Overwatered snake plant can be identified by looking out for drooping leaves, soft leaves, brown leaf tips or moldy, soggy soil. Overwatered snake plants can be saved if you move them to a sunny position, remove any water sitting in a pot tray and repot if the soil has become rotten.
This article will explore the signs of an overwatered snake plant and what you can do to save it at home. Here are my top tips for saving your snake plant.
Signs of an overwatered snake plant
Here are my top 5 signs of an overwatered snake plant. This is how to tell your snake plant is getting too much water.
1. Drooping leaves
Drooping leaves is the first sign that your snake plant is overwatered. As the leaves absorb too much water, they will start to become soft and even squishy and can bend over as they lose their structure. Cells in the leaf can burst and the plant can be damaged.
As the leaf loses its structure it will bend over and droop. While the leaf won’t always break it can bend to a point where it touches the ground.
2. Brown leaf tips
The next most common sign of an overwatered snake plant is brown leaf tips. As the leaf is damaged by the extra water the tips of the leaf can start to die off first. Snake plant leaves are long and will start to die off at the tip.
While brown leaf tips can also be a sign of underwatering you can tell that it is due to too much water because this will be matched with wet soil rather than dry.
3. Root rot
Root rot can happen when the soil stays wet for too long leaving to overwatering. The roots of snake plant are sensitive to water and can absorb it quickly. As the soil stays wet the roots can sit in the extra water and begin to rot away.
Rotten roots can stop the plant from absorbing the nutrients it needs. The plant can suffer and lack key nutrients including nitrogen.
4. Yellowing leaves
Yellowing leaves are another sign that snake plants are overwatered. As the extra water is washed through the soil, the nitrogen can be taken with it which will mean that the plant can become deficient. Nitrogen is water soluble so will be washed out of the soil easily.
As the snake plant lacks nitrogen, the leaves will start to turn yellow. It can also be a sign that the roots are rotting and are unable to absorb any nitrogen left in the soil.
5. Wet, soggy soil with mold
Another sign that a snake plant is overwatered is wet soggy soil. As the soil looks wet and stays wet for a long time it can start to grow surface mold. You can see white or green mold form on the surface of the soil in pots which is a certain sign there is too much water in the soil.
These are the top 5 signs of an overwatered snake plant. Look out for these to identify this problem with your snake plant. Once you have worked out this is the problem, check out these steps below on how to save an overwatered snake plant.
How to save an overwatered snake plant
Here are my top 4 steps to save an overwatered snake plant at home.
1. Move pots into a sunny spot or near a window
For potted snake plants it is important to move the pot into a sunny position or to move an indoor pot into a place near a window. This will help the soil to dry out quicker. This is a great step to take if the overwatering problem is only small.
Stop watering the plant and allow it a week to dry out. Snake plants can survive well with a break from water. Take the time to let the plant dry out and only add water once the soil has become dry.
2. Move the pot off the pot tray
It is important to move an outdoor snake plant off of any pot trays that you have it sitting on. It is actually a great idea to place a potted snake plant straight onto the ground. This allows the water to drain straight out.
Water that is sitting in the bottom of the tray can cause root rot and overwatering. Snake plants are hardy, drought tolerant plants and should not be left in a tray of water.
3. Slow down your watering
The next step is to take a look at your watering schedule particularly for indoor plants. Snake plants are hardy and only need water every 1-2 weeks. Slow down your watering schedule and only add water once you notice that the soil looks dry 2-3 inches down from the surface.
4. Repot if the soil is moldy
The final step to take to save an overwatered snake plant is to repot into new soil. It is important to do this if the soil is very soggy and wet or moldy. If the plant has turned yellow it is also a great idea as the new soil will contain a good balance of nutrients including nitrogen.
Take the plant out of the pot and scrape off any extra soil. Grab some good quality, fresh potting soil and repot the plant. It is best to wash the pot and sterilize it before replanting. This will help to remove any mold built up on the pot.
Give the plant a light water to settle the soil in and leave the plant for around a week before watering again.
How to save an overwatered snake plant | Summary
Overwatered snake plants can be saved by refreshing their soil, slowing down their watering and improving their drainage. Remove pot trays if the plant is outdoors and make sure you tip out any excess water in pot trays for plants indoors.
Snake plants are hardy and can recover from overwatering. You can trim off any damaged leaves once the plant has recovered to tidy it up and make room for new ones.