Repotting Snake Plant: What Soil Mix to Use and What To Do

We recently completed a little transplanting job of what we like to call the “Sansevieria Switch,” which is where we take our snake plants out of their old pots and repot them into new ones. We thought it would be interesting for you to see how we repot them, as well as what soil mix we use.

What you tend to see when your snake plant has been in a pot for a little longer than it should be is that its leaves start to become a little paler in appearance. Usually, this happens because the pot has become too small for the plant and the soil quality has started to degrade. When this happens, it’s time to move your Mother in Law’s Tongue into a new spacious home.

Repotting snake plants is a very simple, straightforward process that will take you no longer than 15 minutes. Make sure you have a read of this article so that you know exactly what to do and what not to do when repotting your snake plants:

Repotting Snake Plant What Soil Mix to Use and What To Do snippet image

Table of Contents

Step 1. Use a blunt knife

To remove the snake plant and soil from its existing container, use an old dull knife to chop out the snake plant and soil around the pot’s edge. It’s a good idea to use a blunt knife since you don’t want to harm your plant’s roots. We’re also confident that you’ll want to keep the old pot from being scraped and damaged so that it may be utilized again for another transplanting project with another plant.

Step 2. The Soil, Compost, Root System and More

For the soil, we use about 3/4 potting soil and roughly 1/4 succulent and cactus mix. Whatever garden soil mix you use, you want to make sure that it drains quickly because too much moisture around the roots of your snake plant will lead to root rot. You can find potting soil and succulent/cactus mix at your local nursery or garden center, or you can order it online from the links we have provided above.

Compost

You can also add some compost to the moist soil mix if you have it on hand. We like to add a little bit of worm compost to all of our plants, regardless of what they are, just because it seems to give them that extra boost that they need. If you don’t have any compost, then don’t worry about it – your snake plant will still do just fine without it.

The Root System

As a side note, have a look at how compacted the root system has gotten from being confined for too long when you first take your snake plant out of its original container. The leaves of the Sansevierias begin to appear bleached out if the roots don’t have enough room to expand. They will return to their lush green colours and the yellow stripes on them will be much more visible after repotting them.

Rhizomes

So what are rhizomes we hear you asking? They are thickened, fleshy roots that store water and nutrients. They grow horizontally underground (or at the soil surface) and produce new plants via buds called ” eyes.” You don’t want to water your snake plant too much since the rhizomes will rot and there will be an excess of standing water if you do. The roots (although a lot thinner and smaller) and leaves also store a lot of water so make sure you don’t water your plant too often!

succulent soil mixes

Step 3. Placing The Compost And Soil In Your New Pot

Before you place the soil into your new pot, you need to measure out the height of the compacted soil around your snake plant (this should be simple enough to do since you have already taken it out). The reason why we do this is because we don’t want the soil to overlap with the snake plant leaves in the new pot.

Place your garden trowel flat on the snake plant’s side and roughly draw a line where the top of the soil ends. So now you know how much space in the new pot your snake plant is going to take up. Leave a gap at the bottom (roughly 2-3 inches depending on how high your pot is) which you will first fill with your compost. After you have put your compost in, place your snake plant in and fill the remaining spaces with your potting soil and fill to the same level as the old soil of your snake plant (Mounding soil too high on the leaves might cause them to rot).

snake plant soil

Step 4. Sprinkle The Cactus Mix with a little Compost

After you have repotted your snake plant, it’s a good idea to give the plant a little bit of water (just enough to moisten the soil) and then sprinkle the cactus mix with a little compost. This will help your plant to recover from being transplanted and will give it the nutrients that it needs!

Conclusion

Repotting a snake plant is a relatively easy process. Just remember the points below:

  1. Use a blunt knife.
  2. Make you have the correct soil, compost and cactus mix.
  3. Be mindful of the root system and the pitfalls of overwatering.
  4. Place the compost and soil in a new pot.
  5. Place your snake plant in the new pot.
snake plant outside

People Also Ask

Signs my snake plant needs repotting?

  • The roots are expanding from the drainage holes.
  • The soil drains too rapidly.
  • The pot is splitting or cracking.
  • Pups are produced by the plant in numerous numbers.
  • The plant keeps falling over, despite efforts to keep it upright.

When should you repot a snake plant?

The best time to repot a snake plant is in the springtime.

Why does my snake plant need to be repotted?

Your snake plant needs to be repotted because the roots have become compacted and the plant is not getting enough nutrients.

snake plant and roots

How often should you repot a snake plant?

You should repot your snake plant every two to three years.

What happens if you don't repot a snake plant?

If you don’t repot your snake plant, the roots will continue to become compacted and the plant will eventually start to turn pale with a bleached out appearance.

Do snake plants like to be crowded?

Snake plants don’t mind being crowded in a container, but they do eventually need to be repotted. Even if they haven’t outgrown their container, the soil quality deteriorates over time and necessitates a top-up.

snake plants crowded

What kind of pots do snake plants like?

Snake plants do best in terra cotta pots because they allow the soil to dry out more easily than in plastic pots. Use a potting mix that is well-draining. A “cactus and succulent” potting mix is ideal, since it will be less prone to being overwatered.

How do I make my snake plant bushy?

  • It’s a good idea to give it plenty of light.
  • Water should be used sparingly.
  • Raise humidity and avoid chilly temperatures to reduce stress.
  • Keep the snake plant Away From Cold Drafts.
  • Remove any debris from the leaves, such as twigs or dust.
  • Fertilize It.
  • Remove the flowers.
  • When your snake plant’s roots become root-bound, move it to a new pot.

Can snake plants grow in small pots?

Yes, snake plants can grow in small pots. However, they will eventually need to be repotted as their roots become compacted. It is best to repot them every two to three years. When repotting, use a well-draining potting mix and a pot that is slightly larger than the previous one. You can also propagate your snake plant in small pots if you want it to stay small. Just make sure to use a blunt knife when cutting the root ball so that you don’t damage the roots and your pot.

snake plants in smaller pots

Do snake plants like shallow or deep pots?

Snake plants like deep pots because their roots can grow downward. They don’t mind being crowded in a container which is why you don’t want your pot to be “too deep”, but they do eventually need to be repotted. Even if they haven’t outgrown their container, the soil quality deteriorates over time and necessitates a top-up.

How much light does a snake plant need?

Snake plants do best in bright, indirect light but can tolerate low light conditions. If you want your snake plant to be more compact, give it plenty of light. If you want it to grow taller, give it less light.

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Oliver Wright

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