Common Sansevieria Fernwood Problems and How To Fix Them

Last Updated: April 16, 2022

This low maintenance succulent plant is great for beginner or busy plant parents as they don’t need much tending to and will grow in most environments! However, just because Sansevieria Fernwood plants are low maintenance, this doesn’t mean they are immune to the most common problems that most plants face. If the care routine or environment isn’t right then they will start to develop issues from brown or yellow leaves, as well as your Sansevieria Fernwood drooping down entirely. 

In this post, we will go through some of the most common problems that Sansevieria Fernwood plants suffer from as well as the right ways to fix the issue and tips to stop it from hurting your plant more in future.

Causes of Sansevieria Fernwood brown leaves:

  1. Overwatering.

    This tends to be one of the most damaging issues as you don’t often realise it’s happening until it’s causing issues with the leaves, at which point the problem will have progressed quite far. Waterlogged soil can very quickly rot the roots of your Sansevieria Fernwood and cause brown soft leaves. To figure out if overwatering is the reason your Sansevieria Fernwood is turning brown, check the moisture levels in the soil immediately and replace it with dry mix if soggy. Use this opportunity to trim away the rotten roots and hold off on watering as much or as often as you did before. Note that Sansevieria Fernwood plants really don’t need much water at all. 

  2. Underwatering.

    Funnily enough, the other extreme can also cause brown leaves on your Sansevieria Fernwood but these will be light brown in colour and feel dry and crispy. Before you start pouring a bucket of water over your Sansevieria Fernwood to make up for the lack of moisture, it’s important to be sure that this is the cause of the brown leaves. Check to see if the potting mix is dry and crumbly and if the roots are starting to crisp up. Sansevieria Fernwood plants love dry soil so this alone won’t signify underwatering, so it’s important to look at the root system to confirm this issue. Water your plant a little bit once a day for a few days rather than all in one go as this can shock your plant and cause a whole range of other issues beyond brown leaves.

  3. Low humidity can cause brown tips.

    Sansevieria Fernwoods can deal with lower humidity rooms quite well but if the air is very dry for prolonged periods of time this can dry out the tips of the leaves. It’s rare to affect an entire leaf but small brown tips and edges can be caused by low humidity. Sansevieria Fernwoods are sensitive to leaf rot so you want to avoid misting or showering these plants so we recommend using a humidifier in the room every now and again to give it a little boost but nothing major. 

Causes of yellow leaves on a Sansevieria Fernwood:

  1. Overwatering.

    Whenever diagnosing yellow leaves, we always rule out overwatering first as it is the most common reason. Sansevieria Fernwoods really don’t need much water to thrive and actually prefer to have very dry potting mix. This means it can be very very easy to overwater them and cause the leaves to rot and the leaves to turn yellow.

    If you think that your Sansevieria Fernwood has been overwatered then you must check the moisture levels in the soil immediately. Trim away the dead mushy roots if the issue has progressed this far and replace the entire potting mix if waterlogged. You might want to think about adding some perlite to your mix if you haven’t already as this helps with drainage and preventing more yellow leaves from developing. 

  2. Direct sunlight.

    Intense, direct sunlight can also cause yellow leaves on Sansevieria Fernwood plants. Although they can tolerate some level of direct sun, you need to be careful during summer that this doesn’t burn the leaves as this will lead to burnt yellow patches across your plant. If you think that direct sunlight is the cause of the yellow leaves on your Sansevieria Fernwood, remove the worst affected leaves and vines and move your plant to a slightly shadier spot in your home.

  3. Pests.

    If you notice yellow spots forming on your Sansevieria Fernwood’s leaves then this might be a pest infestation. Although it’s fairly rare for indoor plants to attract pests, it can happen and is often a real pain to solve as the infestation can grow quite rapidly and all of a sudden the rate of yellowing speeds up. Give your Sansevieria Fernwood a thorough check over to spot any pests or signs of pests and isolate it from other plants to prevent the bugs from jumping across the leaves. To treat the issue, pop your plant in the shower, rinse down the leaves with water and let them dry off. Then treat with neem oil for a few weeks.

Why is my Sansevieria Fernwood losing leaves?

  1. Overwatering.

    If you find that your Sansevieria Fernwood is starting to lose leaves and become limp, then it may be too much water that is causing the issue. As we outlined above, Sansevieria Fernwood plants really don’t need much water compared to most other houseplants which can make it easy to overwater them. Check the moisture of the soil immediately using a moisture meter before adjusting your watering routine. 

  2. Cold temperatures.

    Another factor that can cause your Sansevieria Fernwood to lose leaves and become quite limp is exposure to cold air. Whilst this won’t happen suddenly, if your plant is near a drafty window or door or is close to an air conditioning vent in summer, this constant flow of cold air can become very damaging. The ideal temperature for Sansevieria Fernwood is between 18°C – 24°C so check the temperature of where your Sansevieria Fernwood is by using a digital thermometer. 

Why is my Sansevieria Fernwood drooping?

  1. Overwatering.

    As you might have gathered by now, a lot of issues with Sansevieria Fernwood plants are caused by overwatering. One of the earlier signs of this however is a drooping plant. This is an indication that the root system is starting to rot but that the problem hasn’t become bad enough to cause brown leaves yet.

    Luckily, some drooping can be reversible so make sure to switch out any waterlogged soil for fresh soil so that your plant can begin the recovery process. In future, to avoid your Sansevieria Fernwood from drooping due to overwatering, make sure that the potting mix has had time to fully dry out before watering again. Self-watering pots and a good moisture meter will make sure that you don’t run into this issue again.

To learn more about how to keep your plant happy and healthy, take a look at our Sansevieria Fernwood care guide.

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