Snake Plant Turning White | Nursery Insider

Snake Plant Turning White | Perfect Guide

Let’s talk about why a snake plant might turn white. It’s a fascinating phenomenon with a few possible reasons.

One reason could be too much direct sunlight. While these plants can handle low light, too much sun can turn their leaves white. So, it’s essential to put your snake plant in a spot where it gets filtered or indirect sunlight.

Another cause is overwatering. Snake plants prefer well-draining soil, and if they get too much water, their roots might rot. This can mess up their nutrient absorption, leading to white leaves. 

So, remember to water them just right and let the soil dry out between watering.

Sometimes, fungal diseases can also make the leaves white. These sneaky fungi can attack the plant’s leaves and affect its health. To protect your plant, avoid overwatering and make sure it gets enough fresh air. 

Using special sprays can help too, but proper care is the best defense.

Oh, and there are pesky pests too! Insects like mealybugs and spider mites might infest the plant, munching on its sap and causing trouble. This weakens the plant, and you guessed it, leads to white leaves. 

But don’t worry! Keep an eye on your snake plant and quickly deal with any pests you find to keep it strong and colorful.

To find out why your snake plant turned white, check its growing conditions, how much it drinks, and if any pests or diseases are around. Once you know the cause, you can fix the issue and get your plant back to its beautiful self!

Why Is Your Snake Plant Turning White?

There are the following reasons for it;

Too Much Sunlight

If your plant gets too much direct sunlight, it can turn pale and lose its lovely green color. Imagine it getting a sunburn, just like us! Not good for its health.

Here’s how you can tell if your plant is getting too much sun: Look for dry and wrinkly leaves. 

Also, if the edges of the leaves turn brown, it’s a sign of sun damage. In serious cases, leaves might fall off, and that’s not great for the plant.

So, what can we do to help our green buddies? First, check how much sunlight they’re getting. If it’s too much, move the plant to a spot with softer, filtered sunlight. And during the hottest hours, give it some shade.

Remember to keep an eye on your plant’s leaves regularly. If you see any color changes or damage, you can fix it early and keep your plant happy and healthy.


One thing you need to watch out for is overwatering, which can turn your plant white and sad.

Here’s the deal: If you give your plant too much water and the soil can’t drain properly, bad things happen. The roots and leaves of your snake plant can get all messed up.

Look out for signs like the plant turning white with yellow and white spots all over. If you keep overwatering, it can even get yucky fungal root rot, and that’s no good for your precious snake plant.

But don’t worry, we’ve got some simple tips to help you keep your plant happy and healthy! First, make sure not to overwater it. Let the soil dry out before watering again.

If you think your plant is suffering from too much water, act fast! Take the plant out of its pot and check the roots for any signs of decay. Cut off the bad roots and let the plant dry before repotting it in fresh, well-draining soil.

And don’t forget to adjust your watering schedule. Water less often to avoid overwatering in the future.

By giving your snake plant the right amount of water and a cozy environment, it will stay strong and beautiful for a long time! Keep up the good work, plant lovers!

Powdery Mildew Infection

It’s like a fungal bug that makes the leaves and stems turn white. Don’t worry, it’s not super dangerous, but if it stays for a long time, it can weaken the plant a lot.

One way to spot this problem is by looking for small white dots on the leaves and stems. These dots get bigger and join together, covering the whole plant with big white patches. 

Sometimes, it may look like the plant has a sprinkle of flour on it! Surprisingly, you can wipe off that layer with a towel.

In worse cases, the infection might make mushroom-shaped things grow on the stems and leaf parts. The mildew itself doesn’t hurt the plant directly, but the white layer it makes on the leaves stops them from making food through photosynthesis. 

That’s not good because the plant gets weak and may eventually die over time.

The good news is, we can do something to help our spider plants stay healthy! First, we need to spot the early signs of the mildew and then take action. How can we do that? 

By regularly checking our plants, making sure they have enough fresh air, and keeping the right amount of moisture in the surrounding air. If we do these things, we can stop the mildew from spreading and keep our plants happy and strong! 

So, let’s take care of our spider plants and other plants that might get this problem.

Potassium Deficiency

If you see the leaves turning white or yellowish-white, it might need some nutrients from the soil. One of the important nutrients is called potassium.

Finding out if your snake plant lacks potassium can be a bit tricky. The best thing to do is to get a soil sample tested in a lab. They can tell you exactly what’s missing, and you can fix it!

Potassium is like magic for plants! It helps them stay healthy and grow well. It does many important things, like activating enzymes and regulating water. Without enough potassium, the leaves can lose their color, and the plant won’t be as strong.

To fix the problem, you can add special fertilizers or organic stuff to the soil. Remember, don’t overwater or use too many chemicals. Just keep things balanced, and your snake plant will be happy and healthy!

Ozone Damage

Do you know why snake plant leaves turn white? Well, one of the reasons is something called “ozone damage.” Ozone is a type of air pollutant, and when it comes into contact with certain plants, like the snake plant, it can cause trouble.

Imagine ozone as a bad guy trying to sneak into the leaves through tiny breathing pores called “stomata.” Once inside, it starts a chemical reaction, almost like a chemical burn, making white and yellow spots on the leaves. 

In serious cases, the whole upper surface of the leaves can turn white!

But here’s the good news: not all plants are equally affected by ozone. Unfortunately, the snake plant is pretty sensitive to it.

But don’t worry, there are ways we can help our snake plant buddies! We can reduce the chances of ozone damage by making sure the air indoors is clean and by keeping an eye on the ozone pollution levels outside.

So, let’s be mindful of our plant pals and protect them from turning white and getting hurt by ozone.

