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Snake Plant Leaves Turning Yellow: Causes and Solutions

Are snake plant leaves turning yellow? Don’t panic yet – with a few easy fixes, you can nurse that plant back to its vibrant glory! In this post, you’ll get to the root (pun intended) of what causes annoying yellow snake plant leaves. I’ll share insider tips to detect whether it just needs a sip of water or is shouting for help. You’ll soon be on your way to a happier, healthier plant baby. Identify the issue, adjust your care techniques, and watch your snake plant healthy again with simple solutions. Get ready to have the happiest snake plant on the block again in no time!

Why Are My Snake Plant Leaves Turning Yellow?

Suppose you have noticed your snake plant leaves turning yellow. In that case, it is vital to identify the underlying cause to prevent further damage. Here are some possible reasons why your snake plant leaves may be turning yellow:

  • Overwatering
  • Underwatering
  • Sunlight Issues
  • Pest and Diseases
  • Nutrient Deficiencies
  • Natural Aging
why are my snake plant leaves turning yellow


Overwatering is one of the most common reasons for snake plant leaves turning yellow. When the soil is too wet, the roots can become damaged and unable to absorb nutrients properly, causing the leaves to turn yellow. That is especially common if the snake plant is in a pot without proper drainage.

What does an overwatered snake plant look like? An overwatered snake plant shows yellowing leaves, wilting, soggy soil, root rot, and leaf edema due to excessive moisture. Learn more about how often to water a snake plant.


On the other hand, if you notice your snake plant leaves turning yellow from the bottom up, it may be a sign of underwatering. When a snake plant doesn’t receive enough water, the leaves will start to turn yellow and brown, starting from the tips and edges.

Sunlight Issues

If your snake plant is not receiving enough sunlight or is exposed to direct sunlight for too long, the leaves may start to turn yellow and brown. That could be due to the plant being placed in a spot that is too dark or too bright.

Pests and Diseases Problems

Another possible reason for snake plant leaves turning yellow is due to pests or diseases. Spider mites, mealybugs, and scale insects can all cause damage to the leaves, leading to yellowing and browning. Fungal diseases such as root rot can also cause yellowing of the leaves.

Nutrient Deficiencies

If your snake plant is not receiving enough nutrients, the leaves may start to turn yellow. That can be due to a lack of nitrogen, iron, or other essential nutrients, which is especially common if you haven’t fertilized your snake plant in a while.

Natural Aging

Finally, it is important to note that snake plant leaves naturally turn yellow and brown as they age. That is a natural process and not a cause for concern unless it is happening too quickly or affecting a large number of leaves.

In the table below, you will find the possible reasons for snake plant leaves turning yellow:

Possible Issues When Caring for a Snake PlantSigns and Symptoms
OverwateringYellowing leaves
UnderwateringYellowing and browning, starting from the tips and edges
Sunlight IssuesYellowing and browning leaves
Pests and Diseases ProblemsYellowing and browning, possibly accompanied by other symptoms such as spots, webbing, or holes
Nutrient DeficienciesYellowing leaves
Natural AgingYellowing and browning of older leaves

By identifying the cause of the yellowing leaves, you can take the appropriate steps to remedy the situation and ensure your snake plant stays healthy and vibrant.

How Do I Fix Yellow Leaves on My Snake Plant?

If you have noticed that your snake plant’s leaves are turning yellow, it could indicate a problem with the plant’s health. Here are some steps you can take to fix the issue.

how do i fix yellow leaves on my snake plant

Adjust Watering Based on Diagnoses

One of the most common reasons why snake plant leaves turn yellow is overwatering or underwatering. If the soil is too wet, the roots may rot, leading to yellow and crispy leaves. On the other hand, if the soil is too dry, the plant may not receive enough nutrients, causing the leaves to turn yellow.

To diagnose the problem, check the soil moisture level by sticking your finger about an inch deep into the soil. If the soil feels dry, water the plant thoroughly. If the soil feels wet, hold off on watering for a few days. Additionally, make sure the pot has proper drainage to avoid waterlogging. Learn more about the best soil for a snake plant.

Place The Plant in A Place with Adequate Light

Snake plants require bright, indirect light to thrive. If your plant is not receiving enough light, it may become stressed and develop yellow leaves. Move the plant to a spot with adequate light, but avoid direct sunlight, which can scorch the leaves.

Treat Pests and Diseases

Yellow leaves may also indicate a pest or disease problem. Inspect the plant for signs of pests such as spider mites, mealybugs, or scale insects. If you notice any pests, wipe down the leaves with a damp cloth or treat the plant with an insecticidal soap.

If the plant is suffering from a disease such as root rot or bacterial leaf spot, remove the affected leaves and treat the plant with a fungicide or bactericide.

Use The Appropriate Fertilizer

Finally, yellow leaves may be a sign of nutrient deficiency. Snake plants require minimal fertilization, but if your plant is not receiving enough nutrients, its leaves may turn yellow. Use a balanced fertilizer formulated explicitly for snake plants, such as an NPK fertilizer with a ratio of 6-5-3, and apply it according to the instructions on the package.

This careful application of nutrients can help replenish essential elements and promote healthy growth while addressing the issue of yellowing leaves in your snake plant.

Possible CauseSolution
OverwateringAllow the soil to dry out between waterings
UnderwateringWater the plant thoroughly and ensure proper drainage
Inadequate LightMove the plant to a spot with bright, indirect light
PestsRemove pests manually or treat the plant with an insecticidal soap
DiseasesRemove affected leaves and treat them with a fungicide or bactericide
Nutrient DeficiencyUse a balanced fertilizer formulated for snake plants
snake plant yellow leaves

Frequently Asked Questions

Can Yellow Snake Plant Leaves Turn Green Again?

Yellow snake plant leaves typically don’t revert to their original green color. Once leaves turn yellow, it’s usually a sign of stress, overwatering, or other issues. However, addressing the underlying problem can prevent further yellowing in new growth.

Should I Remove Yellow Leaves from Snake Plant?

Yes, it’s advisable to remove yellow leaves from a snake plant. Trim them at the base to maintain the plant’s aesthetics and prevent the spread of potential diseases or pests. Regularly removing yellow leaves can promote healthier growth.

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About Henry Morgan

Henry Morgan is an agronomist horticulture founder of The Garden Style Company and The Garden Style Website. He previously worked for Mondelēz International as an Agronomist Engineer specializing in agricultural products management in highly populated areas. In 2000, Henry started working with farmer-producers in agricultural businesses selling wholesale fresh produce and retail plants in Van Buren, Arkansas. Nowadays, Henry lives in California, where he offers expert consulting services for organic vegetable gardening. As a science writer working with his wife, Julia, Henry shares his passion for gardening and farming, trying to reach and teach as many folks as possible.

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