Snake Plant Not Growing (8 Helpful Reasons)

While snake plants are generally known as some of the easiest and hardest houseplants to grow, sometimes even this self-sufficient plant can become overwhelmed with too much love or lack of proper care.

If you’ve noticed that your snake plant isn’t growing as much as it used to, have no fear. Proper diagnosis and adjustments to your care routine should help you quickly recover a thriving snake plant.

In particular, making sure the soil remains moist but not soggy and giving it a boost of light or fertilizer can make all the difference in helping a slow-growing snake plant get back on track.

What Is A Snake Plant

The snake plant (Sansevieria trifasciata), also known as mother-in-law’s tongue, is a unique houseplant that is renowned for its easy maintenance and striking looks.

This evergreen perennial has long, pointed leaves that are vibrant in color and have stripes going vertically down their length.

It is widely popular for its resilience to being overlooked or forgotten about not needing frequent watering or a ton of sunlight making it an ideal starter plant for those just getting into gardening. It can also help filter the air in any room, removing indoor pollutants from the air.

This incredible houseplant comes in many varieties and colors perfect for sprucing up any home while simultaneously bringing life into cramped city spaces.

Snake Plant Not Growing

Snake plants, or Sansevieria trifasciata, are popular houseplants for their striking foliage and hardiness. The plant is native to West Africa and was originally used by the Aztecs to make rope. Snake plants are also known as mother-in-law’s tongues due to their sharp, pointed leaves.

Snake plants have become increasingly popular in recent years due to their low maintenance requirements and ability to purify the air in your home. They thrive in a variety of light conditions from bright and indirect sunlight to shady corners.

They need little water and can survive for weeks without it – just make sure the soil is completely dry before you water again. In addition, snake plants are incredibly hardy and can tolerate a variety of temperatures; they even do well in air-conditioned homes!

One of the most attractive aspects of this plant is its long leaves that come in shades of green or yellow. Some varieties even have stripes or mottling along the edges of their leaves which creates an interesting visual effect.

Snake plants look great standing on their own, in clusters with other houseplants, or grouped together as part of an indoor garden.

This popularity has made snake plants a common sight both indoors and outdoors around the world, but as with any living thing they sometimes suffer from certain issues including not growing as expected.

To keep your snake plant healthy and growing at its best, there are some simple steps you can take such as providing adequate light.

Ensuring proper watering habits, and avoiding drafts or extreme temperatures that could potentially damage the plant’s health.

Possible Reasons For A Snake Plant Not Growing

A snake plant is a popular houseplant due to its low maintenance requirements and resistance to pests and diseases, making it ideal for many levels of gardeners. But some growers may find their snake plants not growing as expected.

Here are some of the possible reasons.

Lack Of Sunlight

When it comes to a snake plant not growing, lack of sunlight is often the first cause that comes to mind. Snake plants are naturally acclimatized to tropical and desert climates, where they usually receive 12 or more hours of direct sunlight per day.

In a home or office environment, this can be difficult to replicate. If the snake plant is not receiving enough sunlight, it can cause slow or stunted growth, yellowing leaves or leaf drop.

Even when placed in bright indirect light such as near a window, however, snake plants may not receive enough energy from the Sun’s rays to sustain proper growth and development.

For optimal health and growth, snake plants should be placed in direct sunlight for at least 6-8 hours a day.

When grown indoors additional lighting sources such as fluorescent lights should be used to supplement natural light if available.


A common reason why a snake plant might not be growing is due to overwatering. When this occurs, the roots of the plant become waterlogged and unable to get enough oxygen, which inhibits growth.

This often happens when the soil remains wet for too long, or when an excessive amount of water is applied at a single time.

To avoid this problem, it can help to allow the top layer of soil in between watering sessions to dry out completely before applying more water.

It can be beneficial to use a potting mix that has excellent drainage properties so that excess water can be quickly eliminated from the root zone.

If you’re still having trouble with your snake plant not growing, consider providing additional humidity with either a humidifier or by misting its leaves with distilled or filtered water on a regular basis.


Snake plants are hardy houseplants, but this doesn’t mean they don’t need proper care to grow and thrive.
One of the most common reasons why snake plants may not be growing is because of underwatering.

When a plant isn’t watered sufficiently or often enough, it can cause the growth rate to slow down or even stop altogether.

Underwatering can cause stress on the plant, which then affects its ability to uptake nutrients from the soil and access water.

If there is an extreme lack of water in the soil, it can lead to root rot and other diseases that will stunt or kill the plant.

Paying attention to signs of underwatering such as drooping leaves, yellowish leaves, and dry soil will help prevent this issue.

To ensure your snake plant is getting enough water, make sure you check the top few inches of soil for moisture and only water when it’s dry to the touch.

Regularly checking your plant’s growth rate is also important; if you notice it has stopped growing for more than a few weeks, investigate further into possible causes such as under-watering and make adjustments accordingly.

Poor Soil Quality

A snake plant not growing can be the result of poor soil quality. The type of soil needed for a healthy and thriving snake plant is one that has good drainage and is relatively sandy with additional organic material like peat moss or compost added in.

