Why Does My Snake Plant Have Brown Tips?

Last Updated on November 18, 2022 by Stephanie

Snake plants (Sansevieria trifasciata) is a very robust plant that is extremely durable. It is important to remember the fact that this is an active plant , and could have issues like brown tips despite the fact that its tough.

Low humidity and underwatering are the main causes for the brown tips of the snake plant. If there is an absence of water the plants xylem tissues is not able to carry nutrients and food items to the leaf tips. Snake plant leaves become dry and brown. Other elements, like excessive fertilizer, inadequate lighting, or humidity, could be contributing to the issue.

Brown tips are usually the first sign that you have problems, however since this species is so robust, health issues are usually easily treated by following the steps listed below.

Causes of Snake Plant Brown Tips

There are a variety of possible reasons for the brown-colored tips that appear in the leaf of your plant.

It is important to understand that this is a early warning signal and actions must be taken to ensure that the issue doesnt escalate.

As youre about to discover, water issues often are at the root of these issues We will then examine ways to address those issues.


Its most likely to be a sign of submerging if your snake plant leaves are getting dry and crispy.

Water is essential to carry soluble nutrients as well as other elements to plant leaves and other components.

The physiological actions of the plant slow down when it is not receiving sufficient water.

In the end, the cells that line the tops of leaves suffer and end up dying. The leaves of your snake plant will be brown due to the dying cells.

Alongside the crisp tips that are brown, the phenomenon of underwatering can be seen as wrinkled leaves as well as the distortion of leaves.


In the event that your plants snake is heavily submerged, you may be able to give it a bath. Put the entire pot in the water faucet for a couple of minutes so that the water can flow through it.

This way the pot will absorb enough water to sustain the plant for a prolonged time.

It is time to think about removing the brown tips of the leaves as they are not likely to regenerate when left on. You can keep the cutting angle to ensure that the tips dont appear to be cut.

It is best to water only after the top 2 inches of soil has dried out. I place my finger on to the second knuckle in order to examine my soil mix.

If there is sufficient moisture that I can leave it alone until its dry enough that I can water it, I do so. A moisture gauge however can be used to precisely measure the amount of moisture.

Be careful with your watering and let the water evaporate completely. Ideally, you would like your plant to stay within soil which is slightly damp, but not completely wet.

Check out this article to learn about the symptoms of the underwatered snake plant as well as how to bring it back.


First, you must determine the frequency and much you should water the snake plant. For this, you must check the level of moisture in the soil in its potting regularly.

Its fine to allow the top inch or 2 inches of the soil to be dry, but to be more than that the soil must be cool and slightly damp.

It is easy to tell if the soil is damp. It is important to establish a routine of checking this regularly.

snake plant dark background

Inconsistent Watering

This is a problem that many gardeners make mistakes in. The soil gets too dry, and the leaves begin to display signs of stress on the plants.

The gardener responds by watering the plant in an attempt to fix the issue. What you get is a set of unfavourable conditions.

They range from extreme drought to floods. It shouldnt come as a surprise that plants have to adjust to the ever-changing world of extremes.


Make a habit of checking soils moisture frequently. If sticking your finger into the soil is too for you, then its not a good idea.

If youre not certain youre detecting the level of moisture accurately You can purchase an instrument to measure moisture levels that will provide you with a precise indicator of how moist the soil of your plant is.


The experience will yield results in this area. Once you are in the habit of monitoring soil moisture on a regularly.

The drought-flood problem is over and you will be able to establish an equilibrium that is steady enough you can maintain a perfect humidity level.

This article provides more detail about how to help a snake plant that is overwatered.

Low Humidity

It is essential for even the toughest plants to maintain an appropriate amount of humidity in order to function at the highest efficiency. Due to the low humidity the leaves of plants expel more water than they would normally. In the process, the leaves of snake plants start to dry out and turn brown at the edges or tips.

The humidity in the outdoor space isnt a factor that is often a cause for concern. Introduce a plant to the indoor space and suddenly things alter because we have placed them in unnatural environments - conditions we usually manipulate by using the use of air conditioning or heating in the indoors.


In general, they are quite tolerant of dry air that we are accustomed to having in our homes of today.

If you begin to observe signs of stress, like wrinkled leaves or brown tips First, ensure that youve got the correct watering schedule.

Humidity is the next aspect to consider. The plant tray should be filled with pebbles, then adding water to the tray is often a solution to this problem.

