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Soil Mix Suitable For The Snake Plant

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.

Generally, Snake plants require light, fast-draining, loamy, nutrient-rich, slightly acidic (5.5 to 7.5), and pollutant-free soil mix to support good aeration and reduce compaction. The best soil mix for snake plants is cacti and succulent mix with a good amount of perlite or pumice.

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.

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.

1. Well-draining

The Snake plant is a hardy succulent naturally growing in a dry habitat, adapted to store water in its thick leaves.

Low water-retention soil, like succulents and cacti mix, suits the Snake plant best when mixed with sand or perlite, boosting drainage.

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.

The more organic matter in the soil, the more nutritious and porous it becomes. Further, soil microorganism helps soil to regain its texture.

So you can use a balanced NPK (5-5-5) or a slightly nitrogen-rich combination like 5-3-3.

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.

The soil mix containing perlite, pumice, peat moss, charcoal, or wooden bark, decreases soil density and exerts low pressure on roots.

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.

A person is holding on a yellow pot with about ten to twelve drainage holes on the bottom of the pot with white fibrous roots poking out from the holes.
A pot with 10 to 12 drainage holes allows proper ventilation and drainage to the potted Snake plant.

Further, these pots are breathable and control the temperature as it acts as insulation.

Therefore, suitable container influences and helps to maintain soil properties. As the Snake plant adores dry soil, it is best to use clay or terracotta pots.

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.

Snake plants prefer a soil pH ranging between 5.5 to 7.5. However, they can also grow in a pH range of 4.5 to 8.5.

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.
The leaves of Snake plant is drooped and totally collapsed with yellowing.
If the yellowing in the Snake plant is not recovered quickly, the entire plant can collapse.
  • 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 MixAdvantages
Miracle-Gro Tropical Potting MixPacked with nutrients that feed tropical plants for up to 6 months.

Has lava rock for added drainage.
Organic Snake Plant SoilQuickly drain away excess moisture after each watering.

Specially blended substrate for Sansevieria, Laurentii, and Black Coral
Snake Plant Potting Soil MixNo additives or chemicals and provides soilless blend for container gardening

Provides aeration to roots and has good drainage
GARDENERA Snake Plant Soil MixPromotes rapid root development

Protects roots by quickly draining away excess water
Harris Succulent and Cactus MixFast 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.

Moreover, the homemade soil saves you from repotting the Snake plant for at least 2 to 5 years if all the materials befit the growth.  

Here are some soil recipes you can use for your snake plant.

First Recipe

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.

Second Recipe

Third Recipe

  • 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.

However, excessive synthetic fertilizers degrade soil quality over time and are neither eco-friendly.

Therefore, I recommend using organic fertilizer to improve soil quality over a long period.

Final Thought

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.

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