Overwatered snake plant
Snake plant or Sansevieria trifasciata are a popular choice as an indoor houseplant. While these plants require little maintenance, being over watered appears to be the major problem with these species. Overwatering a plant does not indicate that you drenched it too much; it just means that it is staying wet for too long. This is a common problem with snake plants because they don’t have a proper drainage system. When the soil is allowed to stay in water for too long, the snake plants become prone to root rot. The root system of any plant must be kept healthy if you are to be able to grow a healthy plant. To achieve this, you must fix any current problems now before they cause permanent damage to the snake plant. Let’s discuss the signs of overwatering and how to save it.
Symptoms of overwatering
Snake plants will show signs if they have been overwatered. The confusing thing is the same symptom can indicate several things. As an example, it can sometimes be difficult to distinguish between the signs of over- and under-watering. The good news is that there is more than one warning sign to watch out for. By spotting all of the signals, you will be able to accurately diagnose and treat your plants.
Dampness of soil
Checking the soil dampness 4-5 days after watering the plant or just before it typically gets watered can help you find out whether the plant is receiving more than it needs. You can easily check this by sticking your finger 1-2 inches deep into the soil. If the soil there still feels damp, there is excess moisture. The amount of moisture in the soil can also be measured by an electronic moisture meter. If you water your plant when it is still wet, this is a clear sign of over-watering. Also, if the soil is really moist and stinky, you need to transplant the plant right away to save it.
Appearance of the leaves
A snake plant’s leaves will be the first to show overwatering. Snake plants depend on succulent leaves, rhizomes, and roots that store water. When a plant gets extra water, it holds it in the leaves. Slowly, the leaves start turning yellow and shriveled. When the leaves become too soggy, it will start rotting. Green patches can be present, or the whole body can turn yellowish. Although there are many reasons why snake plants become yellow, overwatered leaves can be identified by their soft, pulpy appearance.
After a while, they start to bend and fall to the ground. Oldest leaves are more prone to turning yellow first. When snake plant leaves become droopy, it may mean the plant is being overwatered. If the decay is already advanced, you may also be able to smell a bad odor emanating from the leaves.
Rotting roots underneath the upper soil surface are often associated with yellow leaves caused by overwatering. If your plant is in wet or soggy conditions, it is susceptible to root rot. The best way to confirm this is to remove your potted snake plant and look at the roots. Keeping the roots checked will help you determine whether or not the root system is damaged.
Rotten roots have dark brownish parts on them which gives them a yellow or white color. When the roots are decaying, they feel soft and mushy. Stinking bad smells are another sure sign that the roots are being damaged as a result of overwatering.
Fungus or mold on soil
Wet foliage is much more likely to develop mold than dry leaves, and overwatering can result in fungus, soil mold, and root rot. In many cases, fungal infections manifest themselves in rosette leaves near the middle of the plant. Sometimes, the stem will also become infested. There are two types of fungal problems that most commonly affect snake plants: Red leaf spot and southern blight. A red spot on a leaf or a white cottony web on the soil is an easy way to tell which species is attacking.
Identifying the cause
When you realize that your snake plant is overwatered, then the next step is to try and determine the cause of the overwatering and if it couldn’t be fixed, then you need a replacement snake plant. There are a lot of elements you can relate to your own plants while using this website. Things such as the temperature the plant has been kept at would be helpful to know. The area may not be as bright as it should be, or a draft may be present. Here are some possible causes for an overwatered snake plant.
Watering too frequently
I think one of the main causes of this problem is the fact that you have watered the plants too often. It means that they are getting water when they really do not need it. Sansevierias are drought-tolerant plants and do not require frequent watering. Usually snake plants require watering every 2 weeks during the warmer months.
Before every watering, the top layer of soil should be completely dry. Using a finger to test the soil is a good way to determine if the soil is dry or if it is wet. Plants that are in-ground are also much less likely to over water. However, plants should not be in water standing for long periods of time.
Rich and heavy soil
There are several factors that may cause water retention, including dense soil that does not drain well enough. Snake plants require gritty and well-draining soil. The absolute worst thing for Sansevieria-type succulents is to use regular garden soil without any additives. Make sure you use the right potting mix for your plant. The text on the package usually includes the composition of the soil. A hardy soil is mostly rich and dark colored and takes a long time for the water to pass through.
You can also check if the water drains out well by picking the whole pot and weighing it. If the soil is extremely heavy, the water may have not been drained properly and the plant may need to be repotted.
Large pot size
A large pot means extra soil and extra moisture. Planting mother in law’s tongue in an appropriately sized container is recommended. When you have a small plant in a pot too big for its needs, the water just won’t dry rapidly: what that does is cause the soil at its roots to remain moist for too long. That results in overwatering.
Too little sunlight
Sunlight can evaporate some water through the soil surface of a snake plant if it has not been getting much sun on it. Plants grow more rapidly in places that receive more sunlight, which needs more water and nutrients. Terracotta is one material with a large surface area that makes it a great choice for heat-loving plants.
Plants that are in low light conditions need comparatively less water. Snake plants will survive in dim light provided they are not overwatered or overfed.
Due to low light situations as well as cold temperatures, Sansevieria plants require little water during the winter. The snake plant is in the vegetative phase during cold weather and does not grow much. Therefore, during the winter, it does not need much feeding and watering.
In the winter time, it’s beneficial to water as little as possible. Once a month should do the trick.
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