As the water evaporates slowly it will produce enough moisture to prevent a humidity issue.

Since the pot is slightly higher than the level of water, drainage is not hindered or slowed down.


When deciding where to place your plant, take into consideration things like radiators or air conditioning units. You should allow some distance between the two.

The grouping of plants can increases the humidity within the area because the plants breathe and release moisture into the air.

Snake Plant Sunburn

Its like an absurdity to talk about sunburn in reference to plants as tough as that of the snake plant.

The thing to keep in mind is the fact that, in nature, the plant may be growing in a location that was protected by the shade of other plants for at most part of the time.

If you place your plant directly on the south-facing window likely to receive nearly all daytime sunlight during time of daylight.


The plant should be moved. Make sure to place the plant in a spot that gets plenty of sunlight, but also where it can get some shade in the course of the day. Sometimes, simply shifting it away from the window provide these gentle lighting conditions.

The article provides more information on the signs and treatments for snakes with sunburns.


Select the location of your pants with care. If you bought it from a plant or nursery shop, where it was growing under very low light conditions gradually transition to more brighter light gradually. As time passes, it will adjust to brighter light conditions. If they are not done, it will be a bit of an awe.

Too Much Fertilizer

If the snake is growing in good soil for potting, it will require very little additional fertilizer.

Many gardeners believe that by feeding their plants frequently, the plant will expand faster, but in reality this could have negative consequences.

If your leaves begin to soften and floppy If youve been feeding your plant frequently and the leaves are becoming soft, then you should cut off the food right away.

The excess feeding is often discovered first by the tips of brown leaves.


If you notice the leaves become stiff and limp, you should you should stop giving your plants food. Even if it isnt the reason behind the issue The extra feed is not going to help.


The first thing you need to know is the fact that they arent heavy feeders.

I would suggest to feed only twice each year with a standard homeplant food.

When you give your plants a feed in the spring and again during the summer months, from mid-to late summer, youll provide plenty of nutrients to ensure it is healthy and beautiful.

Too Little Light

Every house plant needs lighting and snake plants love lots of light. The beauty for these kinds of plants is the fact that they can also be tolerant of low light, and this wont be a problem that youll encounter with them. In case the stripe of yellow that runs down the sides is becoming faded and the light is not as bright, it could be a factor to consider.


Place the plant on the windowsill. Even a plant facing north can be used however, not a southerly one, which could see the leaves scorched.


Maintain your plant at a relatively well lit area and if it is on a window, then rotate it by a quarter every month to ensure that the light exposure is evenly.

Salt Build-up in Potting Soil

Salts may build up within the soil where the plant grows. In time, this may cause moderate soil toxicity.

The salts typically originate from two sources. The first comes from chemical fertilizers. This when you have read the previous paragraph, you must have addressed.

The other comes in the water you provide. A lot of municipal water sources contain chemicals that accumulate as they get removed through the earth.

If you notice an unctuous white chalky layer at the surface of your potting mix or tiny, salt-like dots in the pores of your leaves If you notice these, it means that youve got salt build-up.

No matter if the salt build-up comes due to the water or fertilizer, it could cause root or leaf damage, which can lead to the tips of leaves turning brown.


Repot the plant in new pots. Be careful not to put it in an even bigger pot than the one you took it from.

Instead, place it in the next size pot and then use a pot mix.


There are two effective ways to avoid the build-up of salt. The first is slowing the pace of your food intake and you should have completed by now.

The other is to make sure that you do not add sodium to your soil every time you water your plants.

The chlorine in water can eventually accumulate and cause harm. You can prevent this harmful build-up by using rainwater that has been captured as well as water treated.

You May Also Enjoy: Snake Plant Leaves Curling (10 Causes and Solutions)

Temperature Stress

This issue often occurs in our houses, but more often in areas where winters are cold and require some sort or indoor heat source.

What happens, is that we warm our homes while we are awake, but the temperature can fall dramatically when we are asleep.

As we wake up and get ready, we turn the heat up again. Very few plants are capable of adjusting to these extreme changes. Even the tough snake plant is known to be affected.


The snake plant wont thrive at temperatures that fall below 50 degrees Fahrenheit (10degC).

If you have thermostatically controlled radiators, youll have to make sure that they dont allow temperatures to fall below the specified limit, even at night.


First, youll be required to determine what temperatures are for lows and highs close to your plant.

Another option is to utilize thermometers that show you how high and how low, the temperature can go.

