How To Fix an Overwatered Snake Plant: A Beginners Guide


Snake plants, also commonly called "mother-in-law's tongue," are some of the most popular and versatile houseplants. They’re incredibly easy to care for, can thrive in nearly any condition, and can live for a long time with minimal attention.

Unfortunately, one of the most common mistakes when caring for a snake plant is overwatering. Even the most experienced gardener can make a mistake.

Overwatering can be detrimental to your snake plant's health. Watch out for signs such as yellowing leaves, mushy stems, and a foul odor emanating from the soil.

While snake plants are drought tolerant, they can still succumb to root rot if overwatered. Overwatering is one of the most common causes of snake plant problems, including root rot and yellowing leaves. Surely you may be interested in learning how to save your overwatered snake plant.

Self-watering pots with wicks work by drawing water from a reservoir up to the plant's roots. This allows the plant to take up water as it needs it, without the risk of overwatering.

If you think your snake plant is overwatered, don’t despair. There are a few things you can do to save it. With a little care, you can get your plant back to good health in no time.

6 Pack-6.7 Inch Self Watering Plant Pot for Indoor Plants
6 Pack-6.7 Inch Self Watering Plant Pot for Indoor Plants
5 Pack Self Watering Plant Pots 5/6.7/8.4 In Self Watering Planters
5 Pack Self Watering Plant Pots 5/6.7/8.4 In Self Watering Planters
6 Pack Self Watering Plant Pots 5 Inches Self Watering Planters
6 Pack Self Watering Plant Pots 5 Inches Self Watering Planters


Let's go to discuss how to fix the overwatered snake plant.

Causes of an Overwatered Snake Plant.

When a snake plant is overwatered, the soil stays wet for long periods of time, leading to root rot. Root rot is a common problem with various houseplants, but it’s especially dangerous for snake plants.

Causes of Overwatered Snake Plant

Once the roots are affected by root rot, saving the plant is difficult. So why do snake plants get overwatered? There are a few different factors that can lead to overwatering.

  1. Too Much Water: If you are going to water your snake plant, then you should water it a little less than usual. Snake plants need to dry out completely between waterings, so if you give them too much water, they can suffer from root rot.
  1. Poor Drainage: Snake plants need well-draining soil to thrive. If the soil doesn’t have good drainage, the water can’t escape, leading to overwatering.

The use of a potting mix with good drainage and aeration is important. Additionally, ensure the pot has drainage holes in the bottom so excess water can escape.

  1. Too Much Humidity: Snake plants prefer a dry environment, Snake plants prefer a dry atmosphere, so it is important not to keep a snake plant in an overly humid environment.

This can cause root rot in snake plant, which is a condition caused by overwatering. So if you live in a humid area or keep your houseplants in a bathroom, they may get too much humidity.

  1. Wrong Pot Size: Snake plants should be grown in a pot that is slightly larger than the root ball of the plant. Having a pot that is too big will result in it holding too much water, which could result in overwatering & your plant will damage.

Snake plants need enough room for their roots to grow, but oversize pots are wrong, so choose the right pot for snake plant.  

To prevent overwatering, keeping an eye on your snake plant’s soil is important. When it’s time to water your plant, always check the soil before you water. If the top layer of soil is still damp, wait a few days before giving your plant more water.

It’s also important to remember that snake plants need bright, indirect light to stay healthy. Keeping your snake plant in the dark corner of your house won’t need as much water.

Finally, choosing a pot with drainage holes is a good idea. This will prevent the soil from staying too wet and help prevent root rot.

If you’ve already overwatered your snake plant, don’t despair. You may be able to save it by repotting it in fresh, well-draining soil and providing it with bright, indirect light.

By following these simple tips, you can keep your snake plant healthy and avoid the dangers of overwatering.

Symptoms of an Overwatered Snake Plant

One of the most popular houseplants, snake plants, are incredibly resilient and beautiful houseplant that is easy to care for.

symptoms Overwatered Snake Plant

Despite their hardiness, it is possible to overwater your snake plant, causing various symptoms that may indicate it isn't receiving the care it requires.

Here are some signs of an underwater snake plant.

Yellowing or Wilting Leaves: The first and most common symptom of overwatering is the yellowing or wilting of the leaves.

If the leaves of your snake plant look a bit limp and have a yellow tinge, this is usually a sign of too much water. If this is the case, you'll need to reduce the amount of water you give the plant and allow it to dry out before watering again.

Brown Spots: Brown spots on Snake plant can indicate that the plant's roots have become waterlogged and cannot absorb oxygen. This can cause the leaves to develop brown spots due to the lack of oxygen.

Soft or Mushy Stems: Another sign of overwatering is soft or mushy stems. If the stems of your snake plant are soft and easily bendable, this is a sign of too much water. If this is the case, you'll need to reduce the amount of water you give the plant and allow it to dry out before watering again.

Drooping Leaves: One of the most obvious signs of overwatering is drooping or wilting leaves. If you’re watering your snake plant too frequently, its leaves will be drooping or wilting, as the plant cannot take up the excess water.



Rotting Roots: The roots of your snake plant are especially likely to damage from overwatering. If your plant's roots are soft or slimy or appear to be rotting, this is a sure sign of an overwatered snake plant.

symptoms Overwatered Snake Plant

Fungal Growth: Overwatered snake plants can be susceptible to fungal growth. Suppose you notice any white or grey powdery spots on the leaves or stems of your snake plant.

This is usually a sign of fungal growth, often caused by overwatering. If you notice any fungal growth on your snake plant, you'll need to reduce the amount of water you give the plant.

If you notice any of these signs of overwatering on your snake plant, it's important to take the proper steps to prevent further damage.

