Snake Plant Root Rot: Crucial Steps to Fix Root Rot Problem and More!

Your gorgeous Sansevieria Plant or Snake Plant may get root rot under very severe circumstances. If you don’t act quickly, there’s a good chance our snake plant won’t survive. However, we are aware that it might be difficult for those who haven’t encountered this issue. So, we’ll study everything there is to know about how to fix snake plant root rot in this article.

how to fix snake plant root rot

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The main factor behind snake plant root rot is overwatering. When this happens, the growth medium of the plant becomes lack of oxygen. This environmental condition promotes root rot invasion of the roots. Remember that since it is a succulent type of plant, the Sansevieria or Snake plant likes dry, porous soil. Poor drainage and a thick soil mixture can cause roots to rot.

Snake plants are susceptible to having their roots rot since they are so readily overwatered. Therefore, the plant shouldn’t be ignored if it has been given excess water.

In this article, we’ll discuss these and other conditions that lead to root rot and how to avoid them so you can maintain a healthy snake plant. You don’t need to worry since this article will help you simplify your troubles. Let’s find out more about snake plant root rot, including its symptoms, causes, and remedies.

Signs To Look Out For In Snake Plant Root Rot

Signs To Look Out For In Snake Plant Root Rot

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Because almost all of the symptoms are comparable to many other illnesses, it can be difficult to diagnose any issues with the plant roots. Therefore, before drawing the conclusion that the problem is with the roots, we must examine the circumstance and consider all of the possibilities.

The Sansevieria plant gives us hints and indications to let us know that the roots are the issue. You must act promptly if you want your plant to live and grow healthily because if we don’t, it could be too tough to recover our gorgeous plants.

Below are the following symptoms of snake plant root rot:

  1. Odor coming from the roots or the soil
  2. Either yellow or brown plant leaves
  3. Impeded growth of snake plants
  4. Mushy, flaky, and brown roots
  5. Withered or drooping leaves
  6. Dark or brown tips

Let’s thoroughly examine each of the indications of rotting snake plants.

Foul Odor From The Roots Or The Soil

Does your Snake Plant potting soil smell, or has your own snake plant sends an offensive odor? If your answer to the aforementioned question is a resounding “yes,” your plant is surely experiencing root rot.

This fragrance is a warning sign of root rot, thus one needs to take immediate action. By then, you should immediately detect the bad odor of the dirt. Observe the hue of the plant leaves as well. You have a high chance of root rot if the leaves look a familiar yellow or brown color.

RELATED: How To Propagate A Snake Plant: What You Need To Know

Brown Or Yellow Leaves

The plant’s leaves are precise markers that reveal if it is experiencing a problem or is afflicted with a disease. This is also true for snake plants. The snake plant’s leaves become yellow to brown and begin to shed when the Snake Plant has been overwatered or suffers from root rot.

Verify whether the leaves are yellow due to root rotting. This might also be a case of pest problem; as these bugs eat on the freshest leaves, the leaves become yellow in this case.

First, take out the possibility of a pest problem. Next, examine the dirt. It may have been excessively watered and developed root rot if the soil is damp rather than on the dry side.

Impeded Snake Plants Growth

The summer and spring months are when the Sansevieria plant grows. The snake plants go into hibernation throughout the winter. It is natural for a houseplant to not develop and produce fresh growth when it is in its dormant stage.

Give the plant some time if you just got it from the nursery or garden and it isn’t exhibiting any indications of growth. New plants require some time in order to acclimate to their surroundings.

However, in the case that you fed the plants during the growth season and your plant is still not developing, it may be a case of impeded growth. Your snake plant is under stress, and it’s possible it either had excessive fertilization or has root rot.

Mushy, Flaky, and Brown Roots

When the Sansevieria plants are in good condition, their roots are crusty and white. To make sure there is no root rot, one must inspect the Snake Plant’s stock. If the plant roots exhibit any signs of decay, they will eventually become black or brown as the situation gets worse over time.

If there is root rot, the roots will be mushy rather than crusty when you feel them. We are aware that it can be troublesome for you to have to excavate the potting soil a little bit. However, which would provide you greater joy: going through all of the bother or saving the plant?

The key and the solution are contained in the response to the query. 

The rotten roots will invite bugs, which will further devastate your houseplant if the situation is left untreated.

Withering Or Drooping Leaves

Withering and drooping snake plant leaves are mostly caused by stress and the environment. The snake plant’s leaves begin to droop when it is under stress. Additionally, the withering of the leaves might result by moving the Sansevieria plant from one extreme condition to another.

Leaving tension aside, the problems with watering are mostly to blame for the leaves’ drooping. Overwatering or underwatering a Sansevieria plant can cause the leaves to droop, but overwatering a snake plant can cause root rot.

You must feel the plant soil in order to understand this; if the plant soil is damp, the plant must likely be overwatered and may have root rot.

Dark Or Brown Leaf Tips

For a variety of causes, including leaves burning from excessive amounts of direct sunlight, snake plants can grow brown tips. The snake plant being given excess fertilizers is another issue that could result in root rot. It is a novice error that even pros are capable of making.