When your plants are located in an area where there is an extreme temperature fluctuation during winter it is possible to relocate it to a other space where temperatures are more stable.

Also, think about windows and radiators when deciding where to position the plant.

If you keep the radiator close to it, you will experience the temperature rising and then falling later.

If you move a plants away from an unheated window you can stop it from dipping below that critical minimum temperature.

Root Bound

A plant is said as root bound when its roots are able to fill the pot in which it grows to the point that it is unable to grow any further.

If not attended to the problem will gradually decrease the amount of nutrients reaching the leaves.

In the end, this can limit the amount of space that the plant is able to grow. since nutrients arent being efficiently supplied to the leaf, tips could turn brown.


It is a fairly simple issue to spot and overcome. If youre having difficulty reaching your fingers into the soil when you feel to check the level of moisture the plant may be becoming rootbound.

Take it out of the pot and youll be able to determine whether the root system occupies the entire container or is not.

If so, you can repot the plant in the container of the same size. Then, gently pull the roots away.


If you poke your fingers into the soil to check the level of moisture it is likely that you will be aware of the issue before it turns into an issue.

Another indicator is the presence of roots sprouting out of the hole in the bottom of the pot.

Root Rot

Root rot is a more serious issue than being bound by roots. It is caused due to the plant being in a muddy potting soil that could quickly cause the end in the roots.

This can lead to dry leaves and yellow spots and could soon end up killing your plant.


If the root rot is detected in the early stages, you might be able to solve the issue by making sure that the water drains easily and then let the soil dry out.

In more serious situations take the plant out of the container, then scrape off any soil that is loose and then repot in a new potting soil.

Do not water until the top 2 to three inches are dried out.

Check out this post to learn the how to go about fixing the root rot of a snake plant.


In the first place, you must follow the correct method of watering. Be sure that your plant is placed in an empty container that drains easily and is not permitted to sit in a tray for drainage which is full of water.

Always make sure to use a potting medium that is free draining. Cactus or succulent mix is ideal.

If youre not able to get access to these mixes, add 20 percent of perlite or even gravel, with regular potting soil to speed up the process of draining.

Pest Damage

Fortunately. These plants arent vulnerable to attacks by insects. Sapsuckers like mealybugs and spider mites are the two potential instances of this, and both are fairly simple to control.

An over-infestation of sap sucking pests could cause leaf dehydration, it manifests as the form of brown patches.


Mealybugs that are small in number can be removed by hand. If they get more established you can dab them with alcohol.

The spider mites are eliminated by increasing the humidity. Clean the leaves with a an emollient cloth, and ensure that the humidity levels remain at a high level and the creatures will stop causing problems.


A keen eye is the key to ward off pests. If they are caught earlyenough, they will be controlled and the damage can be minimized.

If they are established and spread throughout your garden, getting rid of them becomes more difficult.

Fungal Disease

Fungal diseases are among the problems that can be aggravated due to improper watering.

The two most frequent fungal illnesses are a southern blight and a red leaf spot. However, the treatment and prevention is identical in both cases.


If the leaves are unaffected and soil drains easily, you will be able to avoid this issue.


Use good watering practices and ensure that the plants do not become wet. Only water around the bottom of the plant, to avoid watering the leaves.

In humid conditions, water is only able to be absorbed in the morning , so that evaporation may occur throughout the day.

You may also like: Moonshine Snake Plant Care (Sansevieria trifasciata)

Can I Cut the Brown Tips Off my Snake Plant?

The crisp edges are dead matter and no longer serve any use for the plant.

While cutting them off wont not harm or benefit your plant, you may remove them if you are not happy with their appearance.

Make sure to keep the cut within the dead tissue so it doesnt have to transform energy to heal a wound.

Final Words

It is rare to come across a house plant that is more tolerant than the snake plant. If you begin to notice indications that your plant is becoming unhappy, the first thing to look for is a problem with watering.

Now you are aware of how to get rid of this. Lighting is only an issue when the plant is burning. Moving it away from the south-facing window will likely solve the issue.

In terms of the pests and diseases are concerned, pay careful to your surroundings and look for signs of insects trying to hide in the soil at the base of leaves. Overall its a beautiful plant that will not cost you many nights of sleep.



Went from an inexperienced gardener to a half-decent one over 10+ years. I cover anything from general indoor plant guides and lawn care, to succulents and flowers. Super happy to share my tips and tricks with you :)