Snake plants have an eye-catching look and can thrive with very low maintenance. But, there is one thing you can’t skimp on: the soil. These succulents require specific soil to ensure that their roots are healthy and they are getting all of the nutrients they need to survive. You can even make your own snake plant soil mix to ensure it’s getting the nutrients needed to prevent damage to your plant.
What is a Snake Plant?
The snake plant, also known as Sansevieria trifasciata, originates in Asia and Africa. It has long, pointy leaves that stand straight up, making it one of the most unique and interesting plants around.
These plants are known to have several benefits, including filtering the air in your home and removing toxins and pollutants. These plants are also believed to reduce allergies and improve your mental health, plus they are used in Feng shui practices to boost your home’s energy for a more positive space to live in.
There are many different varieties of snake plants to choose from, so you can pick the perfect one to match your home and personality. For instance, the Bird’s Nest plant is small at only about 6 inches tall, with clustered leaves, making it a great option for those with limited space. The Twisted Sister is another dwarf plant with gold and green variegated leaves that reach about 15 inches in height.
Snake plants need little water and indirect sunlight, making them one of the easiest plants to care for. They are very particular about their soil, though, so you do need to be careful what you use for them to ensure your plant will survive.
What Type of Soil Do Snake Plants Need?
Every plant needs soil to grow, though not every plant needs the same type to thrive. Snake plants and other succulents need very specific conditions to prevent overwatering, which can lead to root rot and a dying plant. Let’s take a look at the type of soil a snake plant needs to stay healthy and happy.
First of all, the right soil for a snake plant needs to be light, somewhat dry, and well-draining. This ensures that the soil won’t retain too much water, keeping those roots dry as well. The container you use should also have a few drainage holes to ensure that the soil can release any excess water. Drainage holes make a much larger difference than many people realize so don’t neglect this.
Another important factor to consider when choosing snake plant soil is aeration. This prevents the soil from becoming too compacted, which gives the roots room to breathe and grow. Roots that are too tight in the soil will limit the plant’s growth. Potting soil will naturally compress overtime, and this is why you’ll often need to repot your plants with fresh soil every few years.
Nutrients are also an important factor when choosing your snake plant’s soil. These are the plant’s food source, so they need the right nutrients to grow big and strong. The perfect nutritional balance is a must for a snake plant.
Snake Plant Soil Mix Recipes
Snake plants are quite hardy, though having the right soil is one of the most important additions to keep them happy. There are many different ready-made soil options available that you can purchase but if you want to be sure your snake plant is getting what it needs, you can also create your own snake plant soil mix using one of the following recipes.
Before we get to the recipes, I wanted to briefly touch on buying pre-made soil. This is usually fine, assuming you get the right kind. For snake plants, go with a succulent or cacti mix to ensure that your soil is well draining enough. While some of the homemade mixes may be better and cheaper, a store bought option is perfectly fine and saves you the time of making your own.
Potting Soil Recipe
This recipe is quite easy to make using ingredients that you can find at any local home center or gardening store. To make this recipe, combine 1 part potting soil, 1 part peat moss or coconut coir, and 2 parts perlite or sand. The soil gives the snake plant the nutrients it needs while the peat moss or coconut coir absorbs any excess moisture. The sand helps the soil drain, though it doesn’t offer any nutritional benefits.
Succulent Soil Recipe
Since the snake plant is a succulent, you can also use succulent soil to grow it. This type of soil has the nutrients these plants need, plus it is well-draining to keep the roots from getting soggy and rotting.
For this mix, combine 3 parts organic potting soil with 1 part succulent soil mix. These are both well-draining options, plus they keep the soil aerated. You can also add a handful of compost to give the mix an organic richness that the soil is lacking without it. Don’t use too much, though, since compost can retain moisture and lead to root rot. A little compost goes a long way.
Cactus Soil Recipe
Snake plants are used to drier conditions, so using cactus soil is another good addition to your soil mix. The downside to this soil is that it doesn’t contain any organic matter, so it lacks the nutrients the snake plant needs to survive. That’s why you can’t use cactus soil on its own.
For this recipe, combine 2 parts cactus soil with 1 part peat moss and a handful of compost. The cactus soil is a good base, with the compost adding in those missing nutrients. The peat moss soaks up any excess moisture that the compost could be retaining to give your soil a good balance of nutrients, aeration, and dryness. This soil mix makes overwatering much less likely, but you’ll need to take care to provide extra nutrients for your plant that the soil lacks.
Snake plants don’t like to be in an overly large pot but they also don’t want to be root-bound since this doesn’t give them the room they need to grow. If you’re unsure whether your snake plant is ready for a larger pot, there are a few things that you can watch for.
These include soil that dries out faster than usual, a plant that is failing to get any bigger, and droopy, yellow, or brown leaves. You can also keep an eye on the roots, look out for roots spiraling in the bottom of the pot or poking through the drainage holes.
If you notice any of these issues, re-pot your snake plant in a container that is 1 to 2 inches larger than the one the plant is currently in. A plastic pot is fine, though a terracotta pot reduces excessive moisture and gives the soil the aeration it needs. Make sure the pot you choose has a couple of drainage holes to release excess moisture for the best soil conditions possible.
Snake Plant Soil Mix
Snake plants are a popular, low maintenance houseplant that add a touch of beauty to your home. They’re easy to care for, and getting their soil right doesn’t require much work either. Make sure they get well draining soil that doesn’t retain moisture and you’ll have a happy, healthy snake plant.