Not addressing underwatering in a timely manner can cause plants to die. Too much moisture causes snake plants to lose their beauty, with leaves drooping and changing color. Snake plants that have been submerged underwater need to be revived. What are the telltale signs of this?
When a snake plant is submerged, its leaves will be wrinkled and curling with brown tips due to dehydration. Dry soil will cause the plant to fall over, and it may die if left for a long time. Move your snake plant to a shady location and soak it in water to re-hydrate and revive it.
How to Tell a Snake Plant is Underwatered?
Sansevierias will lose their normal shape and color if they don’t receive enough water. In plants, water is essential to maintaining uprightness. Subsequently, underwatering interrupts nutrient supply.
The following signs indicate that a snake plant has been submerged:
When snake plants get wrinkled, it’s probably a sign that they’re thirsty and haven’t been getting enough water. Leaf wrinkles are lines that appear on the surface of the leaf. It is common for them to form different depths and they may be small or large in size.
If the plant does not get enough water, it can wilt and wrinkle more, especially when the indoor temperature is high. Due to little water in their leaves, they droop, curl, and shrink as a result of moisture loss to the atmosphere.
Brown tips and spots can be caused by a variety of factors, and the lack of soil moisture is one of them. For plants to maintain a healthy level of nutrients, they need enough moisture. As a result of not having enough water to distribute nutrients evenly, some parts of the plant such as the leaves will have a change in color.
As the brown tips of snake plants are permanent, you cannot reverse them back to green. If, however, you save the sansevieria before it dries out completely, you can still revive it.
Leaves Turning Brown
The fact that your snake plants are brown and crunchy may indicate that they have been underwatered for a long time. Due to this, the plants may not be receiving the essential nutrients and moisture, which leads to their leaves turning brown or nearly brown.
A plant’s roots may also be affected by underwatering, thus adversely affecting its health as a whole.
Leaves falling down
Leaving your sansevieria underwater for a prolonged period of time will cause leaves and even whole plants to fall over. Leaves that have been vibrant will begin to droop, appearing dead.
When a plant falls over, it loses moisture, leaving the cells and tissues flaccid (having lost their turgidity and incapable of supporting itself upright).
Furthermore, subwatering disrupts nutrient supply, which can result in stunted growth.
Curled leaves are another sign that your snake plant needs water. The sight of leaves curling in loops and folding is usually unpleasant. In spite of the fact that it may indicate a different problem, underwatering shouldn’t be ruled out.
You should remember that water serves many purposes besides photosynthesis, including the translocation of nutrients and providing support. Snake plants depend on water for nutrients to reach all parts and are therefore liable to become unhealthy if they are not supplied with it.
How to Save an Underwatered Snake Plant
Snake plants that are underwatered can be saved by changing how they are cared for. Nonetheless, you must first determine whether a plant can be saved, or if it can no longer be revived. Symptoms such as dry brown leaves indicate that the plant is dead, and water will not revive it. It is possible, however, to revive the plant if there are still some green leaves.
The following steps will help you save a snake plant that is under water:
Move the plant to a shaded area
Your first step should be to move the plant from its current spot of direct sunlight into a more shaded area. It is highly likely that excessive exposure to direct sunlight is responsible for excessive moisture loss.
It should begin showing signs of recovery within 1-3 days, especially if it has some moisture left in its roots. If the plant is not severely underwatered, this will slow down the rate of water vapor loss.
Soak the snake plant in water for 60 minutes
Since snake plants store water in their leaves so they can survive droughts, they require soaking to keep wilting and curling at bay.
The most effective way to repair severe underwatering is to remove the plant from its pot and soak it in a container of clean water until the roots are able to absorb all the water they need. Also, soaking acts as a preventative measure for leaves losing moisture during this time.
The leaves must be hydrated and the cells must be revived.
Change the potting soil
For correcting and preventing underwatering, switch to a potting mix that drains moderately. If you have little soil in your potting medium, it is unlikely that it retains moisture as it should.
Even if the frequency of watering is correct, the leaves would still turn brown or yellow and droop if the plant is sitting in a medium that drains water too quickly.
You should always check for compacted soil or roots around the base of the pot that can prevent drainage and result in waterlogging and signs of overwatering in snake plants.
Cut off the badly affected leaves
By removing the dead or extensively brown leaves from the base of the plant you can prevent the rot spreading through the rest of the plant.
To prevent infection, wear gloves and use a sharp, sterile pruning knife when cutting – just in case the plant is suffering from root rot.
