Snake Plants are pretty durable plants. They are considered succulents, so they handle hot and dry temperatures reasonably well and can also handle a bit of neglect. However, that doesn’t mean that they can handle every problem. Sometimes, issues can cause your Snake Plant’s leaves to start splitting.
Snake Plant leaves can start to split due to low humidity, pests, boron deficiency, extreme temperatures, physical damage, or overwatering.
Thankfully, these are all relatively quick and easy fixes, so you can solve the problem, trim your Snake Plant’s leaves, and soon enough, your plant will be back to full health. The only problem is identifying which issue it is in the first place.
Knowing more about what your Snake Plant needs for proper care can also help to prevent the problem. Make sure you understand what kind of care your plant needs, including temperature ranges, humidity, amount of light, water, and more. This can help to ensure that your plant is perfectly happy and reduce the chances of leaves splitting.
Why Are the Leaves on My Plant Splitting?
Unfortunately, there is no simple answer to why the leaves on a Snake Plant may start to split. When a Snake Plant starts to show splitting leaves, it is usually due to a couple of different conditions or a serious problem.
Some of the common reasons why a Snake Plant may start to show signs of splitting are:
- Improper watering
- Temperature irregularity
- Physical damage
- Low humidity
- Lack of boron
Overwatering is one of the most common problems with Snake Plants. They tend to prefer being a little on the drier side. Additionally, when a Snake Plant has been dry for a long time, overwatering them at once can damage them.
The plant will try to absorb too much water at once, which can burst the cell walls within the leaves. This can lead to splitting or cracking of the leaves, especially if they have started to shrivel due to the lack of water.
Snake Plants can usually go about two weeks without being watered. Try to figure out when it is best to water your Snake Plant and keep to a general schedule.
Mealybugs and spider mites are common problems with Snake Plants. They get their food by sucking the sap out of leaves and plants. These areas where they suck out the sap usually die and crack. If enough areas of the leaf are damaged, the whole leaf can start to crack.
Keep diatomaceous earth around your plant, and treat it regularly with neem oil. If pests are already on your plant, you can use neem oil or another insecticide to get rid of them. Focus on dark, hidden areas of the plants, such as where the leaves connect to the stems and the undersides of the leaves.
Snake Plants do best with temperatures between 60 to 80°F (15 to 27°C). If the temperature goes much higher or lower than this range, your plant may show signs of stress.
In Snake Plants, cracking or splitting leaves is a common sign of stress. The leaves may also start to shrivel, wilt, or turn brown if they are freezing or burning. Try to keep them in a room where the temperature can remain fairly constant and in their ideal range.
Another common issue is physical damage. Snake Plants are pretty fragile. If they are mishandled, bumped, or bruised by a child or pet, or while you are moving the plant, they may start to show signs of cracking and splitting.
Make sure your Snake Plant is somewhere it can’t be easily damaged by people in the home, and be careful when you are moving or repotting a Snake Plant to reduce the chances of harming them.
Humidity is one of the most likely causes for a Snake Plant’s leaves to start splitting. The low humidity in the air and the dehydration of the plant can cause the leaves to dry out enough that they begin to split.
To fix humidity, making a pebble tray, misting the leaves daily, or buying a humidifier are all great options. Snake Plants only need about 30 to 50% humidity, so they don’t usually need much more humidity than they are being given.
Boron is very important to a Snake Plant’s health. Snake Plants use boron to make cell walls, provide stability, and provide structure. Without enough boron, Snake Plants often struggle with their leaves.
Often, a Snake Plant without enough boron will have brittle leaves that are easy to split. Boron isn’t a macronutrient, so it can be hard to find in proper fertilizers, so adding a little of things like boric acid or Borax to your soil is the best option.
However, calcium is a nutrient required for boron absorption. Even if you have enough boron in your soil, your plant may struggle to absorb it if there isn’t enough calcium. Adding eggshells or lime to your soil can also benefit your Snake Plant.
How Do You Fix Snake Plant Leaves?
Unfortunately, once a Snake Plant leaf or any other plant’s leaves have been damaged, they don’t easily fix themselves. If the leaf is dead or dying, they aren’t going to recover.
However, if you think the damage was minimal, you can remedy the problem that caused the plant to split in the first place. Then, you can be patient and allow the plant time to heal itself.
Sometimes the plant’s leaves may heal, and sometimes they won’t.
Should I Mist My Snake Plant?
Snake Plants don’t like high humidity. They can usually handle the humidity levels already in a home. However, if you have lower than 40% humidity in your home, it isn’t a bad idea to mist your Snake Plant.
However, you only want to do this if the humidity is low. Snake Plants are succulents and do better with dry foliage and soil. If you are going to mist your Snake Plant, you just want to do a light misting. You don’t want to mist them so heavily that water stays in the crevices between the leaves.
How Often Should I Water My Snake Plant?
Snake Plants, being considered succulents, don’t need much water. In the growing season, they can usually go about every two weeks, while in winter, they can last up to a month between waterings.
Since they are succulents, they prefer their soil to dry out completely between waterings. If you aren’t sure if it is time to water your Snake Plant or not, simply check the soil. If it is dry, it is a good time to water, but if it is moist or damp, you can probably wait a few weeks.
Is it Good to Bottom Water Snake Plants?
Bottom watering is a good idea for Snake Plants. It allows you to water your plant enough that the roots can absorb as much as they need. However, it also stops you from watering the leaves, which can get damaged if the water sits in the crevices too long.
What Does a Snake Plant Look Like When it Needs Water?
Often, when a Snake Plant needs water, it will start to wrinkle. It may also begin to turn brown, especially at the tips.
Remember, when you water an underwatered Snake Plant, start slowly and water a little at a time so that the plant doesn’t absorb too much water too quickly and damage its cell walls.
Should I Cut Off Damaged Snake Plant Leaves?
We don’t recommend cutting off damaged leaves entirely. When a Snake Plant has damaged leaves, it is instead better to just trim away the damaged parts, especially near the tips. Doing so allows your plant to look prettier and stops the damage from stressing out your plant.
When the damaged areas are cut away, this allows your plant to focus more on new growth and keep the rest of the plant healthy.
Plants are pretty good at alerting us when something is wrong. Unfortunately, they can only tell us that there is a problem in so many ways. This leads to one sign of an issue, like leaves cracking or splitting, to mean various things.
If your Snake Plant’s leaves start to split; low humidity, pests, boron deficiency, extreme temperatures, physical damage, and overwatering can be the cause.
Snake Plants do best in humidity levels between 30-50% and temperatures between 60 to 80°F (15 to 27°C). Add boric acid or diatomaceous earth to your soil to prevent a boron deficiency and ward off any pests. Avoid overwatering your Snake Plant and be careful when handling to ensure no physical damage.
Once you address these issues, your Snake Plant will be happy and thriving in your home environment.