how often do you water sans in winter

elichka(6b)January 6, 2011

Hi All,

I happen to have a problem to figure out how often should I water my Sans in winter. They are in fast draining mix,terraccota pots. Room temperature around 64-66. They are in 6in pots with minimal soil,just to cover roots. the thing is my San. kirkii v. kirkii pulchra "Coopertone" leaves seemed wrinkled and half closed. I read it may due to underwatering(I water them only every 4-6 weeks)When I decided to unpot to check on roots they look completly dry and britle,no any sign of rot. Do I kill them with underwatering? last time I watered on Dec.20,2010. I'm afraid to water more.Any suggestions?

Thanks a lot

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Hi Elichka,

if a Sans appears wrinkled after a mere 3 weeks, I think something is wrong that started in the summer. I surmise your Coppertone has too few roots so it went into winter already weakened. Mine have not had water since October and they look fine, except for a S. rafillii which a root problem.

So if you want to induce growth in your Coppertone, place it in the brightest spot, give bottom heat (30 C) and water sparingly. Otherwise wait till around equinox.

Only Sans with thinner, flat leaves, like S. pedicellata, S. nilotica, or S. subtilis, are thankful for a more regular watering in the winter.


    Bookmark   January 7, 2011 at 6:15AM
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Thanks Helli,I'll provide bottom heat.I hate to water them more,afraid of root rot. just want to mention it has huge root ball. Now I'm thinking maybe it didn't have enough soil,that is way it dried up.Should I add some more soil to it? Generally I'm underwaterer
Thanks a lot for a quick respose,this forum looks very slow

    Bookmark   January 7, 2011 at 8:48AM
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Hi Elichka,

could you provide a photo please?


    Bookmark   January 7, 2011 at 9:10AM
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pirate_girl(Zone7 NYC)

Can I ask pls. why they are in such minimal amount of mix if it's fast draining?

I'm trying to water mine a bit more often in winter, now that I've learned their leaves folding in half is from thirst (thanks again Helli).

In fact, I recently (sort of) inherited several Sans. that were in bad shape, very underwatered.

I think it's just 2 months I've had them, I unpotted, checked & cleaned up the roots & watered well. Last week I discovered that this reasonable bit of care has produced a large pup that just broke the surface & is determined to grow up fast, sort of impressive.

If it were mine, I'd water it more frequently, like maybe once every 3-4 weeks.

I too have lost Sans. from underwatering, believe me, it DOES happen.

    Bookmark   January 7, 2011 at 10:41AM
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Sansevieria tolerance to varied watering schedules is remarkable. I am sure that they do well when watered sparingly, but found it desirable to switch to a heavy watering regimen. The plants have done extremely well for 30 years and take a daily dose of water, infrequent fertilizing, and general neglect. The main drawback with this treatment is the attendant growth and overcrowding. They do bloom but it does seem that it is less frequent. Yale

    Bookmark   January 7, 2011 at 11:00AM
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pirate_girl(Zone7 NYC)

Hi Yale,

I'm curious pls. what made you wish to water them so much more often? Interesting to hear about daily watering for a Sans. Shall I assume they're in a greenhouse?

    Bookmark   January 7, 2011 at 6:58PM
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Pirate girl,
You are correct, the plants are in a greenhouse. The Sans were moved into the daily watering area to make more room elsewhere. With Sans, as well as many other succulents, regular watering is very helpful even though sudden changes may be dangerous for some plants. I am not suggesting that anyone switch from watering schedules which work, just that several approaches may suffice. Yale

    Bookmark   January 8, 2011 at 10:41AM
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These are tropical succulent plants, folks - by that nature, and if it's warm and even moderately sunny, wouldn't they want to grow?

I'm watering mine about once every two weeks. Of course, they're in a moderately loose soil.

The Sans That Many People Dislike (you know, the S. trifasciata variegata) is watered about once a month, and it's growing.

I haven't taken a picture lately of the exponential growth I seem to be experiencing on the stolons of S. 'Ed Eby', but I saw them the other day and they're growing by leaps and bounds. Definite growth in the winter on it and lots of it.

My question - it's in a squeezed pot and for it to grow better, it needs to be repotted. I'm thinking now's not the best time, but as long as I keep it dry for a week afterward, there's no problem with repotting it now, is there?

Thanks for allowing me this tagalong question.

    Bookmark   January 8, 2011 at 1:47PM
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When I first got "into" Sans I was afraid of overwatering them the first winter and ended up with a lot of shriveling plants. I realized I had to start watering them more often. I have small plants under lights in a warm room that dries out quickly due to the heater......I actually water those little pots twice a week. My plants at home, which are kept cooler, are watered less often, probably once a week average sometimes longer.
When I do water the plants at home, I water them with WARM water in the MORNING of a reasonably SUNNKY day. I think the bigger problem is cool temps with standing water at the roots or on the leaves over a period of time.
It does sound like your Sans need more water.

    Bookmark   January 10, 2011 at 8:02AM
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I just recently bought a sansevieria plant and I'm really not sure how much water it needs. And how often to water it I have searched and searched but I can't seem to find it anywhere. It is indoors and I keep my room at about 70-73 degrees and I give it sunlight for about 2 hours a day.

    Bookmark   January 18, 2011 at 7:11PM
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You'd be fine giving it a drink once every three weeks or so - this is assuming it has drainage where it can dry out between waterings.


    Bookmark   January 18, 2011 at 9:56PM
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pirate_girl(Zone7 NYC)

And if you don't already know this, pls. water 'til the water runs out the bottom of the pot. After 15-30 minutes, pls. discard any water left in the saucer.

    Bookmark   January 19, 2011 at 1:22PM
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