snake plant watering

Snake Plant Watering: How Often and How Much

Sharing is caring!

If you’re looking for an easy-to-care-for plant, the snake plant is a great option. This hardy house plant can tolerate low light and drought conditions, making it the perfect choice for those who forget to water their plants or don’t have a lot of natural light available. 

While the snake plant, also known as mother-in-law’s tongue, Saint George’s sword or Dracaena trifasciata, doesn’t need much water, it’s important to water it regularly to keep it healthy. 

Wondering how often to water snake plants? Keep reading for tips on proper watering frequency.

How Often Should You Water a Snake Plant?

While many plants need frequent watering to stay healthy, the Dracaena trifasciata plant is much more drought-tolerant. In fact, it’s one of the best plants for beginners, since it’s so easy to care for. 

The snake plant prefers bright, indirect light, and it should be allowed to dry out completely between watering. 

In general, you should water snake plant about once every two weeks. 

However, if you live in a hot, sunny climate, you may need to water it more often. Conversely, if you live in a cooler climate or your home is on the shady side, you can water less often. 

Watering a mother-in-law’s tongue plant is easy: simply wait until the soil is completely dry before giving it a good soak. Be sure to empty any excess water from the saucer after watering; otherwise, the roots may develop root rot or mold. You can always use a moisture meter to check the moisture level in the potting soil of your indoor plants, too. 

If you’re not sure whether your plant needs water, it’s always better to err on the side of underwatering; too much water is much more likely to damage a snake plant than too little.

How Long Can a Snake Plant Go Without Water?

Everyone knows that plants need water to survive. However, many are surprised to learn that some plants, such as the mother-in-law’s tongue plant, can actually tolerate long periods of drought. 

The Dracaena trifasciata is a succulent, meaning that snake plants store water in their leaves and stems. This allows the plant to go without water for weeks or even months at a time. 

However, the snake plant will start to suffer if it is not watered for too long. The leaves will begin to droop, and the plant will eventually die. 

As a result, it is important to give the snake plant a good watering every few weeks, especially during periods of hot, dry weather. With proper care, your plant can thrive for many years.

Can Snake Plants Be Overwatered?

Snake plants are well-known for being low-maintenance, drought-tolerant plants that can thrive with very little water. 

However, it is possible to overwater a snake plant, especially if it is growing in a pot with poor drainage. 

When overwatered, the leaves of a snake plant will become yellow and limp, and eventually the plant may start to rot. If you think your plant might be overwatered, allow the soil to dry out completely before watering again. In addition, be sure to empty any water that collects in the saucer beneath the pot. 

By taking these simple steps, you can help ensure that your plants stay healthy and happy.

potted snake plants

How to Water Snake Plants

Snake plants are known for their hardiness and ability to survive in low-light conditions. However, even these tough plants need water from time to time. Here are some tips. 

Best Type of Water

When it comes to watering your plants, using the best possible type of water is essential for their health. For example, rainwater or spring water is the best type of water for snake plants. This is because these types of waters don’t have harmful minerals that can damage the plant. Using distilled or RO water is also a good option for watering snake plants. 

Water the Soil, Not the Leaves

Sansevieria plants are a type of succulent, meaning they store water in their leaves. Over-watering is one of the main ways people kill their plants. 

When you water your snake plant, make sure to water the soil, not the leaves. The best way to water a snake plant is to bottom water. This means you fill a dish with water and let your plant sit in the dish for 20-30 minutes. This allows the water to soak up through the drainage holes in the pot and into the roots.

Let Them Dry Out a Bit Between Waterings

Snake plants are native to arid regions, so they’re used to periods of drought. Allowing the soil to become slightly dry helps to encourage healthy root growth and prevents the plant from becoming waterlogged. 

Water your snake plant when the top 2-3 inches of soil are dry. In the spring and summer, you may need to water your plant every week. In the fall and winter months, you can water your plant every 2-3 weeks.

If you think your snake plant needs more water than that, check the drainage holes to make sure they’re not clogged. If they are, remove any debris and replant in a fresh potting mix.

It’s better to underwater a snake plant than to overwater it. If you think your plant needs more water, wait a few days and check again before watering. Sansevieria plants are very resilient and can survive long periods of drought.

Double Check Your Drainage

When it comes to watering snake plants, be sure to double check your drainage. The last thing you want is for your plant to sit in water and become overwatered. The overwatered snake plant can cause the roots to rot, which will eventually kill the plant. If you’re not sure if your drainage is adequate, lift up the pot and feel the weight of it. 

