In the plant world, there are many mysteries yet to be solved. One of these mysteries is the case of the snake plant’s outward growth. The snake plant growing outwards ability to grow outward rather than upward like most other plants has perplexed scientists for years.

I’ll go over potential explanations for the snake plant’s puzzling outward growth in this blog post. Follow along to discover more!

The Snake Plant’s Five Most Frequent Causes Of Outward Growth

Snake Plant Growing Outwards

The snake plant (Sansevieria trifasciata) is a popular houseplant that can grow quite large. However, increasing the plant outwards is not uncommon, especially in older plants. There are five most frequent causes the snake plant to grow outwards:

Lack Of Space To Grow

I have observed that when the plant is pot-bound, its leaves grow outwards instead of vertically. The plant’s growth habit may be due to the lack of space to grow in the pot, which causes it to spread its leaves to maximize its surface area.

Too Much Light

A plant may grow outward to reach the light if exposed to too much light. They want as much light as they can. Most plants grow toward the sun or windows.

Poor Air Circulation

A plant may spread its leaves to improve airflow if insufficient airflow inhibits its ability to grow. For root-bound plants, this is especially true (such as the snake plant).

Mineral Deficiencies

A mineral deficiency can cause a plant’s leaves to grow outwards to get more of that nutrient. For example, if a plant is missing potassium, its leaves will grow outwards and upwards in search of this mineral.

Environmental Stress

Extreme weather conditions (such as floods) or sudden temperature changes can cause a plant to grow outwards to cope with these stresses.

The Myths and Legends Surrounding the Snake Plant Growing Outwards

The snake plant is a popular houseplant often grown for its striking, upright flowers. In comparison, there are many varieties of snake plants available, the most common myths and legends surrounding this plant concern its growth habit and appearance.

Sansevieria trifasciata, also known as snake plant, mother-in-tongue, the law’s, or common sansevieria, has up to 6 leaves per rosette. Mature leaves typically measure 2.5 to 3 feet long and 2 to 2.8 inches wide. They are dark green with light gray-green crossbanding.

One of the most common myths is that the snake plant grows outwards to create a “tunnel” through which it can move around the room. This growth pattern is merely a result of how this plant’s stem and roots develop. As the stem grows upwards, it creates loops in its structure, which resemble a coil or a snake. Over time, these loops will grow larger and form what appears to be a tunnel.

Another common myth concerns the appearance of the snake plant’s flowers. These flowers look like snakes because they are made up of several petals that curl inward towards each other. In reality, however, this shape is simply due to how these petals are attached to the stem. Rather than being arranged linearly like traditional flowers, these petals are attached in an overlapping manner so that they appear curled up.

The Science of the Snake Plant’s Outward Growth

The snake plant is one of the most well-liked indoor plants. This plant has a long history of being used for its medicinal properties as an ornamental. The science behind the snake plant’s outward growth is still being studied today.

There are several hypotheses about how the snake plant grows its leaves outwards. 

  • One theory suggests that water and nutrients reach the root system through the leaves, leading to their growth. 
  • Another hypothesis suggests that the leaves pull away from the stem to increase airflow and improve cooling efficiency.
  • Regardless of how it grows its leaves, scientists are still studying this fascinating plant to understand its physiology better. 
  • Be curious about its science the next time you see a snake plant with broad leaves spreading outward!

The Strange Case of the Outward Growth of the Snake Plant

The snake is a common houseplant many people grow for its distinctive, upright leaves and vining stems. However, some snake plants exhibit unusual growth habits that can cause the plants to grow outwards from the center of the pot or even from the roots.

Some growers believe these plants are growing outwards because they are trying to escape something negative in their environment, such as low light or water availability. 

Others think this type of growth may be caused by crossing with another Sansevieria species, which can cause genetic instability and uncontrolled growth. Regardless of the root cause, these plants are often trimmed to maintain their normal shape and size.

Whatever the cause, it’s fascinating to watch these plants grow outwards and explore their unique structure! If you have a snake plant that is growing out of control, be sure to contact a qualified horticulturist for help.

Proposed Solutions to Stop the Snake Plant’s Outward Growth

A few proposed solutions exist to stop the snake plant’s outward growth.

  • An alternative is to only overwater once a week instead of daily, to provide more light than what is needed for typical houseplants, and to use more fertilizer to provide more nutrients.
  • Remove crossing plants from the pot and recombine the snake plants with different genetic makeup.
  • Use a growth regulator to control the growth rate of the individual plant.
  • Use a barrier fabric to physically restrict water and light penetration to the plant’s roots.
  • Remove the pot and move the plant to a larger container with more room to grow.
  • Prune the plant back to its desired shape and size.
  • Use a fungicide or herbicide to prevent the spread of disease.
  • Use a bark concentrate or other organic material to provide nutrients and moisture to the roots.
  • Introduce a new snake plant into the pot, selecting one with genes that suppress the growth of outwards-growing plants.

In The End

If you are growing a snake plant, do your research on the particular species you are interested in and make sure to provide your plant with the proper amount of light, water, and fertilizer. If you notice any alterations in the health or appearance of your plant, make sure to take appropriate action.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Do I Make My Snake Plant Grow Straight?

Make sure your snake plant receives plenty of water and sunlight for it to grow straight. Ensure the pot you are using has good drainage, and the plant is never allowed to sit in waterlogged soil. You may also consider using a stake to help keep the plant upright.

Why Is My Snake Plant Tilting?

The snake plant is tilting because the soil it is planted is not level. When a plant’s roots cannot grow evenly due to an uneven surface, the plant will lean toward the highest concentration of soil. In this case, the snake plant’s roots are pulled towards one side of the pot, causing it to tilt.

What Does An Underwatered Snake Plant Look Like?

An underwatered snake plant typically has shorter leaves that are narrower and less succulent than those of a healthy plant. The leaves may also have a lighter green color or a yellowish tinge. The plant may also be less vigorous and have smaller flowers.

Do Snake Plants Like To Be Crowded?

It depends on the specific species of snake plant and the growing conditions. Some snake plants do well when crowded, while others may become leggy and sparse if too many plants are placed nearby. To learn how a particular species responds to being grown in a crowded environment, it is crucial to do your research.

How Do I Know If My Snake Plant Is Healthy?

The best way to determine whether or not your snake plant is healthy is to look at its leaves. Healthy snake plants will have green leaves with no signs of wilting or browning. Any of these signs could indicate that your plant is unhealthy and needs water or fertilizer. You can also gently tug on a leaf to see if it comes off easily; if it does, the plant is probably not healthy.