Snake Plant question

Asked October 12, 2020, 8:50 PM EDT

I purchased a snake plant about a year ago. I know they like low light and not to be over watered, and like to be slightly root bound. This plant was doing well until a couple of months ago. Now some of the smaller shoots are turning brown. Is the light TOO low? Or am I not watering it enough? Or should I transplant to a larger pot?

Multnomah County Oregon

1 Response

Thank you for choosing Ask an Expert for help with your snake plant. These plants can tolerate low light, provided they do not get overwatered. That balance can be a tricky thing as summer light and warm temperatures move into lower, winter light and cooler temperatures.

If the leaves or base of the shoots are soft or even mushy, the plant is getting too much water. If the tips of the leaves are the parts that are browning, it could be too little water. If so, the leaves may also look a bit wrinkled.

Either way, you could take the plant out of its current pot, and take a look at the roots. They should be white-ish. If they are dark-colored or mushy, that might indicate a too-wet soil. The snake plant is pretty resilient. If the roots are damaged, you can cut off the damaged parts and replant it.

The pot you choose should only be a bit larger than the root ball – they do like to be snug. I generally recommend a cactus/succulent soil for these plants to reduced the chance of overwatering.

Enjoy the fall season,