Why are my Snake Plant Leaves Splitting? (Troubleshooting Guide)
Splitting leaves in snake plants indicates a fundamental health condition is causing issues. Use our troubleshooting guide to identify the cause and the following steps to fix the problem.
- changes in environmental factors can cause splitting leaves
- nutrient deficiencies or pests can also cause leaves to split
- identifying the root cause will help determine the next steps
Discovering splitting leaves on your snake plant is never a fun experience. It can be disheartening or anxiety-inducing – what could be wrong with your snake plant?
Thankfully we’ve put together this helpful troubleshooting guide to help you get to the root of the problem (pun intended😊).
How to Solve Splitting Leaves on Snake Plants
For those new to our Garden Bench Top troubleshooting guides, there is some method to the madness.
The first thing to do is read through this article in its entirety.
Once you have an overview, select the problem that sounds like the most likely cause of your snake plant splitting leaves. Implement the suggested solution and then wait for any positive changes. If, after a week, there is no noticeable change in your snake plants’ condition, move to the next likely cause, implement the solution and wait.
As you can appreciate troubleshooting your ailing indoor plants requires patience.
Patience is the key to stopping your snake plant getting split leaves.
However, the process will make you a more observant and mindful plant parent – something we all aspire to become.
So, grab your magnifying glass, and let’s begin our investigation.
If we had to guess what is causing your snake plants to split, we’d put our money on humidity issues. More specifically, low humidity.
Split leaves indicate dehydration problems with your snake plants’ leaves. Snake plants require a moderate humidity level to allow their internal processes to function correctly.
When the relative humidity drops too low, it accelerates the transpiration process in the leaves. This causes your snake plant to lose a lot of water quickly, causing the leaves to dry and split.
You can read more about how humidity affects snake plants HERE.
How to Fix Low Humidity
The good news is increasing humidity is easy.
Simply grouping your indoor plants will provide a natural boost to relative humidity. As each of the plants transpires, the moisture content in the ambient air increases, and the moisture content of the surrounding air increases.
If you don’t have other plants to group with your snake plant, we’ve got an easy suggestion – buy more! Just kidding!
Alternatively, you can use a humidity tray underneath your snake plant’s pot. Water evaporating from the tray will instantly boost humidity, and your snake plant won’t experience more split leaves.
For more ideas for boosting humidity without using expensive humidifiers, check out our solutions HERE.
Snake plants are hardy, making them great indoor plants for beginners and expert enthusiasts.
However, just because they are tough doesn’t mean they are indestructible.
They are susceptible to water inconsistencies – underwatering and, more commonly, overwatered.
In a similar fashion to low humidity, underwatering your snake plant can also result in your snake plant becoming dehydrated and resulting in split leaves.
However, as strange as it sounds, their leaves will absorb too much water and begin to swell when they are sitting in too much water. When the cells in the leaves get waterlogged, they burst and form lesions on the surface of the snake plant leaf. If this occurs to too many of the leaf cells, it can cause the leaf to split. It can also lead to root rot – but that’s a whole other story.
How to Fix Watering Inconsistencies
Snake plants like their soil to dry out before receiving a top-up of water. Sounds simple right?
The problem lies in working out when the soil is dry.
We find the easiest way of determining when our snake plant’s soil is dry is by using the soil moisture finger test. Dig your index finger into the soil and carefully lift it out. If it comes out relatively clean, it’s time to add more water. If soil sticks to your finger, there is sufficient water, and you can re-test in a few days.
Also, ensure any excess water exits the snake plant pot.
It sounds like we’re accusing you of a crime, but rest assured, we are not.
Split leaves can occur when your snake plant is accidentally knocked into (possibly because it is in a thoroughfare in the home) or you have a curious cat or dog. Or your snake plant may have been damaged in transit during shipping.
Snake plants have thick fleshy leaves. So they can take a bit of rough-housing. However, unlike other plants where the leaves may tear or fall off, snake plant leaves tend to split due to physical damage.
While it isn’t necessarily the end of the world, damaged leaves can be unsightly. Worst-case scenario, the damage is so severe that it prevents the snake plant from delivering nutrients to parts of the leaf. In cases like these, the leaf will likely be sacrificed by the plant and slowly wither away.
How to Prevent Physical Trauma
The best way to prevent your snake plant from being damaged is to move it to a space away from busy areas in the home and away from the temptation of curious paws.
Cats are harder to keep away from your beloved houseplants, so try using some of the ideas we have provided in this ARTICLE, like placing citrus peels or coffee grinds on the soil’s surface.
How to Prevent Snake Plant Split Leaves
Okay, we now know how to troubleshoot the potential causes of split snake plant leaves.
But how do we stop it from happening in the future?
We have one word for you…PREVENTION.
If you’ve been hanging around the Garden Bench Top, you will know this is our preferred approach to gardening.
Here are our tips for preventing snake plants from splitting leaves:
- Soil Matters – using suitable soil or potting mix for snake plants will make or break your plant’s parent journey. The perfect snake plant substrate is well-draining soil, loam, and has the right amount of organic matter to retain water. Check out our snake plant soil recipe HERE with steps to make it at home.
- Right Ambient Conditions – we noted earlier how different humidity levels impact the internal processes of a snake plant. Achieving and monitoring the ambient conditions around your snake plant is crucial to allow it to thrive. This includes bright indirect light, temperatures between 60-90° Fahrenheit (15-32° Celsius), and an excellent all-purpose fertilizer fed once in early spring.
- Keep an Eye – one of the simplest ways to ensure your snake plant doesn’t receive any further split leaves is to get to know your plant. Put it in a place where you will see it daily. This helps to monitor it for any changes. Plants may not have a voice but they communicate with us through their leaves. Check-in on your snake plant frequently and regularly, and you’ll soon know when they are happy and when they need some extra loving.
Snake Plant Splitting Leaves – Common Questions
What to do with split snake plant leaves?
The bad news is once a leaf is damaged, it will not repair itself. The damaged areas may callous over and still survive. However, it won’t heal completely, leaving it scarred.
The good news is trimming the snake plant leaf for aesthetic purposes is an option, and it is easy too. Once you remove the leaf, it will encourage your snake plant to develop a new healthy leaf.
- Transpiration. (2022, August 16). In Wikipedia. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Transpiration