With an endless variety of soil mixes available in the market, it can become pretty daunting when choosing the perfect mixture for your snake plant. While snake plants are perfect for any novice owner, they still have specific soil preferences that will encourage them to thrive.
So, what type of soil is best for a snake plant?
Snake plants prefer dry, loose, and slightly acidic to slightly alkaline soil with ample drainage. Additionally, snake plants prefer a nutrient-rich potting mixture. So, a succulent and cactus soil blend with a small helping of perlite and fertilizer or organic matter is ideal.
Soil consists of an intricate network of organic matter, minerals, countless organisms, and water soil is the biologically active foundation upon which all plants grow.
So, although choosing the ideal soil blend for a snake plant can be daunting, we’re here with the ultimate guide to help you understand and select the best soil for your snake plant collection.
What Type of Soil Is Best For a Snake Plant?
Snake plants are tough, drought-tolerant plants that thrive in dry and slightly acidic to slightly alkaline soil conditions. More so, snake plants do not tolerate overly moist and compact soil; and while snake plants may survive in sandy soil, they prefer more organic matter to encourage a robust and healthy plant.
Therefore, the best soil type for a snake plant is a dry, loose, well-draining succulent or cactus potting mixture with a handful of perlite and rich organic matter.
Although peat moss is generally a superb “go-to” for many potting soil mixes, it tends to compress slowly, causing the ground to compact tightly, in turn causing draining problems and overly moist soil for snake plants.
In addition to the slow drainage caused by peat moss, a salt build-up can quickly occur, further stressing the plant.
Lastly, it’s best to avoid using regular sandy soil as it is generally too heavy for snake plants.
Snake Plant Soil Requirements
It’s essential to identify the primary care requirements for plants to survive, including soil preferences. So, let’s consider the basic soil properties that a snake plant needs to thrive.
Understanding and identifying these properties will help you purchase the perfect potting mixture or create a homemade soil blend for your snake plant.
The three primary yet most-essential soil requirements for a snake plant is the following:
- Soil with ample drainage
- Dry or aerated soil
- Nutrient-filled or organically rich soil
Snake Plants Require Soil with Ample Drainage
The snake plant is a succulent plant belonging to the “Dracaena” family; it is native to tropical Africa with arid and rocky climates. So, the snake plant is naturally used to dry soil conditions that stay arid throughout most of the year other than the short bursts of rain.
It is always best to mimic a plant’s natural habitat as closely as possible to ensure a healthy and robust plant. So, consider providing a well-draining potting medium as overly moist and soggy soil is the primary cause for a sick or dying plant.
Therefore, you can also use larger quantities of non-organic components like perlite, gravel, pebbles, crushed granite, coarse sand, and pumice to allow the soil to soak up the excess moisture speedily.
Snake Plants Require Well-Aerated Soil
Snake plants require excellent aeration to enable the plants’ roots to breathe and burrow deeper into the soil, encouraging the plant to grow and produce stronger and healthier roots.
More so, aerated soil ensures even moisture distribution and reduces the likelihood of pests and fungal growth.
Snake Plants Require Nutrient-Rich Soil
Although well-draining and aerated soil is the most critical requirement that snake plants need to thrive, they also rely on nutrients to grow properly.
Organic matter is a conversion of organic material from plants or animals into microorganisms; it is beneficial in the following way:
- Organic matter enhances the soil’s fertility and overall quality.
- Organic matter better equips the soil to prevent or fight against soil-borne diseases.
- Organic matter improves the soil’s capacity to supply and store essential nutrients for plant health and growth.
- Organic matter improves water infiltration.
Therefore, consider adding a handful of rich, organic materials like compost or tree bark to enhance the quality of your soil, encouraging the snake plant to thrive.
Cactus and Succulent Soil Are Best for Snake Plants
Cactus and succulent soil primarily consist of inorganic material, including perlite, gravel, grit, and sand, making it a suitable mixture for your growing snake plants.
One of the critical differentiating factors between cactus and succulent soil and a regular potting mixture is moisture retention.
Even though standard potting soil tends to drain well, it is full of organic materials that retain moisture. In comparison, the succulent and cactus soil does not hold as much moisture thanks to its high inorganic makeup that absorbs the excess water.
In addition, cactus and succulent soil are packed with excellent draining and aerating components that prevent root rot and promote root development by encouraging the water to travel to the bottom of the pot speedily.
Lastly, due to the proneness of fungal infections and pests developing in moist soil, the gritty nature of cactus and succulent potting soil automatically decreases the likelihood of diseases manifesting on the snake plant.
How to Make a Potting Mix for My Snake Plant
So, you’ve got two options: You can purchase a pre-mixed cactus or succulent soil that already contains the correct ratios of sand, perlite, pumice, grit, and organic matter, or create a mixture at home either way, both methods are equally effective.
Creating the perfect blend for your snake plant is pretty straightforward.
You’ll need the following components:
- Three parts ready-made potting soil without fertilizer.
- Three parts coarse sand and crushed gravel to encourage tiny air pockets in the soil that will create passageways for drainage and oxygen to reach the roots. So, add one part coarse sand and two parts crushed gravel at the pot’s base.
- Two parts perlite will encourage water drainage and good soil aeration.
- One-part organic mix like compost, bark, or organic mixture enriches the soil with nutrients and healthy bacteria.
Do Snake Plants Need Fertilizer?
Although snake plants are hardy to extreme temperatures and atmospheric conditions, they appreciate a standard fertilizer for houseplants.
The snake plant typically prefers a small amount of diluted, balanced fertilizer every four to six weeks during its growing season. Then, be sure not to fertilize the snake plant during the winter as the plant becomes dormant.
Although snake plants are hardy plants, they need good soil conditions to thrive and grow to their full potential.
Snake plants love loose, well-draining, and dry soil, making a cactus or succulent mix ideal! So, try to provide a soilless mixture of succulent and cactus mix, potting soil, and a sprinkle of rich, organic matter or compost.
Growing up with a mom who filled her home (inside and out) with all sorts of plants, Lisa got her start in gardening at a young age. Living now on her own with a home and yard full of plants (including an indoor greenhouse), she shares all the gardening tips she’s gained over the years.