So I've had this snake plant fit and healthy for the last 4 years or so, but recently some of the leaves have been thinning around the edges, going almost paper like.

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It was recently repotted, and I'm somewhat suspicious that the new soil (although labelled as being for cacti and succulents) may not be draining correctly. Would you say this is a symptom of over-watering / root rot? Or something else. Any advice appreciated.

Also, at this point I'm assuming those two leaves are pretty much done for, should I trim them? Or leave them be.

2 Answers 2


This looks indeed like an overwatering problem, does the soil (finger deep) feels dry when you give them water?

I don't think the leaves are done for, though. Only a small part of the leaves is affected, the leaves will survive and still be able to do the work (photosynthesis). If you don't find them visually attractive anymore you can try to prune them, but for survival it is not necessary.

  • Thanks, and after closer inspection there appear to be some fungus gnats around the root, so I imagine it isn't draining correctly. Gonna get some more cactus soil tomorrow and make sure it's mixed with perlite. (the stuff it was in was labelled as cactus soil, but it's still moist after 2 weeks of not watering) Aug 5, 2018 at 0:13

What kind of soil was this plant in before you transplanted it? Is there a hole at the bottom of your pot? Did you put rocks or gravel beneath the soil and above the hole at the bottom before adding the soil? What are your watering practices?

If that soil was still wet after 2 weeks there are a few things to be concerned about. Type of soil before you transplanted? How often are you watering? What causes you to water, what signs? Or are you on a human type schedule, grins!

If the original soil was garden soil with clay, that would be a reason the water was held in that soil so long. If you used rocks below the soil thinking to improve drainage that would be a second reason. Those rocks/gravels/peanuts for packing cause a perched water table. Causing the soil to become saturated before the water is able to move into the larger pores of the rocks. Ugh.

Even cactus soil will do this when there is a layer of large pore material below small pore material. Make sure you have a drainage hole. Fill the pot with sterilized potting mix 1/3, then repot your sansevera adding soil around the plant, firming gently and leave just one inch between rim and surface of soil. Lift the bottom of your pot off the surface of the saucer or patio using pieces of tile 1/4". Always dump saucer of excess water asap.

  • Sorry for the delayed response. The plant has always been in a store bought cacti / succulent soil. When repotted (before problem started) we'd run out of cacti soil (larger pot was bigger than expected) so it wound up being a mix of cactus and normal composting soil. I normally only water at most once a week when it's hot, normally every other week, monthly in winter. I'll generally check one or two plants and then water the lot (Started with 1, i'm up to 8 right now). It's only this one which is having issues. (probably because the soil was mixed) Aug 16, 2018 at 21:17
  • Stone wise, it's only soil in the pot for the most part, except for a small layer of pebbles on the top. Pot has numerous holes in the bottom, about the size of a 5p coin (uk) I believe it's the soil mix which caused the problem, as it's only this plant which was affected, while I'd repotted about 5 of them. Aug 16, 2018 at 21:20

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