How Much to Water Snake Plant (Care Guide & Tips)

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Let’s talk about a true gem of the indoor plant world – the snake plant, scientifically known as Dracaena trifasciata or Sansevieria trifasciata.

You might have heard it go by both names, but don’t worry; it’s the same hardy plant we’re talking about!

You may have also heard it referred to as “mother-in-law’s tongue,” a name given due to its sharp, pointed leaves that bear a resemblance to a sharp tongue.

With its air-purifying superpowers, low maintenance needs, and stunning appearance, the snake plant has won the hearts of countless indoor gardening aficionados.

Whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned green thumb, these resilient and adaptable indoor plants are a must-have for your indoor oasis. If you are a new owner of a Sansevieria plant, you may be trying to figure out how much water snake plants need. 

In this post, we’ll delve into the secrets of creating the perfect watering schedule that suits your snake plant.

how much to water snake plant

How Much to Water Snake Plant 

Caring for your snake plants may seem like a breeze, but when it comes to watering requirements, things can get a bit tricky.

Different factors play a significant role in determining how much water your snake plant needs, and striking the right balance is vital to avoid issues like root rot and overwatering.

So, where do you begin? Let’s dive into the essential aspects of snake plant watering and equip you with all the knowledge you need for successful plant care.

Check the Soil Surface: Before you pour even a little water into your plant’s home, always inspect the soil surface. Use the finger test to feel for soggy soil.

If it’s dry to the touch, take that as a sign that your plant could use a little bit of water.

You can even use the trusty “stick method” – insert a stick to the bottom of the pot; if it comes out dry, your snake plant needs some hydration. 

Another way to be sure about the amount of water your house plants hold on the surface of the soil is to use a soil moisture meter.

These meters are a good choice for checking the potting soil for too much moisture. Using a meter is a good idea for checking for excess water at the top of the soil as well as at the base of the plant. 

sansevieria trifasciata care

Choosing the Right Pot for a Snake Plant

Let’s dive into the art of picking the perfect pot for your cherished snake plant! Believe me, this is crucial for its overall health and growth. Check out these helpful tips and factors to make the best choice:

Size of Pot

Size of Pot:  The size of the pot is an important factor for several reasons. First off, a golden rule is to go for a pot that’s about one to two inches larger in diameter than the current one.

The best practice is to go with a small pot because the thick leaves like to be crowded. Large pots that are too big, put your plants at risk of overwatering and stunting growth so a good rule of thumb is to choose a pot slightly bigger than the pot size the new plant came in from the store. 

Drainage is Important

Drainage: Drainage holes are a must, especially with a larger pot! Snake plants hate sitting in waterlogged soil, so let’s avoid root rot and water-related troubles by ensuring proper drainage. 

So keep this in mind when choosing a pot to make sure every snake plant need is met. 

Consider the Material

Type of Pot: While there isn’t really a right or wrong when it comes to the material or pot type, there are some simple things to keep in mind when choosing a home for your plant. You’ve got two main options to choose from: terracotta and plastic. 

Unglazed terracotta pots are porous which means that they absorb water. This is great for those times when you add extra water because it will evaporate instead of leading to an overwatered snake plant. If you are worried that your plant is not getting enough water, you can use a plant saucer to collect extra water below the plant. 

On the other hand, plastic pots retain moisture which means that if you add a lot of water to a plastic pot, you run the risk of your snake plant sitting in water for a long time. 

Consider your watering habits and your plant’s moisture needs when choosing between the two types of pots. Also, be sure to check out this post sharing the best fertilizer for snake plant care

how much to water snake plant

Best Type of Soil for Snake Plants

When choosing a potting mix for your snake plant opt for fast-draining and slightly acidic soil. Look for a pH range between 5.5 to 7.5 for that perfect balance.

When selecting the ideal soil mix,  the best way to ensure good drainage is to choose a combo of peat moss, perlite, and vermiculite.

Trust me, this trifecta creates a well-draining soil that is a game-changer for our snake plant’s well-being.

The soil type is not the only important thing to keep in mind, the source of soil is also important. Remember to use fresh soil rather than digging up soil from your backyard to avoid pests and diseases that will attack your snake plant’s fleshy leaves and root ball.

If fungus gnats are a problem in your home check out this post that shares how to get rid of fungus gnats. 

Snake plants can actually grow without any dry soil but this is usually reserved for propagating new plants. It’s essential to remember that they can’t sustain themselves in this environment indefinitely. 

While water propagation is an excellent method for propagating new plants, mature varieties of snake plants are best suited for soil-based growth.

mother in laws tongue plant

Choosing a Location for a Snake Plant

There are various factors to consider when placing your snake plant in its forever home. Environmental Factors such as humidity levels and how much light an area gets should be considered.

Some areas of your home may have warmer temperatures in the winter months and experience dry conditions that can impact the water loss of your snake plant.

These tropical plants are native to Southern Africa so they are used to dry air.  

There is no need to mist the plant’s leaves, in fact, it is not recommended as this could lead to mold growth.

