Why are my Snake Plant’s leaves turning yellow?

Last Updated: April 1, 2022

Snake Plants are often regarding as an easy houseplant. However, this doesn’t mean they don’t come with their own issues. Yellowing leaves occur when your Snake Plant is unhappy about either temperature or watering. Below you can find out more about the top 3 reasons why your Snake Plant may have yellow leaves.

Overwatering can cause yellow leaves

More often than not, overwatering is the cause of your Snake Plant’s yellow leaves. They really don’t require much water meaning their soil can very quickly become waterlogged. This will cause the roots to rot and become mushy. The first sign of this is yellow leaves so thankfully you should have caught the problem quite early on.

If you think that your Snake Plant has been overwatered then you must check the moisture levels in the soil immediately. Another way to tell is by smelling the soil as it gives off quite a damp, musty and unpleasant smell when it is waterlogged.

If there is too much moisture in the soil then there are a few things you must do straight away. Start off by taking the plant out of the pot and removing the soil from the roots. Trim away the dead mushy roots and replace the entire potting mix. One added tip is to put in some small pebbles at the bottom of the pot as this will stop the drainage holes getting blocked by clumps of soil. Check out our guide to handling root rot if you need more information.

Yellow Snake Plant leaves can also indicate underwatering

Over- and underwatering often cause the same problems and it’s really important that you find out which one is happening. (The last thing you want to do is give your overwatered plant more water!) One easy way to tell if the plant is being underwatered is if the yellowing on the leaf of your Snake Plant starts from the tip and edges inwards.

If you suspect it is underwatering then you must again check the moisture levels in the soil before making any changes to your care routine. When watering your underwatered Snake Plant it is important you do it gradually. Like humans, Snake Plants get shocked by a sudden change of environment. Therefore, you don’t want to simply drown the plant straight away. Stagger small waterings every day for a week and adjust your schedule going forward.

Top tip: always check the moisture in the soil before watering using either the finger, chopstick or lifting method. It is very common for plant parents to go the other way and overwater their plant when compensating for a lack of water.

Cold air can lead to yellow leaves

Another cause of yellowing leaves in Snake Plants can be cold temperatures and drafts. Snake Plants really dislike cold air so it is important that you put your plant in the warmest room in the house over winter.

Also, avoid placing them near doors or windows that may be drafty. Even though the temperature of your home may be perfect for your Snake Plants, the drafts coming in from outside may be colder and harm your plant’s health. You can always pick up a digital thermometer to check the temperatures across your home if you are unsure.

Those are the 3 main reasons why Snake Plants develop yellow leaves. We would always start by checking the moisture in the soil as watering problems are the most common cause.

Learn more about how to care for your plant in our Snake Plant care guide.

Fiddle and Thorn is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com

Take our houseplant survey!

Quickly respond to our 30 second houseplant survey and get 75% off our Complete Houseplant Care eBook!

Take the Survey

No thanks...