Why Are My Snake Plant Leaves Splitting?

Last Updated on October 14, 2022 by Stephanie

Most of the time, the leaves of a snake plant split due to excessive watering as well as physical damage. However, split leaves could be a sign of possible causes, including the snakes root decay, micronutrient deficiencies, humidity, and even plant placement.

To better understand why this tiny guy doesnt have extravagant snake-like leaves, well have to first understand the needs of their species.

They wont complain without reason, and when theres something amiss, theres nothing to be brushed over.

This guide will assist you in learning more about the needs of your plant, and by understanding what they require and requirements, youll be able to determine why your leaves arent secure.

Is Your Snake Plant Overwatered?

In fact, they are almost indestructible as house plants Overwatering is one of the main causes of snake plants splitting leaves.

Their natural habitat is located in Africa theyve devised strategies for surviving the effects of drought. Sansevierias are succulents that conserve the water they need in their leaves. If we provide our plants with excessive amounts of water, their leaves will begin to expand.

Although the water that is stored in leaves during droughts is a remarkable survival strategy, however, it could also cause cell damage to the leaves. When temperatures start to rise, and cell damage is a possibility, it could cause the leaf of the snake plant to split and alter its appearance.

This is why they are naturally hesitant to be over-watered. They can be without water for up to three weeks. In winter, its more severe as they could store water for as long as two months.

The snake plant will require water once the soil starts drying out. Before beginning the routine of watering, test the soil using your fingertips to determine if you need to water it. It is important to wait for the first 2 inches of the soil to be completely dry prior to watering again. If you feel the soil is damp, then you should not water it.

large snake plant held by person in grey shirt

How to Avoid Overwatering Snake Plants

Every plant owner would rather not witness their once beautiful beauty begin to deteriorate. Now that we are aware that watering too much is the primary cause of split leaves, we certainly want to prevent allowing the plants in our care to sink.

The following steps stop plants from becoming overwatered.

  1. Set up a schedule for watering: Regardless of how skilled a plant-loving parent you are, there are likely to be occasions where you dont remember if you have watered or not. This will lead to the need to water again, even when its not required.
  2. Check Moisture: Check the soils water content with your fingers.
  3. Check Drainage: Make sure that the drain holes dont have any obstructions.
  4. Remove Excess Water: If you find excess water in the tray, flush it immediately. This is an excellent tip to avoid horrible root rot.

How To Fix an Overwatered Snake Plant

If you already have an overwatered snake plant on your property, then the most effective option is to repot. When repotting, you could swap the soil for one that has more drainage.

It is also an ideal time to examine the roots of the snake plant and make sure theyre not suffering from root decay. If you think this might be the case, you can gently clean the roots using hot water as well as a cleansing solution.

Do Snake Plants Like Humidity? 

Its leaves are its most attractive part, and its an absolute turnoff when they begin to crack, split or change color. Similar to how water levels can cause the plants lustrous leaves to break, so too can the wrong humidity levels.

Snake plants are tolerant of moderate levels of humidity, typically 40-45 percent. Low levels of humidity cause the plant to consume more water, which can end in dehydrating the entire plant. Dry leaves are susceptible to cracking or breaking due to physical or cell injury.

How to Mist a Snake Plant

Since its an indoor plant, snake plants arent at risk of being impacted by elements of nature. However, that doesnt mean indoor heating systems arent at risk of running risk of damaging the plant.

If we blow on the cool or hot air, the plant absorbs water or completely, causing the leaf to break. It is our responsibility to ensure that we keep our children healthy and happy, and we can achieve this by misting the plants leaves.

  • Mist by Hand: You can manually mist leaves every day.
  • Use a Humidifier: A humidifier is a fast and simple fix for neutralizing levels of water within the atmosphere.
  • Use Pebble Trays: The Pebble tray is a great option in the summer months to give an additional boost in moisture.

Leaf Split From Physical Damage 

Another reason that can cause a leaf to split in a snake plant is physical injury. Although its not our intention to hurt the plant, putting it near busy entrances or areas that are frequently touched can cause leaves to be accidentally damaged.

Although it wont really harm plants, it can make the leaves look rather ugly and swollen.

If the damage is severe, the phloem could be unable to allow nutrients to reach all the parts of the leaf. In time, the leaves will begin to die and will require cutting off.

Another factor to take into consideration can be how playful pets or dogs might be. The plant can be toxic to pets when ingested and should be kept in a place that is not accessible.

But its not just the plant that could harm your fluffy. Cats who scratch or gnaw at the leaves could cause split leaves, and dogs may play around in the house and damage all the plants.

How to Fix Splitting Leaves from Physical Damage  

Making sure your plant is safe and away from danger is a simple fix. Its up to us to provide a place that is safe from being hit or knocked around.

  1. Check Placement: Set up a shelf to house your plant, or put it on a bookshelf.
  2. Consider Hanging Plant: Think about purchasing a hanging plant.
  3. Remove from High Traffic Areas: Make sure your plant is out of windows that have to be shut and opened each day or high traffic areas such as hallways.

Micronutrient Deficiency Affects Snake Plants

Alongside sunlight, CO2, oxygen, water, and sunlight, Snake plants also require the natural elements found in soils to aid in growing. These micro and macronutrients provide the plants with nitrogen as well as phosphorus and potassium, in addition to copper, zinc, and the element boron.

The deficiency of Boron is the most obvious illustration of your plant being deficient in nutrients. Boron is responsible for transporting sugars throughout the plant. Without this vital food source, the leaves cells arent able to develop.

If theres not enough Boron in the soil, the plant will become bitter, which causes its leaves of its to break or change color.

How to Avoid Boron Deficiency in Snake Plants

The problem when it comes to boron deficiencies is that its usually discovered way too late, and the plants leaves are already breaking. These steps will assist in maintaining your plants nutrient-rich.

  1. Soil Preparation: It is possible to apply borax (disodium Tetraborate) on the soil prior to planting.
  2. Leaf Spray: Use borax as a leaf spray when you begin to notice that your plants leaves are looking dry and dry.
  3. Check the pH of Soil: Check the soil using an at-home pH test kit to determine if your soil is too pH-balanced or acidic. It is possible to lower the pH by using magnesium sulfurate.
  4. Check Fertilization: Do not over-fertilize your soil. snake plants arent fond of being over-fertilized.

If youre a little too to have noticed the deficiencies, it is possible to cut off the leaves that split and follow the steps mentioned above to prevent the deficiency of boron. New leaf varieties that are boron-rich are expected to begin appearing.

Pests Can Cause Leaves to Split

Snake plants arent usually victimized by pests. But, as an owner of a plant, we place our plants in danger of pest infestation when we overwater or over-fertilize the plant since it creates a perfect habitat for critters that are fond of root decay.

It is possible that you have missed your watering schedule, which can result in the second cause of infestation by pests and contamination. The risk of contamination is when you dont clean your pruning tools, or you have a crowded plant collection.

If you dont clean your pruning tools, the mites and other diseases that are present in other plants in your home could be transferred onto your plant.

Aphids and mealybugs are typically likely to be the cause of contamination. They are known to attack younger, weaker leaves which causes the leaves to turn brown and yellow and could cause them to eventually split.

If you have plants that are over each other, these nefarious insects can easily spread to other plants, and then youll end up with a massive home invasion.

How to Deal with Pests

If youre dealing with mealybugs and spider mites, it is always best to spot the issue early. If you notice an infestation, youll see small, white fuzzy balls that are tucked between the leaves of the plant. Heres how you can eliminate these and stop the spread of them:

  1. Remove Affected Plants: The first thing you need to do is remove any plants that you may recognize that have an infestation.
  2. Apply Pesticides: You can apply natural pesticides to get rid of insects. If you would prefer to make an at-home recipe, neem oil mixed with warm water is equally efficient. Put your solution in the spray bottle and give the plants a nice mist.
  3. Remove Leaves: If your plant is badly damaged by pests, it is possible to eliminate the yellow and split leaves. They are headed to dying, and pruning them will help the plant to conserve energy.
  4. Check Equipment: If youre planning to do gardening on your weekends, make sure you have an empty bucket of the pesticide you want to use and some warm water. After each pruning session, clean the sheers prior to starting with a new plant.

Will Leaves Grow Back After Being Cut?

Any damage done to leaves will remain on them for a long time. Small lapses in maintenance, like burning leaves in sunlight or hitting the plant in a collision could result in minor damages that arent able to be fixed.

Pruning your snake plant will allow perfectly sprouted leaves to give some dynamism and snakey patterns.

Can I Cut Split Leaves Off a Snake Plant?

Cutting off the split leaves of the snake plant isnt required. The cuts dont cause any damage to your plant and result from physical injury to the leaves of your plant. The best solution is to let them heal till the snakes fresh growth begins to grow.

When the splits seem to be destroying your aesthetic appeal, you can cut off the splits. Be careful, making sure you dont cut off a healthy portion of the leaf as it will make the plant get browner.

Extreme Environmental Changes Affect Plants

The fact that snake plants are robust houseplants does not mean that we shouldnt be able to handle the plants. The constant movement of your plant in a constant manner will shock the plant.

If we store a plant in our bathroom that is dark and suddenly place it on our humid and hot sun-drenched balcony, were likely to trigger the plant to experience shock. The suns rays will eventually cause burn it and break the leaf because theres not enough water stored in the leaves to make room for the change.

The winter months are a critical time to take care of our snake plants as they are averse to being cold. If your plant is located in a more cold area of your home, think about shifting it to a more sunny, warmer spot. However, you must remember that it shouldnt be too drastic of an environmental shift.

How to Avoid Environmental Changes

  1. Prepare for Seasonal Change: Get ready for the winter months by moving your plants away from areas that are prone to an unwelcome cold draft or area that isnt getting enough sun.
  2. Check Placement Inside: Do not alter the position of the snakes plant if it is absolutely necessary, for instance, when its close to an electric heater or in an area with a lot of traffic.
  3. Check Humidity: If you are experiencing dry weather, you can use a humidifier to regulate the levels of water in the air.





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 :)