Colloquially known as the mother-in-law’s tongue, the Snake plant is a stylish plant that requires very little maintenance.
Snake plants are tolerant to almost any kind of temperature but are sensitive to overwatering.
These plants do not lose much water, and they prefer dry conditions over being watered constantly.
Overwatering does not mean that too much water is being given to the plant.
It just means that the plant is sitting in moist soil for a long time.
Even the most careful plant owners can overwater their Snake plants!
This article will help you understand how to prevent overwatering and what steps you can take to revive an overwatered plant.
Why Is My Snake Plant Mushy?
The biggest reason for mushy leaves in a Snake plant is overwatering.
Sansevieria plants require very less amounts of water to survive.
If they receive more water than needed, their roots become water-logged easily.
Even when you give the plants a precise amount of water, check the soil first to see if it is dry, as water-logged roots in a Snake plant are fairly common.
Overwatering then leads to root rot and mushy leaves.
Tips To Fix The Snake Plant Mushy Leaves Issue
When you notice Snake plants’ leaves turning mushy, examine the moisture levels in the soil and the root system.
Moist soil needs to be removed from the roots and replaced immediately.
The soft or mushy roots should be cut away so that the Snake plant can grow strong again.
There are other issues the Snake plant might be facing that can be fixed to help the plant recover.
You might be wondering how your regular watering schedule is damaging the plant.
Sometimes, it is not the amount of water you are giving the plant but the inefficiency of drainage within the pot.
It is better to plant Snake plants in pots with drainage holes and gritty soil.
Mixing perlite in the soil can increase aeration and drainage in the soil.
It would also be beneficial to add small rocks or pebbles at the bottom of the pot so that the drainage holes do not get clogged with soil.
A higher-end product that you can add to your garden is terracotta or clay pots.
These pots are expensive and will not stand long-term wear, but the pots will add to the glamour of your home garden!
Apart from the aesthetic purpose, the material of terracotta pots is such that it allows water to evaporate from the inside.
Snake plants do not do well in humid conditions.
Low levels of humidity are ideal for this plant.
It is also not good to mist the plant leaves as they remain humid for a longer time, causing the leaves to turn mushy.
If you have a humidifier or any sort of misting device in the same room as the Snake plant, move it away from the plant.
Some places are humid all year round, and if your home tends to be more humid than not, you can get a dehumidifier placed in the same room as the Snake plant.
Before making any purchases, ensure that the plant is not in a humid room such as the shower room or kitchen where it is in close contact with cookers.
Once the above-mentioned issues are solved, you will need to make sure of a few other things for the plant to return to its usual condition.
- Do not water the plant once you have re-planted it in new soil. Give the roots time to recover, and in the meanwhile, keep the plant in a well-lit and sunny place.
- Trim the infected parts of the roots so that the plant can grow back.
- Use a suitable fungicide to help the roots heal after trimming.
- Regularly examine the root system of the plant for signs of root rot. Do not uproot the plant completely in this process. Gently lift the plant and check the roots if you feel like the Snake plant is turning mushy.
How To Tell If A Snake Plant Is Overwatered?
Overwatering a Snake plant does not require carelessness; it can happen to anyone, even if you are extremely particular about watering the plant.
Snake plants are prone to get overwatered, and this is something you should know before buying one!
Here are some signs of an overwatered plant:
1. Mushy And Soggy Leaves
Snake plants store water in their leaves, and overwatering causes these leaves to store more water than they need-causing the leaves to turn soft and mushy.
Another sign of this is when leaves appear wrinkled and moldy.
2. The Appearance Of Brown Spots And Wilting Leaves
Brown spots and wilted leaves are hard to miss.
You can notice them appearing on the plant when you water the plant inconsistently.
Overwatering is one thing, but watering inconsistently can also damage the growth of the plant.
You might avoid watering for a few weeks and then give the plant too much water all at once.
This practice is wrong and can be detrimental to the Snake plant’s overall growth.
3. Root Rot
Root Rot is not apparent unless it starts spreading to the leaves.
When the roots of the plant turn soft and brown, you will know that root rot has set in.
Moist roots make excellent conditions for bacteria to thrive.
Bacteria can be good for plants in some cases, but bacteria that are attracted to moist conditions are damaging to the plant.
Root rot also has an awful smell when the roots decay further.
The fresh roots are supposed to be white and fairly tan, not soft and brown.
4. Leaves Will Start Turning Yellow And Soft
Yellow leaves are a surefire way to knowing the plant has root rot.
When the soil is unable to provide nutrients to the plant, the lush green of the plant begins to fade away and give way to yellowing.
Yellow foliage is a sign that the plant is stressed and in need of immediate attention.
5. Damaged Leaves Will Droop And Fall
Once root rot sets in, the plant is unable to provide adequate nutrients and hydration to the leaves, which leads to the leaves wilting, turning soft, and falling off.
Things to Remember While Watering A Snake Plant
Snake plants do not need a lot of water to thrive.
These plants are easily overwatered, so do not go overboard while trying to water your snake plant.
Here are a few things to remember while watering your plant:
- Check the soil before watering. Touch the soil with your hands, and it should feel dry and gritty. If it is not, then wait for a couple of days to water the plant. Moist soil needs to be completely dry before you water the plant again.
- Larger Snake plants require more water than smaller-sized ones. Water these accordingly.
- Do not mist your plant at any time. You might be tempted to mist or water the plant during hot or dry days, but this will only lead to root rot.
First thing you should do when the plant shows signs of being overwatered is changing the soil and trim the brown and soft parts of the roots.
Once the plant is repotted, do not water it for some time.
This will allow the plant to heal from being overwatered.
Also, place the Snake plant in an area where it can get plenty of sunlight.
A rotting Snake plant will have the following symptoms:
1. Mushy leaves with brown spots
2. Yellowing or wilting leaves
3. Brown and soft root system
These signs are easily identifiable because the Snake plant has straight standing and shiny leaves.
When the plant is affected, the leaves will begin wilting and lose their radiance.
When leaves of the Snake plant turn mushy, the reason is most certainly overwatering.
Overwatering causes root rot, and that in turn leaves the plant mushy and soft.
You can cut the droopy leaves if they are damaged and cannot be revived.
However, if the leaves are merely drooping and looking dull, you can revive the plant instead of cutting them off.
It is better to cut damaged leaves for aesthetic reasons but also because these leaves use up a lot of the plant’s nutrients and energy.
Water the Snake plant only when the soil is dry and feels crumbly when touched.
Snake plants thrive in dry climates, so it is better to water the plant once every two weeks.
Over To You
I hope the above guide helps you in resolving this issue in your Snake plant.
If you have any questions, please let me know in the comments below.
Do share this guide with your friends and family if you found it helpful.