Why Are My Snake Plant Leaves Skinny: Care Tips

Snake plants are delicate-looking houseplants that can add an elegant touch to most locations. However, they might be picky about watering, lighting, and soil nutrient content. And when things aren’t ideal for them, they will show it by displaying unhealthy-looking foliage. If you want an answer to the question: “why are my snake plant leaves skinny?”

keep reading. We collected everything you need to know about it in this essential guide.

Why Are My Snake Plant Leaves Skinny

why are my snake plant leaves skinny

The thick and variegated foliage in snake plants is one of the most attractive features of these houseplants. And when the leaves look skinny, it is usually an indication something is wrong with your plant. Here is a list of all the possible causes (and what you can do about them). 


One of the most common reasons for the skinny leaves in your snake plant is underwatering. So, if you notice shrinkage on the foliage, add more water. Of course, you must do so without overwatering your plant. So, feel the soil with your fingers before adding extra moisture.

Follow a regular schedule to allow your plant to recover faster from the condition. Ideally, you should water your plant every 7 to 10 days. But of course, the frequency will depend on the environmental conditions. 

Inadequate Lighting

Snake plants can grow in low light conditions. But if they don’t receive enough lighting, they won’t be able to carry out photosynthesis, which may cause the leaves to grow narrower and flat. That’s because the plant’s reaction will be to stretch to where there is some light. 

So, when watering is secured, but you still notice your plant not growing as it should, you may have to move it to a different location. To allow your snake plant to recover faster, don’t forget to remove all of the skinny leaves in the fall.

Avoid pruning your plant too harshly: if there are too many leaves, do not remove them all. Still, doing it the right way will boost new growth in the spring. 

Don’t forget to rotate your plant regularly to ensure even growth. Doing so will minimize the risk of its foliage growing on one side and looking narrower. Avoid exposing your plant to direct sunlight, which will burn the plant’s leaves. 

Place your plant in a bright room to allow your plant to get all the nutrients it needs to grow strong (and gorgeous). 

Inappropriate Growing Conditions

why are my snake plant leaves skinny

Your snake plant will need space to grow. And if you notice it outgrowing its pot, transplant it to a larger container. Otherwise, your plant might struggle and will show its issues by displaying less attractive foliage.

Remember that as the plant grows, it will need more resources to thrive, which is why you’ll need to provide it with enough space. Also, minimize competition by avoiding planting your snake houseplant with other species. Indeed, doing so will increase competition for nutrients and may cause your plants to look unhealthy. 

Apply fertilizer to encourage new growth and prevent the leaves from looking skinny and flat. However, don’t forget to follow the instructions you find on the product label to avoid burning your plant.