Straighten Your Snake Plant: Say Goodbye to Bent Leaves

The snake plant (Sansevieria trifasciata) is a very resilient house plant. It tolerates a lot of neglect. It grows tall and beautiful, making a perfect ornamental addition to any room.

However, it can start to look unappealing if it begins to grow crooked. If you notice your snake plant not growing straight, there is likely something in its surroundings that is causing the unseemly look.

So how do you straighten a snake plant?

This article will delve into the various causes of a crooked snake plant and put forth solutions to fix the problem and straighten up your beautiful snake plant.

Key Takeaways

  1. Snake plants can grow crooked due to poor lighting, overwatering, and overcrowding.
  2. Snake plants prefer partial sun and may lean towards the side with more light.
  3. Overwatering can lead to root rot, causing the plant to grow crooked.
  4. Snake plants in small pots or crowded spaces may grow in the direction with the least resistance, resulting in a crooked appearance.
  5. To straighten a snake plant, water cautiously, ensure adequate lighting by rotating the plant regularly, repot it in a larger container if needed, use stakes for support, tie up leaves with a string or rubber band to encourage upward growth, and consider pruning to reduce leaf weight.
  6. Staking and supporting the plant using stakes and strings/twine can help straighten a leaning plant.
  7. Position stakes near the edge of the pot and make sure to tie up the leaves gently.
  8. With proper support, the plant will change its direction of growth and straighten out over time.
how do you straighten a snake plant

Why Is My Snake Plant Crooked?

There could be several reasons why your snake plant is growing crooked. Some of the possible causes can be easily rectified. There is no reason to assume that your quirky snake plant is unhealthy.

While snake plants grow at a mostly upright angle, they can sometimes splay out and grow at a diagonal angle.

Let’s take a look at some of the problematic reasons for a crooked snake plant.

1. Poor Lighting

The foremost reason for a snake plant growing sideways is poor lighting. While snake plants are known to survive in dim lighting conditions, they very much prefer partial sun. If your plant is placed in a corner that barely receives any light, it can cause the leaves of the plant to droop or grow crooked.

When placed in uneven lighting conditions, the snake plant will favor the side where more light is available. It will change its growth in the direction where it gets light most of the time.

2. Overwatering

Succulent plants hold moisture extremely well. They require less watering compared to other houseplants. Snake plants fall in this category.

Since they require less water, it can be easy for plant parents to overwater them. This makes them susceptible to root rot.

Poor drainage, in combination with too much water, will lead to the destruction of the root system by rot and give the plant a crooked appearance.

3. Overcrowding or Small Pots

Another cause for leaning or crooked plants can be overcrowded space.

If your snake plant has been potted in a pot that is too small for it, the roots can become cramped, and the plant will start to grow in the direction where there is the least resistance.

It will eventually lead to the plant leaning to one side and having a crooked appearance.

how do you straighten a snake plant

Will Snake Plant Straighten Out?

A snake plant is at its aesthetic best when it grows upwards and tall. While they prefer growing straight up, the above conditions could result in the plant slanting to one side.

If your snake plant has started to lean at an angle, you are probably wondering if it will straighten out again. The answer is—yes.

To get your plant to straighten, you will need to take a few simple measures to help fix the problem.

How Do You Straighten a Snake Plant?

Overwatering, uneven light exposure, or overcrowding are some of the reasons why your snake plant may not be growing straight.

These common problems can cause your plant to droop, lean, or bend. Though it is not considered unhealthy, it ruins the appealing look of the plant that is supposed to be erect under normal circumstances.

Luckily, you can easily fix these issues to get your snake plant to grow straight up and back to its proud glory.

1. Water Cautiously

Succulents such as snake plants have minimal water requirements. They do not need to be fed water regularly.

During the growing season, they do well with being watered once every one to two weeks. During the dormant season, they need even less water.

In order to avoid overwatering, check the soil. Do not water the plant if the soil is wet. If the soil is wet and soggy, it can pull the weight of the plant to one side and cause it to grow crooked.

