Can I prune the floppy leaves of my snake plant?


Snake plants with extended, floppy foliage that they can no longer support may be pruned. Remove no more than 1/4 of the plant's total leaf surface by cutting individual leaves to just above the soil with a sterile cutting tool. Keep the cut surface dry while it callouses to avoid infection. The leaf stub will remain on the plant.

As new, healthy leaves grow, you can cut away more of the old leaves and gradually rejuvenate a plant. Pruning is most successful in the spring when the plant is in a new growth phase: it will heal and generate new leaves for a refreshed appearance more quickly. If you prune later in the year, be patient waiting for results and let the plant have its usual winter rest.

You can also reduce the size of the plant if it has grown a healthy new crown of young leaves. When re-potting in the spring, trim away older, unhealthy portions of the plant along with their associated roots and leave just the vigorous, new center of the plant with its roots. Use a pot with a drain hole and appropriate soil and take care to downsize the pot to make a snug new home for the smaller plant.

Be sure to correct the conditions that encouraged the unhealthy leaf growth so that new, sturdy leaves are formed. You can read more about re-potting and keeping your snake plant healthy in our guide to Snake Plants.

Courtesy of NYBG Plant Information Service



  • Last Updated Aug 11, 2023
  • Views 49
  • Answered By Leslie Coleman

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