Snake plant is also known as ‘mother in law’s tongue’, ‘saint George’s sword’ & ‘viper’s bowstring hemp’ is an eye catchy houseplant. With its decorative status, it needs less attention. It needs less care & also less sunlight & water.
Moreover, it keeps the environment fresh and healthy as it absorbs pollutants & toxic substances such as CO2, formaldehyde, benzene, toluene, etc, from the air.
Thus it got you to be so affectionate to it. As a result, you can’t even tolerate a split on their leaves.
You don’t need to tolerate it. I am here with the causes & solutions to the splitting problem of snake plants.
So, without further ado, let’s start-
What Causes Snake Plant Leaves To Split?
In short, wrong watering technique, extreme environmental change, physical injury, micronutrients deficiency, pest attack are the main issues responsible for the splitting problem of snake plants.
Let’s discuss them in detail so that you can get a clear idea about how you fix a split snake leaf.
1. Wrong Watering
Plants can’t survive without water but they can’t survive with an excess of it either. As a result, watering is a serious issue for your plant friends. You have to be cautious about overwatering as well as underwatering.
Snake plants are naturally found in a dry and hot environment in African regions. They suit the low water level of the soil. So overwatering harms them. As succulents, they store water in their leaves. If they get excess water in their soil bed, their leaves swell. Then when the temperature of the day rises, the stressful cells of the leaves get damaged. The appearance of the leaves changes as they split.
As overwatering could be a serious issue, you should be very much careful about it.
If such happens, take immediate steps. What the best you can do is you can replace the plants on a dryer water bed.
You may dry up the old pot and reuse it.
To avoid overwatering, the best thing you can do is to create a watering schedule. Watering twice a month will be enough for them. Check that the drainage system of your garden isn’t blocked regularly.
As well as excess water, shortage of water is also harmful. Though the snake plants are very much resistant to drought, extreme dryness may cause the leaves to be damaged.
To save your beloved plants from drying out, you have to be cautious. If the upper two inches of the pot are completely dry then you have to water them.
To assess the water level properly you need a good moisture meter. Here I am with a suggestion for you-Atree Soil 3-in-1 Soil Tester Kits.
2. Extreme Environment
Snake plants are well tolerant. They can survive a hot and humid environment as well as dry and cold weather. But extreme of any such could be harmful.
Snake plants can tolerate up to 40°C temperature but extreme temperature causes damage as the succulent leaves have to go through excess perspiration.
Moreover, low humidity dries the leaves out and causes splitting.
If you can detect the leaves are drying out and the soil is dry you can either water your plants or change the spot. Partial sunlight does the best for snake plants.
Place the snake plants when they can get partial sunlight. Snake plants like 40-50% humidity level. You can mist them sometimes. DIY pebble-tray use can be a good choice. Or might need a good humidifier (Our Pick: Honeywell Germ Free Cool Mist)
Snake plants don’t stay animated below 15°C. If they are put in a darker and cooler place their leaves might not show much-animated vibe at all.
During winter, put the snake plants in a warmer place. Maintain the proper humidity level. Take the steps for it as described earlier.
To avoid injury do not transfer your plants from a cooler place to a warmer place abruptly.
3. Physical Injury
A noteworthy reason for splitting and damaging the leaves of your beloved plants is physical injury. Physical harm can be caused by your roaming pets, family members especially children.
Physical damage has to be prevented through physical activity. If your plants are put in such a place that faces high traffic, take them to a distinct place.
Keep your snake plants in such a place where they will stay away from physical contact. If you have pets and children, keep them in a higher place. You can put them over a cabinet or on a shelf. You can also consider hanging pots. Which will add up decorative value as well.
- Micronutrient Deficiency
Proper growth of snake plants not only depends on sunlight, oxygen, carbon-di-oxide, water but also on some macro and micronutrients. That’s why with sufficient nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium snake plants will demand sufficient copper, boron, zinc.
Boron deficiency is an assassinating culprit. It is associated with the sugar supply of the plants. The deficiency of sugar causes bitterness in the cellular level of the leaves. Then the leaves can turn brown or split.
Boron deficiency is hard to detect. Often the gardeners detect the leaves have started splitting before they get assured of boron deficiency. If you have found out that the leaves are splitting or dry or brittle, snip away the damaged leaves and spray borax( disodium tetraborate)
To prevent boron deficiency apply borax to the soil before planting your plants.The ideal pH for snake plants is (5 to 6.5).To assess the pH level of the soil you can try a good pH meter.
Sincerely make up the soil bed. It has to be nutrient-rich, properly drained, and slightly acidic. Make sure the soil is free of fungus.
5. Pest Attack
Snake plants are quite resilient against pest attacks. But, they get affected by pests when the environment is favorable for them. Aphids, mealybugs, spider mites are common pests on snake plants. Such sap-sucking pests damage the leaves, leaving scars and splits on them.
Aphids and bugs can be detected visually. Whenever you notice your beloved plants are suffering from pest attack take immediate necessary measures.
Firstly remove the worst affected leaves. Then you need to spray an ideal insecticide(our pick: Bonide (BND951) – Systemic House Plant Insect Control). If you spread insecticide in the morning, beneficial insects won’t be affected.
The artificial insecticide is preferable. But you might like to try some homemade formulas-
DIY Neem-Oil Insecticide
- 1 cup Neem-Oil
- Warm water
- Spray bottle
Mix up 1 cup of neem oil with adequate warm water. Pour it in a spray bottle. Shake it and use it properly.
DIY Oil-Soap Insecticide
- 1 cup Vegetable Oil
- 1 tablespoon Dishwashing Liquid Soap
Take a jar & pour 1 cup vegetable oil & 1 tablespoon liquid soap into it. After that, shake the mixture properly. And there you go. The application rate is 2 teaspoon mixtures per liter of water.
Bug attacks are common in the rainy season. Stay vigilant when the environment is humid. Remove suspicious foreign organisms with or without plant parts.
Using an insecticide early on will be the best thing you can do for your plant babies. In recent days, sticky traps (Our Pick: Garsum Sticky Trap) have been found out to be highly effective against aphids.
Snake plants not only maintain Feng Shui but also improve indoor air quality.
This unique capability has made it an ideal bedroom plant.
No doubt, you love your beneficial plant friends. Be a bit careful with them. We don’t want anything harmful happening to them.
I hope now you clearly know why your snake plant leaves are splitting and what to do about them in detail.
If you have anything to share with me please put it in the comment section below and help me be your best gardening mentor.