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The snake plant is one of our favorites when it comes to indoor plants. We have a few of them growing indoors and out in a terracotta pot. The spikey foliage interests all visiting our place, and even if they are ignored, they remain happy.
Growing plants, especially the snake plant, is easy. It grows exceptionally well with adequate drainage. Maybe you’re a proud owner of the mother-in-law’s tongue. So, you probably have an idea that it is the best air purifier. So, how do you keep your outdoor plant super happy? All you need is a well-draining soil mix.
So to help you out, we want to provide you with some of the best potting soils we have used with our snake plants. Make sure to read at the end on how to repot your snake plant.
The Importance of Choosing The Right Soil
The tropical plant is an evergreen that comes from Africa and South Asia. So your exotic plant can handle dry air with less watering well. Another benefit is your plant can grow in low light. But compared to other houseplants, we found there are one common problem-it rots fast.
The reason is that gardeners overwater their plants, causing root rot. So it helps to have the right soil mix for a healthy and thriving plant. The ideal earth is a succulent soil mix allowing the water to drain freely.
The mother-in-law’s tongue only needs to be damp after you water them to ensure the root system takes in the water. Or you might get a scolding (chuckle!) Yet, it should not hold back water for a long time. So an optimal soil mixture is loose.
So here are two things you can keep in mind never water your snake plants frequently. We found watering them once a week is enough. Or you can use the thumb method to check if the top inch of the soil is nearly dry.
Secondly, as with choosing the right potting mix, you need to have the correct potting medium. It needs enough drainage holes, whether it be a terracotta pot, 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 plant. But it does tend to be a bit dense and might not drain that well.
So it helps to add some aeration. For your snake plants, we do not recommend using 100% garden soil. Even a soil-less potting mix works. Still, if you prefer making your mix, you can add up to 60% soil, but for garden soil, use no more than 50%
Use Peat Moss For Your Snake Plants
We found using peat moss a great way to improve the consistency and texture of topsoil. The decomposed moss is lightweight that looks like soil. An added note is, your Sansevieria plants enjoy basking in acidic pH.
Another alternative is using coconut coir, also known as coconut peat or fiber. It is another natural soil conditioner made from coconut husks. You can also use it as composting and comes in the form of a brick. The best way to separate it is to soak it in water.
Both these mixes provide nutrients and boost microbial growth while they also hold moisture. You can use up to 30% of either.
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.
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 Snake Plant Soil Organic Potting Mix
A great place to start with soil for snake plants is organic soil mixes. There are no pesticides present, and compared to your regular potting soil, it is natural to enhance growth for any species of plants. You can buy a mix used for orchid plants, or you can make one yourself.
A Classical Soil-Based Organic Mix
All you need is one part of each:
- Peat moss 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 do the following:
- 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
Cactus Mix and Organic Succulent Soil
Snake plants grow well in ready-made cactus mix 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 to your mix.
Vermicomposting, also known as worm composting, is a type of organic manure made possible with earthworms. The worm castings produce valuable, and you can add them to your organic potting mix as a slow-release fertilizer.
Soil Mix Alternatives You Can Buy Online
Or, if you prefer not to invest time in making the succulent mix, you can, with minimal effort, buy organic matter online. Some great options are:
- 20 Dry Quart Bag by Worm Gold Plus is a soil mix with worm casting, fossilized kelp, and volcanic rock.
- Organic Succulent and Cactus Soil Mix for Growing Snake Plants comprises perlite with a substrate that is low in fertilizer.
- Soil Mixture for Snake Plants Sansevieria Zeylanica contains worm casting, peat moss, perlite, and lime.
Making a Success of Your Repotting Process
When you receive your snake plant, it comes in a nursery pot with succulent soil mix. But there comes a time when you need to repot snake plants. For some people, this is tricky as you do to want to harm the root ball. So to help you with transplanting your tropical plants, here are some helpful tips:
- Choose a pot that is about two inches larger than the one you have when repotting snake plants.
- Make sure when it comes to snake plant care, the container has enough drainage holes.
- Select your ideal soil mix and fill about one-third of the potting medium with it.
- Remove your plant with care from its container not to disturb 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 and apply water to your pot, and leave it to drain well, removing the excess water if standing in a saucer.
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 to get all set.
Whether you want to buy, sell or simply reach out to other plant enthusiasts, Plantly is the right place to be!