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Everything about a broken snake plant leaf and how to fix it

Everything About a Broken Snake Plant Leaf and How To Fix It

Let us start by saying that snake plants are really tough plants! There are however a few reasons that your snake plant can develop broken leaves, which are mostly relatively easy to remedy. In this article, we will take a quick look at a few common problems that cause snake plant leaves to break or split, and how to fix these.

No plant lover wants to experience a broken snake plant leaf from their much-loved snake plant that is sitting looking beautiful on the patio. The snake plant, also known as Mother-in-law’s Tongue (or Snake Plant) is a common houseplant in the United States and Australia. It is originally from Africa.

It is an excellent houseplant for people who are looking for easy-to-grow plants.  Snake plants can be grown in containers or directly in the soil if you are in an area that does not get extreme frosts or snow.  These plants do well in many conditions and even in low-light situations.

It is an easy plant to grow with very few problems. This guide is intended for the novice who has never grown a snake plant before or anyone who has had a snake plant for years and experienced a leaf breakage. The objective is to provide information to help you understand what causes a broken snake plant leaf and what you can do to fix it.

Causes Of A Broken Snake Plant Leaf

Biological factors (pets, kids, drunk people)

In my experience, one of the more common causes of damage to snake plant leaves is these so-called biological factors. Pets, kids, and drunk people all lack a certain amount of common sense around plants which tends to damage the plants. Cats will climb into snake plant pots looking for a place to pee, kids, grab the leaves and break them, and drunk people can fall, stumble or even sit on the plants.

In all of these cases, my usual treatment is quite simple. I put thorns into the area surrounding the plants – normally a few thorny branches placed on the ground around the snake problems will educate these three major damage-causing factors.  If you do not live in an area where thorns are easily available, you can buy substitutes such as these.

Cats can also pee in the pots, and this can, over time cause the plant to become a bit burnt due to the high levels of nitrogen compounds in cat urine. I have had a few snake plants that succumbed to this mysterious issue once – cat pee causes “fertilizer burns” in your plant. The leaves turn yellow and start to burn on the edges.

Drought and heat

Snake plants can be very susceptible to drought and heat. This is especially true if the leaves are older than 2 years old. When they get older, they lose water more easily, and they can also become long and more brittle. As the leaf ages, it also gets larger and thicker. This makes it easier for a leaf to break if it is bumped.

Causes Of A Broken Snake Plant Leaf - Drought and Heat

It may also cause the plant to crack or break. The older the leaf, the bigger the chance that it will break. If you are having problems with your snake plant and the leaves are cracking or breaking, you may want to repot it into a new pot. The roots of the snake plant should not dry out.

Snake plants need lots of water during the summer months. This is when they grow and produce new leaves. It is important to keep them watered so that their roots do not become dry for long.

My general rule for snake plant watering is that I water my plants once a week – just enough to make the soil moist, and then let the soil dry out. What this does is give the plant enough water to grow, but not so much that it becomes long and floppy. These plants enjoy a bit of dryness, but not too much. 

Boron deficiency

I live in an area where the soils have quite low levels of boron. This can cause leaves to split in snake plants. In my area, I have certain tree species that accumulate boron in their wood. I burn this wood and use the ash as a fertilizer in the garden. If you are unsure of how to do this, you can also buy a simple balanced organic trace element supplement such as this for your plants.

Pests

I read on the internet that snails and slugs love snake plants! I literally have never seen a snail touch any of my snake plants! Ever. But maybe there are some horrible snails and slugs in other parts of the world that will cause this damage. The snail and slug killer listed below should help.

How To Fix a Broken Snake Plant Leaf

Snake plants are amazing, and they can grow in almost any condition. However, some of them have the habit to get injured easily. Most of the time, a broken snake plant is not a big deal but to others it is. You should know that you can use snake plants as indoor plants. If your snake plant gets injured, you can make sure that it will grow well. First, you need to take care of the injured area.

For the injured area remove all the dead parts. You can use a sharp knife to cut off the damaged part.  After you remove the dead parts, water the injured plant and ensure that the soil remains moist and soft.

I have on many occasions planted leaves that I cut off and they will root and grow into new plants. See more in the video below.

Growing a Healthy Snake Plant

A broken snake plant leaf is just a natural part of the life cycle of this plant. Here are some helpful tips to help you grow a healthy snake plant:

  • Keep your snake plant well-watered. Your snake plant needs water to thrive and grow, but too much water will cause the plant to grow tall and thin. If you over water the plant it can actually kill it. My general rule – water once a week. Let the soil get a little dry between watering cycles.
  • Avoid direct intense sunlight for too long. Snake plants can be grown in full gentle sun or partial shade.
  • Keep your snake plant’s soil moist, but not wet. The ideal soil moisture level for snake plants would read as moist on this meter.. When growing snake plants, use a good quality potting mix. 
  • Keep your snake plant in a warm environment. This will ensure that they are happy and healthy. If the temperature in your house is too cold, your snake plant will not grow as quickly or look as beautiful.
  • Every now and then, put the plant out in the rain – the rainwater helps to rinse the soil, and rain also just works magic on all plants.
Growing A Healthy Snake Plant

Final Thoughts On Broken Snake Plant Leaf

A broken snake plant leaf is a common occurrence when growing your snake plant and it should not worry you sick. Providing the right growing conditions for this plant is ideal to keep it growing in the right manner and protect it from snake plant leaf damage. 

FAQs

Will broken snake plant leaves grow back?

No. But new leaves will emerge from the center of the plant and work their way out.

Can you replant a broken snake plant leaf?

Generally yes. I have just stuck leaves in the ground and they grow into plants sometimes, and other times not.

How to fix a broken snake plant leaf?

If the leaf gets broken you cannot really fix it. You will have to trim that leaf, and then make your plant healthy so it grows new leaves. Water once a week, ensure adequate light and use a little bit of succulent fertilizer (or pee works too in moderation). Snake plants are very robust and seem to enjoy a bit of trimming and abuse.

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