Make sure to reduce the amount of water you give the plant and allow it to dry out before watering again. Snake plants are incredibly resilient and can handle mistakes. However, it is important to watch them and ensure they receive the care they need.

How to Save Overwatered Snake Plant

If you have been taking care of your snake plant and suddenly noticed that it’s drooping, wilting, or even starting to rot, chances are you’ve overwatered it.


Overwatering can be a common issue for snake plants, and while it can be tricky to fix, it’s not impossible. Here’s how to fix an overwatered snake plant.

Step 1: Stop Watering

The first step in fixing an overwatered snake plant is to stop watering it. Too much water can damage your snake plant and cause root rot and other issues.

If you’ve been watering your snake plant regularly, it’s best to discontinue that for the time being until the plant completely recovers.

Step 2: Repot with Dry Soil

Once you stop watering your snake plant, the next step is to repot it with fresh, dry soil. The soil should be free from any dampness, which can lead to more root rot. Take the snake plant out of its current pot and discard the old soil.

Use a new pot and some new soil to repot your snake plant. Certainly, you may be wondering what type of potting material to use and which one to choose. One option is LECA balls, which are made of expanded clay.

LECA balls are a good choice for snake plants because they are lightweight, drain well, and won't compact over time. When it comes to purchasing high-quality LECA balls, Planterhoma is one of the best places to go.

Step 3: Move to a Sunny Spot

Once your snake plant is in its new pot, it’s time to move it to a sunny spot in the house. Snake plants prefer bright, indirect light. Ensure that the spot you pick is not too sunny, which can cause the soil to dry up too quickly.

Step 4: Monitor Soil Moisture

The next step is to monitor the soil moisture once your snake plant is in its new location. The soil should be slightly wet but not overly wet.

You can use a moisture meter to check the soil moisture or simply press your finger into the soil and feel for dampness. If the soil is too wet, it’s time to wait a few days before watering.

Step 5: Water When Necessary

Once the soil has dried out a bit, it’s time to start watering your snake plant. Ensure to water it until the soil is wet and leave it until it has dried out again.

This may take some trial and error to get right, but it’s the best way to ensure your snake plant gets the water it needs without being overwatered. A self-watering planter is a great option. 

Modern Self-watering planters have a reservoir of water that slowly releases moisture to the plant, so you don't have to water as often. This is ideal for snake plants, which are drought-tolerant and don't like to sit in wet soil.

self watering planter for snake plant

Fixing an underwatered snake plant can be tricky, but following these steps should help you get your snake plant back on track.

Just monitor the soil moisture and water your snake plant only when needed. With the right care and attention, your snake plant should return to its healthy self in no time.

Preventing future overwatering

As overwatering is the number one cause of death for snake plants, it is important to take measures to prevent it. There are a few things you can do to ensure your snake plant does not get overwatered:

  • Make sure the pot has drainage holes.
  • Use a well-draining potting mix.
  • Water only when the soil is dry to the touch.
  • Give the plant a deep watering, then allow it to dry out completely before watering again.
  • Use the right size of pot.
  • Don’t Leave it Sitting in the Water.
  • Use the Right Potting Mix.

By following these simple tips, you can help your snake plant stay healthy and avoid the dangers of overwatering.



Fixing an overwatered snake plant can be daunting, but with a few simple steps, you can help your snake plant get back to its healthy self. First, remove the plant from its pot and remove any excess soil.

Second, check the roots for any rot signs, and trim them away if present. Third, repot the plant in fresh, well-drained soil and water it lightly.

Finally, ensure your snake plant gets the optimal amount of light and humidity for its environment. With these simple steps, you can revive your overwatered snake plant successfully.


How Do You Fix an Overwatered Snake Plant?

To fix an overwatered snake plant, gently remove the pot's soil and check for root rot. Next, check the roots for any rot signs, and trim them away if present.

Place the plant in a container with a well-draining potting mix and ensure that the container is not too large for the plant's size. Ensure the pot has adequate drainage and adjust the watering schedule to avoid overwatering.

What Does an Overwatered Snake Plant Look Like?

An over-watered snake plant will have yellow or browning leaves, wilting foliage, and may even have root rot. The soil will be saturated and may have a slimy or smelly odor. It is also possible for the plant to be infected by pests, such as fungus gnats, which may attack the plant.

How Do You Save a Rotting Snake Plant?

The best way to save a rotting snake plant is to remove any rotting or damaged leaves and roots. Then, replant the snake plant in fresh potting soil. Additionally, ensure the plant is getting enough light and is not in overly soggy or dry soil.

Can I save an overwatered snake plant?

Yes, you can. By following the revival process outlined in this article, you can give your snake plant a chance to recover.

How often should I water my snake plant?

Water your snake plant when the top inch of the soil feels dry. Depending on conditions, this could be every 2-6 weeks.

Is it better to underwater than overwater a snake plant?

Yes, snake plants prefer to be underwatered rather than overwatered. They can tolerate drought better than excessive moisture.

Can I use regular potting soil for my snake plant?

It's recommended to use a well-draining succulent or cactus mix to prevent overwatering and root rot.

Why are the tips of my snake plant turning yellow?

Yellow tips could indicate various issues, including overwatering, low humidity, or poor soil drainage. Assess your care routine to determine the cause.

Read More About Snake Plant

Can Snake Plants Live Outside?

 Prayer Plant Care

*Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate linksAs an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.


  • Lori

    I bought a Whalefin cactus whose substrate is mostly coco coir and is very damp. Should I repot into cactus soil with added perlite? There is no sign of root rot at this time. Should I let it dry out and than repot?

  • Sandra Adrian

    My snake plant has only one remaining root after
    overwatering and removing from potting
    soil. Can I help it re-root? It’s a healthy plant.

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