A few months ago I got three snake plants from my school. My horticulture teacher was going to throw them in the garbage, since they weren’t really needed and they were a little on the unsightly side. I decided to take them home and try to help them recover, but despite my research and experiments with them, I can’t seem to get them back to full health. I’ve tried watering more and less, I’ve tried more and less sun, I’ve repotted them all but they just aren’t doing well. I certainly don’t have a green thumb, so i wanted to see if someone who did would help me out! I’ve included a picture of one of them. It’s the smallest and in the worst condition, having all the issues the others are. The leaf tips have almost all browned, there’s one big leaf that’s turned yellow, and the new growth seems to be dying. I’m terrible with plants and feel so bad about the condition of these, especially with their reputation of ‘unkillable.’ I do keep them inside, if that makes a difference, because we get a lot of rain here and it’s currently winter. I would appreciate some help! I’ve never used this website before so let me know if the picture isn’t working correctly. Thank you! (https://i.sstatic.net/syRPf.jpg)

1 Answer 1


Despite the appearance, it looks like you have a viable plant here, it just needs a bit of tidying up. Probably at some time it was overwatered consistently, perhaps the root was buried too deep, and the top reacted negatively. One remediation would be to take the plant out of the pot and wash off all soil from the roots. With sharp secateurs or strong scissors cut away any dark shrivelled roots leaving strong rhizomes with light coloured roots. Once the roots are done pull or cut away any leaves that are yellow or brown leaving only those parts that are bright green. Finally replant shallowly in good draining soil, and water only enough to keep the soil moist. Make sure that your pot has good drainage holes and place the plant where it will get indirect light.

  • After you follow Colin's advice, when you do water, don't saturate the entire pot. Remember you removed most of its roots, so water you place away from the roots has no where to go. You want to water the area where the roots are. Colin, do you agree?
    – GardenGems
    Commented Dec 31, 2019 at 8:16

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