Snake Plant Turning Yellow | Nursery Insider

Snake Plant Turning Yellow | Expert Guide

If you have a snake plant at home or in your office, you might have noticed its leaves turning yellow. But don’t worry too much! Let’s find out why this happens.

One big reason for yellow leaves is too much water. Snake plants are tough and can survive without much water. So, if you water them too often, their roots get waterlogged and can’t take in nutrients. 

To fix this, let the soil dry out between watering and make sure the pot has holes for drainage.

Another reason could be bad soil drainage. When the soil doesn’t drain well, the roots can get sick, and that shows up as yellow leaves. Check if your pot has holes and maybe use better soil when repotting.

Not enough light can also make the leaves yellow. Snake plants love bright, indirect light. So, find a good spot where it gets enough light but not direct sunlight.

Sometimes, the yellowing is a sign that the plant needs more nutrients. Even though snake plants are easy to care for, they still need some food to stay healthy. Try using a balanced, diluted fertilizer to see if that helps.

Check your plant closely for any little bugs or signs of infections. If you find any, take action to control and treat the problem.

Causes of Snake Plant Leaves Turning Yellow

Let’s talk about snake plants, also known as Sansevieria or Mother-in-law’s tongue. These are cool houseplants that are easy to take care of and can clean the air in your home. 

But sometimes, their leaves turn yellow, and we need to figure out why. Here are some reasons why it happens:

Too Much Water

Giving too much water to snake plants can make their roots all soggy, and that’s not good. It can cause the leaves to turn yellow, feel squishy, and eventually die. 

So, let the soil dry out almost completely before watering them again, and don’t let them sit in water.

Not Enough Water

On the other hand, not giving enough water can also turn their leaves yellow. When they don’t get enough water, they start saving their resources, and that can make the older leaves turn yellow and droopy. 

So, water your snake plant when the soil feels dry but not super dry.

Soil Drainage

These plants like to have well-draining soil, which means water should not get stuck around their roots. If the soil in their pot doesn’t have holes for water to go out, it can cause yellow leaves. 

Make sure the pot has holes at the bottom, and use special soil for succulents or cacti.

Not Enough Light

Snake plants can handle low light, but they still need some indirect sunlight to stay healthy. If you keep them in a dark corner for too long, their leaves might start turning yellow. 

So, move them to a spot with more light, but not direct sunlight.

Cold Weather

These plants come from warm places, so they don’t like the cold. If they are near cold windows or drafty areas during winter, their leaves may get yellow spots or turn entirely yellow. Keep them away from chilly places in the winter.

Bugs and Sickness

Sometimes, yellow leaves can be a sign that the plant is not feeling well. Check for tiny insects like spider mites or mealybugs on the plant. 

Also, look for any signs of sickness like fungus or bacteria on the leaves. If you find any, take action to help the plant get better.

Need More Food

Like us, plants need food too! If they don’t get enough nutrients, their leaves might turn yellow. Nitrogen is an essential nutrient that they might be missing. To fix this, use special plant food for indoor plants and follow the instructions.

Too Crowded Roots

As snake plants grow, their roots can become too crowded in their pot. This makes it hard for them to get enough water and food, which can lead to yellow leaves and slow growth. If you think the plant is too crowded, repot it into a slightly bigger pot with fresh soil.

So, to figure out why your snake plant has yellow leaves, check how much water it gets, make sure it has good drainage, find a nice spot with enough light, keep it warm in the winter, and watch out for bugs and sickness. 

And don’t forget to give it some yummy plant food when needed. Taking good care of your snake plant will keep it happy and beautiful in your home!

Preventing a Snake Plant from Turning Yellow

There are the following things that you should consider;

Light Requirements

Snake plants, also known as Sansevieria, thrive in moderate to bright indirect light. Too much direct sunlight can scorch their leaves and cause them to turn yellow. 

Conversely, insufficient light can lead to weak growth and yellowing as well. Place your snake plant near a window with a sheer curtain or in a well-lit room, but away from direct sunlight. 