Mist the snake plant generously
The misting of the snake plant leaves is another way to ensure its quick recovery from submersion. Keep the leaves moist by spraying them with water.
Also, misting can improve the recovery time for sansevieria plants that are wilting, shrinking or wrinkled. But there should be no reliance on it as a single remedy. In this case, the underlying problem should be fixed, for example, by keeping the roots moist.
It is not advisable to fertilize a dried-up snake plant.. In some cases, fertilizer burn can worsen the signs of underwatering and even kill the plant.
If your snake plant is still underwater, then fertilizer should not be applied. Fertilizers made from natural materials are the best since they improve the soil’s ability to store water and nutrients.
Avoid overfertilizing because it may affect the soil pH, which would interfere with nutrient delivery.
Can Sansevieria Die from Underwatering?
It is possible to damage the roots and foliage of a snake plant when they are under watered. Lack of water causes leaves to wrinkle, and if left for too long, the plant will dry up and die. Sanseveria plants are hardy and do not die easily unless they are left uncovered for 30 days in dry soil.
Despite the dry climate and low humidity, these plants grow well in arid climates and with infrequent rainfall. If this happens for a long period of time, sansevieria bends over, limps, and dies.
How to Tell If a Snake Plant Needs Water
Following a regular watering schedule will keep your snake plant from being underwatered. It will usually require watering every time the soil becomes bone-dry. However, if you notice the signs of drought mentioned above, you should water the plant immediately.
The following are signs that your Sansevieria needs water:
Check the soil every week
The easiest and most reliable way to tell if the snake plant needs water is by feeling the soil. Try sticking your hand 2-3 inches deep, and if it is dry, the plant probably needs water.
Alternately, you can dive a chopstick into soil. It’s the perfect time to water the plant once you pull out the stick, which is dry and has no soil on it. After the soil sticks to the stick or darkens on it, wait a while before watering.
A sluggish-growing snake plant could be indicative of being underwatered. New growth, such as new leaves, always occurs slowly and may not be noticeably different from the previous growth pattern.
A dry potting soil
Plants that are drought-tolerant should be watered occasionally. During periods of watering, the soil should be dry, but it should not be left dry for long periods. If the soil is too dry, it may be a sign that the snake plant needs a drink of water.
Soil weight and color
Soils with water are heavier than those with dry soils. Test the plant’s weight by picking it up and feeling the weight. Soil that is damp typically appears darker than soil that is dry.
Tips to Prevent Underwatering for Snake Plants
If underwatering is a recurrent issue, the best thing to do is put in place the right care program. Consider using 14-day watering spikes if you will be away from your plants for weeks on end, so that they will remain hydrated and avoid submerging.
Here are more tips for preventing underwatering snake plants:
Use the Right Potting Size
Make sure the pot or container you choose has a drainage hole at the bottom. As terracotta pots contain drying properties, snake plants thrive in them since their soil dries faster than usual in traditional dry pots.
Snake plants prefer well-draining potting soil. It is also possible to use potting mix that is suitable for succulents and cacti.
Have a proper watering schedule
You should schedule a day to tend to your plants’ water needs at least once every week. Set a calendar reminder if you frequently forget to water. More watering is necessary at warmer temperatures, in drier air, or in brighter light. In addition, the soil in terracotta pots dries up more quickly than soil in plastic or glazed pots.
Soil should only be watered when it is dry. Make sure you monitor the soil whenever you water it to determine when it has dried. A schedule should also be adjusted according to the season. Water your plants once every two months during winter, for example.
Place the plant where there’s indirect light
The environment in which you grow snake plants and the location where you keep them are important factors. Place the plant in an area with indirect light, as they prefer it. Brightly lighted areas near windows are ideal. It is possible to grow plants in partial shade, but they will grow at a slower rate. Ideally, snake plants should grow in warm, dry areas with temperatures above ten degrees.
It is not a good idea to water too often. Water the soil after it has dried out rather than before. If possible, fill the pot with water from the bottom. The transpiration of these plants causes them to lose a lot of water in hot climates. In warmer temperatures, you’ll need to water your snake plant more, while in lower temperatures, you’ll need to water it less.
I also recommend soaking the water generously. A watering that is too soft will only penetrate the topsoil instead of reaching the roots. The extra water will drain through drainage holes with deep watering. This is a great way to know that a snake plant has received sufficient water.
The best way to give your plant a second chance is to recognize signs that it has undergone water damage and how to revive it. It takes little to make a big difference.