Is this the start of bacteria rot on my snake plant?

Lisa K
July 11, 2019
last modified: July 11, 2019


This is my first sanseveria and I recently noticed this brown bubble form on the tip of one of the leaves. I've tried looking up what it could be and think it may be the beginnings of "Bacterial Soft Rot". I was hoping to see if anyone could help me identify this for sure. Also, what is the best thing to do when this happens? I did take a damp paper towel and dusted off the leaves, is that a bad way to clean them? (I'm wondering if small droplets were left behind and damaged the leaves?)

Plant history:

Purchased in late May. It is in between two windows in a corner. It is about 4 feet away from the east window and about 6 feet from the southern window. I'm in Pennsylvania.

I don't have any shear curtains just black-out blinds that I lift up during the day. Sometimes for a short while, the sun can shine directly on the plant. (Is that an absolute no-no?)

I've waited for the peat moss (what it was planted in when I bought it) to dry out completely before watering. I've watered on average every 4 weeks. I was concerned about it sitting in peat so I researched what people recommended to plant in. Many different opinions. I was very interested in buying Bonsai Jack's Gritty Mix 111 but I didn't have the guts to plant the snake plant completely in it. I was afraid I would feel the need to water it too frequently and I'd kill it. I ended up putting it back in it's cleaned 6-inch nursery pot with:

28 ounces Bonsai Jack Gritty Mix 111

14 ounces Coast of Maine Bar Harbor Blend Premium Potting Mix

2 ounces Horticultural Charcoal (I've heard that the snake plants love an acidic medium and the charcoal is purifying, but don't use too much.)

2 ounces of Horticultural sand (some people say snake plants love it, some say it will kill it.)

1 tablespoon of earthworm castings

I mixed this up and put it back in it's cleaned nursery pot. A lot of its white roots snapped off even though I was as gentle as possible removing the soil. The picture is what it looked like after. I made the top inch and a half just the Bonsai Gritty Mix but all the roots are in the mixture I made below the gritty mix.

I watered it after re-potting and touched the gritty mix the next day. It felt completely dry even though I know it's impossible for the whole pot to dry out. I did the chopstick test and the bottom 2 inches came out with damp soil and the 2 inches above that were just damp. I, of course, haven't watered it again since re-potting a few days ago. I think I will continue to water around once a month, but I'm not sure if that's the right thing to do in the partial gritty mix.

I'm interested to hear peoples perspectives. Is my plant getting sick? Thank you for reading this.

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