The most common problems with growing snake plants occur due to overwatering. This article should help you finetune your watering routine.
In the wild, snake plants prefer loose, well-draining soil. It rarely has wet roots. To keep the plant happy in your home, you should aim to achieve these conditions.
How often should I water my snake plant?
Depending on your home environment, humidity, soil types, pot size, etc.. the watering schedule can be anywhere between every 3-8 weeks, as long as you touch and make sure the top soil layer is dry before you water.
Choose a pot that allows water to soak away easily – a porous, terracotta pot with a hole on the bottom should be ideal. This means the roots never have to be submerged in water. After watering, check to see if any water has pooled beneath the pot or into a catch plate. Ensure that you remove this water about half an hour after each watering session.
Thoroughly soak the soil each time you water. Ideally, excess water should stream through the pot’s bottom hole. Try to mimic how a rainstorm would completely soak the soil. This way, you can make sure that the root ball, and not just the topsoil, has been drenched.
Before the next watering session, make sure that the top few inches of soil have completely dried out. Keep in mind that watering frequency will vary according to ambient temperatures. This means that your plant will need to be watered more in summer and less in winter.
It’s always a good idea to manually check for dry soil. If you’re in doubt about the dryness of the soil, it may be better to hold off for another day or two.
How do I know if my snake plant is overwatered?
Some signs of overwatered snake plants are:
- The sides of the leaves turn yellow or start browning at the edges.
- The texture of the leaves turns slightly soggy. The decorative leaves should normally feel quite hard and tough.
- Root rot is common with over-watered plants. Gently dig at the base with a finger or a chopstick. Do the roots smell or seem soggy? If the roots are brown or black and not a healthy, creamy shade of white, then stop watering completely and allow the soil to dry out. Transfer your pot to a sunny area or provide more ventilation if necessary.
How do I fix an overwatered snake plant?
The most important thing to do to save an overwatered snake plant is to stop watering. Follow the tips below to fix this issue:
- Carefully, dig your plant out of its pot, remove excess soil, and allow it to dry out completely on a sheet of paper or cloth.
- Carefully prune any roots that are brown and unhealthy. Clean the cutters each time you cut to avoid spreading disease.
- Check the drainage. Keep an eye out for stones or masses that are blocking a drainage hole. Remove any obstacles you may find.
- Choose suitable soil – see more details in Soil.
- You will likely have to re-pot the whole plant to allow it to recover.
- If the plant has outgrown the pot, this may be the ideal time to divide the roots and start again.
- If you can spare some leaves that look healthy, snip them off now so that you have some extra leaf cuttings to work with later on. These will come in handy in case the plant becomes damaged once more.
- See the snake plant propagation guide for how to make leaf cuttings and root divisions.
- Now, place the repotted plant in a brighter area and reduce your watering frequency.