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The snake plant is one of our favorites for indoor plants. We have a few growing indoors and out in a terracotta pot. The spikey foliage interests all visiting our place, and even if ignored, they remain happy.
Growing plants, especially the snake plant, is easy. It grows exceptionally well with adequate water drainage. Maybe you’re a proud owner of the mother-in-law’s tongue.
So, you probably know it is one of the best air purifiers. So, how do you keep your plant super happy? All you need is a well-draining soil mix for healthy snake plants.
So to help you out, we want to provide you with the best indoor potting mix we have used with our snake plants. Make sure to read how to repot your snake plant at the end.
The Importance of Choosing The Right Soil
This tropical plant is an evergreen that comes from Africa and South Asia. So your snake plant can handle dry air with less watering.
Another benefit is your plant can grow in low light. But compared to other indoor plants, we found there is one common problem root rot. The reason is that gardeners overwater their snake plant, causing root rot.
So it helps to have the right soil mix for a healthy plant’s roots with adequate drainage. The best one is a succulent soil mix allowing excess water to drain freely.
The mother-in-law’s tongue, another interesting name for the snake plant, needs the best soil that retains water but not too much moisture for plant growth.
Or you might get a scolding (chuckle!) Yet, it should not hold back water for a long time.
So a good snake plant soil mix must be loose for a healthy and thriving plant. Hence, you can remember two things: a snake plant prefers free-draining soil and watering with dry soil between watering. We found watering them once a week is enough.
Secondly, as with choosing the right snake plant potting mix, you need to have the correct potting medium. It needs enough drainage holes, whether it be a terracotta pot, a plastic pot, or the nursery container it came in.
Best Potting Soil For Air Purifying Snake Plants
Okay, friends, you can find garden soil sold online, but which one should you choose for your snake plants? Believe us. Not all potting soil will provide your tropical plant with what it needs. So it helps to know the difference between the soil mixes to choose the right one.
Choosing Garden Soil or Topsoil
There is nothing wrong with using garden soil, or you can use a mixture of topsoil with your garden mix. The latter has a high quality of nutrients and contains microorganisms beneficial for your low-maintenance plant. However, it tends to be dense and is not a well-draining soil mix.
So it helps to add some aeration. We do not recommend using 100% garden soil for your snake plants. Even a soil-less potting mix works. Still, if you prefer making your mix, you can add up to 60% soil but use no more than 50% for a garden potting mix.
Use Peat Moss For Your Snake Plants
We found peat moss a great way to improve the consistency and texture of topsoil. The decomposed moss is lightweight and looks like soil.
An added note is your Sansevieria plants enjoy basking in a slightly acidic soil pH. Another alternative is using coconut coir, also known as coconut peat or fiber. It is another natural soil made from coconut husks. You can also use it as composting, which comes as a brick.
The best way to separate it is to soak it in water. These mixes provide nutrients and boost microbial growth while holding moisture. You can use 30% of it to create organic potting soil and other mediums discussed here.
Creating Air Pockets With Sand
Now, every potting mix needs air pockets for the water and oxygen to move freely to the roots. This is where sand is excellent as it helps with water drainage. But do not overdo it as it can become compact. So it is best to use 15% coarse sand to add to the soil mix. Or you can use gravel as it also works well.
Then, you can lay it at the base of your container.
Volcanic rock or pumice has many cavities inside and helps transport carbon dioxide and oxygen to the soil. Another beneficial thing we found it does not attract pests or fungi. So add it to the ground to reduce the density to retain moisture and nutrients your plant needs.
Adding Compost For Healthy Soil
As compost is biodegradable waste, it is rich in nutrients. So invest in worm compost to enrich the soil as it encourages good bacteria that decompose organic, creating humus. We found snake plants can go without compost, but adding a bit helps prevent pests and diseases, but not too much.
The Best Soil For Snake Plant
An organic potting soil mix is a great place to start with snake plant soil. No pesticides are present, and compared to your regular potting soil, it is natural to enhance growth for any species. You can buy a mix used for orchid plants or make your own snake plant soil mix.
A Classical Soil-Based Organic Mix
All you need is one part of each:
Peat moss/coconut coir or a mature compost
Topsoil or garden loam
Perlite or builder’s sand
If you want, you can add a slow-release organic fertilizer to the mix.
Or you can follow these soil recipes:
50% topsoil, 30% potting mix, 20% perlite
50% topsoil, 40% coco coir, 10% sand
45% topsoil, 45% perlite, 10% sand
30% topsoil, 30% peat, 40% pumice
The soil naturally retains moisture allowing excess moisture to drain from the soil structure, preventing wet feet.
