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Underwatered Snake Plant [7+ Signs, 5 Causes & 5+ Treatments]

If you neglect the watering necessities of your beloved plant, you may end up with underwatered Snake plant.

To get out of this situation, place the plant in a shaded area, soak the plant, cut off the affected parts, change the potting mix, mist the plant, and avoid fertilizing the underwatered Snake plant.

Continue reading to learn about the signs and symptoms of dehydration, how to determine the cause, and how to save your Snake plant.

Can Snake Plant Die from Underwatering?

Snake plants will lose their usual form and color without adequate water.

In addition, because water helps plants stay upright, underwatering interrupts the delivery of nutrients throughout the plant.

Lack of moisture causes the leaves to wrinkle; if not addressed quickly enough, underwatering can lead to Snake Plant’s death.

Snake plants are tough plants that will not succumb to naught if left in dry soil for 30 days.

These drought-resistant plants have evolved to thrive in arid areas with little humidity and infrequent rainfall.

Underwatered Snake Plant: Signs, Causes, and Solutions

For a better diagnosis of the underwatered Snake plant, here is a list of the signs and symptoms:

Signs of Underwatered Snake Plant

Sadly the indications of over and under-watering Snake plants can look comparable.

Underwatered snake plant
Due to underwatering, the Snake plant can lose its composure and majestic looks.

Particularly for new plant cultivators, it very well may be hard to differentiate.

But, some slight differences mentioned here might be helpful for the proper analysis of the underwatering issue.

1. Leaves Curling

Curling leaves are one of the signs of underwatered Snake Plant.

Even though curling of leaves might show different issues, one of which definitely could be underwatering.

Plants curl their leaves in low water conditions to prevent the remaining moisture from escaping.

2. Leaves Wrinkling

The indications of most extreme thirst appear in the leaves of the plants.

Shriveling and wrinkling in leaves can occur when the plant doesn’t get sufficient water, particularly in indoor temperatures.

They can be long or tiny in size and regularly structure various depths.

3. Leaves Yellowing/Browning

If you notice your Snake plant’s leaves being brown or yellow, it may be a sign; you’ve left them underwatered for quite a while.

Snake plant with yellow leaves
The Snake plant leaves are quick to turn yellow under the effect of underwatering.

Chances are the plants are not getting the fundamental supplements and dampness, given their foliage is becoming brown or practically brown.

In addition, Underwatering can harm the leaves as well as the roots. If the roots become intensely and essentially harmed, they can lose typical functionality.

4. Brown Leaf Tips

Brown-colored leaf tips and spots can be brought about for various reasons, and the absence of soil moisture is one of them.

Enough moisture is an absolute necessity to give adequate supplements to a plant.

With the absence of water, the supplements from the dirt will not be disseminated equally, bringing about specific changes in the leaf tip color.

Tragically, you can’t invert the Snake plant’s brown-colored tips to green, as the impact is permanent.

However, saving them before all leaves dry gives you an excellent chance to revive the underwatered plant.

5. Dry Leaf Edges

When water can’t supply each part with significant substances, the shade of the edges will, bit by bit, become yellow to brown.

From simple edges, browning can gradually spread through the whole leaf.

If the harmed leaf part is soft or thick, then, at that point, you’re overwatering the plant.

Underwatered plants have dry and delicate leaf tips or edges.

6. Dry Soil

Although Snake Plant can tolerate dryness, you should water it occasionally.

Too dry soil is a potential indication of underwatering.

If you keep the soil dry for too long, the plant cannot take up the required nutrients through the soil.

7. Brittle Roots and Leaves

In the worst-case scenario of underwatering, roots begin to get impacted when the plant doesn’t get water for quite a while.

Usually, the Snake plant’s root stores moisture similar to its other parts (leaves, rhizomes).

So, assuming you observe that the roots are dead and disintegrate off in your fingers, it’s probably past the time to save the plant.

8. Leaves Falling Over or Drooping

When you let your plant be underwatered for quite a while, leaves and, surprisingly, entire plants begin drooping and falling again.

The plant falling over implies a ton of dampness is lost, leaving the cells and tissues flabby (having lost their bloat and incapable of helping the plant’s upstanding posture).

9. Stunted or Slow Growth

If your Snake Plant develops too slowly, you should speculate an issue.

Stunted Snake plant due to underwatering
If your Snake plant is underwatered, its growth speed will significantly slow down, and it will have stunted growth.

The shallow development of plants is a consequence of either lack of moisture or supplements.

We have you covered if you are looking for ways to increase your Snake plant’s growth speed.

Causes of Snake Plant Being Underwatered

You can affirm that your Snake plant is underwatered when you notice any of the above indications.

Here are some of the reasons behind the underwatering issues:

1. Improper Pot

It is vital to pick the right holder that will suit your Snake Plant. After picking one, consistently consider pot necessities like size, type, and construction.

Get a pot around two inches wider than the root ball of your Snake plant.

Ensure the pot is not too small or too big for the plant. Smaller pots will contract the roots from growing, whereas bigger ones may cause waterlogging, prompting root decay.

For Snake plants, clay pots usually are better than plastic ones as they are vulnerable to root decay.

Also, ensure that there are a lot of holes in the base of the pot for excellent drainage.

2. Improper Lighting Conditions

Snake plants tend to grow quicker in brighter indirect light, but strong direct sunlight could cause leaf burn.

Scorching direct sunlight can cause fast water evaporation in Snake plants, causing them to suffer from dryness.

It can cause withering and brown spots and even kill it if it’s put under daylight for an extended period.

3. Irregular Watering

Any anomaly in the watering schedule of the Snake plant may cause incessant plant damage.

