Snake Plant

brian13June 3, 2011

I have 2 snake plants. One in basement with very little light that has brown hard leaves on outside but healthy in middle of plant. I have one in family room that is bright during the day and that has a few leaves that have fallen over and appear soggy even though I water very little once a week. The one in basement I water once a month. How should water these plants? Read in one post that they water once every 3 weeks??

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Water once the soil dries completely out. My snake plant gets watered about once every 2-3 weeks but it also depends on the type of soil you have. Slow or fast draining.

    Bookmark   June 4, 2011 at 10:17AM
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pirate_girl(Zone7 NYC)


Aside from the type of mix as said above, the type of pot also has bearing, whether plastic (tends to retain water better) or clay (tends to dry out faster, tho' thought to stay cooler).

If unsure if the mix is dry or not, try to compare the weight of the pots when wet or dry; OR use a slim dowel or wooden chopstick, poke all the way down in the mix & if the stick comes out clean it's dry, if some mix clings to it, there's still SOME moisture there.

Are your two plants the same kind of Snake plant? There are different kinds w/ sometimes varying watering needs.

    Bookmark   June 4, 2011 at 11:14AM
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Any time you water on a schedule, you are asking for trouble. Plants need to be watered when they need water, not when it's "watering day". The one that is soggy is rotten, probably because it didn't need water on watering day. The problem with snake plants, well, particularly larger ones, is that they spread out, but don't have very deep root systems. So, in order to fit them in a pot, the pot is usually too deep, and if you're using peat based soil that doesn't drain well, the bottom stays wet and causes root rot. As for the one in the basement....what are the normal temperatures down there?? A snake plant that stay in low light, especially in a basement where temps are usually pretty cool, isn't going to live a long happy life. They thrive in brighter light, with warmer temperatures, and will just slowly fade away in a cool dark room.


    Bookmark   June 4, 2011 at 11:40AM
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Yeah man, snake plants are tough but all plants need light. Maybe if you switch them every once in a while they can both have some time in the sun.

And I'm not sure I agree that schedules are bad, (I only water one plant on schedule but the schedule was suggested to me by an expert, and it's now my healthiest plant) but you have to figure out the RIGHT schedule, and also the right technique for applying the water.

    Bookmark   June 5, 2011 at 1:51AM
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scpearson(5 NE CT)

I have a snake plant that is 25 years old. It was passed on to me by a relative. She kept it in a room that got very little light. I finally divided it last year. I think this plant likes neglect best. I have it in a room that gets a little light. Just to see, I put one part of the division in my bay window, facing west and that one is happy there too. Go figure - both are doing splendid, especially for their age!

    Bookmark   June 5, 2011 at 10:19PM
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albert_135(Sunset 2 or 3)

I had a Sansevieria in an office for 13 years. It got only office cubicle fluorescent light. Sometimes it went for two weeks with no light when I was on vacation. It pretty much sat there and did nothing.

I retired. Took it out and replanted it and it started to put out offshoots.

    Bookmark   June 6, 2011 at 3:32PM
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There is a BIG difference between surviving and thriving. I don't know about you, but I prefer to have my plants thrive, not just survive. Sure, you can push a plant to the limit, but that doesn't mean it's healthy. The key with the stories of low light offices and rooms, is probably the lack of attention, which Susan is right about. If you put a plant in the improper location as far as light is concerned, there becomes a whole different way to take care of them. If you just slap it in a dark room, and try to treat it like a typical house plant, it will die. Ultimately, it all comes down to what you want to achieve with your plants. If you want them to be their best, and thrive in your home, you have to spend a little time figuring out what it is each plant likes. Likewise, if you just want to just buy plants, plop them wherever you feel like, without concern to what will work for them, then feel free, but expect to lose them over time. Personally, I feel a sense of accomplishment when I provide the right conditions, and my plants thrive. Heck, my snake plant just finished up flowering, so I am pretty certain that it is happy with the home I gave it.


    Bookmark   June 6, 2011 at 5:48PM
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Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL(8B AL)

One in basement with very little light that has brown hard leaves on outside ... Those hard brown leaves are dead. You can cut them off.

    Bookmark   June 8, 2011 at 4:13PM
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