Why Is Your Snake Plant Turning Yellow? Uncover the Causes and Solutions

Home gardening and indoor plants have surged in popularity, with 66% of American households embracing the green trend. Among the favorites is the Snake Plant, renowned for its low-maintenance nature.

But despite its resilience, even the Snake Plant requires a certain level of care. One common concern that plant enthusiasts encounter is snake plant leaves turning yellow. This article will explore the reasons behind this issue and practical solutions to restore your Snake Plant’s vibrant and healthy foliage.

Why is Your Snake Plant Turning Yellow?

The vibrant green leaves of this popular houseplant can sometimes take on a worrisome yellow hue, indicating an underlying issue. Several factors can contribute to this discoloration, including overwatering, underwatering, inadequate lighting, temperature stress, pests, or even root problems. Identifying the root cause is crucial in nursing your snake plant back to health.

snake plant turning yellow

What Makes Snake Plants Special? Get to Know These Amazing Plants

These remarkable plants, also known as Sansevieria, have gained widespread popularity for a multitude of reasons. From their unique appearance to their air-purifying properties, snake plants offer an array of benefits. Their long, sword-shaped leaves with striking patterns and colors make them a captivating addition to any indoor space. In addition, snake plants are well-known for their expertise in detoxifying the air through the elimination of harmful substances and the release of oxygen, which can lead to a more wholesome atmosphere. In addition, they are exceptionally resilient and require minimal care, making them ideal for busy individuals or those new to plant care.

Common Reasons for Snake Plant Yellowing

Identifying the cause of snake plant yellowing is crucial for effective troubleshooting and nursing your snake plant back to health. Here are the most common reasons why your snake plant might be turning yellow:

snake plant along with the other plants beside the window

Insufficient Sunlight

One common reason for snake plant yellowing is insufficient sunlight. These plants thrive in bright, indirect light, and when they don’t receive enough light, their leaves can start to turn yellow. If you notice your snake plant drooping and the leaves losing their vibrant green color, it might be a sign that it needs more light.


Overwatering is a frequent culprit behind yellowing snake plant leaves. These plants are adapted to survive drought-like conditions and can withstand periods of dryness. However, excessive watering can lead to root rot and hinder the plant’s ability to absorb nutrients properly. If you suspect an overwatered snake plant, adjusting your watering routine is essential.

Poor Drainage or Root Rot

Poor drainage can contribute to waterlogged soil and subsequent root rot, leading to snake plant leaves falling over and turning yellow. When the roots cannot breathe due to excessive moisture, they become susceptible to rot. Ensuring proper drainage by using well-draining soil and pots with drainage holes can help prevent this issue.

Nutrient Deficiencies

Snake plants are generally resilient when it comes to nutrient requirements. However, prolonged nutrient deficiencies can result in yellowing leaves. A lack of essential minerals, such as nitrogen, iron, or magnesium, can manifest as yellowing or discolored foliage. Regularly fertilizing your snake plant with a balanced houseplant fertilizer can help prevent these deficiencies.

Pests or Diseases

Pests, such as spider mites or mealybugs, can infest snake plants and cause stress, resulting in yellowing leaves. Additionally, diseases like root rot or fungal infections can impact the plant’s overall health. Proper identification and prompt treatment of pests or diseases are crucial to preventing further damage.

Fungal Diseases

Snake plants are susceptible to fungal diseases, especially when exposed to excess moisture or poor air circulation. Common fungal infections, like leaf blight or crown rot, can cause yellowing and browning of leaves. Maintaining good air circulation and avoiding overwatering can help prevent these issues.

Temperature Fluctuations

Snake plants prefer stable temperatures and can be sensitive to extreme temperature fluctuations. Exposure to cold drafts or sudden temperature changes can lead to stress and yellowing leaves. It’s best to keep your snake plant in a location with consistent temperatures to prevent this problem.

Natural Aging

It’s important to note that some yellowing of lower leaves in snake plants is a natural part of aging. As the plant grows, older leaves may naturally turn yellow and die off. This is normal and not a cause for concern unless accompanied by other symptoms.

How to Revive Your Yellowing Snake Plant

If yellow leaves plague your snake plant, don’t despair! You can take steps to revive it and restore its lush green appearance. Here’s a guide on reviving your yellowing snake plant and returning it to its former glory.

