Everything You Need to Know About Snake Plant Leaves Turning Yellow and How to Fix It
Snake plants, Dracaena trifasciala, are one of the most popular houseplants out there. They require little care and thrive indoors during winter months.
However, while snake plants have a reputation of being nearly indestructible, they do face some issues over the course of their lifecycle. One such issue is leaf yellowing.
While it seems like a small problem, snake plant leaf yellowing can become problematic if left untreated. In fact, we've seen people try everything from spraying bleach on their snake plants to even cutting off entire sections of the plant.
Unfortunately, none of those methods work.
In this article, we'll go over what causes snake plant leaves to turn yellow and how to fix it. Read on to learn why snake plants' leaves tend to turn yellow and find out what you can do about it.
Common Reasons Your Snake Plant's Leaves Are Turning Yellow
If you're worried about your snake plant turning yellow, there are several reasons why this could happen. You might want to check out our article on common reasons your snake plant's leaves are turning yellow. But here are some additional factors to consider:
The problem with overwatering is that the plant doesn't have anywhere else to go. When there's no place for excess water to run off, it stays trapped around the root system, causing rot.
Lack of Water
If your snake plant isn't getting enough water, it might start showing signs of stress. In addition to yellowing leaves, it could look droopy, limp, or even wilt. This is usually caused by overwatering, but sometimes it can happen due to a lack of water.
Lack of Nutrients
Snake plants are easy care indoor plants, but they do need regular feeding. They like a good balance of nitrogen, potassium, phosphorus and magnesium.
If your snake plant doesn't seem happy, it could mean there isn't enough nutrition in your potting mix.
You'll want to check the label on the fertilizer you're using to see how much each nutrient is per gallon. Then dilute the fertilizer according to the directions on the bottle and reapply every few months.
If you've ever planted a garden, you know that most plants require some sort of fertilizer to grow well. But there are certain types of fertilizers that aren't suitable for every type of plant.
For example, fish emulsion isn't good for growing tomatoes because it contains high levels of nitrogen. On the other hand, bone meal is great for promoting root growth, but it doesn't contain much phosphorus.
Too hot or too cold temperatures can stress your snake plant. Keep it at room temperature during the day and slightly cooler at night.
Snake plants are hardy plants that grow well indoors. They're easy to care for and require little water. However, even though snake plants are hardier than many houseplants, they do face problems like pests and diseases.
Aphids, mealybugs and spider mites are common sap-sucking pests found on most types of houseplant. Spider mites are particularly problematic because they can spread disease.
If you see signs of trouble on your snake plant, it might be best to bring it inside until the problem resolves itself.
If you notice a lot of insect activity, try spraying your snake plant with a solution containing soap and water. This method works better than wiping pest infestations away with a damp cloth.
Age of Plant
Like all plants, snake plants don't live forever. As the plants grow older, their outer leaves age and turn yellow or brown. This happens naturally over time, as new leaves replace old ones. Over time, the leaves become less vibrant and eventually lose color completely. New growth replaces the dead leaves, keeping the plant looking attractive.
Can Yellow Leaves Turn Green Again?
Yellow leaves usually occur when the soil lacks calcium. When your snake plants are young, they'll likely absorb enough calcium from the soil to keep their leaves green. As they age, though, their roots become less efficient at absorbing nutrients. S
oils with low levels of calcium are particularly problematic because they don't contain enough phosphorus or magnesium to support healthy growth. Calcium deficiencies are common in clay soils, while sandy soils tend to lack phosphorous.
The best way to prevent yellowing is to ensure that your snake plants receive adequate amounts of calcium and nitrogen throughout their life cycle. In addition, make sure that the pH level of the soil is within the optimal range of 5.5 to 7.0.
A soil test is recommended to determine the exact amount of each element required to maintain healthy growth.
If your snake plants start looking yellow, you might want to consider fertilizing them with a high-calcium fertilizer such as Miracle Grow® Plant Food. Alternatively, you could opt for a liquid feed formulated specifically for snake plants.
These products typically include trace elements like iron, manganese, zinc, copper, boron, molybdenum, and potassium.
Should I Remove the Yellow Leaves?
Snake plants are some of the most popular houseplants because they're easy to care for and look great indoors. But sometimes, snake plants aren't happy with us. They might start turning yellow — even brownish-yellow — and become less attractive. In such cases, many gardeners say it's OK to just remove those leaves.
But there are exceptions. For instance, if one leaf turns completely yellow, you could consider cutting off the entire plant. Or if several leaves turn yellow, you could remove those leaves. However, if you do decide to take out a single leaf, make sure you fix whatever caused the yellowing.
Snake plants are sensitive plants; too much sun exposure, overwatering, or fertilizer imbalance can cause problems.