If your home is especially dry, you may want to consider picking up a small humidifier to correct any moisture problems. This is usually not an issue in the Summer months, during peak growing season, it is usually a concern in the Winter. 

Spider mites thrive in dry and dusty environments so when the humidity levels drop, especially during the warmer months, it creates an ideal environment for these pests to multiply rapidly.

Monitoring the humidity levels in your home is a great way to prevent these issues, a simple hygrometer makes a great addition to your gardening tool kit.

Consider Light Conditions

Snake plants are highly adaptable to light conditions, thriving in low to bright indirect sunlight. Although they prefer moderate to bright light, it’s best to shield them from intense sunlight to avoid scorching their leaves.

They can handle low light, but their growth may be slower without the right amount of light. Ideal locations include spots with bright indirect light or a few hours of filtered sunlight daily, like a north-facing window or a few feet away from an east or west-facing window. 

Remember, most snake plant varieties are tough plants which allows them to withstand different light levels, making them a fantastic choice for various environments.

how much to water snake plant

How Often to Water Snake Plants 

While the soil type, pot size, and location of your snake plant will help you determine a watering schedule, there is a general rule about when to water a snake plant.

The best time to add a little tap water to your plants is when the soil is dry.

There is no rule about frequent watering if your plant is requiring more water, pour water in there! If your plant requires less water, don’t pour water in there, it is really that simple. 

Although it can be tricky to make a schedule when considering the different environmental factors that come into play.

I have found that there is no exact rule that can be applied to all snake plants. I have one type of snake plant in my kitchen that needs more water than another one of the same type in a different part of my house.

The pot, soil, and variety are all the same but the moisture in the two rooms is different and one gets more sunlight than the other. These factors need to be considered when planning a watering schedule for a snake plant. 

how much to water snake plant

Indicators of Snake Plant Watering Issues

Let’s talk about how to tell if our snake plants are getting enough water. You may notice signs that your snake plant isn’t thriving by its appearance.

You may also notice that your snake plant isn’t growing at a normal rate.

If you want to know the answer to the common question, how fast does a snake plant grow, be sure to check out this article with more snake plant care tips. 

What are the Signs of an Overwatered Snake Plant? 

Not Enough Water: If you touch the soil and it feels super dry, this could mean that the plant needs to be watered. Look out for wrinkled, curling, crunchy, brown spots, or falling leaves – those are signs it’s thirsty. 

Not So Fun Fact: Insufficient watering reduces the natural defenses of snake plants, making them more prone to pest infestations like spider mites, mealybugs, and scale insects.

What are the Signs of an Underwatered Snake Plant? 

Too much water: On the flip side, if you’ve been watering too much this could lead to yellow leaves or even worse, mushy leaves. Watch out for water pooling in the pot, brown roots, or mold on the soil. Too much water is bad for the plant.

Not So Fun Fact: Overwatering can make all the leaves fall off at once! The key is to find the right balance – not too dry, not too wet. Keep an eye on your snake plant’s water needs to keep it happy and healthy.

houseplant care guide

How to Propagate Snake Plants in Soil

The first step to a successful propagation is to choose healthy leaves with no signs of damage or disease. Using a sharp pair of scissors make a clean cut right at the base of the plant.

After removing from the soil, it is best to allow the tip of the cutting to dry out for a day or two to prevent rot.

Fill a pot with a good soil mix (see above) and push through a small hole in the soil with your finger or a pencil and gently insert the cut end of the leaf into the hole.

Make sure that the calloused end is facing downward and that the leaf is planted securely in the well-draining soil. After planting your cutting, be sure to water the soil, making it slightly damp. 

Place the new plant in a nice spot with indirect sunlight while you wait for your leaf to develop roots. 

Once the new plantlet has grown a few inches tall, it will have established strong roots, and you can now transplant it into a separate pot.

Be sure to maintain a moderate level of soil moisture during the whole propagation process.

how much to water snake plant

How to Propagate Snake Plants in Water

Just like propagating snake plants in soil, the first step is to choose healthy leaves with no signs of damage or disease. Use a sharp pair of scissors to make a clean cut at the base of the plant.

Even though you are propagating the snake plant in water it is still recommended to allow the plant to dry out for a day or two before submerging the roots in water. 

If possible, choose a container that is clear for best results because this will allow you to see the root growth and monitor the status of the propagation. 

Once the roots form, you can transplant your snake plant baby into the soil and care for the plant as you would with other well-established snake plants. 

I hope this post has helped your snake plants thrive. Be sure to sign up for the free newsletter and follow along on social media so you never miss another plant care guide again. 

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The Hobby Wife

The Hobby Wife

Greenhouse and backyard gardener, devoted homemaker, and passionate recipe creator. My journey through life revolves around my unwavering love for food and travel. As a passionate cook, I blend my garden's bounty with culinary finesse and inspiration from my travels. From farm-to-table homestyle dishes to copycat recipes that offer something unique, my kitchen is a canvas where flavors harmonize and ingredients tell stories.

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