Snake plants are more susceptible to freeze damage than a lot of other plants because they store a lot of water in their leaves, so if you’re dealing with a frozen Snake plant, it’s important to know exactly how to treat it for the best chance of survival.
Frozen Snake plants will be very easy to identify as several leaves will become discolored and possibly soft and mushy to the touch. The recovery process involves moving the plant as soon as possible to a warmer location and monitoring its health over a few weeks.
In this article, we’ll look at the exact process you need to follow to give your plant the best chance of survival. Let’s get straight into it.
- How Do Snake Plants Freeze?
- Symptoms of Freeze Damage
- How to Treat Frozen Snake Plants
- How To Prevent Freezing In The Future
- In Summary
How Do Snake Plants Freeze?
Snake plants are tropical plants native to western Africa that are commonly grown as houseplants due to their low maintenance. However, they are not cold-hardy and can suffer from frost damage when exposed to freezing temperatures.
Snake plants are succulents, which means they store a lot of water in their leaves.
When the temperature drops below freezing, the water in the leaves freezes and expands, causing damage to the plant’s cells and tissues.
This can lead to blackened, mushy leaves and stems, and it’s the reason why freeze damage can be so severe for this plant.
Can A Frozen Snake Plant Survive?
Whether a frozen snake plant can survive depends on the severity of the damage. If only the leaves are affected, the plant may recover with proper care. However, if the roots and stem are also damaged, the plant may not survive.
It all depends on how long the plant has been exposed to freezing temperatures and how quickly you react to it.
If you notice that your snake plant has been exposed to freezing temperatures, the first thing you should do is move it to a warmer location.
We’ll get into more details of the recovery process later, but from there, it’s all about monitoring the health and not removing leaves right away.
Symptoms of Freeze Damage
When a snake plant is exposed to freezing temperatures, it can suffer from foliage damage.
The symptoms of freeze damage can vary depending on the severity of the freeze. Here are some of the most common symptoms of freeze damage in snake plants:
One of the first signs of freeze damage is wilting leaves. If the leaves of the snake plant appear limp and droopy, it is a sign that the plant is under stress.
This stress can be caused by the cold temperature, which can cause the water inside the leaves to freeze and expand, damaging the plant tissue.
Another common symptom of freeze damage is brown tips on the leaves. If the tips of the leaves turn brown, it is a sign that the plant is not getting enough water.
This can be caused by the cold temperature, which can cause the soil to freeze and prevent the plant from absorbing water.
Brown spots on the leaves are another common symptom of freeze damage. These spots can be caused by the cold temperature, which can damage the plant tissue and cause it to turn brown.
If the brown spots are widespread and severe, it can be a sign that the plant is beyond repair.
Yellowing leaves are another sign of freeze damage. If the leaves of the snake plant turn yellow, it is a sign that the plant is under stress, but usually not beyond fixing.
This stress can be caused by the cold temperature, which can damage the plant tissue and prevent it from absorbing nutrients.
Soft/Mushy Leaf Bases
If the leaf bases of the snake plant feel soft or mushy to the touch, it is a sign that the plant has suffered from freeze damage.
This is one of the easier ways to tell that your Snake plant has been frozen, as the cells become damaged due to the frost and die.
As the plant warms up, any frozen parts will thaw out, and if they have died during freezing, it becomes mushy and soft.
How to Treat Frozen Snake Plants
If you find your snake plant frozen, there are a few steps you can take to help it recover. Here are some tips on how to treat frozen snake plants:
The first thing to do is to change the location of the plant.
Move it to a warmer spot in your home, away from any cold drafts or windows. If the plant is in a pot, place it on a potting tarp to protect your floors.
In terms of temperature, aim for anywhere between 60°F and 80°F (15°C-26°C). Choose a spot with bright, indirect sunlight as well to help promote new growth.
Don’t Remove Any Leaves
It may be tempting to remove any damaged leaves, but it’s best to wait and see if they recover.
Removing leaves can further stress the plant, and since Snake plants are super hardy, you may actually remove leaves that will heal themselves over time.
Snake plants are also succulents and have a lot of water in their leaves, so you can treat them like a regular houseplant where you would remove damaged leaves right away, which would have less impact on the rest of the plant.
Monitor The Plant Over The Next Few Weeks
Over the next few weeks, monitor the plant closely.
Avoid watering at first and simply let the plant get back to a normal condition. If any of the leaves turn black or brown and mushy at the base during this period, these can be removed.
After a week or so, you can check the soil and water it if necessary. By this point, you should have a good idea of whether the plant will survive or not.
If there are signs of new growth then it will likely thrive once more, but if all of the leaves have gone mushy and changed color then there is a very slim chance of revival.
By following these tips, you can help your frozen snake plant recover and thrive again.
How To Prevent Freezing In The Future
To prevent a frozen snake plant from happening in the future, it is important to take some preventive measures. Here are some tips to prevent freezing in the future:
Avoid Exposing The Plant To Freezing Temperatures:
Obviously, the best way to prevent your Snake plant from freezing is not to expose it to freezing temperatures.
Snake plants are tropical plants that thrive in warm temperatures. Exposing them to freezing temperatures can cause permanent damage to the plant.
It is important to keep the plant away from drafty windows, doors, and air conditioning vents during the winter months.
Check The Forecast
It can be easy to get caught out by a particularly bad run of weather, so make sure you are up to date with the weather forecast if you keep your Snake plant outside.
USDA zones 9-11 are suitable for keeping a Snake plant outside year-round, and any other zones will require moving your plant between seasons to protect it from the cold.
Protect The Plant During Transportation
If you are transporting the plant during the winter months, it is important to protect it from freezing temperatures. Wrap the plant in a blanket or bubble wrap to keep it warm during transportation.
By following these preventive measures, you can ensure that your snake plant stays healthy and free from freezing in the future.
Snake plants are very hardy and can usually survive freezing temperatures if you are quick to react to them.
They are succulents, though, which means that their leaves can become very damaged if they are frozen due to how much water they contain. The quicker you react, the better the chance of your plant surviving.
You can check out some of our other snake plant articles below: