Why Your Snake Plant Turned Yellow: Causes & Solutions

Snake Plant Turned Yellow. If you’re a proud owner of a snake plant and have noticed yellow leaves on your once healthy and thriving plant, you’re not alone. Yellowing is a common issue that can occur for a variety of reasons, but fortunately, it’s usually fixable with a little know-how and attention.

In this section, we’ll delve into the common causes behind a snake plant turning yellow and provide effective solutions to restore its health. We’ll also provide tips on snake plant care to prevent future yellowing and ensure your plant remains vibrant and beautiful.

Key Takeaways:

  • Yellowing of snake plant leaves is a common issue that can occur for various reasons.
  • By understanding the causes of yellowing, you can take effective steps to restore your plant’s health.
  • Proper care and attention, including watering, lighting, and pest management, can prevent yellowing and keep your snake plant thriving.

Sansevieria Species (Sansevieria)

Understanding Snake Plant Yellow Leaves

When your snake plant’s leaves turn yellow, it is an indication that something is wrong. However, it’s important to note that occasional yellow leaves are normal, especially the older ones towards the bottom of the plant. But if the yellowing spreads or affects younger, newer leaves, it’s a sign of a problem.

There are several potential causes for snake plant yellowing. Identifying the underlying issue is the key to restoring your plant’s health.

Common Snake Plant Problems That Cause Yellowing

Overwatering: One of the most common causes of yellow leaves in snake plants is overwatering. When the soil is excessively saturated with water, the roots suffocate, preventing them from taking in oxygen. This can lead to root rot, which eventually causes the leaves to turn yellow and droop.

Underwatering: Inadequate watering can also cause snake plant leaves to turn yellow. When the plant doesn’t receive enough water, it becomes dehydrated and cannot function properly, leading to yellowing leaves.

Improper lighting: Snake plants thrive in bright, indirect sunlight. But if they receive too much or too little light, it can lead to yellowing. Direct sunlight can scorch the leaves, while inadequate light prevents the plant from photosynthesizing, leading to yellowing and stunted growth.

Pests and diseases: Certain pests, such as spider mites and mealybugs, can feed on a snake plant’s leaves, causing them to turn yellow and eventually die. Fungal diseases can also cause yellowing, usually accompanied by spots or browning, and can spread quickly.

Root rot: Root rot is another common condition that can cause yellow leaves in snake plants. This occurs when the roots are soaked in water for extended periods, leading to fungal growth and root decay.

In the following sections, we will discuss each cause in more detail, including how to identify the specific issue and steps to restore your snake plant’s health.

Snake Plant

Overwatering: A Common Culprit

Overwatering is a common mistake that many plant owners make, and snake plants are no exception. When the soil is constantly wet, it can cause the roots to rot and prevent the plant from absorbing essential nutrients. This can result in yellow leaves and a weakened plant.

If your snake plant has yellow leaves due to overwatering, don’t panic. There are steps you can take to fix the issue:

1Assess the damage: Check the roots for signs of rot. If they are brown and mushy, you will need to remove the damaged roots.
2Repot your plant: Choose a new pot with drainage holes and fresh, well-draining soil. Gently remove the plant from its old pot and remove any damaged roots. Place it in the center of the new pot and fill in the gaps with fresh soil.
3Adjust watering: To prevent overwatering in the future, adjust your watering schedule. Only water your snake plant when the top 2-3 inches of soil are dry. Be sure to pour out any excess water that collects in the saucer.

Proper watering is key to preventing yellow leaves caused by overwatering. By following these steps, you can rescue your snake plant and prevent future problems.

Note: If your plant is severely damaged, or if you are unsure how to proceed, consult a plant expert or professional gardener.

Underwatering: A Possible Cause

If your snake plant’s leaves are turning yellow, it’s possible that you are not watering it enough. Underwatering can cause the plant to become dehydrated and its leaves to turn yellow and dry.

Signs of underwatering include dry soil and leaves, wilting, and drooping. When you water your snake plant, make sure to give it enough to fully saturate the soil. Wait for the soil to dry out before watering it again.

It’s important to note that snake plants can go for long periods without water, so make sure not to overdo it. Overwatering can also cause yellow leaves, so finding the right balance is crucial.

If you suspect your snake plant is being underwatered, increase the frequency of your watering and monitor the soil’s moisture level regularly. Make sure to use a well-draining potting mix and avoid letting water sit in the pot’s drainage tray.

Proper hydration is essential for a healthy snake plant, so don’t neglect the watering aspect of your plant care routine.

Lighting Requirements for Snake Plants

Proper lighting is crucial to the health of your snake plant, as insufficient or excessive light can lead to yellowing and other problems. As we mentioned earlier, it’s important to place your snake plant in a spot where it can receive indirect sunlight for several hours a day.

If you place your snake plant in too much direct sunlight, its leaves may burn and turn yellow. On the other hand, if your plant isn’t getting enough light, its growth may slow down, and its leaves may become pale and yellowish.

One way to ensure that your snake plant is getting the right amount of light is to observe its leaves. If they’re standing upright and have a vibrant green color, it’s a good sign that your plant is happy. If the leaves are turning yellow or brown, you may need to adjust its lighting conditions.

If your snake plant isn’t getting enough light, you can move it to a brighter spot or consider using artificial grow lights. Be sure to avoid placing your plant near air vents or drafts, as this can cause its leaves to dry out and turn yellow.