Snake plants only need a very little amount of feed during the growth season. The tops of the plant leaves will become brown if we add more feed. If left unchecked, the extra feed might do further harm and cause the plant to develop lanky and stunted. Therefore, be sure to reduce the dosage and amount of fertilizer given.

In addition, if the Sansevieria plant is neglected, root rot might also be a result. 

What Causes Snake Plant Root Rot?

What Causes Snake Plant Root Rot?

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Snake plants can withstand droughts, and their foliage absorbs water. Since they have very few problems, they are becoming more and more popular among novices. But because it’s a succulent, this plant doesn’t like too much water or food. As a result, they are susceptible to root rot.

There are various causes of root rot, so we’ll highlight a few typical problems that hobbyists go into. Let’s investigate the potential root rot causes.

Overwatering Problem

Snake plants can survive without moisture or water for up to three weeks and despise being overwatered. For up to two months throughout the winter, these plants do not need water. This shows you how water-sensitive the Sansevieria plant is.

Because the plant soil has to be totally dried up before being given water again, you must exercise caution when watering the snake plant. In order to prevent this, you must always probe the plant soil before deciding to water your snake plant.

The soil becomes permanently wet when your snake plants are overwatered because of the extra moisture. This might cause molds to grow on the topsoil. The plant cannot extract the necessary quantity of soil nutrients because of this mold growth.

Along with unwelcome visitors like fungus and microbial infections, mold also attracts root rot and other maladies to the plants in addition to nutrients. These bugs may result in a case of root rot.

So, stick to your irrigation schedule and probe the ground to maintain healthy roots. Read more about the proper watering of Snake Plants.

Inefficient Soil Drainage

You need to keep in mind one additional reason as we continue to deal with the irrigation problems. The water that was accumulated on the plant tray should not be let to stand idle with the snake plant. More overwatering problems can rise with this idle water.

Please make sure the pot’s drainage holes are not clogged by checking them as well. The pot won’t drain out the extra water if the drainage holes are plugged. So even if you are quite certain you have not overwatered your Snake Plant, you may never be sure if the drainage holes are clogged. That is one other professional blunder that anyone might make.

Your pot’s drainage holes can be the cause of the soil’s perpetual moistness. The similar cycle of rotting rot will start if the soil is always wet since it will cause the plant to be overwatered.

RELATED: Snake Plant Problems: Common Sansevieria Problems and How To Fix Them

Overfertilization Problem

You already know that brown tips, lanky, and stunted development are indicators of overfertilization. Have you observed these indications? The plant has received excessive fertilization if your answer to the impending question is yes.

For a healthy development, the snake plants will need fertilizer. However, the dosage of the meal should be extremely little and diluted. More so, never fertilize snake plants when they are dormant.

An increased salt amount in the pot soil due to overfertilization or a spike in fertilization might accelerate plant development. However, this extra feed will stress the plant, which might result in root rot.

Pot Size

It is frequently forgotten to consider the pot size your plants are kept in.

What would happen if we kept large pots? Larger pots will lead the plant to be overwatered because it implies the plant will need more water. As a result, the plant finds it challenging to exude surplus water. Consequently, the plant soil stays wet at all times.

The plant size is inversely proportional to the size of the pot. For example, a 2-gallon container would be the appropriate size for a snake plant that is one foot long.

If we choose the wrong size container, the plant roots will struggle to absorb proper quantity of soil nutrients, which will slow down their growth.

Read about the proper potting size and material for your Snake Plants.

Potting Soil Mix

The snake plant grows best in well-aerated growing soil that has a blend of compost of cactus soil. An excellent drainage system, as well as a reduced risk of overwatering, are provided by well-aerated potting soil for snake plants.

Repotting the snake plant using a new blend of garden soil, compost, and cactus soil is advisable if the soil you are using has been polluted. Any plant’s ability to grow depends largely on its ability to sequester the proper quantities of nutrients and minerals in the soil.

Check to see whether the soil is emitting any strong smells.

Some Other Possible Causes

​Whenever you buy a plant, always remember to check it thoroughly. It’s possible that you chose a Snake Plant that was already in distress.

If you placed an internet order, the plant will be stressed throughout the trip. Hence, if you try to stress the Snake Plant further, it might result in root rot.

More so, cleaning the pruners, scissors, and clippers before and after use is a crucial step that is frequently overlooked. For example, if you use contaminated scissors, the pests might spread from one Sansevieria to another. Because of this, always sanitize them before using.

Finally, avoid attempting to solve all the problems at once. Instead, give your plant enough time to adjust to the environmental changes and handle them.

How Can Snake Plant Root Rot Be Treated?

How Can Snake Plant Root Rot Be Treated?

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Repotting the Snake plant in a fresh and new container is the recommended course of action when root rot is a problem. Plant propagation may be beneficial if the issue has gotten worse. 

