Troubleshooting Guide for Mushy Snake Plant Leaves (+ Solutions)
Mushy snake plant leaves result from a few key reasons; overwatering, shock or disease. Learn how to identify the cause of your mushy snake plant in this troubleshooting guide.
- mushiness in snake plant leaves indicates a fundamental problem exists and needs attention
- look for other symptoms to help identify the root cause
- take immediate steps to save your snake plant
If you see any signs of mushiness in your snake plant, red flags should be going up. Your snake plant is yelling for help, and the soft mushy sections are signs of rot developing.
Fortunately, you’ve had the foresight to do some research, so there is still hope. We’ll help you identify the cause of your mushy leaves. But more importantly, we’ll walk you through the following steps to saving your snake plant.
Why is My Snake Plant Mushy?
There are a few reasons that could be the reason why your snake plant is mushy. In this article section, we will explore these reasons in detail. We’ll also provide the solutions in the ‘Next Steps’ section.
So let’s begin.
1. Overwatering Your Snake Plant
If we had to wager a guess for a reason for a mushy snake plant, we’d put our money on an overwatered snake plant.
Now, don’t feel bad. You’re not the only one to have ever overwatered a snake plant. It is probably one of the most common problems for snake plant owners.
When the roots of your snake plant sit in constantly wet and soggy soil, a fungal disease called root rot can develop. Once the rot has infected the root system, it begins to work its way up to the snake plant foliage and presents as soft and mushiness at the base of the leaves.
Apart from mushy leaves, you can confirm your snake plant is overwatered (with signs of root rot) by looking for these symptoms:
- wet and waterlogged soil
- brown spots on the leaves
- presence of fungus gnats and mold on the surface of the soil
- a rotting smell emanating from the soil and mushy areas
- roots look brown or black, feel soft and mushy, and smell rotten
Next Steps: How to Fix an Overwatered Snake Plant
If you suspect root rot has set in, there is only one course of action – re-pot into dry soil and treat with a fungicide.
Root rot is an insidious disease that will consume your entire plant if not eliminated. Achieving complete eradication requires the following:
- Removing rotten or infected roots from the snake plant (roots and foliage)
- treating the healthy parts of the snake plant with a fungicide and sterilizing any equipment that may have been contaminated (pot and tools)
- re-potting the snake plant in fresh, uncontaminated potting mix.
We go through the process of treating root rot in detail in this ARTICLE.
How to Prevent an Overwatered Snake Plant
Snake plants like their soil to dry out between each watering – so it is essential to understand how to tell when a snake plant’s soil is dry.
Use these tools to help regulate your watering schedule to avoid overwatering your snake plant.
2. Incorrect Soil
Another reason that may cause your snake plant to go mushy is using soil with the incorrect properties.
Snake plants are succulents. As such, they require soil that has the following:
- well-draining soil with good drainage holes in a terracotta pot to allow excess water to escape,
- is a loam soil for aeration, and
- has enough organic material to retain moisture and nutrients for the roots.
Regular potting soil mixes will be too dense and retain too much water. And as we explained earlier, when snake plants are housed in wet soil, rot develops and infects your plant.
Next Steps: How to Fix Incorrect Soil
Similar to the solution for an overwatered snake plant, re-potting your houseplant will be the snappiest solution for ensuring the health of your snake plant.
If it has developed mushy areas on its leaves, we recommend inspecting the root system for any rotten sections. If you discover rot, treat it with fungicide and follow the instructions above.
How to Prevent Incorrect Soil in the Future
We like to take a hands-on approach to the soil.
Making up your snake plant soil is a great way to deepen your connection with your plants and truly appreciate their needs. It forces you to consider their requirements and understand how they thrive in their natural environment.
We have written about how we make up our snake plant soil HERE. It also includes a recipe with ratios to make as much or as little as you need.
3. Plant Temperature Shock
Although not very common, your snake plant can occasionally experience shock due to significant fluctuations in its ambient conditions.
The main change in conditions that will cause mushy leaves is temperature swings below the comfort zone for snake plants.
You may or may not know that snake plants store water in their leaves. It is an advantageous property unique to succulents, allowing them to survive prolonged periods without water or rainfall.
However, these water stores can become a liability when temperatures drop below freezing. As water freezes, it expands. When the water reserves in the snake plant freeze and expand, it damages the leaf cells and the integrity of the leaf structure, resulting in mushy areas.
Next Steps: How to Fix Damaged Leaves
We have some bad news. Any damaged parts of the snake plant leaves will not heal and return to their former glory.
The snake plant may decide to sacrifice the leaf and stop supplying nutrients to the leaf.
We recommend cutting the damaged leaves from the main plant using sterilized garden scissors or a sharp knife.
This way, you can encourage your snake plant to focus on directing water and nutrients to the healthy leaves and encourage new growth.
How to Prevent Temperature Shock
The preferred temperature range for snake plants is between 65-90° Fahrenheit (18-32° Celsius).
Read more about snake plant temperature tolerances HERE.
If you live in an area that experiences temperatures outside the above-recommended range, we suggest bringing your snake plants indoors – particularly in the winter when temperatures can drop below 55° Fahrenheit (12° Celsius).
We also suggest keeping them away from drafty positions and heaters or air conditioners.
Mushy Snake Plant Leaves – Closing Comments
Discovering snake plant mushy leaves can be heartbreaking. Your beloved houseplant is screaming for help and, without quick action, could be in serious trouble.
Fortunately, you have jumped into gear and started researching what to do. With our troubleshooting guide, you can identify and rectify the cause of your mushy leaves. We have also provided suggestions for preventing mushy leaves in the future.
Here’s to a swift recovery for your snake plant.
Thanks for getting your hands dirty with the Garden Bench Top.