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My indoor snake plant seems to be losing more leaves than it's growing. It started off as a pretty crowded pot, now it has reduced itself to this. I have another one in my office that's doing perfectly, the only difference is it's in a clay pot. Both get indoor lighting, the dying one probably gets a little more light reflected from the front door window. Same infrequent waterings. I punctured holes in the plastic pot to help the soil drain better, but it was dying before I did this. Should I transfer to a clay pot and resoil?

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This plant is Sansevieria trifasciata or the Snake Plant and it has been given too much water in low light. The roots have rotted and the leaves have collapsed.

From the point of view of commercial interiorscaping this plant is finished however if it has sentimental value you may be able to salvage some of it.

  • remove the plant from the pot. Separate out the soft smelly roots which are finished and see if there are any leaf blade/root parts that are still good. If there are repot them in a small pot with a free draining soil in high light.
  • clay pots are a good choice as they will absorb some water when the soil is wet and will provide more weight at the base as these plants can get top heavy. A six inch clay pot should be the right size for your downsized plant.
  • you can also propagate it by leaf cuttings. Cut the leaf into 2-inch (5 cm) pieces and place them right side up (the way they were growing) in moist perlite or cactus potting
  • these plants do better in high light and when allowed to have the top inch (2.5 cm) of soil dry out before watering again
  • see these related questions for more information
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  • Thanks. No sentimental value. Probably would be cheaper to just buy another. Root rot makes sense because the plant seems to come out of the soil pretty easily. – xhermit Jan 24 '15 at 16:07
  • @xhermitAlso, the pot you have there is too big. Sansevieria is one plant that likes being root-bound. – J. Musser Jan 24 '15 at 22:39
  • Yeah originally when I bought it, it was crowded. What you see now are the remaining stalks :) Just went out and bought another one. kevinsky was right, the plant was rotting and the rhizomes were separating from the stems. – xhermit Jan 24 '15 at 23:49
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Did you use fertilizers like Miracle Glo on your snake plant? I made the mistake of using Miracle Gro on my snake plant and the whole plant died like the plant in your pic. Use only fertilizers for succulent plants on your snake plant.

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