Best Soil For Snake Plant (3 Key Requirements)

Snake plants are rising in popularity, and rightly so! Perfect for any rookie, snake plants are ideal air purifiers for all homes that are exceptionally hardy. However, like all plants, snake plants have specific soil preferences to ensure an optimal environment.

So what’s the best soil for snake plants? Snake plants do best in reasonably dry, loose, and well-draining soil. Succulent and cactus soil is generally the best mixes to grow snake plants. In addition, they prefer nutrient-rich potting mixes, including a majority of cactus and succulent mix, with a small helping of perlite and fertilizer.

Soil – the skin of the earth – is the biologically active base upon which all plants grow. It consists of a complex mixture of minerals, water, organic matter, and countless organisms supporting plant growth. Choosing the perfect soil blend for a snake plant can be unnerving; so, we’re providing the ultimate guide to understanding the best soil for snake plants.

The Best Soil For Snake Plants

Snake plant soil

Snake plants are hardy and drought-tolerant plants that generally prefer slightly acidic to slightly alkaline and dry soil conditions. Therefore, the best soil type for snake plants is a loose, well-draining potting mix filled with additional nutrients and rich organic matter.

In addition, using a potting mix with the majority of the mixture consisting of cactus and succulent mix with a sprinkling of perlite does a magnificent job!

Even though sand is loose and well-draining, snake plants can’t only survive in sandy soil. So, you have to combine the sand with a succulent and potting mix.

Although peat moss is an excellent “go-to” for many soil mixes, it tends to be too compress slowly, causing the soil to compact tightly; therefore, causing rehydrating and draining problems for snake plants. In addition, due to slow drainage, salt build-up quickly occurs, further stressing the plants.

Moreover, snake plants tolerate loose, sandy soil; however, it’s best to avoid using regular garden soil as it is generally too heavy for snake plants.

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What Are The Soil Requirements For Snake Plants?

Instead of recommending a specific soil brand or mix to house snake plants, first, consider the basic soil properties that a snake plant needs.

The reason being, if you can understand and identify the vital properties needed in snake plants’ soil, you’ll be well away to determine the perfect mixture and to even create your own snake plant soil mix.

The three primary soil requirements for snake plants are the following:

  1. Well-draining soil
  2. Aerated soil
  3. Nutrient or organically rich soil

1.    Snake Plants Require Well-Draining Soil

The first and most crucial soil requirement for snake plants is to have well-draining soil. The snake plant belongs to the “Dracaena” family, a succulent. In addition, snake plants are native to the dry, rocky habitats in tropical Africa, where the soil generally stays dry through most of the year with short bursts of moisture.

So, snake plants need a potting medium that drains well to mimic their natural environment. Too much water or soggy soil is the snake plant’s most frequent cause of failure.

Therefore, consider adding higher proportions of non-organic components, including perlite, gravel, crushed granite, pebbles, coarse sand, and pumice.

These inorganic components will speedily soak up all the excess water.

2.    Snake Plants Require Aerated Soil

Snake plants have excellent aeration available in their natural habitat that enables the plants’ roots to breathe and burrow deeper into the soil.

Aerated soil encourages stronger and deeper growing roots and diminishes the likelihood of pests and fungal growth.

3.    Snake Plants Require Nutrient-Rich Soil

All plants, including snake plants, rely on nutrients to thrive.

However, organically rich materials are less important than the well-draining and aeration properties. Consider adding a small amount of rich, organic materials like compost, peat moss (only a hand full), and tree bark.

Cactus & Succulent Soil For Snake Plants

Cactus or succulent soil is usually suitable for growing snake plants. It primarily consists of inorganic materials like perlite, grit, gravel, and sand.

Perlite

One of the essential differentiating factors between cactus or succulent soil and regular potting mix is its moisture retention. Although standard potting mixes tend to drain well, they are full of organic materials that soak up and retain moisture. In comparison, succulent and cactus soil does not retain moisture due to its high inorganic makeup that soaks up the excess water.

Snake plants love loose and dry soil, making cactus or succulent mixes ideal!

In addition, succulent soil is full of draining and aerating components that allow the water to speedily travel to the bottom of the pot, further preventing root rot and promoting root development.

Lastly, the gritty nature of succulent soil will decrease the probability of pests and diseases manifesting on the snake plant.

Fungal infections and pests are prone to develop in moist, soggy soil with a heavy texture. Due to natural draining and aerating components in succulent soil, the environment is not suitable to host pests and bacteria.

Therefore, using succulent soils immediately treat the primary concern for snake plants- soggy and water-logged soil.

How To Create My Own Snake Plant Soil?

Mixing plant soil

Purchasing pre-made cactus or succulent soil ensures that it contains everything (perlite, crushed graves, pumice, sand, and small amounts of organic matter like peat moss) in the correct ratios for the snake plant without much worrying and work on your part.

However, creating your very own soil mixture for snake plants is pretty straightforward and a lot cheaper than general stores. You can use specific ratios of organic and non-organic components, but a rough estimate will suffice.

Be that as it may, consider using:

  • Three parts potting soil (without fertilizer): A ready-made potting soil for succulents and cacti is a perfect fit for snake plants. Succulent and cacti mixes tend to be a soilless mix and need additional supplements of sand and perlite.
  • Three parts sand or crushed gravel: Course sand will encourage tiny air pockets in the soil mix. These air pockets create efficient passageways for water to drain and oxygen to reach the roots. However, do not use large amounts as it tends to compact. So, add coarse sand, and two parts crushed gravel (at the pot’s base).
  • Two parts perlite: Perlite is a volcanic rock that looks like porous, lightweight, Styrofoam balls. Perlite is excellent for water drainage and provides good soil aeration.
  • One-part organic mix: A handful of compost or organic mixture will enrich the soil with nutrients and healthy bacteria. Snake plants can survive without any additional compost. However, avoid adding too much; a little goes a long way.

Fertilizer For Snake Plants

Although snake plants are hardy to extreme temperatures and atmospheric conditions, they need a boost of fertilizer to remain healthy during their growing season, especially potted snake plants. Unfortunately, most of the nutrients and supplements on potted plants get flushed away with each watering session; therefore, they occasionally rely on us to help them out with a nutrient boost.

Inadequate fertilization leads to various problems, including stunted growth, weak root development, droopy leaves, and yellowing leaves.

Like all houseplants, snake plants appreciate a standard fertilizer for houseplants. However, the snake plant prefers a small amount of balanced fertilizer every 4 to 6 weeks during its growing season.

Be sure not to fertilize the snake plant during the winter. The plant is dormant, and fertilizer will only harm the plant.

Consider using a mild cactus fertilizer or a balanced slow-releasing 10-10-10 or 20-20-20 fertilizer. To prevent over-fertilizing the plant, be sure to dilute it to at least half or a quarter of its full strength. In addition, be sure to apply the fertilizer by spreading all over the soil instead of pouring it onto a single spot.

Note: snake plants kept in low light settings require less fertilizer than plants in bright light.

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Conclusion

Snake plants need good soil conditions to remain healthy and grow to their full potential. Even though snake plants are hardy plants that can survive in different soil conditions, they prefer loose, well-drained, and nutrient-rich soil to thrive.

A soilless mixture of succulent or cactus mix and potting soil, along with a sprinkle of organic matter or compost, is a perfect blend to keep your snake plant lush.

Resources

https://www.gardeningknowhow.com/houseplants/snake-plant/snake-plant-care.htm

https://www.thespruce.com/snake-plant-care-overview-1902772