Remember, every home and every snake plant is different, so it may take some trial and error to find the ideal lighting conditions for your plant. Just pay attention to its leaves, and make adjustments as needed to help it thrive.

Dealing with Pests and Diseases

Unfortunately, snake plants are not immune to pests and diseases, which can be a common cause of yellowing in their leaves. Recognizing the signs of these issues is crucial in providing the appropriate treatment and preventing further damage to your plant.

The most common pests found on snake plants are spider mites and mealybugs. Spider mites are tiny, red or black bugs that suck the sap from the leaves, leaving behind yellow splotches. Mealybugs, on the other hand, appear as white, cottony masses on the plant and can also lead to yellowing.

There are several treatment options for getting rid of these pests, including using an insecticidal soap or oil spray and wiping down the leaves with a damp cloth. It’s important to note that excessive use of insecticides can be harmful to your plant, so make sure to follow the instructions carefully and only use them as a last resort.

In addition to pests, diseases such as fungal infections can also cause yellowing in snake plant leaves. Symptoms of fungal infection include black, mushy spots on the roots or leaves. If left untreated, the plant may wilt and die. To prevent fungal infections, make sure to avoid overwatering and ensure proper drainage.

If you suspect your snake plant has a disease, it’s best to consult with a professional who can recommend the appropriate treatment.

To summarize, identifying and treating pests and diseases is a crucial step in restoring the health of your snake plant. Regular inspection and maintenance can help prevent these issues from occurring in the first place.

Root Rot: A Hidden Threat

Root rot is a serious condition that can cause your snake plant’s leaves to turn yellow. The causes of root rot include overwatering, poor drainage, and fungus. If left untreated, root rot can spread throughout the plant and eventually lead to its death.

One tell-tale sign of root rot is a foul odor emanating from the soil. Additionally, you may notice that the plant’s leaves are becoming soft and mushy. To prevent root rot, avoid overwatering your snake plant and ensure that it has proper drainage.

If you suspect that your plant has root rot, remove it from its pot and inspect the roots. Healthy roots should be firm and white, while rotting roots will be brown and slimy. Cut away any rotting roots and repot the plant in fresh, well-draining soil. Give your plant some time to recover and avoid watering it until the soil is completely dry.

Remember to regularly inspect your snake plant’s roots for signs of rot and follow proper watering and drainage techniques to prevent this hidden threat from damaging your plant.


Yellow leaves on a snake plant can be a cause for concern, but understanding the various reasons behind this issue can help you take appropriate steps to address it. From overwatering and underwatering to lighting, pests, and diseases, we’ve covered the most common causes of yellow leaves in snake plants in this article, along with effective solutions to restore their health.

Remember, proper care and maintenance are key to ensuring your snake plant remains healthy and vibrant. Follow our tips on watering, lighting, and pest control to prevent future yellowing. By taking the necessary steps to maintain your snake plant’s well-being, you can enjoy its beauty and benefits for years to come.

Keep an eye on your snake plant and regularly inspect the leaves to detect any signs of yellowing. Address issues promptly to prevent them from worsening. With some care and attention, you can keep your snake plant thriving and add an attractive touch to your home or office.

Why is My Snake Plant Turning Yellow?

If you’ve noticed your snake plant turning yellow, it could be due to a variety of reasons. From inadequate watering to pests and disease, numerous factors can contribute to this issue. By understanding the causes of yellow leaves in snake plants and taking appropriate steps to address them, you can keep your plant healthy and vibrant for years to come.

Remember to provide your snake plant with the proper care and attention it needs, including regular watering, adequate light, and protection from pests and disease. By following our tips and guidelines, you can help your plant thrive and enjoy its beauty and benefits for years to come.


Q: Why is my snake plant turning yellow?

A: There are several potential causes for a snake plant turning yellow, including overwatering, underwatering, improper lighting, pests, and root rot.

Q: How can I fix a snake plant with yellow leaves?

A: To fix a snake plant with yellow leaves, you need to address the underlying issue. This may involve adjusting your watering routine, ensuring proper lighting conditions, treating any pests or diseases, or preventing and treating root rot.

Q: How do I know if my snake plant is overwatered or underwatered?

A: Overwatered snake plants may have yellow leaves that feel mushy or soft, while underwatered snake plants typically have yellow leaves that are dry and brittle. Checking the soil moisture and observing the plant’s overall condition can help determine if it’s being overwatered or underwatered.

Q: What lighting conditions are ideal for snake plants?

A: Snake plants prefer bright, indirect light. They can tolerate low light conditions but may grow more slowly. Avoid placing them in direct sunlight, as this can cause the leaves to burn.

Q: How do I treat pests and diseases in my snake plant?

A: Identifying the specific pest or disease affecting your snake plant is crucial for effective treatment. Common pests include spider mites and mealybugs, which can be treated with insecticidal soap or neem oil. For diseases like root rot, removing affected parts and treating with a fungicide may be necessary.

Q: How can I prevent root rot in my snake plant?

A: To prevent root rot in a snake plant, ensure proper drainage by using well-draining potting soil and a container with drainage holes. Avoid overwatering and allow the soil to dry out between waterings. Regularly inspect the roots for signs of rot and take immediate action if any issues are detected.