What can I do to keep my snake plant leaves from flopping over?

I use stakes to prop them up but shouldn’t they be sturdier and stand on their own?


The Dracaena species known as snake plants or mother-in-law's tongue were until recently considered a separate genus, Sansevieria, but have been reclassified following molecular examination.

Snake plants need to have a winter rest period from late October through February. Water should be reduced significantly during this non-growing phase and no plant food given. If the plant is given the signal to grow with food and/ or water during this time, they get lanky because the winter months have too little sun for healthy growth.

They also become lanky over time when grown in inadequate light conditions during the growing season. Snake plants actually prefer plentiful, indirect sunlight. They can survive and look great for some time in poor light conditions, but even during the growing period they will not grow well without reasonable sunlight; they will eventually become tall and unable to support themselves if kept in too dim a location.

If you move your plant now to a spot with strong, indirect light, it may gain some additional strength and stability, but it is likely to continue to need support. It is possible to prune off the overly long leaves of your snake plant and gradually rejuvenate its shape. You can find more information on pruning and other aspects of snake plant care in our Guide to Snake Plant Care.

Courtesy of NYBG Plant Information Service


  • Last Updated Aug 11, 2023
  • Views 227
  • Answered By Leslie Coleman

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