Sansevieria, also known as mother-in-law’s tongue, is one of the easiest plants to care for. But that doesn’t mean you can’t have problems. In fact, you can find a sansevieria with excess water that will end up rotting it.
Do you want to know your sansevieria? Know if you have excess water that can make you sick? Then you have come to the right place because we are going to talk to you about this problem that, in the case of sansevieria, can end the life of your plant if you do not remedy it. We help you?
How many times is the sansevieria watered
The sansevieria is characterized by being a plant that hardly requires care to stay healthy. And that implies irrigation. It is not a plant that needs a lot of water, and less humidity. The problem is that sometimes we don’t realize this, or we think that we have to water it in a certain way, or every x days.
In general, the irrigation of the sanseviera so that it does not have excess water, will depend on the climate you have. But to give you an idea:
- in autumn and winter, with a monthly watering is more than enough. In fact, if there is humidity in the environment and it is high, you can even save it.
- in spring and summer it is best that you water only every fortnight. Even when the days are very hot, the mother-in-law’s tongue is not a plant that needs water to resist, it already has it in its leaves and can draw on those stores to nourish itself.
However, we want to make a few points:
- The first has to do with humidity. This is just as dangerous as overwatering. And it is that if you keep the sanseviera in a space where the humidity is quite high, in the end it will rot, even without having watered it. For example, in a greenhouse that you have with everything closed to maintain the temperature and humidity.
- The second has to do with the time of irrigation. If you have it in the shade, you can water it at any time. But if it is in the sun, it is best to do it first thing in the morning, when the rays are not yet hot enough to produce a “mirror” effect that can burn the leaves of the plant.
- And the third, do not go overboard with irrigation. Before we have given you a regular irrigation pattern for sansevieria. But many times that what makes you think is that, when you have to water it, you have to do it “generously” and the truth is that it is not like that. It is not necessary that you wet the entire substrate when watering. Just moistening it is enough. To give you an idea; you don’t have to water and water until you see a lot of water coming out of the drainage holes. Just use enough water to get the soil wet, and you’re done. It is preferable that you stay short than that you go too far, because even then you could cause an excess of water and it will go away.
How to know if my sansevieria has excess water
Have we just asked you the question of whether your sansevieria has excess water? Don’t worry, it’s normal to worry about your plant. And the signs that can indicate this problem are several:
- falling leaves. Do you notice that your sanseviera begins to have leaves that fall? This is not common in this type of plant and can be a sign of excess water, but also of pests or diseases.
- Yellow sheets. Another sign, but it can also indicate problems with nutrients, with the soil or with pests.
- Flaccidity. Let us explain. Think that the leaves of the sansevieria are usually upright and hard. Now, imagine that your plant suddenly finds it with a limp leaf facing down. It is not normal for them, and if you pick it up and it seems as if it does not have the strength to stand upright here, you can have a clear sign that the roots are rotting due to excess water.
Obviously, and as you will have verified, there are many symptoms that are related to other problems. But in general, when this happens in the sansevieria and there have been no other types of signs, it may indicate that it is due to having watered too much.
How to save a mother-in-law’s tongue from overwatering
You have already identified the problem: you have a sansevieria with excess water. And now the difficult part: saving her.
If you have caught them in time, you have a high chance of getting it. But if the rot is already very advanced, it is probably hopeless and you should think about what you have done wrong so as not to repeat it again if you buy another sansevieria.
Now, don’t give up so soon. There are some actions you can do to try to save it. Which is it? The following:
- Do you have a plate under the pot? Many times we tend to place a plate (or similar, below) to prevent the pot from leaving marks on the ground (or the water from leaking out). But it may be that this is full of water and that will cause the roots to be in contact with water permanently, which is very negative.
- take it out of the pot. The next step you should do is remove the pot it has and also the soil. But, unlike others that tell you to plant it again in another pot and dry soil, here you are not going to do it.
- Let the roots of the plant air out. That’s how it is. You will have to remove as much soil as possible and expose the roots. Taking care not to break them, or to further damage the plant, you have to give them time to react, and they do so, leaving them in the air to dry.
- After a while (which can be a few hours or maybe a few days), check the roots. There may be some black ones that are no longer useful, so you can use sharp disinfected scissors to remove them. Do the same with all the dead leaves. (You can remove them by pulling them but if you see that they resist, use a knife or scissors).
- Once you have it “sanitized” is when you should plant it in a new pot with new (and dry) substrate. We cannot tell you that you have saved her, because the truth is that it may be the case, or it may not. But at least you will have given this one a chance to resurrect and go back to what it was before.
Have you ever had an overwatered sansevieria?