Curled Leaves in Snake Plants: Diagnosing and Treating the Issue

Snake plants are a cherished green companion in homes owing to their hardy nature and minimal upkeep.

Their architectural fronds testify to resilience, making them an epitome of low-maintenance verdancy. Yet, even the hardiest of foliage isn't immune to distress!

Curled leaves in snake plants can be caused by various factors, including overfertilization, rootbound issues, cold damage, insufficient water, too much light, and pests like thrips and southern blight.

It's essential to identify the specific cause of the curled leaves to provide the best treatment and prevent further damage.

In this article, we'll discuss why snake plant leaves curl and provide tips on diagnosing and treating the issue.

Curled Leaves in Snake Plants: Diagnosing and Treating the Issue

Understanding Snake Plants

Snake plants, known as Sansevieria, are popular houseplants for their air-purifying abilities and low maintenance requirements.

These plants are native to tropical Africa; most cultivars can grow up to 4 feet tall. Snake plants have long, upright leaves that grow in a rosette pattern.

Curled leaves of a snake plant

The leaves are typically green with yellow edges, but there are also varieties with solid green or variegated leaves. The leaves are thick and fleshy and can grow up to 3 feet long.

One of the reasons snake plants are so popular is because they are straightforward to care for. They can tolerate various temperatures and light conditions and don't require frequent watering.

Overwatering is one of the most common problems with snake plants, as it can lead to root rot.

Identifying Curled Leaves

Curled leaves can indicate something is not quite right with your snake plant. Identifying the cause of the curling is crucial to determine the appropriate treatment.

Curled leaves in snake plants can manifest in different ways. The leaves may curl inward or outward and twist or bend.

In some cases, the tips of the leaves may also turn brown or yellow. Observing the plant and taking note of any other visual signs, such as discoloration or spots on the leaves, is essential.

Diagnosing the Issue

Several factors can cause curled leaves in snake plants. Overwatering is a common culprit, as it can lead to root rot and render the root system ineffective.


Over-watering is a frequent offender when it comes to curled leaves. It threatens the plants with root rot, rendering the root system helpless in absorbing essential nutrients and moisture.

On the flip side, underwatering can thrust the snake plant into a realm of dehydration. Insufficient moisture can lead to curling and brittleness of leaves, voicing the thirst of your green friend.

To diagnose a watering issue, it is essential to check the soil moisture level. If the soil is dry, the plant may need to be watered more frequently. However, if the soil is consistently moist, it may be a sign of overwatering.

Pest Troubles

Pests like spider mites and thrips are infamous for causing curled leaves by feasting on the plant's sap, initiating a cycle of distress that reverberates through each frond.

To diagnose a pest or disease issue, inspecting the plant closely for signs of infestation is essential.

Look for tiny insects, webbing, or discoloration on the leaves. If a pest or disease is identified, it is essential to prevent further damage immediately.

Temperature and Light Conditions

The temperature and light conditions in which a snake plant is grown can also impact the health of its leaves.

Extreme hot and cold temperatures can cause the leaves to curl and turn brown. Similarly, too much or too little light can cause the leaves to become discolored and curl.

To diagnose a temperature or light issue, it is essential to consider the plant's environment. If the plant is located in a drafty area or near a heating or cooling source, it may be experiencing temperature fluctuations.

Treating Curled Leaves

If you notice curled leaves in your snake plant, there are several steps you can take to address the issue. Here are some ways to treat curled leaves in snake plants:

Adjusting Watering Practices

If the curled leaves are due to overwatering, the first step is to stop watering the plant until the soil dries out completely. Then, adjust your watering schedule to ensure the soil is moist, not wet.

If the curled leaves are due to underwatering, increase the watering frequency, but be careful not to overwater.

It's important to note that snake plants prefer well-draining soil and pots with drainage holes. If your plant doesn't have drainage holes, consider repotting it into a pool that does.

Modifying Environmental Conditions

If the plant is exposed to direct sunlight, move it to a location with indirect light.

If the air is too dry, place a humidifier nearby or mist the plant regularly. If the temperature is too cold, move the plant to a warmer location.

Pest and Disease Treatment

If you notice any signs of pests, such as spider mites or mealybugs, remove them manually or treat the plant with an insecticide.

If the curled leaves are due to a disease such as root rot, prune the affected leaves and repot the plant in fresh soil.

Final Thoughts

Snake plants symbolize resilience in the indoor garden, yet even they may express signs of distress, with curled leaves being typical.

In embracing the learning curve, you come closer to solving the curled leaf mystery and step towards becoming more attuned plant parents.

This guide aims to equip you with the insights needed to navigate the common hurdles and ensure your snake plants continue to adorn your spaces with timeless elegance.

Here's to nurturing your green companions with informed care and witnessing them flourish!


  1. My potted Snake experienced this and I think due to weak lighting and dry heat, mostly. The ones I have in water are gorgeous though. This one needs a repot and nutrients and I think she will be fine. Only one leaf has a twist throughout but after repotting she should be 💯
    Thank you 🥰

  2. What if ur plants or outside. I never water because they always seam wet. When I touch the soil. But they are outside . Maybe getting to much sun?

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