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Why Your Cylindrical Snake Plant Is Growing Sideways

Updated: April 25, 2022

Snake plants are one of the easiest and most popular houseplants to care for. They are known for their air-purifying qualities, low-maintenance nature, and ability to thrive in a variety of lighting conditions. The cylindrical snake plant, in particular, is a unique variation of the traditional snake plant with tall, slender leaves that grow vertically. However, if you notice your cylindrical snake plant growing sideways, there may be a few reasons why.

Insufficient Lighting

One of the main reasons why your cylindrical snake plant is growing sideways could be due to insufficient lighting. Snake plants are known for being able to tolerate low light conditions, but they still need some bright, indirect light to grow properly. If your plant is not getting enough light, it will start to lean towards the source of light.

To fix this issue, try moving your snake plant to an area with more natural light or supplementing it with artificial light. Make sure not to place it in direct sunlight as this can burn the leaves and cause damage.

Uneven Watering

Another reason why your cylindrical snake plant may be growing sideways is due to uneven watering. It is important to water your snake plant thoroughly but allow the soil to dry out between waterings. If you are watering too much or too little, it can lead to root rot or dehydration, which can cause the plant to wilt and lean over.

To fix this issue, check the soil before watering and ensure that it is dry at least an inch deep before watering again. Also, make sure that the pot has proper drainage holes to prevent water from sitting in the bottom of the pot.

Imbalanced Fertilization

Fertilizing your snake plant is important for its growth and development, but too much or too little can cause issues such as sideways growth. Over-fertilization can lead to salt buildup in the soil, which can cause root damage and nutrient imbalances.

To fix this issue, make sure to fertilize your snake plant according to the instructions on the fertilizer package. Use a balanced fertilizer with equal parts nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. Additionally, consider using a fertilizer that is formulated specifically for snake plants.

Pot-Bound Roots

Pot-bound roots occur when the roots of the plant outgrow the container they are in, causing them to become congested and tangled. When this happens, the plant may start to grow sideways as it searches for more space to grow.

To fix this issue, it may be time to repot your snake plant into a larger container. Choose a pot that is about one size larger than the current pot and make sure it has proper drainage holes. Gently loosen the roots and add fresh soil to the new container.

Pests or Diseases

Finally, pests or diseases can also cause your cylindrical snake plant to grow sideways. Spider mites and mealybugs are common pests that can cause damage to the leaves and stems, leading to distorted growth. Diseases such as root rot or leaf spot can also cause your plant to wilt and lean over.

To fix this issue, inspect your plant regularly for signs of pests or diseases. If you notice anything unusual, quarantine the plant and treat it accordingly. Use organic pest control methods or consult with a professional if necessary.


Can I propagate my cylindrical snake plant if it’s growing sideways?
Yes! You can propagate snake plants by cutting off a healthy leaf and placing it in water or soil until new roots form.

How often should I fertilize my snake plant?
Fertilize your snake plant once every 2-3 months during the growing season (spring and summer) with a balanced fertilizer.

Can I grow a cylindrical snake plant outdoors?
Cylindrical snake plants can be grown outdoors in warm, humid climates with well-draining soil and partial shade.

How do I know if my snake plant needs to be repotted?
If you notice roots growing out of the drainage holes, or the plant is top-heavy and leaning over, it may be time to repot your snake plant.

In conclusion, there are several reasons why your cylindrical snake plant may be growing sideways. By identifying the cause and taking appropriate action, you can help your plant grow tall and healthy again. Remember to provide proper lighting, watering, fertilization, and potting conditions for your snake plant to thrive.

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