Why is My Snake Plant Not Growing?

Last Updated on November 12, 2022 by admin

The reason a snake plant not to grow is that it is dormant because of cold temperatures, low levels of light and shorter lengths of days. Snake plants will only increase in size when the temperature is higher than 16 degrees and if there are sufficient hours of indirect sunlight.

If a single pointed leaf tip on your snake plant is damaged or broken, the leaf blade may stop growing.

Snake plants naturally slow-growing, as is the case of most succulents. Their leaves can grow to an average of 4 feet tall under the right conditions.

There are a variety of reasons that can make your plant grow extremely slow or not in any way:

Snake Plant Not Growing due to Seasonal Dormancy

Snake plants tend to be inactive and dont grow throughout the winter months. This is due to the fact that the growth of your snake plant is heavily dependent on variables such as the intensity of light, the amount of sunshine per day, and the temperature.

The intensity of light, the hours of sunshine all have an influence on whether your snake plants leaves are growing or not.

If you are in a climate that is cooler or maybe northern latitudes that have shorter days in winter and the snake plant might not develop at all in any visible way for a few months.

This is normal as the plant simply responding to its surroundings.

The snake plant will start to grow again in the spring in the time when temperatures is always higher and is exposed to longer hours of sunlight so that the plant photosynthesise and grow.

If your snake plant doesnt appear to be growing, even during the summer, warmer months , then think about moving the plant to a space that has brighter lighting (snake plants like bright indirect lighting) and a space that is always warmer.

Snake plants can be a tolerant house plant that can thrive in a variety of temperatures and can withstand temperature fluctuations however for maximum growth, it is recommended to have a room that is warmer and snake plants should be kept in bright areas as well as away from frigid breezes that can slow the growth.

If the conditions are right, indoors the snake plant will grow (at an extremely slow pace like succulents do) from the beginning of Spring until the end of Summer, with a mature size of about 4 feet in height.

(Read my article to find out the frequency at which snake plants need to be kept hydrated in winter).

Snake Plant not Growing due to Lack of Light

Snake plants are great house plants since they take low levels of light.

But if theyre in a room that is particularly dark that has little or any natural light, the snake plant will conserve its energy by growing slowly.

The ideal lighting environment for plants that encourage growth are direct sunlight that is bright or some direct morning sunlight followed by shade in midday and in the afternoon, when the sun is the most intense.

A long period of sun or a few hours of intense sunlight will likely to cause burning of those leaves on your plant, giving it a the appearance of yellow and shriveled.

While snake plants are tolerant of some sun, it is essential to expose them gradually to more light , rather than move the plant from an shady area to a sunny area because the sudden contrast could cause the leaves to burn.

Damage to the leaf tip prevents snake Plant Leaves from growing

The snake plant has pointed leaf tips which, if they are damaged or broken significantly, this can prevent the each leafs blade from growing, but the plant will likely remain alive.

This is a frequent issue when people grow snake plants for their house plants since they are large and heavy on top.

If the plant falls over after somebody bumps into it, this could cause damage to the leaf that stops the blade of the leaf from expanding.

I would suggest leaving the snake plant once it is damaged to determine if it can recover, however in the event that the leaf blade is not growing at all and is clearly damaged at the point, then remove the leaf blade to encourage growth of the other leaf blades.

(Read my article on on how to revive the dying plant when leaves turn yellow or brown, and are mushy and are falling).

Pot Size can Slow Growth Rate of Snake Plant

Snake plants are tough and prefer their roots to be somewhat pot-bound therefore a small size pot will not be detrimental to the well-being that your plant is in, but it could limit the growth of your snake plant.

Pots that are smaller may not be the reason for your snake plants inability to grow however it may be a contributing factor because smaller pots are less able for soil, and consequently the roots are less accessible to nutrients.

Snake plants are actually most likely show flowering in pots that are smaller because stress from being pot tied could result in flowering, therefore there is no need to rush in repotting this snake-like plant.

But repotting the snake plant after 3 years in a bigger pot using a new potting soil is usually an excellent idea to encourage growth and prevent your snake plant from falling over since they can end up being top heavy.

(If your snake plant is turning black, check out my article for solutions).

Lack of Fertilizer

Snake plants arent necessarily large feeders, but when they grow at a slow pace the use of fertilizers can assist to boost the growth of the leaves.

The snake plants which have been growing in one pot over a number of years may deplete the soils nutrients, which could slow down the rate of growth, so that the leaves dont seem to be growing.

Snake plants are succulents , so it is essential to provide your snake plants special fertilizer since the typical house plant fertilizers may contain nutrients at a level which is not enough for the snake plant to handle, which could cause leaves to droop.

Make use of a succulent or cactus fertilizer (available on the internet) as well as follow manufacturers instructions.

Apply the fertilizer only during its growing time (Spring and summer) and do not apply it in winter because they tend to be in a state of dormancy due to colder temperatures and less sunlight.

Key Takeaways:

  • When your plant isnt growing, it is because it isnt getting enough hours of bright sunlight or it is cold enough, or because the point of the leaf is damaged, which could cause the leaf to stop growing.
  • Snake plants go dormant during winter , when there is less intense light source shortening day lengths, and colder temperatures. The Snake plant is usually developing in the spring due to longer daylight hours.
  • The tips of damaged leaves can cause one leaf of your snake plant from growing. Cut off any damaged leaves that arent returning to their root of the plant in order to encourage growth.
  • If the size of the pot is not enough, the snake plant could use up all the nutrients available and the growth rate may slow and cease to grow.
  • A cacti and succulent fertilizer can stimulate the growth of the snake plant when it is applied in spring and summer.


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 :)