I’ve been growing snake plants for two decades now. Watering a sansevieria plant is the most crucial element to master. It helps reduce the risk of snake plant leaves turning yellow and brown due to inappropriate watering routines.
So, how often should I water my snake plant? Water the snake plant when 2-3 inches of topsoil feels dry. Weekly watering is ideal during hot summer months and monthly watering options during cold winter months.
Watering snake plants depend on humidity, light, and temperature levels. Other relevant factors to consider are pot type and size. Understanding these hidden factors will make your snake plant care routine look easier.
The information in this article covers everything that affects the snake plant watering regime. You’ll also learn the golden rules of watering and other relevant snake plant care tips. Take the time to read from the beginning to the end.
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How to Tell If Snake Plant Needs Water
Snake plant (Sansevieria) prefers fertile and well-draining potting soil to thrive well. The potting mix should also retain moderate moisture to keep the plant happy and healthy.
Improper watering routine can put your snake plant in many troubles. It would be best to know if your snake plant needs water or not to avoid these problems.
The following factors will help you learn how to tell if a snake plant needs water or not. Take the time to read through each section to keep your snake plant happy.
Topsoil Touch Test
Poke the index finger in 2-3 inches of topsoil to feel the moisture content. It is the simplest and most accurate method for knowing when to water the snake plant.
Soak the soil if 2-3 inches feel dry. It will help to rehydrate the houseplant and combat the leaves’ curling or drooping problems.
Another excellent option is to push the wooden skewer into the soil about 2-3 inches. If it comes out without soil attached, it is time to water.
Potting Soil Color
Damp soil is usually darker than dry soil. Investigate the potting soil to get an idea of whether it is wet or dry. But this method does not give an exact idea about soil wetness deep down the pot.
The soil surface might be dry while the deep down is damp. Dealing with an overwatered snake plant is a daunting and intimidating experience.
Snake Plant Leaves Drooping and Wilting
The appearance of snake plant leaves will give an exact hint on watering needs. Undertake the soil moisture content test if the leaves start wilting and becoming soft.
Allow the potting soil to dry if you have an overwatered snake plant before watering again. If the snake plant is wilting, it is a sign of under-watering. Soak the potting soil to resolve the issue.
Snake Plant Leaves Turning Brown or Yellow
An overwatered snake plant will experience leaves turning brown and yellow. It is due to the root rot problem that inhibits the supply of water and nutrients around the plant.
Remove the plant from the pot and allow it to dry before re-potting. Use fresh potting mix and a pot with drainage holes at the bottom.
Brown Leaf Tips on Snake Plant
The under-watered snake plant has brown leaf tips and edges. These brown spots on the tips and edges will spread due to insufficient water for transporting nutrients to other parts.
Soak the potting soil with distilled water or rainwater to resolve the problem. It helps to rehydrate the snake plant and foster healthy growth.
Snake Plant Leaves Wrinkling
Leaves wrinkling are a sign of under-watering. It is the earliest symptom for telling if your snake plant needs water. Be sure to investigate the plant further to rule out other related issues.
The Pot Weight
The weight of the pot also offers an accurate method for determining if the snake plant needs water. A lighter pot indicates dry soil, and a heavy pot implies moist soil.
Soil Moisture Meter
The device provides accurate readings about the soil moisture levels. Low readings imply a lack of moisture and vice versa.
How to Water a Snake Plant (Step-by-Step Guide)
Mastering how to water a snake plant is a crucial element. Watering a sansevieria plant is a non-brainer task regardless of an individual experience. Below are two basic methods to consider:
Step 1: Water from the Top
Use a watering jug to pour water onto the soil surface from the top. Stand the pot in the sink or basin and pour water until the excess drain through the drainage holes.
Aim the water onto the soil surface and not on the leaves. Excess water will drain via the drainage holes at the bottom of the pots.
Step 2: Submerge the Pot in a Basin with Water
Submerging the pot in a basin containing water is an alternative method to step one. The process tends to soak the potting soil without wetting the leaves.
Allow the pot to sit on the sink overnight to drain excess water. I recommend this method since it reduces the risk of wetting the houseplant leaves.
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Factors that Determine Watering Snake Plant Frequency
Snake Plant Health
Unhealthy snake plants with root rot, brown spots, and leaves turning yellow need less watering frequency besides the treatment plan.
Plant diseases slow down physiological activities that force the snake plant to consume less water. Always reduce the watering frequency when your snake plant is sick.
A large pot will create adequate space for the snake plant root ball. The large airspaces between the soil particles will hold more moisture.
Some parts of the potting soil will not cover the roots leading to an increased risk of overwatering. I recommend using a tight pot to grow your snake plant.
Minimize the watering frequency when using large pots since the snake plant hates sitting in a damp environment. A soggy condition will cause root rot and even kill the houseplant.
The type of pot will determine the amount of water for your snake plant. A terracotta pot is porous and will facilitate faster water loss through the walls.
Glazed or plastic pots do not experience water loss through the walls. Reduce the watering frequency to avoid potting soil from getting soggy.
Snake Plant Size
Juvenile snake plants utilize less water compared to their mature counterparts. The large snake plant loses more water through the leaves. It will require relatively more watering frequency.
Potting Mix Type
Snake plants thrive in fertile and well-draining potting soil. The cactus mix is minimal water retention features. More watering frequency will help to recover the water loss via the leaves.
Snake Plant Location
Snake plant prefers bright indirect sunlight to thrive well. The natural light will foster higher evaporation rate. It means that the snake plant will need more water to stay hydrated and happy.
Indoor Humidity Levels
Dry air around the snake plant will cause more struggle. Besides that, it will become susceptible to diseases when humidity is high.
Increase the watering frequency when the indoor humidity level is low. It will help to keep the plant hydrated and happy throughout the year.
Extreme Temperature Changes
Snake plants thrive under a temperature range of 55-85oF (13-30oC). Any temperature below 50oF (10oC) will make the snake plant droopy and unhappy.
Water your snake plant more often when the temperatures are too high. It will help to compensate for the amount of water loss due to high temperatures.
Indoor plants respond to weather and season changes. Snake plants use more water during spring and summer due to vegetative growth.
Reduce the watering frequency during late fall and winter due to the dormancy effect. Snake plants will utilize less water and experience no growth during this season.
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Watering a snake plant is a no-brainer task. The golden rule is to investigate the potting soil and determine the moisture content level.
Soak the soil if the 2-3 inches of topsoil feels dry. But the watering frequency will depend on seasons, temperatures, and humidity levels.
I hope this article will be helpful and clear all the confusion regarding watering snake plants. It would be best to share this snake plant watering guide with other houseplant enthusiasts.