Despite their exotic appearance, snake plants are actually excellent plants for amateur indoor gardeners to start out with. This is because they are extremely rugged plants that require very little maintenance. On top of that, they also do really well in low-light conditions.
If you know what type of soil to use and what steps to follow, repotting snake plants can also be fairly straightforward. To make things easy, we are going to explain everything you need to know about repotting a snake plant.
We will explain why repotting is important, what type of soil you should use, and what steps you should follow to actually repot your snake plant.
What Type of Soil Should You Use When You Repot a Snake Plant?
As you may already know, snake plants tend to thrive when they are planted in a free-draining soil mixture. This is because snake plants are very susceptible to root rot, so you do not want to allow any water to pool around the roots of the plant.
If you can find it, a cactus or succulent soil blend will work best, as it is specifically designed to help low-water plants thrive. If you cannot find a pre-mixed cactus or succulent soil mix, it is possible to make your own. Remember, the key is ensuring the soil does not hold moisture for too long.
The following is a quick soil mixture you can prepare before you repot your snake plant:
- Two parts coarse sand or perlite
- One part peat moss or coconut coir
- One part standard indoor potting soil mixture
Once you have combined each element of your homemade snake plant soil, you can mix everything together using your hands or a small garden shovel. Remember that the soil mixture should be loose enough to drain properly, so make sure you avoid patting down to the point that it is overly compact.
How to Repot a Snake Plant – Step-by-step Guide
Step 1 – Choose an Appropriate Pot
Not only is important to buy or prepare a well-draining soil mix for your snake plant, but it is also important that you choose an appropriate pot. Most types of snake plants tend to grow quite tall and in an upright direction, so they can be fairly top-heavy.
This is why you will need a pot with a fairly wide bottom. Aim for a pot that is wider at the bottom than it is tall. Since you are repotting your snake plant, you will want to choose a pot that has a wider diameter than the plant’s previous container.
To help with drainage, you will also want to choose a pot that has at least one drainage hole on the bottom. This will allow any excess water to drain away from the roots, rather than the pool at the bottom of the pot.
Step 2 – Prepare the Pot
Once you have chosen the right pot, you can fill it with about a third of it with an appropriate soil mixture. Remember, avoid packing the soil tight, as it should remain loose enough to properly drain.
Step 3 – Lift Your Snake Plant
At this point, it is time to remove your snake plant from its existing pot. If you find that it will not come out easily, you can water the soil, as this will help to loosen the roots and make it easier to pull the plant out without damaging it.
Place one hand over the top of the soil and slowly turn the pot upside down. You can pat the bottom of the pot if the plant is stuck. Once the plant has come out of the pot, you can inspect the roots. If you notice any of them look overly soft, or they have a dark, waterlogged appearance, you can trim them away with a clean knife. This will help you prevent root rot from spreading once your snake plant is in its new home.
Step 4 – Repot the Snake Plant
You should aim to place your snake plant at roughly the same depth that it was sitting in its old pot. In most cases, this means placing the root ball about two inches beneath the rim of the pot.
Once you have set your snake plant down in its new pot, begin adding soil beneath the root ball until it is sitting at the correct depth. Once it is sitting at the right depth and in an upright position, you can fill the area around the roots with additional soil.
Once again, it is important to avoid packing the soil too tight. You want it to be packed enough to hold the plant correctly but still loose enough to drain correctly. Once everything looks right, you can water the soil, as this will help the soil and roots settle. Just make sure that any excess water is flowing through the drainage hole, rather than pooling at the bottom of your new pot.
Step 5 – Caring for Your Newly Repotted Snake Plant
Now that you have repotted your snake plant, you will want to make sure that it is placed in the right location. Snake plants can tolerate some direct sunlight, but they will always do better with indirect sunlight. Too much direct sunlight can actually cause leaf burn, which can cause discoloration and eventually cause the leaves to droop.
Find a location in your home where your snake plant will receive five or more hours of indirect sunlight per day. You will also want to avoid any area of your home where the temperature fluctuates, which usually means making sure the plant is not sitting near an air conditioning or heating vent.
You can water your snake plant again once the top inch of soil is dry to the touch and there is no water sitting in the drip tray beneath your plant. Remember, snake plants tend to do better in drought conditions than they do in situations where they are overwatered, so if you are unsure if you should water your snake plant, it is never a bad idea to wait an extra day or two.