If you are new to snake plants, you may wonder if your snake plant requires drainage in its soil. Although snake plants do not need a lot of water, they do need some water to survive. In our previous post, we examined the proper care methods for snake plants and offered advice on how to achieve optimal drainage. Below, we present them to you.
Because snake plants tend to get root rots and fungal diseases, it is important for their pots to have drainage. As succulent plants, snake plants may require less water than other indoor plants. However, it is recommended that the water they do receive drain out properly so that the roots of the plants do not stand in a pool of water for an extended period of time.
A snake plant is a wonderful plant to grow because it is incredibly easy to care for. It requires little water and can survive most weather conditions. However, keeping a snake plant healthy also means making sure that its soil is healthy–which translates into adequate drainage. Read on to find out how best to care for snake plant dirt and how to make sure it is able to have the right drainage for the plant.
Snake Plants And Drainage
Snake plants grow best in well-draining, well-aerated soil. Though snake plants can survive four days in stagnant water, they will eventually develop root rot. It is essential for roots to thrive and grow, but too much water will cause them to suffocate, swell, and supply too much water to the bark and foliage. The snake plant’s leaves will begin to lean over or become withered. You will also notice the leaves turn yellow and brown.
If there is any free-standing water in the plant pot after watering then the snake plant can develop fungal and bacterial issues. Proper drainage allows for the tree to get the nutrients it needs without drowning its roots.
Are Drainage Holes Required In A Snake Plant?
Having a drainage hole in your pot will increase the chances of your snake plant thriving. Don’t wait until the disease sets in to figure out how to fix your snake plant — establish a good drainage system right away.
If you overwater a snake plant it can easily become stressed out and die from a lack of nutrition. If you purchase a plant pot that does not have a drainage hole, you can add one with a utility knife or wire cutters.
Snake Plants Like It When It’s Crowded?
In general, snake plants grow much faster and taller in small pots. You can leave your snake plant in it for months and not repot it. When a snake plant’s root system becomes more developed, the roots get bigger and start to bulge out of the pot. In some cases, they can even break the pot, which is definitely a reason to repot the plant.
Although the roots aren’t hindering its growth, if the plant isn’t currently experiencing bacterial or fungal infections, the roots are too long, or if the snake plant is becoming too short, you may need to re-pot the plant.
Is Your Snake Plant Healthy?
Depending on the variety of the snake plant, the leaves are pointed with long yellow edges and stiff with fleshy green leaves on both sides. Snake plants that are healthy struggle to survive if they are in poor condition. Root rot, pests, over-watering, and environmental factors can cause them to die.
The best way to ensure that your snake plant’s is healthy and growing is to monitor them at least weekly to check for signs of stress. Below are a few of the things you can watch out for.
Signs Of An Unhealthy Snake Plant
Yellowing Or Browning Leaves
If a snake plant’s leaves turn yellow or brown, it could be suffering from a bacterial infection, being underwatered, or being over-watered.
Soil That Smells Bad
There is probably a fungal infection in your snake plant if you notice a pungent or foul odor coming from its base. Its roots should be crispy instead of mushy or sponge-like.
One of the common snake plant infections is root rot, which is caused by over-watering. To resolve this infection, remove the snake plant from its current soil base and plant it in freshly prepared soil. Depending on its current health, you may also need to fertilize the plant.
Deteriorating Or Wilting Leaves
You can tell if your snake plant’s leaves are healthy and vibrant by looking at the leaves. Are the leaves leaning to one side or standing upright? Is their color rich and green, or are they turning yellow and brown? Have you noticed any wilting on the leaves?
It is important to closely inspect your snake plant’s leaves in order to determine its health. It could be a sign of a pest or bacterial infection if any leaves curl up or have white spots on them. For instance, mealybugs inject toxins on the leaves of snake plants, which causes the leaves to droop downward and develop white spots.
The Plant Isn’t Growing
Snake plants don’t grow particularly fast, but you should see noticeable growth every few months during their life. If the leaves of the plant appear unusually small for long periods of time, chances are it needs a little TLC.
Inspecting the plant’s roots and foliage helps you identify any potential issues. If any troublesome symptoms are noticed, look for signs of stress on the leaves and the roots. The ideal pH range for a snake plant’s soil is between 4.8 and 8.5.
In Your Pots, How Do You Get Good Drainage?
Three things are needed for optimal drainage in a pot:
- Soil mixes that promote drainage that are of high quality.
- One or more drainage holes must be present in a plant pot.
- Material that promotes drainage
Let’s explore each of these items in more detail.
Soil mixes that promote drainage that are of high quality
Snake plant soil must have a low density to drain properly. For optimal drainage, it is best to aerate snake plant soil by combining it with an additive that will allow for airflow. The best snake plant potting soil mixes come pre-mixed, which means you do not need to mix any additives on your own. Consult the local nursery when you buy your snake plant.
One or more drainage holes must be present in a plant pot
In a deep plant pot, excess water is more easily wicked away from the soil of your snake plant. Standing in taller pots, more air and water can penetrate the soil’s surface. So even if the bottom layer is saturated, the top layer wouldn’t be.
Material that promotes drainage
Let’s take a look at a few items that you can add to help increase the drainage capability of your snake plant soil if it’s too moist or compact.
You can buy perlite for around $10 at your local nursery or online. It is a highly-porous, lightweight material used on potting media that increases drainage and oxygen in the snake plant soil. To increase your plant’s drainage ability, mix your soil with perlite if yours has become clumpy and heavy.
The use of vermiculite is another option for improving drainage in a snake plant’s soil. This material is often used to improve root development or decrease moisture issues in smaller plants. Vermiculite has a great ability to hold onto soil nutrients and release them slowly to the plants soil.
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