Snake plants are easy-care houseplants. Every once in a while, repotting Snake Plants is necessary for maintaining a healthy and thriving plant.
This tutorial on repotting Snake Plants shows you the steps to take, the mix to use and when to do it.
Snake Plants are some of my very favorite houseplants. I grow quite a few of them, both indoors and out, here at my home in the Arizona desert.
Their spiky, patterned foliage is so interesting to me. Plus, you can ignore them most of the time, and they’re happy as can be!
I actually repotted 5 of my plants but you only see 2 of them here. I call this project the “Snake Plant switcheroo” because I swapped out containers and locations they were in.
This guide was first published on July 7, 2017…We updated this guide in January 28, 2021 to answer some of your frequently asked questions which you’ll find at the end!
What are Snake Plants?
Snake Plants are also known as Sansevierias, Mother In Law Tongues, and Snake’s Tongue Plant. They handle dry air and lower light conditions like champions. You can find a list of our snake plant care guides here.
Helpful Houseplant Care Guides:
Repotting my Snake Plants:
Best Soil for Snake Plants
Snake Plants prefer to be kept on the dry side so the mix they’re planted in must drain freely. You don’t want it to hold too much moisture because this will lead to root rot.
That’s why I add in the succulent and cactus mix because it’s chunky and well aerated.
I also toss in a few handfuls of organic compost as I’m planting (I go much lighter on both this and the worm compost when repotting houseplants as compared to container plants in my garden) and a 1/2″ layer topping of the worm compost.
Soil Mix “Recipe”
2/3 – 3/4 organic potting soil
I alternate between Happy Frog and Ocean Forest, and sometimes I combine them. Both are full of high-quality ingredients. Make sure whatever potting soil you use says it formulated for indoor plants on the bag.
1/3 – 1/4 organic succulent & cactus mix
Few handfuls of organic compost
I use Tank’s local compost. Give Dr. Earth’s a try if you can’t find anywhere you live. Both enrich the soil naturally.
Soil Mix Alternatives
- 2/3 potting soil, 1/3 pumice
- or 2/3 potting soil, 1/3 or perlite
- or 2/3 potting soil, 1/3 clay pebbles
The pumice, perlite, and clay pebbles all up the ante on the drainage factor, enable aeration, and help to prevent the soil from staying too wet.
What Size Pot Should I Use?
They prefer to grow slightly tight in their pots. When I repot a Snake Plant, I go up 1 pot size.
For instance, if yours is in a 6″ grow pot, then an 8″ pot would be the size you’d want to use.
Because Sansevierias like to spread out as they grow, I’ve found that they don’t need a deep pot.
A deep pot has more soil mass at the bottom which could stay too wet which leads to root rot.
Transplanting/Repotting Snake Plants
Gather your soil mix materials. (Sometimes I mix them up ahead, and other times in the pot as I go along.
Loosen the plants from their pots. For one plant I used a dull knife and for the other, I gently pressed on the grow pot. Both ways are clearly shown in the video.
Once the plant is out of the pot, measure how much soil mix you’ll need to raise the top of the root ball up to 1/2″ to 1″ below the top of the new pot. Add the mix in.
Place the plant in the pot and fill in around the sides with mix.
Top with a thin layer of worm compost.
Snake Plant Care After Repotting
I place them back in the spot they were growing in before the repotting.
Snake Plants are succulents. After repotting, I keep mine dry for about 7 days to let them settle in. Then, I’ll water.
How Often Should You Repot Snake Plants?
Snake Plants don’t mind being tight in their pots. They actually seem to do better if a bit pot bound. I’ve seen quite a few which have actually broken their grow pots and they look just fine.
I have a couple of Snake Plants that I haven’t repotted for over 5 years. Don’t rush to repot yours unless it’s looking stressed or it’s cracked the grow pot.
Snake Plant Repotting FAQs
Snake Plants like a chunky soil mix that drains freely & is well aerated. They store water in their rhizomes and thick leaves so you don’t want the soil to stay consistently wet.
I wouldn’t recommend repotting one in straight potting soil because it could be too heavy. Add pumice, perlite or pebbles to up the ante on the drainage & aeration factors. See “Soil” for more details on these amendments.
If the grow pot is cracked, that’s 1 sign it needs repotting. As a general rule, I repot my Snake Plants every 4-6 years.
Snake Plants do fine growing tight in their pots.
No. Their rhizomes spread out rather than grow deep. A deep pot means more soil mass which can lead to them staying too wet.
Yes, they do. As the taller species & varieties grow bigger, they need larger pots. The lower growing varieties do fine in smaller pots.
I go up 1 pot size when repotting a Snake Plant to avoid an excess of the soil mass. I often use azalea pots because they have a lower profile & provide better drainage.
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