Gardening fanatics assemble! Do you love your precious snake plant but unfortunately, it’s dying? Repotting the plant is necessary for it to maintain its healthy, thriving appeal. But do you know how to repot snake plants? As you already might have discovered, the snake plant is the easiest houseplant to take care of.
Sansevieria trifasciata, as they’re known scientifically, are exotic plants ideal for indoor gardeners getting started. They can withstand low light and dry air, and have quite a handful of different varieties, including Cyclindrica, Black Coral, and Laurentii. Regular repotting of these beautiful houseplants can extend their lifespan and make them thrive even better. So, when’s the best time to repot the snake plant?
What’s the Ideal Time to Repot Snake Plants?
Just like some animals go into a dormant phase during winter, so do plants. Snake plants will get into dormancy during early spring or late winter. With very little to no activity taking place, this is the perfect time to repot them.
But that doesn’t mean you can’t repot snake plants at any other time. Apart from the two seasons, you can tell it’s time when the top part of the roots starts coming out from the pot’s bottom or swirling. Also, if the water passes through the pot’s drainage holes during watering, it’s a sign that your houseplants need another pot. It’s an indication it’s become rootbound.
Sometimes it can be hard to tell if the plants are root bound. To be sure, wiggle out the root ball, taking note of how tough it is to do that. Also, take note of the roots if they’re tightly wound. Be cautious not to cause damage to the roots. If you can confirm the condition is true, you should repot the plant.
How often to repot snake plant?
Generally, snake plants need to be repotted every 2-3 years, or when they have outgrown their current container.
Here are some signs that your snake plant may need to be repotted:
- The plant has become too large for its current container, and the roots are crowded.
- The soil is compacted and does not drain well, which can lead to root rot.
- The plant is top-heavy and has a tendency to tip over.
- The leaves are yellowing, which can be a sign of nutrient deficiencies or root problems.
How to Repot Snake Plants – Step by Step
Repotting snake plants isn’t that difficult. But again, doing it wrong can kill the plant entirely. When repotting, you need to ensure the type of soil and container size are right. Then things to do correctly to make it a success.
Choice of soil
As mentioned earlier, snake plants thrive well in dry conditions. The soil you choose should allow free drainage. If a lot of moisture stays in the roots for too long it can cause root rot. To avoid the waterlogged condition, it’s ideal to add cactus and the succulent mix since it provides better aeration.
Organic compost is also a good addition, about a handful, plus a half-inch worm compost layer topping. If you can use two-thirds to three-quarters of organic potting soil. A brand I like to use is Ocean Forest, but you can also use any other you’re used to. Just ensure it’s for houseplants.
When it comes to adding cactus soil and organic succulents, the amount should be between one-third and a quarter. I often recommend the Hoffman Succulent Soil
Organic compost is also a great addition to the soil mixture. A local compost is okay, but you may also “over-the-counter” composts such as Dr. Earth.
Does the size of the pot matter?
Yes, it does. Snake plants usually grow a little tighter inside the pot.
What is the best size pot for a snake plant?
The best size pot for a snake plant is one that is slightly larger than the current root system. If the pot is 6 inches, then it’s okay to go with an 8-inch. As a general rule of thumb, the pot should be between 4-6 inches in diameter and should have drainage holes.
Another important consideration is that snake plant roots usually spread outwards rather than go deep, hence your pot doesn’t have to be deep. If you go for a deep pot, it can lead to waterlogging since they will be plenty of soil gathered at the bottom, which won’t be good for your houseplant to thrive.
The actual repotting of the snake plant
After gathering all the soil mix substances, mix them in the pot until they form a uniform soil texture. Next, loosen the soil or potting mix from the root ball then take the snake plant from the container. You can use a blunt knife to do this.
After removing the plant, take note that you have to raise the soil mix around the root ball to about 1 inch below the new pot’s edge. Once done measuring the soil mix, place your snake plant inside the new pot then fill it around with the soil mixture. After this, top it up with a worm compost layer.
How to repot snake plant with root rot
Have you noticed that your precious snake plant has root rot? The repotting process isn’t any different, you only need to ensure the rot is eliminated. Using a sharp, sterilized gardening blade, separate the rotten rhizomes. Also, cut any tanned, mushy roots. If the leaves are also affected, gently cut them off as well.
You may notice that the rhizomes are affected beyond saving. If that’s the case, just discard them, but be sure to save a couple of healthy leaves that you can use for propagating a new plant. Ensure the soil mixture you use is completely fresh, just as we explained in the “choice of the soil” section.
Snake plant repotting aftercare
The natural thing for most of us is to water the plants after repotting. But you shouldn’t do that with snake plants. These houseplants are succulent, which means they’ve got plenty of water of their own. So, don’t water the plant after repotting. Instead, simply put the pot back where it was and leave the plant to settle in for roughly 7 days before watering.
Wrapping it up
So, there it is, how to repot snake plants. Generally, you shouldn’t worry too much about a snake plant like you would with the Wandering Jew, Azalea, or Zebra plant. Snake plants are easier to maintain, even repotting doesn’t need to be done frequently. You only need to repot your snake plants when they show the signs we discussed above, or the pot starts to crack. Generally, that should be like every four to six years.