As you know, the snake plant is vigorous and it is usually less susceptible to diseases. This plant can live in low light and nutrient-poor soil conditions.
The snake plant also does not need much water because its mechanism of action is like a cactus with succulent leaves to store water.
However, the care conditions such as light, inappropriate watering, and lack of ideal space will easily make the snake plant vulnerable and attract pests.
So, a common phenomenon that you can easily see is the white spots on the leaves of this plant. What causes white spots on snake plants? How to fix and prevent this phenomenon? Let’s answer the questions in this article.
White spots on snake plant – Reasons and solutions
There are many causes for white spots to appear on snake plants such as light, pests, improper watering, poor drainage, pruning, fertilizer, or pot size.
So, let’s find out the causes in detail to find out how to fix white spots appearing on leaves.
1. Watering: Excess salt
One of the leading causes of white spots on snake plants has to do with watering. Watering with tap water can cause excess salt to build up on the leaves and create white spots.
When you water with tap water, the water will evaporate quickly, while the salt will stick to the leaves and create white spots. The amount of salt will accumulate over time and thicken causing white spots that will inhibit plant growth.
From there, fungi and bacteria will have a favorable environment to grow and attack the snake plant. Therefore, it is best to water with filtered water instead of tap water. If you are watering with tap water, put them out in a bucket and leave overnight, using only the top water as the salt can settle to the bottom of the bucket.
In addition, you should not overwater the snake plant as it will flood the boots. Ensure good drainage, water when the soil surface is dry and the snake plant’s actual needs.
2. Pests attack
The snake plant has strong vitality so it is rarely destroyed by pests. However, pests are still a common cause of stunted or stunted snake plants. Pests will suck the sap of the leaves and disrupt the cell structures, from which fungi and bacteria will enter and create white spots on the leaves.
Mealybugs and spider mites are two common insects that cause white spots on the leaves of snake plants. Mealybugs are soft-bodied and produce cottony white spots on the leaves.
Mealybugs can cause leaf yellowing, white mold, wrinkled leaves, and weak stems. Spider mites also attack snake plants by sucking sap from the plant’s leaves.
How to prevent insect attacks?
- Isolate plants and prune leaves that are attacked by pests
- Use neem oil to inhibit the growth of pests. Neem oil will have the effect of disrupting the growth of mealybugs and have disease-resistant properties
- Using insecticides or insecticides
- Check weekly to remove all pest spores
- Insecticides can be used monthly to prevent pests
- Regularly clean and disinfect the leaves
3. White mold on leaves
Mold can thrive in wet, sticky, and sticky conditions on leaves. It produces white or brown patches on the leaves. Fungal spores may appear from the white hairs attached to the leaves.
When conditions are favorable, they will grow rapidly and produce white patches on the leaves. Over time, these white patches will cause serious damage to the leaves and growth of the snake plant.
To prevent mold, you must create an open and dry space. Remove excess water in the pot, do not water the leaves to avoid dampness.
Do not mist every day to create a humid environment for fungus to grow. Provide daily sunlight to dry leaves and a dry environment.
4. Lack of light
Light is an important factor that helps snake plants grow healthy and resist negative environmental influences. Snake plants need at least 6 to 8 hours of light per day to photosynthesize and stimulate growth.
It can also live in partial shade or indirect sunlight. This plant resembles a cactus, so it does not like wet environments and too much water.
Sunlight every day will promote water evaporation and prevent fungus from growing on the leaves. Because pests and fungi will not be able to attack snake plants easily in cool and dry conditions.
Therefore, the lack of light or too low light will cause the fungus to grow and create white spots on the leaves. Ideally, you should place the snake plant about 1 meter from a window to receive indirect light every day.
5. Excessive fertilizing
Snake plants can tolerate poor soil, but fertilizers still play an important role in stimulating plant growth. Fertilizers will provide adequate nutrients and substances necessary for plant growth.
Too much fertilizer will change the structure of the soil. From there, it will affect the quality of the soil and make it easy for pests to attack and create white spots on the leaves.
You should only apply organic fertilizer for snake plants during the growing season once every two months. Also, you should not fertilize this plant in winter as it damages the plant and attracts insects that attack the root system.
6. Change pots often
Frequent repotting is a big mistake that many people make. This harms the root system of the snake plant, especially if the process is not done carefully and causes damage to the roots.
Frequent repotting makes the root system not able to adapt and work stably. This leads to leaves and stems not receiving enough water and nutrients, making them weak and moldy.
You should only report them when their size is too large or overcrowded every 3 to 5 years. In particular, you should not change the pot in winter because this is the dormant time as well as cold temperatures will cause damage to the roots.
Make sure to repot to a larger size than the old pot so as not to restrict root growth. Clean the roots, improve the soil and spray insecticide before planting the snake plant in a new pot.
7. Improper pruning
The leaves of the snake plant are very thick and hard, so it is not easily affected by external factors. Improper and sudden pruning will cause the cells to break down, creating favorable conditions for pests to attack.
The wounds on the leaves, if not covered or used to disinfect, are very susceptible to fungal attack. From there, pests and fungi will create white patches on the cut and spread the entire leaf.
You should only prune damaged, yellow or diseased leaves to limit the spread. Using a sharp and disinfected pair of scissors, cut and clean the open wound so that it heals quickly.
Some tips to help the snake plant grow healthy?
To help the snake plant grow healthy and without much care, you should note a few tips below.
- Provide partial light and shade each day, indirect light may be used
- Place the pot near a window with a curtain to create a dry and airy space
- Water with filtered water, water when the soil is dry
- Do not water at night and water the leaves
- Do not mist the leaves of this plant as it does not like moisture
- Use fungicides and insecticides every few weeks to prevent mold
- Change the pot at least every 3-5 years to avoid damaging the roots
- Regularly clean and disinfect the leaves to remove spores from the fungus
The last word
Snake plants can have white spots on their leaves for a variety of reasons. Some common causes like lack of light, watering, pests, fertilizing, pruning, repotting, and so on.
It is important to keep your snake plant healthy to prevent mold from causing white spots on the leaves. Plants like to be dry, so a humid environment and lack of light are not suitable.
In addition, snake plants also do not like a lot of water because they are succulent plants like cacti. Water when plants need and clean leaves after watering.