However, you could still have time to save the plant at the early stage. Repotting it is one possible course of action. You will need some items before you can repot a snake plant, including:

  • Cactus dirt mixed with potting soil
  • Sterile Compost
  • Scissors
  • Rubbing alcohol or a disinfectant
  • Fresh pot
  • Optional – Bleach if you choose to use the old pot
  1. Let’s start by repotting the snake plant. Gently remove your snake plant from the container. Since you don’t want to hurt the roots, be extra delicate here.
  1. Take away the dirt that is covering the roots. To remove the dirt, you may also place your plant under running water.
  1. Remove the dark and mushy diseased roots using disinfectant-sprayed scissors. Examine the plant’s leaves in addition to the roots. The leaves must be discarded if they are brown or yellow since they add extra weight to the plant and serve no use.
  1. The bleach solution is not necessary if you are utilizing a new pot. However, if you continue to use the same, old pot, you need to properly clean it with a bleach solution to get rid of the germs and fungus. Give the pot about two hours to dry.
  1. Put some stones in the pot’s bottom. In order to aid drainage holes and keep the pot from any obstruction, fill the container with a 1:1 mixture of cactus soil, fresh soil, and compost.
  1. After placing the Sansevieria plant in the center, cover it with more dirt. You want the roots to remain intact, therefore do not apply excessive pressure throughout this procedure.
  1. After repotting, avoid fertilizing the snake plant. For a month, it shouldn’t need any nutrition. Let the plant adjust to the environment.

With your care and nurturing, the Sansevieria plant will flourish and quickly recover its health if the root rot was caught early. After repotting, avoid stressing the plant and put the snake plant in a location with ample strong light.

Give the newly repotted snake plant some water and carefully tap the container to ensure there are no soil air pockets. Make careful to water properly, and make sure the potholes are functional.

Natural Treatments For Root Rot In Snake Plants

Folk remedies can be used to cure root rot if you act soon. However, only the early stages of root rot are treatable using folk treatments. Apply the solutions to the surface of the soil and the lowest area of the plant for optimal effects.

Potassium Permanganate

The plant’s stem base must be thoroughly soaked with a light pink potassium permanganate solution. The permanganate must be diluted with a lot of water, or it might burn your snake plant.

Paste Made Up Of Chalk And Copper Sulfate

To produce the mixture, you’ll need 0.5 liters of water, 1 tablespoon of copper sulphate, and 3 teaspoons of powdered chalk. Stir them uniformly until they come together to produce a liquid that resembles cream. Use this combination right away on root systems that have root rot.

Chalk With Wood Ash

Combine the two ingredients equally. Then, put the powder on the roots of the snake plant. Since root rot is still in its early stages, your plant should be alright.

How Can You Prevent Root Rot To Your Snake Plants?

How Can You Prevent Root Rot To Your Snake Plants?

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As previously said, the snake plant is among the easiest house plants to maintain because it needs little maintenance. For growers that tend to forget, Snake Plants are the ideal options. However, by adhering to a few recommendations, you can avoid root rot. These consist of the following notes:

  1. You should never overwater a snake plant, thus, create a watering schedule. Before watering, always probe the soil.
  1. Both excessive and winter feeding are not allowed.
  1. Use of cactus soil and fresh potting soil.
  1. Drainage holes in pots that are proper in size.
  1. Aim for the ideal humidity and temperature.
  1. The snake plant should never be allowed to be left standing on stagnant water.

By doing the items listed above correctly, your snake plants will continue to thrive and display healthy development. Always be alert for the cues that your Snake Plant is delivering. They could occasionally require your love. The mother-in-law’s tongue include neither grouses nor demands that you are unable to satiate.

RELATED: Top 18 Rare Snake Plants You Must Have

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How can a dying snake plant be revived back to life?

Eliminate the root rot and give your snake plant some time to recover for the best results. You must first remove the snake plant’s decaying roots in order to resuscitate it. The plant should then be transplanted to a new site where it may flourish and be kept free from the root rot.

Why do my snake plant’s roots lack growth and development?

The root rot may have concluded its process and fully damaged the roots if your snake plant has no roots. On the other hand, it’s possible that a snake plant with no roots died from root rot, which entirely destroyed the plant’s roots. The best course of action in this circumstance is to take a cutting from your existing plant and plant it in a new area.

Is hydrogen peroxide effective in treating root rot?

One solution for root rot is to destroy plant fungus using hydrogen peroxide. In addition, hydrogen peroxide can be used to treat fungal infection-related root rot. It not only eliminates germs and fungus but also releases oxygen into the soil as it breaks down. Hydrogen peroxide heals root rot in this manner.

Is root rot spreadable from one plant to another?

Any indoor plants cultivated in soil have the potential to develop root rot. It is frequently caused by pruning instruments. Be careful to sanitize your tools after cutting plants to prevent spreading fungus spores.

Do bugs in houseplants bring on or spread root rot?

Aphids and spider mites, two common indoor plant pests, can transfer fungus spores from one plant to another. It is wet soil that draws insects. If you see an increase in your bug population, check the moisture level of your soil, look at the roots, reduce your watering, and treat with a pesticide like neem oil.

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