What Causes Brown Spots on Snake Plants? [360 Degree Solution]

Snake plant is easy to grow and the most resilient plant in the world. They can withstand any kind of adverse condition. Thereafter, they can face some problems.

The Brown spot on the snake plant is the most destructive one of them. It can kill the beauty of your plant as well as the entire plant.

Don’t worry! The problem can be fixed easily with the proper care and treatment. But before treating your snake plant, you must know what causes brown spots on the snake plants?

Improper watering, over-chlorinated water, fungal infestation, pest attack, over-fertilizing, cold stress, excessive sunlight and heat, and low humidity are the main culprits behind the problem.

In this article, I will explain all the causes in detail with the most effective control and preventive measures.

So, what are you waiting for, let’s dive into:

9 Causes of Brown Spots on Snake Plant- How to Fix

1. Improper Watering

brown spots on snake plant

Both over and underwatering cause the brown spots or tips on the snake plant. But overwatering may be the real cause of this problem. Why? Because the snake plant is succulent and you know; succulent needs less amount of water than other plants.

Excess water on the snake plant can rot the root. As a result, the leaves turn brown to yellow. But if you notice the snake plant leaves are turning brown from edges or tips, then it may happen for underwatering.

Best idea; get the best moisture meter for the plant and measure the moisture level of the soil of the snake plant.

Control Measure

Apply water to the snake plant, when the water needs. This is the rule of thumb of watering snake plants.

If the brown spots happen for the overwatering, repot the plant with new potting media and the potting soil should have lots of perlites, sand for better drainage.

Also, observe the root of your snake plant while repotting. If root rot occurs, cut the affected roots gently and spray a systemic fungicide.

But if you feel the soil is too dry, apply 1-2 inches of water. Let the excess water out and wait for the result.

Preventive Measure

Always examine your soil before applying water. Poke a finger or moisture meter into the soil to feel or measure the moisture level.

And make sure the pot has drainage holes and the soil has good drainage facilities. If the soil is not good, repot the plant with good potting soil, or mix some perlite to improve drainage of your existing soil.

2. Over-Chlorinated Water

snake plant brown spots

Chlorinated water is good for humans. But it can damage the snake plant. Chlorine increases the amount of salt in the soil and blocks the root zone. As a result, plants can’t uptake the required nutrients that cause the brown spots.

Control Measure

Filtering is the most effective way to reduce the amount of chlorine from water. Also, you can put the water in the sun for at least 2 hours. Because sunlight can eliminate almost 90% of chlorine from water.

3. Fungal Infestation

why does my snake plant have brown spots

Fungus is the most destructive for snake plants. There are lots of fungal diseases that cause brown spots. The most common fungal and bacterial diseases are Red leaf spots, southern blight, rust, and bacterial leaf spots.

Observe the spots, If you notice the reddish-brown lesions to brown wet spots, then it is happening because of fungus.

Control Measure: First, increase the air circulation. And to do that, remove the affected leaves. Then apply the fungicide that can kill the fungal spores of red leaf spots, blight, and rust. According to the expert, copper-based fungicide is good for snake plants.Here is our recommended fungicide-Bonide Copper Fungicide

If you need a homemade fungicide for your snake plant, here is the recipe you can follow :

#Baking Soda as Fungicide


  • Baking Soda
  • Water


  • Measure 4 teaspoons of baking soda and 1 gallon of water
  • Mix them properly and pour them into the spray bottle to apply.

Preventive Measure

Fungicides are most effective as a preventive measure. So, apply the fungicide before changing the weather to provide a shield against fungus.

Prune your plant to increase airflow that also prevents fungal infestation.

4. Pest Attack

liquid brown spots on snake plant

Mealybugs, spider mites, and aphids are the most common insects for snake plants. All are the sucking type of mouthparts. They suck the plant sap from the tissue of the snake plant and penetrate the toxin to the leaves. As a result, the plant gets hydrated, and the leaves appear brown spots.

Control Measure

You know; insects are destructive but they can also promote some fungal and bacterial diseases. So, it is highly important to protect the plant from insects. And to do that, you must spray an insecticide that doesn’t harm the plant and humans.

Insecticidal soap, neem oil, or any other commercial insecticide are the perfect option. Here is our pick: Bonide (BND951) – Systemic House Plant Insect Control

Also, you can make your own insecticide at home. Here is the recipe-

#Insecticidal Soap Spray


  • Liquid Soap
  • Vegetable Oil
  • Water


  • Measure 5 tablespoons of liquid soap, 1 tablespoon of oil and1 a gallon of water
  • Mix them properly and spray the plant.

5. Over-Fertilizing

red leaf spot snake plant

The snake plant is not a heavy feeder. It can survive with less plant food. But over-fertilizing harms the plant. Excess nutrients increase the salt level and kill the root tips. And the brown spots appear.

If the plant shows symptoms after applying fertilizer, then overfeeding may be the cause.

Control Measure

First, drain out the excess nutrients from the soil. To do that apply water and let the water pass out. Repeat the process 1-2 times. You can also repot the plant with fresh good potting soil.

Apply only a small amount of snake plant fertilizer. Here is our recommended fertilizer called- Aquatic Arts Indoor Plant Food. Apply 1/2 teaspoon of this fertilizer for every 3-inch pot

6. Cold Stress

The snake plant hates winter. When the temperature comes in below 10 degree celsius(50 degree F.), then the plant becomes stressed. And the brown patches develop on the plant leaves.

Control Measure

Place the plant where they get  65- 80°F (18- 27°C) heat at daytime, and 55 -70°F(12-21°C) at night time. Never keep them outside in the winter.

7. Excessive Sunlight And Direct Heat

You know; the snake plant is one of the popular indoor plants. And the indoor plant needs low exposure. So, when the snake plant gets excessive sunlight and direct heat, the plant gets stressed and tiny brown spots appear.

Control Measure

Observe your plant. If the plant gets too much direct sun, change the place. That’s not true, the snake plants don’t survive in the extreme heat. But they need time to adapt. So, don’t change their place rapidly.

 8. Low Humidity

Snake plants don’t like low humidity. Low humidity accelerates the transpiration rate. And more transpiration stresses the plant. As a result, the leaves become dry quickly and brown spots appear on the edges.

Control Measure

The optimum humidity level for snake plants is 40%. So, always maintain that. Use a digital hygrometer to measure the humidity level accurately.

If the humidity level is low, spray a water mist every day on the plant. Or put some pebbles on a tray. Then fill the tray with water and place the pot on it.

Also, you can use a humidifier to maintain the optimum level of humidity.


Improper watering, over-chlorinated water, fungal infestation, pest attack, over-fertilizing, cold stress, excessive sunlight, and low humidity. The reasons are many behind the brown spots on snake plants.

But there is only one solution. Take proper care of your snake plant. Only good care can treat and prevent the brown spots on your snake plant.

So, water and feed your plant perfectly, apply fungicide and insecticide and provide them a good and healthy environment. Your snake plant will revive quickly.

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