  1. Assess the Light: Ensure your snake plant is receiving adequate sunlight. Place it in a well-lit area, preferably with bright, indirect light. To prevent further yellowing of the snake plant leaves, it’s best to keep it away from direct sunlight as it can cause scorching.
  2. Adjust Watering Routine: Evaluate your watering habits. Overwatering is a common cause of yellowing leaves in snake plants. Allow the soil to dry out between waterings and ensure proper drainage. Stick your finger into the soil to check its moisture level before watering again.
  3. Check for Root Rot: If your snake plant is drooping and the leaves are yellow, it could be due to root rot. Gently remove the plant from its pot and examine the roots. Healthy roots should be firm and white while rotting roots will appear brown, mushy, or foul-smelling. Trim away any damaged roots and repot the plant in fresh, well-draining soil.
  4. Provide Nutrient Boost: Consider fertilizing your snake plant to address any nutrient deficiencies. Use a balanced, water-soluble houseplant fertilizer and follow the instructions on the package. Be cautious not to over-fertilize, as this can harm the plant.
  5. Combat Pests and Diseases: If pests or diseases are causing yellowing leaves, take appropriate measures to eliminate them. Treat your snake plant with insecticidal soap or neem oil to control common pests like spider mites or mealybugs. Ensure good air circulation and adjust watering practices for fungal diseases to prevent excess moisture.

Proper Care and Maintenance to Prevent Snake Plant from Yellowing

Consistent care and maintenance are essential to keep your snake plant healthy and prevent it from developing yellow leaves. Here are some key guidelines to follow:

  1. Well-Draining Soil: Use well-draining soil specifically formulated for houseplants. It promotes proper root health by preventing waterlogged conditions that can lead to root rot.
  2. Avoid Overfertilization: Snake plants are relatively low-maintenance when it comes to fertilizing. Feed them sparingly with a balanced houseplant fertilizer during the growing season, following the instructions on the packaging. Too much fertilizer can cause leaf burn or disrupt the plant’s nutrient balance.
  3. Dusting and Cleaning: Regularly dust the leaves of your snake plant to keep them clean and free from debris. This helps optimize photosynthesis and prevents issues like pests or diseases.

healthy snake plant

How to Keep Your Snake Plant Happy and Healthy

To ensure the overall well-being of your snake plant, consider the following care tips:

  1. Rotate the Plant: Rotate your snake plant every few months to encourage even growth and prevent it from leaning towards the light source.
  2. Pruning: Trim any yellow or damaged leaves to maintain the plant’s appearance and redirect its energy to healthier growth.
  3. Propagation: Expand your snake plant collection by propagating healthy leaves or offsets. This can help rejuvenate the plant and create new, vibrant specimens.

Yellowing leaves on a snake plant can indicate various issues. Understanding the causes and implementing the appropriate solutions can revive your snake plant and restore its vibrant green appearance. Remember to provide proper care, maintain a suitable environment, and promptly address any problems to ensure your beloved snake plant’s long-term health and beauty.

Frequently Asked Questions

Will a yellow snake plant turn green again?

Yes, a yellow snake plant can turn green again with the right care. Address the underlying cause, adjust lighting, watering, and provide proper nutrition. Trim yellow leaves, be patient, and allow new growth to emerge.

Should I remove yellow leaves from snake plant?

Yes, it is advisable to remove yellow leaves from a snake plant. Trim them close to the base using clean pruning shears. This helps redirect the plant’s energy to healthy foliage and improves its overall appearance.

How do you revive a yellow snake plant?

To revive a yellow snake plant, address the underlying issue first. Adjust lighting, water appropriately, ensure proper drainage, and provide adequate nutrients. Trim yellow leaves, maintain stable temperatures, and be patient as the plant recovers.

How do I keep my snake plant green?

To keep your snake plant green, provide it with bright, indirect light, water only when the soil is partially dry, use well-draining soil, avoid overfertilization, keep it away from cold drafts, and regularly remove dust from the leaves.

How often should I water my snake plant?

Snake plants should be watered when the top 1-2 inches of soil are dry. This translates to watering every 2-4 weeks. The frequency may vary depending on environmental conditions, so monitoring the soil moisture levels before watering is best.

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