If this type of soil is not available, one should consider buying a special potting mix formulated for plants like succulents and cacti that also include other materials such as perlite, coir, or vermiculite which helps to keep the soil dryer and more breathable.

Poor soil quality can also be caused by overwatering, which causes the roots to become waterlogged and unable to access any nutrients available, resulting in a stunted growth rate or lack thereof.

If the pH level of the soil is incorrect (too alkaline or too acidic), then the nutrition from the soil may be unavailable for uptake by the plant’s roots.

Snake plants require adequate light and warmth to grow properly; inadequate conditions can severely limit potential growth.

Pests Or Diseases

A snake plant not growing could be due to the presence of pests or diseases. Pests such as mealybugs, mites, and aphids can invade a plant and suck out the nutrients needed for healthy growth, leaving it weak and hungry.

Diseases such as root rot or leaf spot caused by bacteria, fungi or viruses can also stunt a snake plant’s growth if left unchecked.

Improper watering or temperature conditions can further weaken a snake plant, making it vulnerable to infestations and diseases.

This can be especially problematic with snake plants, which prefer warm climates with soil that is neither too wet nor too dry.

To avoid these issues with your snake plants, regularly check for pests and inspect their leaves for any signs of diseases like discoloration or unsightly spots.

Pay close attention to soil moisture levels in order to provide them with optimal growing conditions. Taking these steps will help ensure that your snake plants thrive and look their best!

Age Of The Plant

Snake plants (Sansevieria trifasciata) can be an attractive addition to any home or garden, but their growing process can sometimes be slow and unpredictable. Age is one of the main factors that can prevent a snake plant from growing.

If your snake plant is older than 3 years, it may start to experience stunted growth due to its root system becoming too large for its current environment.

The roots are unable to spread out within the pot and will start to become root-bound, causing a decrease in nutrients and water absorption which ultimately leads to slower rates of growth.

New leaves will stop appearing and existing foliage may become weak as the weakened roots are unable to supply enough energy for new growth.

To help improve the health and rate of growth of an older snake plant, you should repot it into a larger container once every few years with fresh soil and make sure that it’s receiving adequate light, humidity levels, and hydration.


Acclimation is a process whereby a snake plant, or any other living organism, can adjust to new environmental conditions in order to survive and thrive.

A snake plant that is not growing could be having difficulty adjusting to its new environment. This could be because it has been exposed to extreme conditions such as too much heat or cold, light or dark, dry air, strong winds, or any combination thereof.

The snake plant may need specific soil types, water requirements, and fertilizer levels in order for it to grow and thrive.

If the snake plant does not receive adequate nutrition and care, then it will struggle to grow and may die if left unchecked.

The best way to ensure that a snake plant is acclimating well is by providing constant monitoring of the environment around it and taking prompt action whenever necessary.

By paying close attention to the needs of your snake plant and making sure that they are met accordingly with regular maintenance and care, you can help ensure that your snake plant continues to flourish in its new environment.

Becoming Rootbound

A snake plant’s growth can be stunted due to becoming rootbound, which is when the roots of the plant become too large for the pot it is in.

This can happen if a plant isn’t repotted when needed, with snake plants typically needing larger pots every two to three years.

When rootbound, the soil surrounding the roots has difficulty providing adequate water and nutrients, meaning the plant will be unable to grow properly.

Rootbound plants often have difficulty growing new lateral roots to feed themselves and usually display yellowing of leaves or stunted growth as signs of distress.

The best way to avoid this issue is through regular repotting of your snake plant in order for its roots to remain healthy and able to support its growth.

How To Troubleshoot And Fix The Issue

To troubleshoot and fix an issue with a houseplant, it is important to first identify the possible cause of the problem.

This may include environmental factors such as too little light, too much heat or cold, or over- or under-watering.

It could be caused by pests or diseases. Once the potential cause has been identified, it is important to take appropriate action to address what was found.

If the plant does not seem to be getting enough sunlight, for example, you can try moving it to a sunnier location.

Adjusting your watering frequency could help resolve problems associated with too much water or too little water. Another option is to repot your plant using fresh soil in order to give it access to more nutrients and a better pH level balance.

If pests or diseases are observed on the plant’s leaves or stems, then treating it with an appropriate product designed for this purpose may be necessary.

Regardless of which steps you take, providing your plant with adequate light and water is essential for its health and should form part of any troubleshooting regime.

Over time and with proper care, plants can prove hardy and resilient; however, if left unchecked they may become stressed and even die prematurely.

Therefore regular monitoring is recommended in order to ensure that any issues are quickly identified and rectified before they become more serious.

Prevention Tips

1. Provide The Plant With Adequate Sunlight And Water

This can be done by making sure the pot is placed in a bright location, but not directly in the sun for too long as this could harm it.

Make sure to check the soil regularly; it should be moist, but not overly wet or dry. Watering your plants when needed will help maintain optimal soil moisture levels.

