Snake Plant Splitting – 5 Main Causes & Solutions

Snake plant splitting is a major concern in the gardening realm. Plant babies can be particular about their wants. They often keep plant parents on their toes while trying to meet their needs. And so, seeing your snake plant splitting even after intensive care and grooming can be worrying.

Yet, you cannot give up on your baby’s health, as every parent is proud to see their plant child blossom. This article will help get it back to its blooming glory.

One common reason for snake plant splitting is using the wrong type of soil, so it’s crucial to use well-draining soil that won’t retain excess moisture and cause the roots to rot.

Several factors account for snake plant splitting, ranging from weather extremes to wrong grooming techniques, and general knowledge of the ideal requirements for growing a snake plant can help you to avoid snake plant splitting.

Common Causes of Snake Plant Splitting

shutterstock 1305891874

Snake plants require minimal care and attention to thrive and do rather well in most climatic conditions, which makes them popular indoor plants. However, if you fail to meet any of these conditions, you may experience snake plant splitting:

1. Choice of Snake Plant

A wide variety of snake plants have similar needs but unique personalities and characteristics. So, your choice will have to be based on your preferences and the tone you are trying to build for your home. Some of the common snake plant species include:

Variegated Snake Plant:

This snake plant has bright yellow leaf margins, and its leaves are mottled and thick.

Common Snake Plant

This snake plant has sword-like, erect green leaves and unique grey-green stripes.

Bird’s Nest Snake Plant

This is a short-growing snake plant and does not exceed 6”. Its leaves form a rosette and have spiky ends.

Cylindrical Snake Plant:

This has round and cylindrical leaves that are unique and different from the characteristic sword-like leaves of other snake plant species.

Moonshine Snake Plant:

The common name for this snake plant is “silver plant.” It gets this name from the characteristic pale silver-green color of its leaves.

2. Water Conditions

The snake plant is a desert plant with high drought tolerance levels and low water supply. It has developed mechanisms that help it survive and thrive with a low water supply. Some of these adaptations include:

  • Bulbous roots that help to preserve water
  • Thin and elongated succulent leaves that prevent loss of water from transpiration
  • The spikes are leaf modifications that help reduce the leaf surface area that and help prevent water loss

Therefore, this plant type is hardy and requires minimal attention and grooming. Yet, a downside is that supplying high water levels to the snake plant is a recipe for disaster. This is because excessive water causes root rot and snake plant splitting.

3. Light Conditions

flowers g03f2fac64 640

Snake plants adapt to several climes but do well in intense light. Therefore, although they can tolerate poor or dull light, it is best to place them in warm and bright areas and away from direct scorching sunlight.

Overall, as a snake plant parent, you must avoid light extremes and place your plant in an environment where it can thrive.

When some leaves on your snake plant droop, it might signify a light problem. Light supply enables the snake plant to undergo photosynthesis, and insufficient light supply usually accounts for poor photosynthesis.

This will require you to move the plant to a well-lit area in your home or garden. However, if your home isn’t well lit, you can move the plant outside for 7 -10 days and bring it back into the house.

This will aid the snake plant to recover and utilize the light efficiently for photosynthesis for long periods.

4. Fertilizer Application and Potting

Applying fertilizers to the snake plant soil is helpful as it supplies nutrients for its growth. However, the snake plant has adapted to growing on all soil types and will thrive even without applying fertilizers to the soil.

It is also expedient to note that a small-sized pot will help the snake plant to grow faster because it establishes its roots faster in a smaller space than in a large-sized pot. Therefore, you should always go for a small to a medium-sized pot to grow your snake plant.

There is also room for repotting your snake plant when the roots have exceeded the pot and growing out of the soil.

5. Propagating Snake Plants

When you meet all requirements for optimal snake plant growth, they may grow uncontrollably and would need you to repot or trim them routinely. However, this requires a few tips to maintain the plant health and prevent snake plant splitting; these include:

  • Cut off the tips of the overgrown leaves with a sharp knife to produce a sharp cut
  • Place two or three of the healthy leaves in the water.
  • Watch for the growth of new rhizomes. This usually takes two to three days
  • Place the new plants into high nutrient soils. These soils are commercially available in garden stores.
  • Remember to use a small-sized pot to enable rapid growth of the new snake plant.

Pro-tip:  There might be snake plant splitting if the leaves grow too long and the nutrients are insufficient and unable to cater to the entire length of the snake plant. And the ideal time to trim off your snake plant is during summer when the snake plant is at its prime season.

How to Prevent Snake Plant Splitting

When you notice your snake plant splitting, do not panic. Instead, here are a few things you can do to nurse it back to health:

1. Adequate Humidity

High water supply to snake plants is another cause of snake plant splitting. Hence, these tips will help keep these plants hydrated without flooding them:

  • Use of a pebble tray beneath your snake plant is effective in keeping your snake plant hydrated without flooding the plant.
  • You can also use a humidifier to spritz water on the leaves daily. This will give just the right amount of hydration to your snake plant.

2. Avoid High Traffic Areas

Snake plant leaves are fragile and high traffic will usually cause traumatic damage and snake plant splitting. Hence, do not place the snake plant around doorways, staircases, and footpaths. Instead, you can:

  • Place the snake plant in a cabinet that displays its beauty and doubles as a protective barrier.
  • Teach your relatives and friends to value your snake plant and treat it with respect and caution
  • Keep minimal traffic within your home.

3. Pest Control

caterpillar g8581b7ba1 640

In this case, even your dogs or cats are pests to your snake plant. They may play with the plants and cause traumatic damage hence the splitting. So, you can train your house pets to leave the snake plant alone and hand them treats as they oblige you. Other helpful tips include:

  • Fencing the plants or building an impenetrable barricade around the snake plant to keep it safe from your roaming pets. This can be a make-shift barricade that allows the needed light but prevents pests from strolling into the plant’s space.
  • Use plant holders to elevate the snake plant from a reachable distance.

Fun Fact

Snake plants are toxic to pets, and keeping your house pets away from these plants is a double win, as you protect both plant and animal pets from getting sick.


Snake plant splitting is a worrying phenomenon for these plant babies. However, with optimal care, you can nurse them back to health. You only have to make sure that the water, soil, and light conditions are ideal for the snake plant growth.

You must note that, unlike most other plants, the snake plant does not appreciate a high-water supply, and this will cause problems such as root rot and snake plant splitting.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is it normal for snake plant leaves to split?

Yes, snake plants often experience splits. However, as discussed above, it is easy to nurse them back to health under the right conditions.

How do you get rid of snake plant roots?

If you are growing snake plants directly in the ground, you can use a trowel to loosen the soil around the plant. Take care not to injure the roots as you loosen the soil. Once you have adequately broken the soil, gently remove the soil and expose the roots. This way, you can remove the roots without breaking them off the stem.

What attracts snake plants to you?

Most times, the attractive feature of the snake plant is its leaves, so it can be disheartening to see the snake plant splitting. Most species of snake pants have a catchy mix of colors on their roots that spice up the look of your home or garden.


Tending to any plan can be tasking, and the reward for this chore is watching the plants bloom. So, the case of snake plant splitting can dampen your spirits. However, your snake plant can overcome grooming challenges and thrive beautifully with proper guidance.

Leave a Comment