The snake plant with the scientific name Dracaena trifasciata is one of the most intense and difficult to destroy plants in ornamental plants.
This plant can live in bright sun or darkness, in nutrient-poor or wet soil. It is very suitable for those who start to grow bonsai without much time to care.
The snake plant has large, stiff leaves and the entire leaf forms a large clump. The beauty of this plant will bring intense vitality and energetic space.
However, one of the most common snake plant problems is the tearing or cracking of leaves. Why are your snake plant leaves splitting? How to remedy this situation? All details will be updated in this article.
Top 6 reasons for snake plant leaves splitting – How to fix
There are many causes for the leaves of a snake plant to crack or tear. This phenomenon is unsightly and destroys the beauty of this plant as the whole plant is made up of large leaves.
Some of the common causes include low humidity, boron deficiency causing brittle and cracked leaves, extreme temperatures, or pest attacks. Let’s take a closer look at the causes and solutions.
1. Low humidity
One of the first common causes of snake plant leaf cracking is related to low humidity. If the humidity is too low, the leaves of the snake plant will lose water quickly, creating cracks in the leaves.
This condition can be caused by a lack of water that causes the root system not to receive enough water and nourish the leaves. In addition, the constantly dry air and not maintaining moisture will also cause the leaves to crack due to dry heat and drought.
To overcome low humidity, you can mist the leaves every day to moisten the surface of the leaves. Using a humidifier in your home is also an effective way to maintain the right humidity for your snake plant.
Alternatively, you can use a tray of pebbles to maintain moisture by placing a few pebbles on the tray, then pour some water and place the potted plant on it.
2. Boron deficiency
As you know, boron is an extremely necessary micronutrient for plants in general and snake plants in particular. It is effective in forming, stabilizing, and maintaining the structural membranes of cells in plants.
If the snake plant is deficient in boron, the leaves will become weaker, brittle, and susceptible to weathering.
The cause of boron deficiency is substandard soil pH. Soil that is too acidic or too alkaline will cause a boron deficiency for snake plants. You can use the meter to test the pH of your soil and improve it to achieve the ideal pH.
In addition, adding the necessary organic matter to improve the soil as well as stimulate the activity of beneficial microorganisms in the soil to help the snake plant to supplement boron.
3. Extreme temperatures
The snake plant is famous for its vigorous vitality and tolerance to harsh weather conditions. However, long periods of intense sunlight can also cause damage and stress to this plant.
The constant exposure of light to the leaves causes water vapor to evaporate quickly and the leaves to crack due to heat stress. The ideal temperature for a snake plant to grow best is between 60 and 80 degrees F (15-27 degrees C).
Temperatures that are too high or too low will also cause the leaves to crack or create gaps. In particular, leaves are more prone to cracking in winter when the temperature is too cold, excessive stress will cause the leaves to tear.
To overcome this situation, you should choose a suitable location to avoid too much direct sunlight during the day in the summer. In winter, limit placing them in places where the temperature is too cold or there is a risk of freezing.
4. Watering too much
The snake plant is a succulent plant. The survival mechanism is like a cactus. Therefore, a dry and well-drained environment will help this plant grow better.
If you water too much, the root system will transport more water to the leaves, from which the leaves will expand quickly. Elevated temperatures and rapid transpiration rates stress the leaf causing it to tear or shrivel.
This is because the sudden change in leaf berry will break down the cells and when shrinking will damage the structure and create cracks in the leaves.
To prevent this, you should not water the snake plant every day. It only needs a lot of watering once in about 1 month under normal temperature and not in drought conditions.
Place the pot in a dry location and ensure good drainage, water only when the soil surface is completely dry or the plant shows signs of wilting due to lack of water.
5. Pests attack
Snake plants are very resistant to pests and insects because their leaves are very hard. However, some insects such as mealybugs or spider mites are still their number one enemy.
These insects will directly attack the leaves, sucking up the sap and making the leaves dry. From there, the cells break down and create large cracks in the leaves. Ideally, you should regularly check the surface of the leaves to remove insects or their eggs.
Remove infected leaves to avoid spreading to other leaves and destroying the entire leaf of the snake plant. Using insecticides and cleaning leaves regularly is the way to get rid of parasitic pests on leaves.
6. The physical impact on the environment
Pets like dogs or cats love to scratch leaves, so they can tear or crack the leaves. Place the potted plant in a location where pets can’t touch or damage it.
In particular, the snake plant is mildly toxic to pets if eaten or licked. Therefore, it is best to place it in a high or fenced position to protect both your pets and potted plants.
In addition, this plant can also tear or crack on the leaves during your movement or limited space. Leaves touching a wall or being crushed by something else will also damage them.
How do prevent the leaves of snake plants from cracking?
To prevent the leaves of a snake plant from tearing or cracking, you need to have a process to care for and create favorable conditions for the plant to grow.
As you know, the soil is one of the three most important factors for plant growth. Make sure your soil composition is up to standards such as rich in organic matter, well-drained, and a pH maintained between 5 and 6.5.
A dry location with morning sun and cool afternoon shade is an ideal space for a snake plant. The best location during winter is one that is warm and free from freezing.
Watering of this plant should be done according to the season and actual weather conditions. Typically, you can water 1-2 times per month if the soil surface is dry, or every 2 months during winter months or wet climates.
In addition, you also need to regularly clean the leaves and remove all kinds of insects and pests.
The last word
The snake plant is a plant that is easy to grow, easy to care for, and can survive in harsh weather conditions.
Cracked or torn leaves on this plant can be related to low humidity, extreme temperatures, boron deficiency, pest attack, over-watering, or physical impact from the environment.
To limit this situation, you need to maintain appropriate humidity and avoid too high or too cold temperatures. Add fertilizers and organic matter to the soil to promote boron production for healthy leaves. The soil must be well drained and the pH level maintained at 5 to 6.5 for the best snake plant growth.