage the roots and leaves of snake plants. If your plants show reticulated growth or discolored spots of black, white, red, or brown, your plants may be affected by a fungal disease.

The fungus spreads quickly, and if your plants come into contact with other infected plants, an infection is likely to occur.

Shock from transplanting

Transplantation and propagation are some of the major problems with snake plants. After repotting, it may take a while for the plants to adjust to their new environment and potting soil. The roots often suffer the most.

During this period, snake plants are unable to absorb water, impairing the function of the plant. Twisted leaves may indicate that the snake plant is suffering from transplant shock, especially if you have recently replanted it.

Root rot

Excessive watering or standing water in the container can accelerate this fungal infection.

Wet and muddy conditions inhibit the root system’s ability to utilize oxygen and create a suffocating environment. This condition is ideal for the growth of fungal diseases.

The root system is damaged and inoperable due to root rot. This can be fatal to your snake plant.

Because the roots cannot provide the necessities for the plant. You can see these symptoms when the leaves are curling on the ground

The pot is too small

Snake plant requires large or suitable pots to thrive. You should change the size of the pot according to the age of the snake plant. As the plant ages, the roots will also grow and become root systems if the pot size is not changed.

Due to insufficient root space, root binding can cause a plant’s leaves to curl, limiting their function and nutrient uptake.

Insect infestation

Mealybugs, spider mites and thrips like to attack snake plants. Thrips are tiny black insects that are difficult to see without a magnifying glass. When they attack your plants, they leave rough, uneven patches on the leaves.

When mealybugs and spider mites attack snake plants, they are likely to suck sap from the leaves, causing them to curl and shrink. If left untreated, pests can also wrinkle the leaves of snake plants.

Snake plant leaves curling
Snake plant leaves curling (By Istockphoto)

Types of leaf curl

Leaf curl is a common problem with plants, caused by a deficiency in one or more of the plant’s essential nutrients. Symptoms of a deficiency include yellowing of the leaves, curled or wavy leaves, and stunted growth. There are several different types of leaf curl, each caused by a different deficiency.

  • Leaf tips curling downwards: When leaves curl at the tips or edges, the plant is trying to retain moisture. The main cause of leaf roll is overwatering or overfeeding.
  • Leaves tips curling upwards: is a sign of too much water. Over watering can lead to leaf curl, which is when the tips of the leaves start to curl up. This is a common problem for gardeners, but there are a few things you can do to fix it.
  • Leaf margin curl: Leaf margin curl is a plant disease that is caused by a fungus or virus. The leaves of the plant will curl up at the edges and may turn brown or yellow. The plant may also produce fewer flowers and fruits. Leaf margin curl can be treated with fungicides or insecticides, but it is important to identify the cause of the disease before treating it.
  • Leaves curling inwards: Pests such as aphids, mites, and whiteflies can cause leaves to curl as they feed on the plants. Disease can also cause leaves to curl, especially if the plant is under stress. Environmental stressors such as heat, cold, or drought can also cause leaves to curl inwards.

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How to fix curling snake plant leaves?

If your snake plant leaves are curling, don’t despair! There are a few things you can do to fix the problem.

Water sansevieria once every 2-4 weeks

Snake plants do not need much water to restore them. Watering every 2-4 weeks is enough to meet their moisture needs. The frequency of watering depends on the quality of the soil mix, the time of year, and the size of the pot.

If the soil is firm, loosen it before watering regularly. Within a few days of proper watering, the leaves will begin to unfold.

If you suspect that your plant’s leaves may be curled from overwatering, check the root system. Remove the whole plant from the soil and wash the roots to remove the soil. Check the roots for a foul odor; this means it is affected by root rot.

Cut off the affected roots and sterilize the roots with powdered activated charcoal or a diluted hydrogen peroxide solution. Next, repot the plants with a new potting mix recommended for snake plants. You can use a new pan or wash the old one to prevent further contamination. If the roots are severely damaged, propagate them to prevent the plant from dying.

Provide bright indirect light

Snake plant prefer bright indirect light. If you put it in the hot sun, the leaves of the snake plant will turn brown and curl due to the increased drying rate.

To fix curled leaves, place the plant in a location that receives bright indirect light. East-facing windows in your home can do just that. Alternatively, you can use LED artificial grow lights for your lighting needs.

