House Plants/Snake Plant


Hi Will,

I have a Snake Plant for the past 1 year. I have near a window - about 3 feet.... it does receive an adequate amount of light. I've noticed past few months - a white - almost fungus like growth on the leaves of the plant - if I scratch it off with my nail - it falls off.

Then a few leaves started turning brown- all the way down to the root.So I pulled the rotted leaves off.

I dont know what to do. Should I be worried at all? I water the plant - once in say 7-10 days...always checking to see if the top 1 inch soil is dry.... the pot has holes at the bottom for water to run off...and i drain that water off ....
The white fungal-type thingy worries me.....

i'd appreciate your advice.


Hi Farah,

The rotting leaves are more of a concern than the white stuff on the leaves. The white stuff may be dead plant tissue or it may be a mealybug infestation. If it is not limited to unhealthy leaves, then it is mealybug. Treat them by spraying all of the leaves very thoroughly with a solution of 5 parts water, 1 part alcohol and a squirt of liquid dish soap. Let the spray solution run down the fronds into the area where they emerge from the soil. Then wipe the leaves clean with a paper towel. If you are really thorough in spraying every leaf, then a repeat treatment should not be necessary.

Snake Plants thrive on neglect and tolerate drought, but they do not tolerate soil that is not allowed to dry out at least halfway deep into the pot. Allowing the top inch to dry is fine for many plants but not for Snake Plants. The constant moisture you have kept around the roots is just now starting to take hold. It may be too late to reverse the root rot, but give it a try.

Do not replace the soil or repot that plant. Provide as much light and warmth as possible and allow the soil to dry deep into the pot. When you do water, add just enough so that the soil reaches that same level of dryness again in 7 to 10 days. Be patient because it will continue to decline before it slowly reverses and starts to recover.

I have written articles on indoor plant pests and on Snake Plant care that I will email for free to you (or anyone else) who emails a request to me at

Please let me know if any of this is unclear or if you have any additional questions.

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Will Creed


I am the only expert in this category with professional hands-on experience and knowledge of all indoor plants. I can answer questions regarding light, water, fertilizer, repotting, pruning and humidity and temperature requirements. I can identify plant pests and provide information on safe, effective treatments. My answers are based on 35 years of professional experience and scientific research and are clear and easy to understand. I do NOT use search engines to find answers to your questions. If you read my previous posts here, you will get a good idea as to how thorough and professional my answers are.


I have over 35 years of professional indoor landscaping experience caring for plants in homes, offices, building lobbies, stores, restaurants, and other adverse environments. I have written extensively on the care of indoor plants, including a 260 page book. My specialties include Ficus trees, low light plants, repotting, pest control, and re-blooming holiday plants. Be sure to check my ratings and nominations to learn why I am the top-rated indoor plant expert. I am the only House Plant expert consistently ranked in the AllExperts Top 20.

BA, Amherst College

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