How to Fix a Snake Plant’s Root Rot

Snake plants are one of the easiest plants to grow. However, as soon as root rot takes hold of your snake plant, you must take action to fix the problem. Knowing what you are dealing with will allow you to assess how serious the condition might be and what you need to do.

Whether your plant can recover from the damage of root rot or not will depend on how serious the matter is. Read on to see how you can fix a snake plant’s root rot problems and revive your snake plant.

What is Root Rot?

plant roots

Root rot happens when the soil of your snake plant is too dense or when water can’t drain out in its container or planted area. Too much liquid gathers in the roots and becomes the perfect breeding ground for fungus. The soil is soggy and fungal spores start to spread and multiply in the extremities of the plant starting with the roots. They become brown and mushy, and eventually the plant dies.

When there is root rot, your snake plant can’t absorb any nutrients and is deficient for growth. The leaves begin to wilt, turn yellow or brownish, and even fall off. When you investigate the cause, you will discover soft brown roots, instead of seeing firm and white-colored roots. If left untreated, it will kill your snake plant.

How to Fix Snake Plant Root Rot

planting in pots

Once you have looked at the roots of your snake plant and identified the problem is root rot, it’s important to take immediate action. Your first step would be to remove your snake plant from the affected soil to stop the fungus from spreading and then plan how you would replant.

You will need the following materials:

  • Cultivation scissors that should be clean and sanitized
  • Pot or container that has drainage holes
  • Soil mixture for succulent plants
  • Fungicide solution

DIY Fungicide Solution

  • 1 teaspoon of liquid mild soap added to 1 liter of water  
  • 1 tablespoon of baking soda or potassium bicarbonate to 4 liters of water
  • Add dishwashing solution without bleach or degreaser to water
  • Add cooking oil to the water to cling to the leaves and stems

Below are easy DIY steps to fix your snake plant root rot problem. 

Step 1. Tip your snake plant and gently pry loose the root ball from its pot.

The size of your snake plant varies, and the best way to get to the roots is by gently tipping the plant away from any soil surface. 

Step 2. Check the condition of the roots.

On a slanting position, empty the soil on a cement surface or on a paper sheet to avoid scattering the old soil. You want to avoid infecting other plants with fungal growth.

Step 3. Check the root ball of the snake plant.

Entangle the root ball and examine the roots. This may be a messy process, but patiently untangle the roots to check on the roots.  

Step 4. Separate the brown and mushy roots.

You need to separate the decaying roots from the white and firm ones that are still healthy. This will decrease the spread of fungal infection and allow the healthy root to provide nutrients to the snake plant.

Step 5. Use cultivation scissors to snip out the rotting roots.

Sanitize your cultivation scissors and gently snip out the brown and mushy roots from the plant. It will vary in length depending on the condition of each root.

Step 6. Spray the fungicidal solution on the roots.

The effective way to save the white and firm roots is to spray your chosen fungicidal solution to stop any infection from spreading to the healthy roots.

Step 7. Prepare your succulent soil mixture and place it in a clean new pot.

Prepare a fresh batch of new succulent soil mixture to revive your infected plant. This mixture is filled with minerals that will give nutrients to your sick plant. You will transfer this into a newly cleaned self-draining pot.

lady with plant pots

Step 8. Re-pot your snake plant in the prepared new soil mixture.

Your snake plant is ready to be replanted into the new soil mixture. Ensure you leave a short space of about two inches to give ample space for new roots to grow.

Step 9. Choose a shaded position without direct sunlight.

Your snake plant needs to recover for the next two weeks and is adjusting to the new soil. Place your plant in a bright area but without direct sunlight to avoid the plant from extreme heat.

Step 10. Start watering your newly potted snake plant.

It’s best to wait one or two weeks before watering your snake plant. By looking at the soil, you will notice if the soil is too dry or still damp. 

Preventing Root Rot in Your Snake Plant

Once you have completed all the above steps, it’s highly likely that your snake plant is on the way to recovery, but you must know what to avoid. This ensures you don’t have the same problem again.

  • Leave the soil to dry out before you water the plant.
  • Avoid overwatering your snake plant.
  • Use a new potting mix and the right soil mixture.
  • Keep the soil loose, not compacted to avoid a mushy soil
  • Use clean pots that have drainage holes to allow excess water out.

 FAQs about Snake Plant Root Rot

1. Can you save a rotting snake plant?

2. How do I know if my snake plant has root rot?

How do I know if my snake plant has root rot?

3. How do I know if my snake plant has root rot?

If your snake plant has root rot, you may notice yellowing leaves that feel soft and mushy. The plant may also have a foul odor, and the roots may be black, slimy, and have a rotten smell.

4. Can you put a rooted snake plant in water?

Yes, a rooted snake plant can be placed in water, but it is important to ensure that the roots do not stay submerged for too long.

5. What does root rot look like?

Root rot can appear as black, slimy, and mushy roots with a foul odor. The plant may also have yellowing leaves and appear wilted.

Wrapping Up

Snake plant root rot is a condition you want to avoid at all costs. When your plant shows any symptoms, you must move swiftly to save your plant from fungus infection. It’s a long process of manually separating the roots and cutting off the rotting pieces. By following the tips, you not only know how to fix your snake plant’s root rot but also prevent it from happening again.

If you have a set schedule of when to water it and when to leave it alone, your snake plant will thrive and grow healthy. Ensure your plant doesn’t suffocate with tight and compacted soil but has enough oxygen through its soil to grow freely.

Now that you have these tips on how to fix a snake plant’s root rot, keep an eye out for early signs and act immediately if your snake plant needs help.