2. Use High-Quality Soil And Potting Containers

Opt for a container that has drainage holes at the bottom as this will help prevent over-watering while using high-quality soil helps provide better nutrients to the plant’s roots.

When picking out a potting mix, look for one specifically designed for your type of plant and its needs; this way the right balance of nutrients can be achieved.

3. Regularly Check For And Address Any Pests Or Diseases

Inspecting your plants on a regular basis is important as it allows you to identify any issues early on before they become major problems that could potentially kill off your plant altogether.

Common pests include aphids, mealybugs, spider mites, and scale insects. If you notice them on your plant, research how best to remove them from your plants safely and effectively from trusted sources such as gardening guides or experts at local gardening stores or nurseries.

Diseases such as root rot can also affect your plants, so keeping an eye out for signs of disease or discoloration are key components of prevention that can help save you time in the long run.

How Do I Know If My Snake Plant Is Healthy?

One of the easiest ways to determine if your snake plant is healthy is to take a close look at the appearance of its leaves.

Healthy snake plants should have leaves that are upright and feature a deep green hue with yellowish-green variegations along the edges.

The leaves should be firm and plump, and you shouldn’t see any signs of discoloration, wilting, drooping, or curling. Additionally, you should inspect the soil for any evidence of gnats or other pests, as these can cause problems for the health of your snake plant.

The root system of a healthy snake plant should also be strong and robust; if you notice that it is unhealthy or failing to properly absorb nutrients from the soil, consider repotting it into fresh soil with appropriate fertilizer added in.

If you water your snake plant correctly giving it enough water but not too much then it should display new growths that show its overall healthiness.

Why Is My Snake Plant Not Growing Straight Up?

There are several possible reasons why your snake plant is not growing straight up. It is important to consider the environment that the plant is in, as well as the conditions of its soil and light.

If the soil does not have enough nutrients, or if it lacks adequate drainage, then the plant may not be receiving proper nourishment to grow upright.

Similarly, if the room temperature is too cold or too hot for ideal growth, then that can also inhibit vertical growth.

Snake plants need a good amount of light but should be kept out of direct sunlight to prevent over-exposure and damage to foliage.

If your snake plant is rootbound and planted in a pot that is too small, this could also contribute to a weaker or crooked stem structure due to the limited space available for root expansion.

By understanding these factors and providing an environment suitable for optimal growth conditions you can ensure your snake plant develops into a tall and healthy specimen.

Do Snake Plants Grow Slowly?

Snake plants are slow-growing, low-maintenance houseplants that can live for many years in the right environment. They typically reach a height of 1 to 2 feet but can reach up to 4 feet in ideal conditions.

The leaves are usually green or yellow-green with dark vertical stripes and they remain around 8 inches long.

These plants will grow even slower if they don’t get enough sunlight or the temperatures are too cold.

Although they may take some time to establish themselves, snake plants have been known to last up to 25 years with proper care.

In general, snake plants grow quite slowly, though you may notice a slight increase in size during the spring and summer months when the plant is actively growing.

To ensure healthy growth, be sure to provide your snake plant with bright indirect light, warmth, and moisture these essential elements will help it thrive and keep it from drying out too much.

What To Do If Your Snake Plant Is Not Growing

If your snake plant is not growing, it’s important to consider the environment in which you are growing it. Snake plants prefer bright, indirect light and warm temperatures between 65 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit.

If the plant is exposed to too little light or extreme cold, it may become dormant, resulting in decreased growth.

You should make sure the soil is well-draining and only water when the top inch of soil has dried out.

Overwatering can lead to root rot, which can inhibit a snake plant’s growth.

Fertilizing with a balanced liquid fertilizer once every two weeks during the active growing season can provide essential nutrients for healthy growth.

How Can I Make My Snake Plant Grow Faster?

One way to help a snake plant grow faster is through proper fertilization. During the summer months, it’s best to use a fertilizer specifically designed for succulents and cacti that is high in nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium.

When fertilizing your snake plant, be sure to water it lightly before and after as well as dilute the fertilizer according to instructions.

You can use a slow-release fertilizer during the growing season which will allow your snake plant to absorb more of the nutrients over a longer period of time.

Another way to help your snake plant grow faster is by providing adequate light. Snake plants require bright but indirect sunlight, so placing them near a window or in an area where they will get some natural light can help them flourish.

Lastly, remember to water your snake plant properly by allowing the soil to dry out between watering and avoiding overwatering as this can damage or kill the roots of your plant. With these tips, you should be able to watch your snake plant grow at an accelerated pace!


Snake plants are resilient and hardy plants that can thrive in many environments; however, they can sometimes be finicky for a variety of reasons. Not enough light, too much or too little water, and insufficient nutrition are the primary causes of snake plant growth issues.

To ensure the health of your snake plant and aid its growth, be sure to provide it with adequate light, water it when the soil has dried out but not so much that it becomes soggy, and give your plant quality nutrients.

Regular pruning and repotting may help to improve growth. With proper care and attention, you’ll have a thriving snake plant in no time.