Repotting Snake Plant: Easy Guide on How and When To Repot Snake Plant

In this article, we provide a step-by-step guide on repotting snake plants (scientific name: sansevieria) that are in a small pot into a larger pot. Further, we discuss in detail when to repot snake plant and how to repot snake plant. should do it, and finally why a repotted snake plant is necessary for your plant to grow and thrive.

Whatever types of sansevieria plants you have, there will come a time when you will notice the pot bulging and it will look uncomfortable in the pot that the plants are planted in.

If you see root coming out of the pot and out of the holes at the bottom of the pot is a good indicator that your snake plant could be suffering from a lack of growing space. When you see these signs, it’s a clear indication that your sansevieria plant needs to be transferred into a larger pot.

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While most house plants are fine to be left on the same pot during their lifespan, most varieties of sansevieria plants, especially the ever-popular sansevieria trifasciata (or commonly known as mother-in-law’s tongue), golden hahnii, and sansevieria laurentii, are all known to have long leaves, grow tall, wide and top heavy. For this reason alone, transferring your snake plant will become necessary.

If you think your snake plants are due for a new container, read on for important issues to note. For instance, when the best time, and what do you do exactly when you repot a snake plant? You can also consider dividing your sansevieria plant into more than one plant. Let’s begin with a step-by-step process you can follow to transplant a sansevieria plant properly.

Why Repotting Snake Plant?

Removal Of The Plant From Its Old Container

The number one reason is the root showing up on the outside or bottom of the pot. This would be an obvious sign to repot into a larger container.

Bulging pots should also be observed. Pots will bulge when the root doesn’t have much space anymore. This can cause a house plant to be pot-bound and a clear indication to get a new container. The advantage of plastic pots is that it’s relatively less expensive and a lot lighter than the alternatives.

However, if your container is made of clay, it can crack and will no longer be usable. With this, you really should check your plant’s roots from time to time.

When the container that your plants become crowded, your plants will be in distress. When it is under distress, your plants will stop growing, have stunted leaves, and quickly dry out.

This is because your sansevieria plant can’t get enough nutrients and moisture due to its root situation.

The biggest benefit of a repotted plant is to promote healthy growth. Besides that, depending on the age of your sansevieria, dividing your sansevieria plant can let you grow more one snake plant. A snake plant is a fairly easy plant to propagate.

Another benefit of repotting snake plants is that it’s a great opportunity to renew the bad or old soil with new and fresh potting soil and a little compost. This will ensure that your sansevieria plants will get the right nutrients. You can even make your own potting mix. Finally, don’t forget this is one opportunity to pick out a better new pot for your house plant for your home garden!

When Should I Repot Snake Plant

Examine The Roots Of Your Plant

Generally speaking, the best time to be repotting a snake plant or any type of houseplant is during spring when houseplants are just about to enter their growing period.

The same applies to all varieties of houseplants. You can have houseplants transplanted during the late winter or early spring.

With that said, however, repotting snake plants out of these time periods is recommended whenever it is required. Note that the best age to transfer a plant is within a year and up to six years old.

This will really depend on the growth speed of your snake plant. The best time to repot is right after transplanting a snake plant.

While it’s true that most sansevieria like their root to be bound to the pot. Transferring a snake plant to a larger pot is necessary if the plant’s roots are already trying to take grow outside of the pot.

Follow these steps to repotting a snake plant in a new pot with fresh gardening soil or potting mix will result in a healthy and thriving plant.

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Live Sansevieria Plant With a White-Natural Decor Pot (12-Inch Tall)

Materials Needed to Repotting Snake Plant

What You Need When Repotting Your Snake Plant

If you feel like you already need to tranplant your plant because they’re showing any of the signs I mentioned, then be prepared with the following:

Correct pot size

Sansevierias (particularly mother-in-law’s tongue) are a good container plant. There are many types of pots to use and choose from. You can use pots that are made of different materials. The easy choice of many gardeners is plastic pots. However, the important decision on what to use is the pot size. The container size will depend on the age and how big your snake plant is. But obviously, add your house plant to any type of pot you like!

Typically, it may be best to use large size pots that are about 2 to 3 gallons in size. A snake plant is rather tall and top heavy with its foliage, so depth should be considered too.

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Measure the diameter of your current pot and make sure that the bigger pot you use may need to be more than an inch wider.

Does the material matter? In our opinion, whether it be plastic, ceramic, or event terracotta pot (i.e. clay pot), as long as the pots are sized properly.

Do the pots need holes to drain excess moisture? Of course, don’t forget to make sure that the grow pot you use will allow good and well draining – so make sure there are drainage holes in your pots.

