Sansevieria, also known as a snake plant or mother-in-law’s tongue, is one of the most popular indoor plants in American homes, in large part because they require very little maintenance compared to your other indoor houseplants. Their fleshy leaves are also described as “succulent” plants, which makes them ideal for people who frequently forget to water their plants or go on frequent trips out of town. But how often to water snake plant?
Snake plant variants typically only need to be watered once every 10 to 14 days or whenever the soil is entirely dry. Therefore, weekly watering is sufficient during the summer. Additionally, a monthly or biweekly watering should be sufficient during the winter. Your snake plant’s location in your house may also have an impact on how frequently it needs to be watered.
No need to worry if you have further queries regarding how frequently to water your snake plant. We’ll cover topics like how frequently to water your plant, the ideal techniques, and more in this extensive guide.
Keep on reading to know more about your lovely Sansevierias!
How Often Should You Water Your Snake Plants?
Among the simplest indoor plants to care for is the snake plant. They truly don’t need much upkeep, and they may go for very long stretches without any watering. And overwatering is actually the main cause of a sick snake plant. It’s also important to note that you should never dampen your snake plant’s leaves. The simplest approach to water it is to just use a watering can with a spouted nozzle.
Your plant will often need more water to stay hydrated if it is situated in an area with lots of sunlight. The plant will often need less water to stay hydrated if it is placed in a shaded or cooler environment.
In the winter, it’s typical to overwater the plant, which can seriously harm the leaves (more on this later). Because it’s really simple to overwater snake plants, always check to see that the soil has completely dried out after each watering.
You might need to water your plant a little more frequently, but still not very frequently, if it receives more sunlight than shade. Additionally, based on the volume of the soil in the pot, a larger pot (as compared to a smaller one) would usually require more water for your plant.
As direct sunlight may be too harsh for the plant’s leaves and may even cause them to burn, indirect sunlight is the ideal lighting condition for a snake plant.
Related: How To Propagate A Snake Plant: What You Need To Know
Steps To Know If Your Snake Plant Is Well-Hydrated
Here are some suggestions to help you design the ideal watering schedule if you’ve just bought a snake plant and are having trouble figuring out whether it’s properly hydrated.
1. Observe Topsoil Darkening And Have A Slight Sheen After Watering
Immediately upon watering your plant, you’ll see that the topsoil has darkened. It could either be black-brown or dark brown, depending on the topsoil type you utilized. Additionally, you’ll observe that right after watering, the soil appears to have a slight sheen, which usually lasts for at least a few seconds.
2. Observe The Color Change In Soil And Press It Down With A Finger
Keep an eye out for the topsoil’s changing color after you’ve watered your snake plant. This often takes between one and two hours. The soil will no longer glisten at this point, but it will still appear darker than it did before the water was applied. You shouldn’t observe any water rising to the surface above your finger if you press down on the soil with your finger.
3. Observe Soil After 1-2 Days
You should see that some sections of the soil are still dark black or brown after anywhere between 24 and 36 hours, while other areas have become a little bit lighter. This is encouraging. The soil shouldn’t have any water lying on top of it, but it should feel damp to the touch if you press your finger into it.
If the top of your soil is still dry, you have not watered the plant enough, and it may require further hydration.
How Do I Water A Snake Plant Properly?
1. Watering Snake Plant Pups
When compared to watering mature Sansevierias, seedlings require slightly different care. The seedlings require a lot of water to keep up with their development spurt because they are still developing and producing new growth more quickly. They do, however, require additional care because they do not yet have a strong root system that enables them to withstand damp weather.
Always keep in mind that it is preferable to water Snake Plant pups sparingly but regularly than to do so heavily but infrequently. You might decide to water your pups once every few days or every day, depending on how dry the soil is. If your plant appears to be in need of water, don’t forget to give it some.
If you only give your plants a little water, they won’t drown. For seedlings, who are more likely to drown, this is particularly crucial. On the other hand, too much water applied all at once can uproot the plant because it lacks a robust root system to anchor it to the ground.
2. Watering Fully Established Snake Plants
When compared to seedlings, mature Snake Plants require a different amount of water. Their roots have already grown thicker and are able to absorb water more quickly. As a result, they receive more water than the young plants, but less frequently. They require the same type of watering as other plants, though. Decide whether they require water by first inspecting the soil.