Snake plants grow well in ready-made cactus soil as it is succulent. Yet, the sand is very coarse, and your snake plant might not get the necessary moisture as the water drains through faster.
So instead of using the soil-less mixture alone, add 30% regular soil when making your own snake plant soil. Doing this prevents soggy soil leading to healthy growth.
Vermicomposting, also known as worm composting, is a type of organic waste made possible with earthworms. The worm castings are valuable; you can add them to your organic potting mix as a slow-release fertilizer. One thing is for sure it will keep your snake plant healthy.
Alternative Soil For Snake Plants Online
Or, if you prefer not to invest time in making succulent soil, you can, with minimal effort, buy organic matter online. Some great options are:
Miracle-Grow likes its palm cactus soil with a blend of citrus potting media with perlite, sand, and pine bark.
Another of the best snake plant soil mixtures is Ramsey succulent soil mix, a combination of part perlite and sand.
rePotme Cactus is a succulent soil mix made with pine bark, pumice, diatomaceous earth, and stalite.
Repotting Snake Plants
When you receive your snake plant, it comes in a nursery pot with a succulent soil mix. But there comes a time when you need to repot Sansevieria plants. For some people, this is tricky because you do not want to harm the root ball.
Helpful Tips For Transplanting
Choose a pot about two inches larger than you have when repotting snake plants.
Make sure the container has enough drainage holes when it comes to snake plant care.
Select the best potting soil and fill about one-third of the potting medium.
Remove your plant carefully from its container to avoid disturbing the root system.
Place your snake plant in its new container and add some extra soil mixture to your plant.
Tap the soil to settle, apply water to your pot, and leave it to drain well, removing the excess water if standing in a saucer.
Tips For Repotting Mature Plant
Now that you have chosen an ideal soil mix, give your snake plant a good drink of water the day before transplanting it to its new home to help minimize stress.
Place fresh soil at the bottom of the new container.
Remove your plant from the current pot, and do not damage the roots.
Check the roots and trim away any damaged ones caused by root rot.
Settle your snake plant in its new home and keep the root ball at the same level as the previous container.
Fill up the gaps and gently press the soil mix to remove air pockets.
Water your plant allowing the soil to settle, and place it out of direct sunlight.
Signs Growing Snake Plants in The Wrong Soil Mix
As you know, snake plant thrives in well-draining potting medium, but commercial-bought ones holds back a lot of water for a long time.
Still, this is not what you want for your plant soil for snake plants. So choosing the best soil for snake plants is essential.
Nonetheless, if you are growing snake plants in such soil, it helps to look out for the following signs:
The snake plant does not grow fast, but if you notice it has stopped growing, it can be a lack of nutrients or the soil pH is not right. We recommend switching out the planting mix with a better one to check if your snake plants thrive. Or top it off with cactus soil.
Brown and Mushy Roots
Overwatering is the main cause of your plant not thriving. When there is an infected root ball, it can kill your plant. Healthy roots should be white. We recommend changing the soil to a succulent mix if you see brown mushy roots.
Leaves Discolored or Drooping
If your plant starts to droop over or you notice yellow or brown leaves, it can be from too moist soil.
Snake plants are one of the easiest plants to care for, and they will improve the air quality in your home. So what is stopping you? Why not choose a mother-in-law’s-tongue right here from us if you have not found one yet?
Then, pick your all-purpose plant food from the list with the best soil mix, and Plantly will help you get all set.
Frequently Asked Questions
The best soil for snake plants must be fast-draining and slightly acidic, with a pH between 5.5 to 7.5. Choose soil with some perlite, vermiculite, and coco coir. The soil mixture must be airy and loose to allow drainage and oxygenation at the roots. We recommend avoiding heavy, dense soils, which can lead to root rot.
A succulent mix is an excellent option for snake plants as it is well-draining and will provide your plant with the essential nutrients it needs.
Regular potting medium is not the wrong soil, but preferably choose one made for snake plants.
As the snake plant is acid-loving, adding some coffee grounds to the compost benefits your plant. It will provide the snake plant’s roots with the nutrients it needs to thrive.
Snake plants grow big, and providing them with a large container is best. But when choosing a container when repotting, snake plants prefer a size bigger than the one it is growing in.
You can water them with tap water, but leaving the water standing overnight is best to help the chlorine and other chemicals evaporate and not harm your plant’s roots.