How Often to Water a Snake Plant? Watering Secrets From a Pro: 101

Snake plants (Dracaena trifasciata, syn. Sansevieria trifasciata) are one of those “indestructible” houseplants that need very little care. These handsome, stemless plants with leaves that grow from the soil are succulents that store water in their thick leaves and fleshy rhizomes.

They are able to withstand long periods of drought in their native West Africa. So as indoor plants, they can withstand periods of underwatering, but they are also susceptible to root rot from overwatering. Leading you to ask: how often to water a Snake plant?

So, How Often To Water a Snake Plant To Keep It Healthy?

Generally, the best practice for watering a Snake plant is to wait until the soil has completely dried out before providing more water. During the spring and summer months, that could mean once a week. During the cooler months, that could mean every 14-21 days.

But, when to water a Snake plant also has some additional important factors. Which will be explained more throughly below.

Unleash the Secret To Perfectly Watering Your Snake Plant

snake plant getting watered by a window.

Like all houseplants, Snake plants need basic conditions for growth – light, warmth, humidity, soil, and water. One of their strong points as houseplants is that they are adaptable to variations in these conditions.

And varieties, as well as the type of pot you use, all play into how often your Snake Plant needs water. Instead of going by a Snake plant watering schedule, you’ll have to be aware of the conditions in your home and how they affect your plant.

Let’s look at each of these conditions and how they can influence the watering needs of your Snake Plant.

6 Growth Conditions That Influence Snake Plant Watering

1.) Light

Snake Plants have the reputation of being low-light plants, but they will grow in varying amounts of light, from low light up to bright, indirect sunshine. Since light and water are key ingredients of photosynthesis, the food energy process in plants, variations in one will affect the needs of the other.

The brighter the light shining on your Snake Plant, the more water it will require. If your plant is in a low-light area of your home, it won’t need to be watered as often as a Snake Plant near a bright window.

2.) Temperature

Snake Plants grow happily in 65 to 75 degrees, which are average household temperatures. When it’s warm in your home, the plant will generally use up water in the soil more quickly than when it’s cool and will require more frequent watering than in cooler temperatures.

3.) Humidity

The amount of humidity in your home will also affect how often you’ll need to water your plant. Lower humidity will usually require a plant to be watered more often, and higher humidity, less often.

In winter when the heat is on, the humidity is lower in a house than at other times of the year. You will see that the soil will dry out much faster than when the heat is off and the humidity is higher.


The type of soil that you use is another factor that affects the frequency of watering. Since Snake Plants are succulents, they grow best in loose, very well-draining soil.

Use a porous mix that provides good air circulation as well as good drainage, such as a succulent or tropical plant mix amended with some perlite, sand, cocoa coir, or peat. Standard, indoor potting soil is not recommended for Snake Plants, since it is too dense and can retain too much water.

Loose, well-draining, well-aerated potting mix will dry out much faster than a heavier mix and will need to be watered more often. The lighter the mix, the more frequent the watering.

5.)&Nbsp;Type Of Pot

The type of pot that you choose for your Snake Plant will also play a role in how often you water. Clay or terracotta pots absorb and evaporate the water away from the soil and are an excellent choice for succulents like Snake Plants.

Ceramic or plastic pots don’t have that capability, and the soil dries out more slowly in those types of planters. You will find that you will need to water more frequently when your plant is in terracotta than in plastic or ceramic.

NOTE: Be sure that your pot has at least one drainage hole for water to empty out of so that it won’t build up in the bottom of the pot and cause root rot.


The best way to tell when your Snake Plant needs to be watered is by keeping track of the amount of water in the soil as the growth conditions vary in your home. It should be watered when the soil is totally dry.

If the soil is too deep for you to test with your finger, a soil moisture meter will help. As stated above, Snake Plants are drought-resistant and will tolerate stretches of time when they’re not watered.

But too long between waterings can cause their leaves to wither and photosynthesis to slow down. A good rule of thumb would be to allow two to three weeks of completely dry soil before watering again.

Watering too frequently before the soil is dry, however, could result in root rot from overwatering.

If the leaves are becoming yellow, spongy, and flopping over, take the plant out of the soil to look at the rhizomes and roots. If they are black, mushy, and smell bad, they have root rot, a fungal disease that is a plague of houseplants.

Cut the diseased parts off, and as an added precaution, treat the rhizomes and roots with a fungicide and replant them in clean, fresh soil in a clean pot.

It’s best to water your plant with distilled or rainwater since it could be sensitive to chlorine and other minerals in tap water.

Allow water to run through the soil and out the drainage hole, making sure that you empty any remaining water from the plant saucer.

Then, monitor your plant and make sure to water only when the soil is dry as the conditions in your house vary from season to season.


How Often to Water Snake Plant in Winter?

Generally, watering once every two to three weeks should be sufficient for your Snake plant during the winter. But, always keep the above conditions in mind and test the soil first.

Do Snake Plants Need a Lot of Water?

No, these plants do not needs a lot of water. Although, it’s important to provide enough water to thoroughly moisten the soil when you do water, but not so much that the plant is left sitting in water. 

Here’s a general guideline for watering snake plants:

Water thoroughly: When you do water your snake plant, make sure to water it thoroughly. This means watering it until you see water start to drain from the bottom of the pot.

Allow soil to dry out: After watering, allow the potting mix to dry out completely. This can take anywhere from a few days to a couple of weeks, depending on the conditions in your home.

Use room-temperature water: Use room-temperature water when watering your snake plant. Cold water can shock the plants roots and cause it to wilt.

Nancy Maffia
Author & Editor | + posts

Nancy has been a plant person from an early age. That interest blossomed into a bachelor’s in biology from Elmira College and a master’s degree in horticulture and communications from the University of Kentucky. Nancy worked in plant taxonomy at the University of Florida and the L. H. Bailey Hortorium at Cornell University, and wrote and edited gardening books at Rodale Press in Emmaus, PA. Her interests are plant identification, gardening, hiking, and reading.