As previously indicated, different methods of watering are required for fully grown Snake Plants depending on how they were grown, the environment they were grown in, and whether they were planted indoors or outdoors.
To understand more about how to properly water Sansevieria plants, read about each one in the sections below.
Watering Outdoor Snake Plants
Snake plants that are grown outside are frequently more robust than those that thrive indoors. This is due to the fact that they receive more light and air, which also aids in protecting them from various plant issues. Water doesn’t collect on Snake Plants that are grown outside because it evaporates or drains away adequately because of the improved environment.
You can anticipate watering your outdoor plant a couple times per week based on this information. To determine when to water your plant, always look at the top layer of the soil.
Watering Indoor Snake Plants
Since there isn’t as much light inside as there is outside, Snake Plants that are kept in homes or offices don’t need as much water. However, since water doesn’t evaporate easily, they are most likely to get too much water, so extra care is needed.
In addition to checking the surface of the soil often, you can watch your plant to see how healthy it is. If your plant is wilting, it could be because you aren’t watering it enough. Keep track of how you water your plant and how long it takes for the soil to dry out. Remember that you shouldn’t soak your plant for a long time.
Watering Soil-Grown Snake Plants
Landscape Snake Plants don’t require as much watering as those grown in pots since they may draw their moisture from the ground. As they age, especially if they are already well-established, their root systems are effective in drawing water from the soil.
Watering Potted Snake Plants
Because they have less ground to cover when grown in containers as opposed to the ground, potted Snake Plants require more frequent watering. In addition, they require more frequent watering because they only have access to the water contained in their pots.
Related: Yellowing Snake Plants: How To Treat Them and More Information
Common Scenarios That Your Snake Plant Needs More Water
Your plant may occasionally use water more fast than usual, in which case it will need a little more watering. However, remember that this is still a negligible amount in comparison to other indoor plants.
Here are the common scenarios and environmental conditions wherein your Snake Plant will need a bit more of watering than usual:
- if the plant is growing and gets a good amount of indirect sunlight
- if the species of your snake plant is native to swamps or marshes
- if your plant is actively growing and has a lot of leaves
- because of the low humidity or high temperatures, the home atmosphere is dry
- if the plant’s leaves start to get flimsy
Signs Of An Underwatered Snake Plant
- The leaves begin to wilt or dry out.
- The leaves start to lose their leaves faster than they are growing.
- When the leaves seem dark or transparent (especially on the edges)
- The leaves begin to wilt and drop.
Signs Of An Overwatered Snake Plant
- The plant’s leaves seem to be drooping.
- On top of your dirt, you see some moldy spots.
- Fresh leaves are shedding from the plant.
- At times, the plant saucer’s bottom has standing water for extended periods of time.
- Your plant is beginning to smell rotten and foul (especially at the roots)
How To Know When To Reduce Watering
There are, however, instances in which your plant might not need as much water but still be adequately hydrated. The following possibilities are among these:
- If the plant’s surroundings have a high relative humidity (a hygrometer can help to monitor this)
- Right after transplanting the plant
- If the snake plant is normally kept in a cool, shaded area
How Long Can Your Snake Plant Thrive Without Water?
Most snake plants have been reported to survive for up to six weeks without being watered. This will change depending on the environment the plant is in and may take into account elements like the indoor temperature, the quantity of light it receives each day, the humidity within, and the particular species of snake plant.
It’s best to give your plant water at least once a month, especially during the warmer months of the year, to keep it healthy.
Can You Give Your Snake Place Excess Water?
Absolutely, yes! Given their low water needs, snake plants are especially susceptible to
overwatering. The oxygen in the soil will be forced to the surface of the plant’s soil is very wet, which will prevent the roots from accessing it.
Additionally, the plant may develop root rot if there is standing water in the saucer of the pot. Additionally, it can expose it to a number of bacterial and fungal illnesses from dirt. After watering your plants, just remember to empty the plant saucers.
How To Check The Soil Of Your Snake Plant
Simply burying your finger in the soil for two to three inches will allow you to easily determine how moist the soil is for your snake plant. A garden stake is an additional option. After you check your soil, take note of the following conditions:
- Soil Is Still Damp And Moist
If this is the case, water is not currently needed by the plant. Additionally, think about the surroundings in which your plant is situated. These can influence when the plant has to be rewatered, which could be in a few days or a week.
