One of the most important things to know if you want to provide excellent snake plant care is knowing how to water a snake plant.
Luckily, it’s fairly easy to water properly, as snakes are very hardy and easy-to-grow houseplants, perfect for beginners.
Snake plants, also known as Sansevieria or mother-in-law’s tongue, are drought-tolerant plants, which means they can go quite some time without water before problems arise.
It’s mainly about excess water that you need to be aware of when watering a snake plant, which is a common problem among novice plant care enthusiasts.
So if you’re wondering how to properly water your snake plant, how often, etc., these are the most important things to know.
How to water a snake plant
Snakes like lots of water, but they don’t like to be constantly wet or have standing water, as this can cause root rot in these plants.
Instead, snake plants like to be soaked when they water, then dry out completely before giving another drink.
Remember to soak and dry.
You can use rainwater, filtered water, or any other clean water to properly hydrate this hardy plant.
Remember that you should soak your snake plant well until the water runs through the drainage holes in your container (ideally use drainage holes), then wait for the soil to dry completely before water again.
If you’re not sure if the soil is dry enough, touch the top of the soil and if it feels dry, you can water.
If the soil is still moist in the top 2 inches of soil, wait for it to dry out.
How long does this process take?
There are several factors such as temperature, soil type and whether your snake plant is dormant or not.
Remember that when it comes to watering snake plants, since they are drought tolerant, it is better to flood the plant than to overwater it, as it is a much easier solution and this will help prevent root rot.
If you’re wondering what root rot is or how to treat it, check out my article on root rot in snakes and how to save it.
How often should I water my snake plant?
How often you water snake plants really depends on a number of things, like weather, temperature, the type of soil (drainage) you have, and the current season.
In any case, remember to water only when the soil is completely dry, so it’s not always a fixed schedule.
That being said, you can expect to water once every 10 days in spring and summer and only once a month in late fall or early winter when your snake plant is dormant ( not actively growing).
If you don’t feel like digging your finger into the ground every time you try to decide if it’s time to water, you can always use an inexpensive moisture meter to help.
What does a thirsty snake plant look like?
In addition to very dry soil, there are a few signs you can look for to determine if your snake plant is in urgent need of water.
If your snake plant’s leaves are curling, it’s a major sign that the plant needs water, as curled leaves indicate that it’s trying to retain as much moisture as possible.
You may also notice the leaves become dry, crunchy, or turn brown if the dehydration lasts too long.
I know you don’t want to see your snake struggling, so water it right away.
Don’t overdo it and try to overcompensate with constant watering after a dry spell, as this can stress the plant.
Instead, just continue the regular watering habits learned above and your snake plant will thank you as it grows taller and looks great.
How do you know if you are watering too much?
If you’re worried about overwatering a snake plant, there are a few signs to look for so you can quickly reduce watering or stop until it dries out.
If your snake plant is limp (bent, droopy, etc.), that’s an early sign that you’re overwatering and should cut back on watering for now.
Another major sign that you have overwatered is yellowing of the leaves of your snake plant, which usually occurs after fall as overwatering takes longer.
You may also see brown leaf tips on your Sansevieria along with the leaves turning yellow.
These are warning signs that you have overwatered or that the soil is not draining as it should.
Sometimes it’s a combination.
Either way, if you notice yellow leaves, you should look at the roots to check for root rot, as it’s not something you can ignore.
If the roots smell bad, crumble easily, or are dark and mushy, you should prune away the discolored leaves, diseased roots, and transplant your snake plant into a new container of fresh soil.
Is it okay to water a snake plant?
You can water a snake plant in the ground, this will actually prevent water from getting on the leaves which, if left undried, can develop fungal spores.
To water your Sansevieria at the bottom, you will need a shallow tray, sink, tub, or anything that can hold enough water to reach your plant, and of course drainage holes. .
So choose your source of water retention and place your Snake Planter on it far enough away that only the drainage holes are exposed to water.
Now let it sit for 10-15 minutes and you’re done.
Now you know everything there really is to know about how to water a snake plant properly, so you can provide adequate hydration with the least chance of trouble.
As always, I hope I have helped you further your knowledge of snake plants and thank you for reading.
So have fun, and I hope you continue to cultivate your snake for many years to come!