Best Soil Types

What Type Of Soil Is Best For Snake Plant_

Whether you have a sansevieria trifasciata (mother-in-law’s tongue) or any other type of snake plant, you’ll need well draining soil around your houseplant. These houseplants are very prone to root rot when there is a lot of moisture due to overwatering. Don’t let your sansevieria sit in moisture soaked soil around for a long time.

It’s best to use a soilless potting mix, gardening soil, or ready-to-use cactus and succulent potting mix. These are known to be great when it comes to good drainage.

If you only have a regular potting mix or gardening soil, just make sure you also have some perlite, sand, and some compost that you can combine with those.

  • Knife– this is optional, but if you see that your houseplant has gotten big and are ready for a transplant or a division, then have one handy.
  • Watering – Not much is needed, but this may help if you soften the potting mix or gardening soil around the wrapped houseplant before transferring.
  • Mesh tape or cloth– this may be placed at the base of the pot. The purpose of this will be discussed later on.

Other than the materials I’ve mentioned, your usual gardening equipment like your gloves or shovel should also be ready if you don’t want to do this with your bare hands.

Step-by-Step Directions on How to Repot Snake Plant

It’s actually very easy to transplant your sansevieria plant, so even if you’re doing this for the first time from home, don’t worry it will be easy.

However, I would like to share with you my guide as to how you can effectively and efficiently transfer your houseplant. Here are a few easy steps that you can follow.

Remove the Plant From the Old Pot

Step 1 is to remove your snake plant from the old pot. This is literally the next thing you should do once you have all of your materials prepared. It’s simple and easy.

It’s good to wet the soil first before you extract your houseplants from the old pots. Moist soil may be easier to remove especially from the base of the pot.

Try to remove half of the potting soil first in your pots and see if the plant is already ready to part with it. If not, keep on removing more potting soil making sure you go all the way around the pot. This way, you will notice the roots and root ball as you make your way down to the base of the pot.

Don’t be scared of damaging the roots of your houseplant. Since your houseplant have overgrown the old pot, the root ball may be large compared to the pot.

Most of the time, damaging the roots may happen – don’t worry. This is especially because the roots will be relatively large compared to the pot.

What’s important is that you keep your sansevieria’s root ball close to the snake plant itself remain in tack and still in a root ball. You should also be careful when it comes to handling the plant itself to avoid damaging its leaves.

Examine the soil

You can simultaneously do this with the extraction of your sansevieria plant from its old pot. It’s great to check the gardening or potting soil for snake plant so that you can see if it’s still in good condition or just really needs to be refreshed.

A good sign that the soil is still good or healthy is seeing its ability to drain well.

Healthy soil may still be used to transplant, but it doesn’t mean that bad soil is already hopeless. Generally speaking, bad soil is very dry and can easily crack.

If the soil around the top is showing that sign, you can still use it but not much of it when it’s repotted. It would serve as a filler but it’s the best way if you add organic matter to it so it would still allow drainage.

Examine the roots

After you’ve decided whether to reuse the soil your sansevieria plant was in or not, you should also check how your plant’s rhizomes and roots are doing.

Again, sansevieria plants are susceptible to root rot when the soil has too much moisture due to overwatering. Best way is to check for any signs of this.

A sansevieria plant with root rot will have dark or black mushy spots on its root. If you find some on your sansevieria plant’s roots, then this can be easily remedied with your knife or scissors. You can simply cut or slice the rotted roots away. This is the only way to get rid of the root rot.

If you already have tall sansevieria plant with bulgy roots, you can also get rid of these types of rhizomes and roots. You can cut a bit of the root ball out from the root ball to avoid overgrowth in the bigger pot.

However, if you are aiming to continuously grow your sansevieria plant, then only cut small portions of the root ball as much as possible. Remember, with good roots, dividing your sansevieria plant will be more successful.

Prepare your New pots

Prepare Your Container Or Pot snake plant

Take your new larger pot and check the drainage hole at the base of the pot. Check that the holes are not blocked and are completely open.

To prepare your larger pot, mesh tape or cloth will then be needed. The mesh may serve as a safety net for your soil. This will verify that the soil will not escape through the drainage hole at the underside of the pot.

It’s also good to confirm that your larger pot is dry when you transfer a plant. This way, it’ll will make it easier for you to adjust the soil all the way around the larger pot when you have to do so.

Transfer sansevierias Into a New Pot

Place The Plant And Soil In The Pot (2)

Because sansevieria trifasciata (mother-in-law’s tongue) are great container plant, one of the keys to a have a successful repotted snake plant is to have mesh at the foundation of the new pot. This will alow the roots to bind as snake plants prefer bury their roots into the pot.