A well-drained pot should be light, while an overwatered one will feel much heavier. Another good way to tell if a snake plant is getting too much water is by looking at the leaves. 

If you notice the snake plant leaves turning yellow or drooping, that’s a sign that the plant is not getting enough drainage. If you see these signs, be sure to take action immediately and repot your plant in fresh soil with better drainage.

How to Tell if Your Snake Plant Has Had Enough Water

If you’re not sure whether or not your snake plant has had enough water, there are a few things you can look for. One clue is the color of the topsoil. When the topsoil is dry, it will appear lighter in color. 

When it’s time to water, the topsoil will be darker and shinier. 

Another way to tell if your snake plant needs water is to gently squeeze a small amount of soil between your fingers. If there’s any water left in the soil, you should be able to squeeze out a little bit (but not too much). If the soil is dry and crumbly, it’s time to water. By keeping an eye on these simple clues, you’ll know exactly when it’s time to give your snake plant a drink.

Factors That Impact How Much Water Your Snake Plant Needs

The amount of water your snake plant needs will depend on a number of factors, including the type of soil it is grown in, the size of the pot, the climate, and the time of year. 


The amount of water your snake plant needs will be impacted by the temperature. If it is hot, then your snake plant will need more water to prevent it from drying out. If it is cold, then your snake plant will need less water to prevent it from rotting. 

You should always check the soil before watering your snake plant to make sure that it is dry. If the soil is moist, then you can wait to water your snake plant until the soil has dried out. 

Always make sure to keep an eye on the temperature and adjust the amount of water your snake plant accordingly.


The amount of water your snake plant needs depends on the level of humidity in your home. If the air is dry, the plant will need to be watered more frequently. On the other hand, if the air is humid, the plant will need less water. You can tell if your snake plant needs water by checking the soil. 

If the soil is dry, it’s time to water the plant. If the soil is moist, wait a few days before watering again. In general, snake plants prefer a moderate level of humidity. Too much or too little moisture can cause problems for the plant. If you’re not sure how humid your home is, you can buy a hygrometer to measure the humidity level. 

By monitoring the humidity level and adjusting your watering schedule accordingly, you can keep your snake plant healthy and thriving.

Type of Soil

One of the most important factors in determining how much water your snake plant needs is the type of soil it is growing in. If you have a plant that is growing in sandy soil, it will require more water than a plant that is growing in clay soil. 

Sandy soil drains more quickly and does not hold onto moisture as well as clay soil does. As a result, plants growing in sandy soil will need to be watered more frequently than plants growing in clay soil. Similarly, those growing in a cactus mix or plant saucer with lots of drainage holes, will need to be watered more often.

If you are unsure about the type of soil your plant is growing in, you can check by taking a small sample and feeling it between your fingers. 

If it feels gritty, it is most likely sandy soil. If it feels sticky or clumpy, it is probably clay soil. Knowing the type of soil your plant is growing in will help you to determine how often to water it and how much water it will need.

Learn more: Best soil for snake plant

Direct Sunlight Exposure 

The amount of sunlight your snake plant needs will vary depending on the variety of plant you have. Some snake plants can tolerate full sun, while others prefer filtered light or low light conditions. 

If you’re not sure which variety of snake plant you have, it’s best to err on the side of too little sun rather than too much. Too much direct sunlight can cause the leaves to scorch, and may even lead to death in extreme cases. 

Size of Plant in Relation to the Pot

When you’re potting your snake plant, it’s important to choose a pot that is the appropriate size for the plant. If the pot is too large, the roots will have too much space and the plant will require more water. 

On the other hand, if the pot is too small, the roots will be constricted and the plant will be more susceptible to drought. In general, it’s best to choose a pot that is only slightly larger than the root ball of the plant. This will help to ensure that your snake plant has access to the right amount of water.

When Do Snake Plants Need More Water Than Usual?

Snake plants are known for being tough and drought-resistant, but there are still times when they need a little extra water. 

If your plant is receiving a fair amount of indirect sunlight and is actively growing, it will need to be watered more frequently. The same is true if your plant has a lot of foliage and is actively growing. 

If the home environment is dry due to low humidity or high temperatures, you will also need to water your snake plant more frequently. Finally, if you notice that the plant’s leaves are growing thin, it is a sign that the plant is not getting enough water.

Signs Your Snake Plant is Underwatered

Underwatering is especially true for those who are new to owning a snake plant, as it can be difficult to tell when they need watering. There are, however, a few telltale signs that your snake plant is underwatered. The leaves will start to grow wilted or dry, and they may begin to drop off at a rate higher than they are growing. 

