The low-maintenance Snake plant can handle slight neglect or ignorance, but keep a keen eye on the soil mix as it invites further problems.
While soil is the sole base for the growth of Snake plants, it is also the home for pests and the reason for water problems.
So scroll down to know the exact soil requirement and prepare your DIY soil mix for the Snake plant.
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Factors to Consider While Choosing Soil Mix for Snake Plant
The roots of the Snake plant are sensitive, demanding proper aeration and well-draining light soil with avoidance to direct potting soil.
Since potting soil can be heavy, the Snake plant easily overwaters, and the root suffocates due to compactness.
So you need to consider several factors while choosing a potting mix for the Snake plant.
The Snake plant is a hardy succulent naturally growing in a dry habitat, adapted to store water in its thick leaves.
However, they cannot grow in entirely moistureless soil as the moisture in the soil dissolves the minerals and nutrients, helping the roots to absorb them.
So the soil mix should be well-draining as slow draining leads to soggy soil with low aeration.
2. Nutrients and Organic Matters
While looking for a potting mix for the Snake plant, always ensure the soil is rich in nutrients and organic matter.
Out of 16 nutrients plants require, 13 are obtained from the soil. So, your soil is the most crucial factor for plant growth.
Moreover, soil nutrients get washed off whenever you water the snake plant.
Hence, add nutrient-rich Snake plant fertilizer twice yearly to maintain soil health and vitality.
3. Soil Compactness and Aeration
Excessive soil compactness reduces aeration and soil drainage capacity, affecting root development.
So choosing a porous, low-density, and lightweight loam soil for the Snake plant ensures oxidization under the ground, allowing roots to absorb all necessary nutrients.
Meanwhile, less compact soil like Orchid mix allows water to go deep and quickly reach roots.
4. Correct Container
Soil moisture and soil drainage capacity are directly proportional to the type of container you use.
Using the right size pot with enough drainage holes helps to maintain soil moisture, temperature, and water condition with a quicker evaporation process.
Further, these pots are breathable and control the temperature as it acts as insulation.
5. Correct Soil pH
The soil pH influences the solubility of toxic chemicals such as aluminum and other harmful substances.
When the soil pH deviates from the ideal level, the plant’s chances of absorbing the toxic chemical increase because the solubility of chemicals in the soil increases.
Similarly, the soil’s acidity level also affects the absorption of minerals and nutrition.
Therefore, balanced soil pH is essential for the overall development of the Snake plant.
Signs of using the Wrong Soil Mix for Snake Plant
Generally, you can grow Snake plants in any soil, but their vitality and health depend on the right soil type.
If you pick random soil, it cannot perform well, no matter how hard you care about other influential factors.
Here are vivid signs indicating you are using the wrong soil mix for your Snake plant.
- Low Water Infiltration: The water remains above the soil with continuous moist soil, usually due to excess compact soil led by the wrong potting mix.
- Stunted Growth: Unhealthy and underdeveloped roots with no growth in the leaf size could be due to the wrong soil mix in the Snake plant.
- Bad Odor in Soil: Foul smell of the soil from root rot caused due to soggy conditions and anaerobic activities resulting from inadequate drainage.
- Soil Contamination: The presence of heavy metals like lead, arsenic, chromium, and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons disturbs soil pH and hinders the overall growth of the Snake plant.
- Fungus and Pests Infestation: White stringy clumps of fungus on topsoil appears because of low aeration with hosts for pests like bugs, beetles, grubs, fleas, and black flies led by wrong soil combination.
- Yellowing or drooping Leaves: Soil with low porosity leads to drooping, yellow leaves, and curling of Snake plants.
Best Soil Mix for Snake Plant
Since the Snake plant is succulent, you cannot use the regular potting mix alone.
Generally, various types of soil mixes are in the market, including all-purpose Potting Soil and Organic Soil.
Check the table below for the best soil mix for your snake plant.
|Commercial Potting Mix
|Miracle-Gro Tropical Potting Mix
|Packed with nutrients that feed tropical plants for up to 6 months.
Has lava rock for added drainage.
|Organic Snake Plant Soil
|Quickly drain away excess moisture after each watering.
Specially blended substrate for Sansevieria, Laurentii, and Black Coral
|Snake Plant Potting Soil Mix
|No additives or chemicals and provides soilless blend for container gardening
Provides aeration to roots and has good drainage
|GARDENERA Snake Plant Soil Mix
|Promotes rapid root development
Protects roots by quickly draining away excess water
|Harris Succulent and Cactus Mix
|Fast draining with the blend of forest humus, perlite, peat moss, and fish bone meal
pH balanced formula.
Homemade Soil Mix for the Snake Plant
Preparing homemade mix is always cost-efficient and more manageable than buying commercially available potting soil.
The DIY mix helps balance all the required elements, including pebbles, perlite and added nutrients that boost the healthy growth of the Snake plant.
Here are some soil recipes you can use for your snake plant.
- 1 part of river sand/coarse sand
- One part of old compost or 1/2 of fresh compost or worm casting.
- 1/2 part of perlite/pumice
- 1/2 part of peat moss/ coconut coir
- 1/3 part of garden soil
Note: If you do not have access to perlite or pumice, you can use an equal part of crushed charcoal or wooden shavings to make soil porous and light. Interestingly, charcoal helps in preventing fungal growth in the soil.
- 1/4 part of potting mix
- 1/4 part of peat moss or coconut coir
- 1/2 part of perlite or pumice
- 1/4 part organic compost (manure, vermiculture, homemade compost, etc.)
An indicator of good soil is the nutrient content in it. Hence, fertilization is vital for soil.
Therefore, I recommend using organic fertilizer to improve soil quality over a long period.
Frankly speaking, there is no hard and fast rule for the soil mix of Snake plants.
All you need to remember is the fundamental properties the Snake plant needs from the soil, including proper drainage, aeration, and lightweight.
You can always mix and match composition according to your preference and need.