Place the sansevieria plant in your pot and hold it with just one hand. It’s really up to you if you’d like its roots to touch the pot or not. To keep things clean you may want to use a newspaper or plastic sheet to cover your workspace.

However, I suggest that you leave about an inch of space between the top of the soil and the roots and add a little space from the base of the pot.

As you hold onto your sansevieria plant in place, you may start filling your pot with gardening or potting soil you may have. Again, make sure you give about one inch or two from the top of the soil to the root ball. You may use regular soil as sansevieria typically thrive in any soil.

Just check that after a few inches of a soil layer, you add in sand or perlite with it too. This will allow better drainage to get rid of the excess moisture and avoid overwatering the plant.

You can also use some cactus or succulent mix that you have, and usually this kind of mixture already has perlites, moss, and sand in it.

Cactus potting mixes are specifically made for a sansevieria plant that requires well draining soil, so you won’t have to add other ingredients to it.

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It’s also up to you if you’d like to add decoration to the top layer of your soil with attractive rocks or pebbles. This creates a way to enhance your garden.

Just check that before you add anything, you place a thin layer of worm compost on top of your soil. Worm composting is a simple process. A little compost will go a long way in helping nourish and is good snake plant care.

So those are the five easy and simple steps you can follow to repot a snake plant.

Well, it would go differently if you’re dividing your plant but it’s there is a really simple way to dividing your sansevieria.

One thing to note, if want to propagate by dividing your plant in order to regrow new sansevieria plant, is to confirm that all houseplants still have their rhizomes and roots. One tip is to use one new pot to propagate by dividing your cuttings or leaf cuttings. Afterward, take care to transfer cuttings when you are dividing them. Place them into a separate new pot so that when they start dividing, they have room to grow.

How Often to Water Snake Plant?

Snake Plant Repoting

Now, aftercare is important. Questions you may have are how much to water or should I water snake plant after repotting? Well, immediately after potting, you may need to allow your plant to settle first.

This means that you don’t need to be watering snake plant after repotting. But if you feel the top of the soil is a little dry, it’s ok. We recommend that the best way is to wait for one day or two before you add water to your plant again. Too much moisture is not good for your plant.

A good way to water your plant is by using a self-watering or automatic watering system. A good-looking and practical way is to use these watering globes.

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4 Piece Plant Watering Globe Set, Colorful Hand-Blown Glass, Automatic Watering System

I can’t stress enough how important it is to not overwater your plant. Sansevieria trifasciata do not like being overwatered; so ensure that you don’t add any more than required.

After watering your plant for the first time after having it transferred, wait for the moisture to recede and its soil to completely dry out before watering again.

During winter, the most you should be watering is one to three times a month.

Do You Need to Fertilize Snake Plants?

When it comes to fertilizing, do you need to add any? Simple answer is no.

No, you shouldn’t add fertilize your plant right away. You may wait for one month before you add fertilizer or add some when your plant is actively growing. If you add too much fertilizer, you may cause harm to your plant so be wary of this one tip.

If you’re ready to add fertilize your plant, you may use an all-purpose fertilizer. Typically, the best time to add fertilizer to a sansevieria plant is during the summertime.

The frequency to add or use any fertilizer should only be once every three months during the summer to avoid over fertilizing.

Light Requirements for Sansevieria

Snake Plant Light Requirements After Repotting

Part of the aftercare is light conditions or sun exposure for your snake plant. So the question is how much light does a snake plant need? Sansevieria plants can be planted indoors and outdoors. What’s important is that it gets bright indirect light or partial to full sun for at least six hours a day for the best growth. Sansevieria plants are considered low light succulents.

Take care to notice any signs of over exposure too.

If your sansevieria plant begin to develop white spots on their leaves, then they would possibly be over-exposed to light and may stunt the growth. Sansevieria plant prefer indirect light or low light conditions.

Conclusion

Well, a repotted sansevieria trifasciata (mother-in-law’s tongue) can definitely be a very fun gardening project for your garden. The outcome is always great when your sansevieria plant are healthy and thriving. Just remember not to let your plant the conditions to have too much moisture, so don’t let it sit in oversaturated soil to prevent root rot.

Snake plants, in general, are really attractive – but are top-heavy because of their foliage – so seeing it in a larger new pot where it can breathe is well worth it. Any type of sansevieria plant is always a good choice for any home garden as can thrive in most conditions. Add them to any indoor garden, whether it be in the living room or bedroom. Don’t forget sansevieria plants are an excellent choice for an outdoor garden too.