Additionally, the leaves may start to twist and fall off, and they may appear translucent or brown (especially on the edges). If you notice any of these signs, it’s time to give your snake plant a good drink.

Sign of Overwatering Snake Plant

One of the most common problems that snake plant owners face is overwatering. While this hardy plant can tolerate occasional neglect, it is sensitive to overwatering and will start to show signs of distress if it is consistently watered too much. 

One of the first signs of overwatering is yellowing or wilting leaves. This is often followed by brown or black spots on the leaves, and eventually, the leaves will begin to drop off. If you notice any of these symptoms, reduce the amount of water you are giving your snake plant and allow the soil to dry out completely between watering. 

With proper care, your snake plant should soon recover from any damage caused by overwatering. 

When to Water Your Snake Plant Less

Watering your snake plant too much can actually do more harm than good. Snake plants are native to dry regions of Africa, so they are adapted to surviving in low-humidity environments with infrequent watering. 

When you overwater a snake plant, the roots can start to rot, which can eventually kill the plant. 

To avoid overwatering, only water your snake plant when the top inch or two of soil is dry. In general, that means watering once every one to two weeks during the spring and summer, and once every three to four weeks during the fall and winter. If you live in a particularly dry climate, you may need to water your snake plant even less often. 

Withholding water for long periods of time is not harmful to snake plants, so it is better to err on the side of too little water rather than too much.

Humidity Requirements for Snake Plants

As any gardener knows, humidity is an important factor to consider when watering plants. Too much humidity can lead to fungal growth, while too little can cause the leaves to brown and drop off. 

Snake plants are particularly sensitive to changes in humidity, and as a result, it is important to monitor the level of moisture in the air when caring for these plants. The ideal humidity level for snake plants is between 30 and 50 percent.

If the air is too dry, the leaves will begin to curl and may eventually turn brown and fall off. On the other hand, if the air is too moist, the leaves will develop brown spots and may rot. 

As a result, it is important to maintain a consistent level of humidity when growing snake plants. Providing a humidifier or placing the pot on a pebble tray can help to create a more hospitable environment for these sensitive plants.

How to Care for a Snake Plant: A Few More Quick Tips

If you’re looking for a low-maintenance houseplant, a snake plant is a great option. Also known as the Sansevieria trifasciata, this species is native to West Africa and is known for its hardiness. 

While snake plants are tolerant of neglect, there are a few things you can do to help snake plants thrive. Here are a few quick tips when it comes to caring for snake plants:

Most sansevieria varieties prefer bright, indirect light. However, they will also do well in low-light conditions. If you’re growing your plant indoors, place it near a window where it will get plenty of light.

Snake plants like to be watered about once a week. Allow the top inch or so of soil to dry out before watering. Overwatering can cause the leaves to yellow and drop off.

Fertilize your snake plant about once a month during the spring and summer months. Use a standard houseplant fertilizer and follow the directions on the package. During the fall and winter, you can reduce fertilizing to every other month. Snake plants don’t need much fertilizer, so err on the side of under-fertilizing rather than over-fertilizing.

As with all houseplants, it’s important to check your snake plant regularly for pests such as aphids, mealybugs, and spider mites. These pests can cause damage to the leaves and roots of your plant. If you notice any pests, treat with an insecticidal soap or neem oil according to label directions.

With just a little bit of care, your snake plant will thrive for years to come!


How often should I water my snake plant?

Snake plants prefer to dry out between waterings, so it’s generally recommended to water them every 2-4 weeks. However, the frequency may vary depending on factors such as the plant’s size, the potting mix, and environmental conditions like humidity and temperature.

Do you water a snake plant from the top or bottom?

It’s best to water a snake plant from the top, directly onto the soil. Avoid getting water on the leaves as this can lead to rot. Allow the excess water to drain out from the bottom of the pot.

Can you overwater a snake plant?

Yes, you can overwater a snake plant. Overwatering can lead to root rot and other issues, as snake plants are susceptible to rot in consistently moist conditions. It’s crucial to allow the well draining soil to dry out between waterings to prevent overwatering.

Final Thoughts 

Snake plants can tolerate a lot of abuse, but they still need some water to stay healthy. How often you water your snake plant will depend on the climate, the potting mix, and how much light the plant is getting. In general, aim to water your snake plant every two weeks or when the soil feels dry to the touch.

Over time, you’ll find the watering schedule that works best for you and your houseplant. Good luck!

Scroll to Top