Proper Watering

Overwatering is one of the most common reasons for snake plants turning yellow. These plants have low water needs and are susceptible to root rot if the soil remains consistently soggy. 

Water your snake plant only when the top inch of the soil is dry to the touch. 

Allow the water to drain freely from the pot and avoid leaving it standing in a saucer of water. 

Well-Draining Soil

Using the right type of soil is essential for a healthy snake plant. Ensure that the potting mix is well-draining and does not retain excess moisture. 

A mixture of regular potting soil, sand, and perlite is ideal for promoting proper drainage. 

Avoid Cold Drafts

Snake plants are sensitive to temperature changes, especially cold drafts. Exposure to cold air can lead to yellowing and stress the plant. 

Make sure to keep your snake plant away from doors, windows, or air conditioning units that may cause sudden temperature drops. 

Adequate Humidity

While snake plants are generally adaptable to different humidity levels, they prefer moderate humidity. If your home is excessively dry, especially during the winter months, consider using a humidifier to maintain a more favorable environment for the plant. 

Pest Control

Inspect your snake plant regularly for signs of pests such as spider mites, mealybugs, or aphids. These pests can weaken the plant and contribute to yellowing leaves. If you notice any infestations, isolate the affected plant and treat it with an appropriate insecticide or a neem oil solution. 

Pruning and Cleaning

Remove any yellowing or diseased leaves promptly to prevent the problem from spreading. Regularly clean the leaves with a damp cloth to remove dust, which can hinder photosynthesis and make the leaves appear dull. 


Snake plants are relatively low-maintenance when it comes to fertilizing. Too much fertilizer can lead to the accumulation of salts in the soil, causing the leaves to turn yellow. Feed your snake plant with a balanced, diluted fertilizer during the growing season (spring and summer) once every two to four weeks. 


Over time, snake plants may become root-bound, which can affect their overall health and lead to yellowing leaves. Consider repotting the plant every two to three years into a slightly larger container with fresh, well-draining soil. 


Factors Sometimes, yellowing leaves may be a response to stress factors such as temperature fluctuations, changes in light conditions, or a recent move. 

In such cases, be patient and continue providing proper care to help the plant recover. 

By following these guidelines and taking appropriate care of your snake plant, you can keep its leaves lush and green, enhancing the beauty of your indoor space. 

Remember that each plant is unique, so observing and adjusting your care routine based on your plant’s specific needs will lead to the best results.

Final Thought

In conclusion, a snake plant turning yellow can be caused by various factors, including overwatering, poor soil drainage, lack of light, nutrient deficiencies, and pest or disease infestations. 

By identifying the specific cause and addressing it promptly, you can help your snake plant regain its green and healthy appearance. 

Remember to pay close attention to your plant’s care requirements and make adjustments accordingly to keep it thriving.


How can I prevent my snake plant from turning yellow? 

To prevent yellowing, ensure proper watering by allowing the soil to dry between watering. Place the snake plant in bright, indirect light, and avoid exposing it to extreme temperatures. Check for any signs of pests or diseases regularly.

What should I do if I notice yellow leaves on my snake plant? 

If you spot yellow leaves, examine the plant’s watering habits first. Adjust the watering frequency if necessary. Trim the yellow leaves to redirect the plant’s energy to healthy growth. Evaluate its positioning for any light or temperature issues.

Can yellow leaves on my snake plant be a sign of pest infestation? 

Yes, yellow leaves can indicate a pest problem. Inspect the plant for pests like spider mites, mealybugs, or scale insects. Treat the infestation promptly with neem oil or insecticidal soap, ensuring both the top and underside of the leaves are covered.

My snake plant is turning yellow despite proper care. What could be the reason? 

If your snake plant continues to turn yellow despite proper care, it may be experiencing root rot due to excessive moisture or poor drainage. 

Repot the plant in well-draining soil and ensure the pot has drainage holes. If the problem persists, consult with a plant expert to diagnose any underlying issues.

Why is my snake plant turning yellow? 

Snake plants can turn yellow due to overwatering, underwatering, or poor drainage. Yellowing leaves may also result from excessive sunlight or cold temperatures.

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