To prevent this, Water Snake plants thoroughly, allowing all extra water to drain, and then wait until the top 1-1.5 inches of soil layer is dry before watering again.

Go down into the dirt with your finger to see how damp it is. Simple wooden objects such as chopsticks or Popsicle sticks can also be used.

A moisture meter will provide a more precise picture of what’s happening at the roots.

4. Fast Water Evaporation

Even if you water the Snake plant regularly, it may run out of water due to rapid evaporation.

A heater, for example, can quickly dry the soil in small pots. If you’ve maintained a Snake plant in a warm room with a heater nearby, keep an eye on it.

Pot soil will dry out faster using air vents, box fans, or a ceiling fan. Keep your Snake plants away from air-circulation devices as much as possible.

Avoid using equipment such as a hair drier to remove extra water from the soil.

5. Loose Potting Mix

A loose soil mix that minimizes overwatering and root rot is always preferable for the Snake plant.

However, if the mixture is too loose, it drains quickly and retains very little water. Gravel, coarse sand, and pebbles in the soil will allow the water to pass through.

Pumice, perlite, vermiculite, and coco coir help to retain moisture in the soil while maintaining optimum airflow.

Garden soil and organic compost contribute nutrients to the soil mix and are denser. It’s important to balance good drainage and adequate moisture storage capacity.

Investing in a soil mix specifically for Snake plants is a wonderful option.

Rescuing an Underwatered Snake Plant

An underwatered Snake plant can presumably be saved when there is minimal damage.

The lingering question often clouds people; how often to water Snake Plant?

Here are a few ways to revive your Snake plant:

1. Place the Plant in Shaded Area

Plants arranged in more splendid and hotter locations will require more water than those in shaded and cool regions.

More light is better for plant development, particularly new plants, until they are thoroughly established.

But in the case of an underwatered plant, it would be best to keep them in the shade until they recover completely.

This will provide them with the required break from the intense sun and prevent the loss of remaining moisture.

2. 60 Minutes Soaking Trick

Because Snake plants store water in their leaves to endure droughts, they need a good bath to keep themselves from wilting or curling.

Soaking the plant for about 60 minutes will revitalize them and let the water reach every required part.

You can soak the plants in the following ways:

  • First, remove the plant from its pot.
  • Next, soak it in a basin of clean water.
  • Allow the roots to absorb as much water as needed for healing severe underwatering.
  • Leave the plant for about 60 minutes.

3. Cutting off Severely Affected Parts

The Snake plant leaves won’t recover and hold that appearance once damaged. But, with appropriate consideration, we can save them from getting worse.

Leaves with firm and sound parts can be saved from succumbing to damage.

Nonetheless, it’s wiser to cut them off at the base and bid farewell to those entire damaged leaves.

Make sure to use clean pruning shears, a blade, or scissors.

4. Fixing the Soil Mix

Your soil will not hold water by any means if it is excessively loose and draining.

Add some peat greenery, perlite, coir, or standard soil mix in such cases. But be careful not to add more than 33% of the total mix.

You can also use a potting mix with less drainage than your current mix.

5. Do not Fertilize Right Away

Fertilizer burn can worsen the signs of underwatering and potentially kill the plant, making it irreparable.

Only fertilize your Snake plant once it has recovered from the problem of being underwater.

Natural fertilizers are usually the best since they help the soil hold nutrients and water.

When you want to feed the plant, use a 10-10-10 all-purpose fertilizer.

6. Mist the Snake Plant

Simply sprinkle them with water from a spray bottle to moisten the leaves.

Misting the leaves is a fantastic approach to help your underwatered Snake plant recover fast. It can also help them recover fast from withering, shrinkage, and wrinkling.

Two plants in the Pot
To revive underwatered Snake plants, you can try to mist them between their watering schedules.

It should not, however, be used as a treatment option.

Instead, the underlying issue should be addressed — for example, by watering the plants to keep the root zone moist.

7. Maintaining a Good Watering Regimen

It’s necessary to follow an appropriate water routine, depending on your plant conditions.

You can water Snake plants with warm water (up to 80°F) and make sure the roots are not wet for a long time.

Water profoundly until it goes through the drainage opening.

Underwatered Snake Plant vs. Overwatered Snake Plant

Underwatered and overwatered Snake plants can give some similar indications.

In any case, if the plant has both overwatered and underwatering side effects, waterlogging is bound to be the issue.

The differences between overwatered Snake plant and underwatered Snake plants are :

Underwatered Snake PlantOverwatered Snake Plant
Creased and dry leavesMushy and soft leaves
The first leaves to wilt are usually lower leavesDropping of all leaves
Roots can rot due to lack of waterRotting of leaves due to excess of water
No mold formationVisible mold formation
Extremely dry top soilExtremely wet top soil
Inward curling of leavesLeaf edema is observed

Tips to Prevent Underwatering in Snake Plant

We can prevent underwatering in Snake plants through the following steps:

  • Keep your Snake plant away from heat or warm drafts.
  • Make sure you use light and well-draining soil that can provide better water retention.
  • Keep a habit of inspecting the soil regularly and water the plant when the top 2 inches of the soil is dry.
  • Prepare a perfect watering schedule for your plant and stick to it.
  • Mist your plant between waterings to ensure your plant remains hydrated.
  • Do not keep your plant in scorching bright sun for extended periods.

Final Verdict

Knowing the signs of the underwatered Snake plant and how to restore them allows your plant a second chance to live.

A small amount of caring makes a huge difference. Your beloved plants don’t have to pay the price for your innocent mistakes.

So provide your plants with enough water to make them as vibrant and fresh as they deserve!

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