When and How to Repot a Snake Plant (Essential Tips)

With beautiful leaves and a low-maintenance lifestyle, it’s no wonder snake plants are some of the most popular houseplants. If you own one of these symbolic plants, you’re probably interested in how you can keep them healthy. Although these snake plants are relatively slow growers, they’ll benefit from timely repotting. Proper repotting ensures your plants’ roots have room to grow, leading to a healthy plant! Read on to learn all about how to repot your snake plant.

When and How to Repot a Snake Plant

Repotting Snake Plants – The Essentials

Depending on your plant’s growth rate, you should repot your snake plant every one to three years. Choose a pot that is a few inches larger than the original, and make sure the pot has drainage holes. Inspect the roots and replant using a well-draining potting mix.

Why Repotting Snake Plants is Necessary

Why Repotting Snake Plants is Necessary

Like all plants, snake plants grow. At some point, they’ll outgrow their current pot.

When a snake plant’s roots don’t have anywhere left to grow, the plant becomes root bound. In the beginning, you may notice roots circling the edges of the pot. As time passes, roots may form a thick mat at the pot’s base.

If plants are rootbound, they can exhibit numerous issues. These include a lack of growth, yellow leaves, and wilting.

Repotting your plant provides the roots with new space to grow. 

Snake plants are also easy to propagate if you’re looking to expand your collection. 

How Often Do Snake Plants Need Repotting?

In general, all types of snake plants need to be repotted every one to three years (sometimes more). The exact amount of time you should wait before repotting depends on your plant’s growth rate.

While snake plants can survive in varying levels of light, plants that receive more light will grow faster. Therefore, plants that receive a lot of indirect light will need to be repotted more often than plants kept in shaded areas.

If you’re unsure if your plant needs to be repotted, start to remove the plant from its container. If you seed the roots that have woven together, it’s time to repot.

Best Times of Year to Consider Repotting

The best time of year to repot is in the late winter or early spring. At this point, light is increasing, and snake plant growth is about to take off. Now’s also the best time for pruning snake plants.

However, you can repot your snake plant during other times of the year.

The Best Soil Mix When Repotting Snake Plants

The Best Soil Mix When Repotting Snake Plants

Snake plants have succulent-like leaves that hold lots of water. Therefore, they don’t like their soil to be constantly moist. To help keep snake plants happy, select a well-draining soil mix.

The best soil mix for snake plants will be well-draining and well-aerated. It will also be able to hold water and nutrients.

Regular houseplant potting mixes can work for snake plants. However, they might not drain as well as you wish. To increase the drainage of a pre-mixed potting mix, add additional perlite or sand.

Soil mixes meant for cacti and succulents can also work for snake plants. However, these mixes might not hold enough water. Add some extra peat moss or coco coir to boost the water holding capacity.

The best snake plant mix will be in between regular houseplant soil and a succulent/cacti soil. For a superior snake plant potting mix, combine one part regular potting mix with one part succulent/cacti mix.

Of course, you can also make your own potting soil. To do so, combine the following.

  • three parts coco coir or peat moss
  • one part perlite
  • one part sand

What Tools Will I Need When Repotting a Snake Plant?

What Tools Will I Need When Repotting a Snake Plant?

The repotting process is straightforward and doesn’t require many tools. However, having the proper tools on hand will make for a seamless process.

  • A well-draining potting mix
  • A tarp, old blanket, or towel
  • A container with drainage holes

Size & Types of Potting Vessel Considerations

When it comes to repot your snake plant, you don’t want to make any aggressive jumps in pot size. Since snake plants like to be a bit snug in their pots, choose a container that is one to two inches wider in diameter than the original.

You don’t need a very deep pot; eight to twelve inches is generally sufficient.

The container’s material doesn’t matter. Terra cotta, ceramic, and plastic are all appropriate options.

Whatever type of pot you choose, make sure it has drainage holes.

How to Repot Your Snake Plant

How to Repot Your Snake Plant

Once you’ve gathered all your supplies, follow these steps to repot your snake plant.

  1. Start With a Healthy Plant

Before you repot your plant, make sure it’s healthy and hydrated! Healthy plants can better handle the stress of repotting.

With that said, you can repot an unhealthy plant if you think repotting will remedy its issues.

  1. Remove the Plant From the Original Container.

Before you begin, spread out an old blanket or tarp on the ground. This will help contain the mess and allow for easy clean-up.

Next, grab your snake plant near the soil line and gently tug. The root ball should easily slide out of the container. If your plant is severely root bound, you may need to use a bit more force.

  1. Remove Excess Soil and Inspect the Roots

Once you have your bare plant, it’s time to take a closer look.

Gently tease apart the roots to remove excess soil. You don’t need to remove all the soil, but you should remove enough that you’re able to take a good look at the roots.

Next, inspect the roots. If you see any mushy or discolored sections, trim them off using a sharp pair of scissors or shears.

If you’d like to propagate your snake plant via division or rhizome cuttings, now is the time to do so.

  1. Place the Plant In the New Pot

After you’ve deemed your plant healthy, it’s time to place it in its new pot. Place a few inches of potting mix in the bottom of the container, and then add your plant. The bottom of your plant’s leaves should be level with the top of the pot.

  1. Add New Soil

Once the plant is in its container, add in more soil. Gently press the soil, so it covers the rhizomes and roots. The bottom of the plant’s leaves should be level with the soil surface when you’re done.

Post Repotting Care 

Post Repotting Care 

After you repot your snake plant, water only if the soil is very dry.

For the next few weeks, you’ll want to keep a careful eye on your plant (particularly for common pests, bugs, and diseases or signs of drooping or falling over) and avoid fertilizing immediately. 

Yellow leaves or wilting leaves can be signs that your soil is too compacted. This may be due to the wrong soil mix or compaction during the repotting process.

If you suspect compaction, repot your plant using a well-aerated soil mix. Remember to avoid compacting the soil when repotting.

For more, see our in-depth guide to the best positions for Snake Plants to thrive in your home or office. Under ideal growing conditions, you may even notice your snake plant producing flowers.

If you’re planning on growing snake plants outdoors, see our in-depth guide on the ideal hardiness zones for these plants to thrive.

Repotting Snake Plants FAQs:

Should I Soak my Snake Plant Before Repotting?

There is no need to soak your snake plant before repotting. Since snake plants like their soil on the dry side, they will be fine without soaking.

Should You Water Snake Plants Immediately After Repotting?

This depends on the hydration level of your plant. If it seems dry, you can water the soil immediately. However, it generally doesn’t hurt to wait a day or two before watering.

Do Snake Plants Like Big Pots?

No, snake plants do not like very big pots. Since they like to be a bit snug in their containers, choose a pot that is only a few inches wider and deeper than the plant’s root ball.

Why Is My Snake Plant Limp After Repotting?

A limp plant may indicate overwatering or underwatering. Remember that snake plants like their soil dry, but not completely dry.

Should I Mist My Snake Plant After Repotting?

No. Snake plants prefer moderate humidity, such as that found in a regular home. Misting your plant will increase the humidity and may lead to disease issues.

How to Repot Snake Plants – The Final Word

When it comes time to repot, remember to choose a slightly bigger container than the original and select a well-draining potting mix. By repotting your snake plant at the proper time, you’ll be rewarded with a healthy plant for years to come, and it may even help to purify the air in your home or office.

For more, see our in-depth guide on whether snake plants are pet friendly.

Contributing Editor | briana@petalrepublic.com | Full Bio

Briana holds a B.S. in Plant Sciences from Penn State University. She manages a small market garden where she grows vegetables and herbs. She also enjoys growing flowers and houseplants at home.

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