Mother-in-law’s tongue, also known as snake plant, is one of the toughest plants for people with a “brown thumb.” However, one of its primary enemies is root rot. Fortunately, root rot can be easily prevented with the right pot and soil. We created a list of the best pots and soils for snake plants, so you have everything you need.
Snake plants need free-draining soil in order to prevent root rot. Therefore succulent, palm, or cactus soil are usually suitable choices. Additional additives such as perlite, coco coir, and sand can be added in order to provide improved drainage.
The Best Soil For Snake Plants
The snake plant is prone to root rot, so the soil needs to drain well. Other than that, the snake plant doesn’t care much about soil.
There are a huge variety of snake plant mediums available nowadays. Some people use a mix of peat moss and pearlite. They can also use a soilless medium.
Despite the fact that regular potting soil is not ideal for growing snake plants, they will still grow normally in this medium. If you have the resources, it is a good idea to amend a standard potting soil for drainage. Sand is a popular choice, but you may want to experiment with additional ingredients, such as pearlite, coco coir, or anything else that would aid in preventing root rot.
No matter what mix you choose, snake plants are hardy and forgiving. As long as you manage their water correctly, they will likely grow happily.
Snake plants are susceptible to soil problems if they are placed in an outdoor garden. Break up the soil well beforehand if you are placing a snake plant outdoors. The soil in a naturally clayey loam can be broken up by digging it up and mixing it with sand to help it drain.
For snake plants, the pH level does not play a major role, since they can tolerate anything from a 5 to an 8.5 pH level. Slightly acidic soil with pH levels between 5.5 and 6 is ideal.
If you have concerns about the soil pH in your garden, you can have a soil test done or conduct a pH test at home. Slightly acidic soil is ideal for many plants, so any soil you buy will usually be made to that quality.
It is especially important to pay careful attention to the pH of your soil if you are hydroponically growing plants. In this case, avoid acidic liquids like coffee. If you use pebbles with snake plants, you also want to make sure there are no damaging residues left on them.
Can Snake Plants be Grown in Cactus Soil?
Snake plants do well in cactus soil because it drains well. Cacti also suffer from root rot, and their soil has nutrients to keep them from “wet feet.”
Snake plants prefer sand-rich soil, which snake plants often have in abundance.
If you’re not interested in mixing your own soil, Cactus or Palm soil is an excellent choice. If you’re not ready to deal with a ton of soil, you can use it as an addition to normal soil to promote drainage.
Snake Plant Containers
Snake plants need an appropriate container. Terra cotta pots and smart pots are suitable for snake plants because they drain well and have good airflow.
There are snake plants that do not need a large pot, depending on how many you want in a single container. Generally, a three-gallon pot or smaller is okay. Much larger is just too much space.
Start with a small pot and transplant later if you think you will need more space. Snake plants don’t mind being somewhat root-bound if the roots don’t encircle.
Air pruning helps plants grow oxygenated roots in smart pots, also known as felt pots.
However, snake plants must still be watered properly because their fabric material hinders overwatering.
These plants are ideal for snake plants since they allow for good drainage and air pruning.
How to Prevent Root Rot
Usually, the roots of plants start rotting away when they are infected by root rot. Brown leaves, weak or decaying branches, or slow growth are symptoms of root rot.
In order to prevent this disease, the best approach is to ensure that the soil and containers are properly draining. If you are concerned that your snake plant may get this disease, you might try to prevent root decay in other ways.
Preventing root rot is probably as simple as correctly watering your plants. When watering the plant, stick your finger an inch or two into the soil. If the soil is moist, it probably won’t need watering anymore for a few more days.
In the winter, snake plants typically go into dormancy, so they grow slower, so it is crucial to space out waterings more prevent too much moisture.
Using a sponge is another useful trick for separating water from the roots. This sponge trick helps prevent root rot, in addition to making it easier for the gardener to water correctly.
Do Snake Plants Like Peat Moss?
It is far better to add sphagnum moss or peat moss to the soil so that the plant can thrive. Contrary to popular belief, coco coir is another good soil addition.
Peat moss should be used only as a soil amendment and not as the main component of the soil. Its proportions should not surpass 20 percent of the soil, depending on the composition of the soil. When making amendments, consider the overall drainage of the soil. You want the soil to retain some moisture, but not enough to cause root rot.
It is good for snake plants if it contributes to the good drainage of the soil.
Can Snake Plants Survive without Soil?
You can grow snake plants without soil. They grow well in soil-less media, but snake plants will not thrive if they are grown in only water.
In pebbles or other mediums, snake plants can grow for a while. However, their growth is usually not as fast as it could have been. It may be a good option for you to keep a small snake plant on your desk though if you are attempting to keep it on your desk.
A soluble fertilizer can also accelerate the growth of snake plants grown hydroponically. Change out the water regularly, particularly if the container is transparent.
Snake plants will root if you place them in water with soil in a terrarium. That should work. Snake plants could also be rooted directly in the soil with rooting hormones.
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