Ailing Snake Plant Question

flashgMay 4, 2007

I recently took two plants from my work. I was told they are called snake plants. They are roughly two feet tall and they just look horrible. The tips are broken off or torn down the center and they no longer stand up straight and tall like they should. I believe that over watering and maybe some light issues were to blame. Since bringing them to my house (a week and a half ago) I have not watered them, giving the soil a chance to dry out. I have them near a south facing window but I have read conflicting things about light requirements for these plants. I have read that they like a lot of light and that they will adapt to very low light conditions. They a still drooping and I donÂt want to kill them off what else should I do for them? I also noticed that the pots they are in have cracked. I was considering repotting them in C&S soil but I am unsure if I should wait till they are stronger.



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Michaela(z6+ TN)

By all means depot the plant and see what you have. No telling what you might find besides maybe a soggy, smelly soil. I would spread out the rhizomes on paper to dry; discard anything rotten; trim at least the worst looking leaves; replace the cracked pot; replace the soil completely; and repot the best rhizomes. They prefer good light, but are very adaptable plants in that regard. They would probably reward you with a nice flush of new growth if you put them outside in the shade if its not too cold there.
Heather, unless you like this kind of work, you can get a nice, big pot of already beautiful Sansevieria (snake plants) like what you have at the office at Home Depot /Lowes for less than $10 including tax.

    Bookmark   May 4, 2007 at 8:15PM
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Thanks for your helping me out, I have never had one of these plants before. I do enjoy tinkering with plants! It should start warming up latter this week, but it is pretty cold right now. So it might be a while longer before I can take them outside. When you mentioned trimming the leaves do I remove the entire leaf or just the ratty looking tips?
Thanks again,

    Bookmark   May 5, 2007 at 12:16AM
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Michaela(z6+ TN)

Just the tips. Once a leaf is damaged, it will never look any better, or get green again, or regain its former shape. The brown parts aren't doing the plant any good ayway, so just take a pair of scissors and start trimming. If the bottom 1/2 of the leaf is OK you can leave it. Obviously, then, go mainly for the rattiest stuff first :-)

After you have revived your plant and it starts putting on new leaves, you can trim more ratty stuff away. They don't need much, but I would give them a little complete fertilizer like a 20-20-20 (or one specifically for cactus and succulents if you can find it).

Let us know how it turns out. You're a champ for trying to save this plant!

    Bookmark   May 5, 2007 at 10:18PM
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