If you have overwatered, let the top two or three inches of soil dry out before you water again. Wet soil also makes the plant vulnerable to diseases like root rot. Root rot can also result in a crooked plant and droopy leaves.

In case your snake plant gets infected with root rot, you will need to treat it appropriately and transfer the plant into a new pot with fresh soil.

2. Rotate the Plant

The most common cause of a leaning snake plant is inadequate lighting conditions. If it is exposed to uneven light, it will lean toward the direction of the light.

An easy fix for this is to rotate the plant. Rotate the pot every couple of days so as to ensure it is exposed to the same amount of light all around. Eventually, the plant will start to straighten out and grow upwards.

The best time to rotate the plant is at the time of sunrise. If your plant is leaning to the left, rotate to the right, and vice versa. Just make sure not to keep it in the same position for long. Keep rotating it every few days, and eventually, it will stop leaning.

how do you straighten a snake plant

3. Repot the Plant

Tightly bound roots lead to multiple issues, including the inability to grow straight. Snake plants have to be repotted at least every three years. However, sometimes they need to be transferred to a bigger pot much sooner.

If the plant has been potted in a container that is too small, it can cause the plant to become crooked and even shrivel up. Crowded roots will start to grow where there is the least resistance in the soil, resulting in a tilting plant.

In order to fix this, you need to separate your snake plant or transfer it into a bigger container or pot. This will allow the roots enough space to spread out and help the plant grow straight again.

4. Use Stakes

Sometimes, even a healthy plant can grow crooked. This can happen when the leaves of the plant grow heavy and begin to lean or droop due to excess weight. One easy fix for this problem is to use stakes.

If you position a stake into the soil, it will allow the plant to lean against it and remain upright and stable. Make sure the stake you use is strong enough to hold the load of the plant.

Look for stakes of sturdy material such as steel. The best types of stakes are composed of bamboo or wood. They are cheap and easy to use over a long period of time.

5. Tie the Leaves

You can also tie up the leaves with the help of a string or rubber band to help the plant get used to them growing straight up.

However, this does not work instantly. You will only see results after three to four weeks. The string or rubber band that holds the leaves will not permit leaning. Instead, it will encourage the snake plant to grow at an upward angle.

Make sure you do not tie up leaves too tight or loose. Too tight can harm your plant, and too loose will not help the leaves straighten up.

After four weeks, if the plant has not straightened up, re-tie and repeat. Once the plant straightens up, you can remove the string or band.

6. Prune the Plant

If all fails and your snake plant still grows crooked, you might want to consider pruning it. Pruning will help take off some of the weight of the leaves. This may encourage your plant to straighten up.

For best results, prune the leaves that are growing downwards. Cut off the top of the plant that is leaning to one side. This should help your plant straighten up and continue growing that way.

How Do You Support a Leaning Plant?

It is frustrating to watch your precious plant leaning over. If you know what the problem is, you can easily fix it. As mentioned above, there are many reasons a plant can lean, such as inadequate light, watering issues, soil drainage issues, etc.

Staking up a leaning plant is a common method used by gardeners to straighten up the plant. However, how each plant is staked depends on the type of plant being grown.

It is better to position a stake near the edge instead of at the center of the pot. It will allow the plant room to grow. Simple straight stakes are the most basic support for single-stemmed plants with slightly top-heavy portions.

Use jute string or twine to tie up the leaves to the stake. Make sure to do so gently to avoid injuring the plant as it grows.

With adequate support, the leaning plant will change the direction of growth and eventually begin to grow straight as it is meant to.


Snake plants are beneficial houseplants, and easy to grow and take care of. Even under challenging scenarios, they survive. However, in order to have a good-looking snake plant, you need to make sure it grows straight.

Once you discover why your plant is growing crooked, you can easily follow any of the above-mentioned steps to resolve the issue and keep it beautiful and growing upright.