Temperature Fluctuations

It’s super important to know about possible problems and how to keep your plant safe from crazy temperatures. Doing this will make sure your plant stays healthy and colorful!

If you have a snake plant indoors, it’s easier to control the temperature. Just make sure to keep it away from drafty windows and AC vents when it’s super hot or cold outside. 

Also, find a good spot with enough light and avoid putting it near heaters or radiators.

But if your snake plant lives outside, especially in hot or cold places, here’s what you can do. On super hot summer days, give it some shade so it doesn’t get too much heat. 

And when it’s cold, bring it indoors or cover it up to keep it safe from freezing temperatures and frost.


If you have a healthy snake plant that’s turning white, don’t worry! Let’s check its leaves. There might be tiny, white bugs like cotton hiding underneath. These bugs are called mealybugs, and they can be a bit naughty. They suck the plant’s juice and make it look pale.

As they keep eating, the plant’s leaves may curl and fall off. It’s like mealybugs are having a party on your plant, and it’s not fun for your plant at all! It can even stop growing.

But guess what? We can help our snake plant fight these little bugs! First, let’s separate the affected plant from others to stop the bugs from spreading. 

Then, we can gently remove the bugs we see by using a cotton swab dipped in alcohol. 

For bigger bug troubles, we can invite some friendly ladybugs or use horticultural oil to get rid of them.

To protect our snake plants in the future, we need to be smart! Let’s regularly check our plants, especially under the leaves, for any signs of bugs. 

And remember to keep our plants happy and strong by watering them properly, giving them fresh air, and letting them soak up the sun. It’ll make it harder for the pesky mealybugs to bother them again.

Spider Mites

If you see tiny, reddish-brown bugs under your snake plant’s leaves, it could be a mite invasion. These bugs make white spots on the leaves as a first sign. They also make web-like stuff on the bottom of the leaves.

These webs are bad news because they stop the leaves from getting enough sunlight. The mites feed on the plant’s sap, so the leaves don’t get the good stuff they need. That’s why the affected leaves turn white, showing how bad the bug problem is.

Don’t worry! You can save your snake plant by acting fast. Check your plant often and fix any mite signs right away. This way, your plant will stay healthy and happy! So keep an eye out and take good care of your snake plant.

Tips to Fix the Problem

If your snake plant is turning white, it may indicate that there’s an issue with its health. There are several potential causes for this problem, and here are some solutions to help you address them:

Overexposure to Sunlight

If the leaves of your snake plant are turning white, it might be getting too much direct sunlight. Move the plant to a spot with bright, indirect light. Snake plants are hardy and can tolerate low light conditions, so finding a suitable location should not be difficult.


White leaves can also be a sign of underwatering. Check the soil regularly and make sure to water the snake plant when the top inch of the soil feels dry. Provide sufficient water, but avoid overwatering as it can lead to root rot.

Poor Drainage

Ensure that the pot has drainage holes. If the water is not draining properly, the roots can become waterlogged, leading to root rot and other issues. Repot the snake plant if necessary, using a well-draining potting mix.


Excessive fertilization can cause nutrient imbalances, resulting in white leaves. Use a balanced houseplant fertilizer and follow the recommended dosage on the packaging. Generally, snake plants don’t require frequent fertilization.


Check the plant for signs of pests like spider mites, mealybugs, or scale insects. These pests can sap the plant’s nutrients, leading to discoloration. If you find any pests, treat the plant with an appropriate insecticidal soap or neem oil solution.

Temperature Stress

Snake plants prefer temperatures between 60°F to 85°F (15°C to 29°C). Avoid exposing them to cold drafts or extreme temperatures.

Root Bound

If the plant has been in the same pot for a long time and appears crowded with roots, it may be root-bound. Gently repot the snake plant into a slightly larger container with fresh soil.

Disease or Infection

If you have ruled out other causes and the plant continues to decline, it may be suffering from a disease or infection. Trim away any affected parts and treat the plant with appropriate fungicides or pesticides.

Remember, when making changes to the plant’s care routine, do so gradually to avoid stressing the snake plant further. Monitor its progress over time to see if the changes are having a positive impact.

If the problem persists despite your efforts, consider seeking advice from a local plant expert or horticulturist.


In conclusion, a snake plant turning white is a concerning sign that indicates potential health issues and stress within the plant.

While snake plants are generally hardy and resilient, several factors may contribute to their leaves turning white, including overwatering, insufficient sunlight, or pest infestations. 

Proper care, including moderate watering, providing adequate sunlight, and ensuring well-draining soil, is essential for maintaining the plant’s vibrant green color and overall health. 

Remember, proactive and attentive care will undoubtedly lead to a happier and healthier snake plant.


Why is my snake plant turning white? 

Snake plants turning white can be a sign of sunburn. Excessive exposure to direct sunlight, especially during hot summer months, can cause the leaves to turn white and appear burnt.

How can I prevent my snake plant from turning white? 

To prevent your snake plant from turning white, ensure it is placed in a location with indirect or filtered sunlight. Avoid exposing it to harsh, intense sunlight for prolonged periods.

Are there other reasons for a snake plant turning white? 

Yes, overwatering can also cause snake plant leaves to turn white. Make sure not to water it excessively, and allow the soil to dry out between watering.

Can a snake plant recover from turning white? 

If the discoloration is due to sunburn, the affected leaves may not recover, but new growth should appear healthy if you move the plant to a shadier spot. 

For white leaves caused by overwatering, the plant may recover if you adjust its watering routine.

How should I care for a snake plant with white leaves? 

Trim the white and damaged leaves with clean scissors or pruning shears to encourage new, healthy growth. Additionally, review your watering and sunlight practices to ensure proper care for your snake plant.

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