Also known as the Mother-In-Law’s-Tongue plant due to their sharp pointy leaves, the Snake Plant has become a staple of every plant lover’s home. Their easy care needs and striking variegated leaves make this no surprise.
However, if your Snake Plant has become quite unstable and the leaves are starting to become soft and are falling over, then there is most likely something wrong. It can happen that the odd leaf starts to fall over due to natural ageing (more on that below) but if this is a regular issue, or if several leaves have started to fall over at the same time, then something in the care or environment needs to change.
In this post, we will be going through the various reasons why Snake Plant leaves begin falling over to help you establish what is happening to your plant.
Overwatering can cause your Snake Plant to start falling over
With any houseplant, a good rule to remember is that limp leaves can often signify overwatering and it is the first port of call whenever diagnosing this issue. Snake Plant plants don’t like sitting in puddles of water for long periods of time, in fact, they don’t really like much moisture in their soil at all as this will slowly cause the roots to rot.
Once the roots have become damaged, they can’t transport nutrients or oxygen to the rest of the plant and the leaves will slowly start falling over.
You want to be sure that overwatering is the cause of your limp droopy Snake Plant as holding back water when your plant actually needs it will cause a range of other issues! To figure out if overwatering is the reason your Snake Plant has started falling over, it’s important to check the moisture levels in the soil immediately after spotting the issue.
To do this, remove your Snake Plant from its pot and if the soil is quite waterlogged and clumpy then replace it with fresh dry mix. Trim away any rotten roots and limp dying leaves y so your Snake Plant can focus its energy on producing new, healthy and sturdy growth.
You might be tempted to wait for the potting mix to dry out by itself and hope that it solves the issue, however, this risks damaging the root system even further which makes reviving your plant even more difficult.
Moving forward, to prevent your Snake Plant from becoming limp and falling over, you want to adjust your watering schedule, either watering less frequently or cutting back on how much water you give your Snake Plant each time. Using a moisture meter can also really help you keep track of the moisture levels in the potting mix to ensure you’re not overwatering and causing more soft leaves to develop.
Lack of drainage can also cause your Snake Plant to start falling over
Although waterlogged soil might be the direct cause of your Snake Plant falling over, it might not be how much or how frequently you are watering your Snake Plant that’s problematic, but rather the lack of drainage. It’s important to make sure that the pot your Snake Plant is in has sufficient drainage holes that aren’t blocked up and any decorative pots they’re sitting in aren’t holding excess water.
You can very easily increase the amount of drainage in your pot by mixing a little perlite with the soil. This helps not only with drainage but also with aeration of the soil which is a bonus!
If you are growing your Snake Plant in a plastic pot then we also recommend switching to a terracotta pot. As these pots are permeable, some of that excess water can escape out of the sides. We love these from Amazon. Whilst they are more expensive than plastic pots, their benefits far outweigh the extra cost and it will be a lot cheaper than replacing your plants if the consequences of overwatering take over.
Your Snake Plant might be in the incorrect position
One thing we commonly see with Snake Plants that are falling over is that the leaves and roots are perfectly healthy. This suggests that it’s not actually anything to do with the environment or care that your plant is receiving but actually just because the plant isn’t grounded in the pot.
If your Snake Plant’s roots are not deep into the pot, then it may be hard for them to hold up the leaves straight. This can happen if you have recently repot your Snake Plant and placed it too high up in the pot. Although it might feel like you are giving your Snake Plant lots of space to grow into, they actually like their roots to be a bit pot-bound as it gives them that stability.
To solve this issue and prevent your Snake Plant from falling over again in future, carefully remove your plant from its pot and repot it deeper into the soil. Then make sure to press down slightly on the soil to make sure your plant is firmly in the pot. You might also need to downsize the pot if your Snake Plant’s root system isn’t filling most of the pot.
Those are the most common reasons why Snake Plant leaves begin falling over. Although fixing the issue should mean that no more leaves droop down and fall over, it won’t save the ones that already have. You have two options here, either removing the leaves from the plant or propping them up with a support.
If the leaves have turned very soft to touch and perhaps also have brown or yellow patches, then we recommend carefully trimming them off the plant at the base. If the leaf still feels and looks very healthy then prop it up using a support stake and see if it can regain some stability.
Check out our Snake Plant care guide to learn more about keeping your plant happy, healthy and upright!
Written by Billy Dawson