- Soil Is Dry But Fairly Moist Still
You may want to wait another 2 to 3 days before watering this soil because it is a bit dry (but not completely dry). It is preferable to water snake plants later rather than earlier.
- Soil Is Excessively Dry
It probably needs a good watering if you poke your finger in the soil and it is completely dry or impenetrable.
How Does An Overwatered Snake Plant Look Like?
Your snake plant will rapidly alert you if it is receiving too much water. It may be an indication that your plant is getting a little too much water if you see that the tips of your plant are beginning to turn brown or droop low to the ground. Then it can be on the way to being unhealthy.
If the leaves on your plant start to become mushy or have a soggy sensation when you crush them, that may be another indication that it is getting too much water. For a week or two, reduce watering sessions if the leaves are soggy and keep an eye on the soil.
Before your next watering, let it dry out for a while so that your snake plant can recover and the extra water can drain.
Other Things You Must Consider In Watering Snake Plants
There are numerous considerations to be made when watering Sansevierias, as we’ve already explained. The amount of water your plant needs depends greatly on the weather, light, space, and season. We’ll learn more about each of the factors listed below.
1. Weather Conditions
The amount of water that plants require ultimately depends on the weather. You might want to water your plant more frequently when the sun is out. On the other side, you don’t really need to water your plant when it’s raining or foggy because there is enough of water there, and it doesn’t evaporate as quickly.
Actually, you need to exercise more caution when it’s raining or gloomy because your plants are more likely to receive too much water.
2. Light Conditions
Depending on how much light a Snake plant receives, varying amounts of water are required. Compared to plants cultivated in low light, those grown in full sun will dry out more quickly. Therefore, those who receive more light require more water.
3. Spacing Between Other Plants
Sansevieria plants have to compete more for water and nutrients when they are planted so closely together. As a result, they compete with one another more fiercely the closer they are near one another. Water runs out more quickly as a result, and replacements are required more frequently.
4. Season Changes
Weather and seasonal variations have a significant impact on how much water your Snake Plants require. For example, your plants require substantially different amounts of water in the spring and summer compared to the fall and winter.
When your plants are actively developing, which is typically in the spring and summer, they require more water. But in the fall and winter, when it gets colder, you might only need to water your plants once a week.
Some Tips In Watering Snake Plants
Here are some instructions on how to water Snake Plants so that you can properly look after them.
- Wilting Snake Plants May Be Caused By Either Too Little Or Too Much Water
Remember that wilting doesn’t necessarily indicate that there isn’t enough water. The majority of the time, overwatering causes plants to wilt. Check to see how dry or damp the soil is before deciding what to do about your wily plant.
- Fertilization Problems May Be The Cause Of Wilting Snake Plants
Your plant may not actually require extra water if it is wilting and appears more yellow than brown. Instead, it could be brought on by a deficiency in nutrition. To remedy this, feed your plant frequently with a balanced fertilizer. Once every month, you can feed your plants.
- Make Certain Your Plant Has Adequate Drainage
Make sure the Snake Plants you cultivate in pots or other containers have a method for the water to drain. Verify that the pots or holes have enough drainage holes. Check the soil’s lightness and aeration as well. Heavy and compacted soil is more prone to becoming flooded.
Read this article about choosing the best pots for your Snake Plants here to know more about proper plant potting.
- Your Plant May Require Repotting
You should change your plant to a better pot with potting soil that drains better and has more air holes if you discover that the soil doesn’t drain well and stays damp. Select a fresh soil mixture that allows your plants’ roots to breathe, especially if it is already pot-bound.
Additionally, if you discover that your plant requires more frequent watering than usual, repotting snake plants in a larger container may be necessary since it may have grown root-bound and requires more space to spread.
Read a more in-depth discussion of Snake Plant repotting.
Related: Potting Snake Plants: The Best Pots For Growing Your Sansevierias
Not just for Snake Plants, but for all plants, watering is crucial because it is also extremely simple to go wrong with it. There are several considerations to make, and doing it incorrectly can seriously harm your plant.
We hope that this article has given you a wealth of knowledge regarding the best ways to water your plants, especially if this is your first snake plant.
There are many other varieties of Snake Plants out there just like your famous Cylindrical Snake Plant. If you are interested to know more about them and Snake Plant Care, you can read our list of rare snake plants and the common problems you can encounter with these plants.
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