Use just enough fertilizer

Use nitrogen-rich fertilizers for a constant supply of nutrients. To avoid the risk of over-fertilizing, you should choose organic fertilizer because it releases slowly. Always follow the directions on the package to give the plant the recommended dose and avoid leaf curling caused by burn.

Maintain temperature at 55-85°F

If you are in a location with extremely high temperatures, always keep the plant in a shaded or cooler place. Avoid leaving plants outside in areas with temperatures below 50 degrees Fahrenheit.

Alternatively, you can cover the plants with a blanket or clear cloth if you decide to leave them outside. If you keep the plant indoors, make sure it stays warm. Always strive to keep your plants at room temperature. Snake plant likes temperatures between 55-85°F, so try to keep that temperature to keep your plants healthy.

Transplant with a new potting mix

After transplanting the snake plant, keep it in partial shade with a little water. Give plants a few days to adjust to the new environment. Don’t use old potting soil, as it may lack the nutrients needed to nourish your plants. Instead, choose nutrient-rich, well-drained soil to ensure snake plants reach their full potential.

Amend the soil pH to 5.5 to 7.5

Sansevieria prefer a soil pH range of 5.5 to 7.5. Curly leaves may indicate that the plant needs a pH correction to absorb nutrients efficiently. To make sure the problem is with soil pH, use a probe pH tester to check if the soil is good for your plants.

If the pH is low, you will need to increase the pH by adding slaked lime to the soil. For a higher pH, lower the pH by adding lemon juice to the water before watering.

Get rid of pests

Pests are easily removed from snake plants. But first, make sure to keep infected plants away from other plants so they don’t spread. Next, remove leaves that show signs of infection. Wipe the leaves of the plant with a cloth soaked in alcohol.

Also, you can make sure the pests never come back by using neem oil. Apply neem oil once a week. The frills of snake plants shouldn’t alarm you. With the right measures, your plants will be healthy again.

Frequently asked questions about snake plant leaves curling

What does an overwatered snake plant look like?

An overwatered snake plant will have yellow or brown leaves, and the soil will be very wet.

Can a snake plant recover from overwatering?

Yes, a snake plant can recover from overwatering. However, it is best to avoid overwatering your snake plant to prevent any problems.

Should you let a snake plant dry out?

Yes, you should let a snake plant dry out between watering. These plants are native to arid regions and can tolerate long periods of drought.

How do you know when your snake plant is dying?

There are a few signs that your snake plant is dying. The leaves may start to turn yellow or brown, and they may become mushy or dry. The plant may also start to produce less oxygen. If you notice any of these signs, it’s important to take action immediately to try to save the plant.

How long can a snake plant go without water?

A snake plant can go for several weeks without water, but it will start to wilt and its leaves will begin to brown.

How do you know when a snake plant needs water?

The best way to know when your snake plant needs water is to feel the soil. If the soil is dry to the touch, it’s time to water your plant.

What does a healthy snake plant look like?

A healthy snake plant should have crisp, green leaves with no brown spots or wilting. The plant should be a good size for its pot, with room to grow. The roots should be healthy and the pot should have drainage holes to allow excess water to escape.

Where should I place a snake plant in my house?

A snake plant is a great option for a houseplant because it is very easy to care for. It can tolerate low light and does not need to be watered very often. You can place a snake plant in any room of your house, but it is especially well-suited for a bedroom or office.

Can snake plants take full sun?

Snake plants can take full sun, but they prefer partial sun or shade. They will do well in any type of light, but too much direct sunlight can cause the leaves to scorch.

Do snake plants like to be crowded?

From what I’ve read, snake plants don’t mind being crowded. They actually prefer to be close to other plants, so they can benefit from the extra humidity.

Can I Bottom water a snake plant?

Yes, you can bottom water a snake plant. Just make sure that the pot has drainage holes and that the water doesn’t sit in the saucer for more than a few hours.

Can I water my snake plant with ice cubes?

Yes, you can water your snake plant with ice cubes. Just make sure that the ice cubes are completely melted before you water your plant.


Above are the reasons why snake plant leaves may curl that introduced. These include incorrect watering, low humidity, insufficient light, too much heat or cold, pests, and disease. By correctly identifying the problem and taking the appropriate action, you can get your snake plant back to health.