I hope you like this guide and find it helpful. If you plan to transplant your sansevieria plant soon, be ready by having your soil prepared and new larger pots in hand. Good luck!

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27 thoughts on “Repotting Snake Plant: Easy Guide on How and When To Repot Snake Plant”

    • I have a beautiful snake plant. I was going to separate the bunch and have them in separate pots. When I took them out the pot the roots were very thick and twisted I couldn’t bring myself to separate them I knew I had to cut the roots. Will it hurt them if I cut the roots to repot them?

      Reply
      • Hi Beverly! Cutting some of the roots is ok; just don’t overdo it. Snake plants are very robust plants and they will regrow back. They are definitely some of my favorite plants to have around the house.

        Reply
        • I am very fond of snake plant in bed room for oxygen and decorations.
          But my snake plants does it get roots. How to get roots from cut leaves . My main problem is roots.
          Pls advise mrs.

          Reply
          • Water is the answer.. I’ve had trouble with plants from over watering in pots. Remove from pot,cut mushy roots and anything rotten and place in container of water.
            Same with snake plant clippings. Place in container of water

      • To reduce the height of the plant, cut off the tallest leaves all the way to the soil line. The leaves grow in a rosette pattern from the rhizome in the soil, with the newest leaves at the center of the rosette and the oldest, tallest leaves usually around the outside. This makes it a little easier to reduce your plant’s height without altering the character of the plant.

        Reply
    • These plants may lean over with age when they are overcrowded or in an attempt to lean closer toward a source of light. However, the most common reason is usually overwatering. This plant really does not need much water at all, so make sure the soil is allowed to dry between waterings during the growing season and that the soil mix is a well drained one. During the winter when the plant grows little if at all, water even less often.

      They are naturally shallow rooted as you noticed, and burying them deeper by repotting will not solve the problem — in fact it would not be healthy for them to be planted deeper and could make the problem worse if the base of the stems has begun to rot at all. You might spread a little sand over the surface instead and see if that helps.

      You could also try repotting into a wider pot so that they have more room to spread thus allowing outer portions to stablize the center. Make sure to use a clay pot and a free draining mix if you repot and take care not to overwater.

      Alternatively you can trim off the topplers. The tips of the trimmings can be used to make new plants. Take the tip cutting, stick it upright into barely damp sand and be very patient. Eventually a new leaf will grow next to the cut piece.

      You might also want to gradually increase the amount of light your plant receives and remember to turn the pot regularly to even out the light each side receives.

      Reply
  1. I don’t have a lot of direct light in my house. Does the snake plant need direct light all the time or just to reboot it after planting? We live in the Pacific Northwest so it may not do well outside!

    Reply
    • Hi Steph! Snake plants can withstand full sun, but low-light and indirect sunlight is ideal. Just as important is when you water your snake plant. Make sure the pot you have it in can drain out water. Roots can easily rot so so, don’t water it too much and allow the soil to dry between waterings.

      Reply
  2. While repotting the plant broke in half, and I decided to split it.. is that ok? Also Is it too dangerous that i did not cut the plant but broke off the babies and repotted them separately? (From one plant looks like i might have 4 if they all take and grow) (but i did not use a knife on any of them – is that bad?)

    Reply
    • Hi Natasha! It’s all good! No worries…it is a little stressful when you see your plant ‘broken’. The thing is about snake plants is that they are very hardy plants. Replant them and you will be pleasantly surprised at how they regrow back. Stay safe and good luck!!

      Reply
  3. I have been told that snake plant/mother in law tounge could do fine in a sunless bathroom. After reading this I am not willing to do that. Nansi

    Reply
  4. My cousin gave me a portion of her snake plant last year in August. It’s been in water since then. Is it okay to leave it in water or must l plant it in the mixture you mentioned above?🤔

    Reply
  5. The first Mother-in-law Tongue cutting I ever got was from some plants growing in direct sunlight, in a bar, in water, about 50 years ago. They are still going strong, but in soil. Those plants in that bar had been there for years…in water…

    Reply
    • I have a snake plant that my father bought in like 1977 at a yard sale, in a 3″ pot, for 29 cents! It’s been divided and divided and the siblings and all kinds of people in the family have pieces of this plant today! I just re-potted mine a few weeks back!

      Reply
  6. I have a quick question, when I was young and first started getting plants. I was taught to put a good layer of rocks in bottom of pot, it’s to help keep roots from sitting in water. Am I the only one still doing this?

    Reply
  7. My snake plant had some root rot 6 months back some how I managed saving 4 to 5 leaves but since then there’s no new growth in it how do I promote growth in to it

    Reply

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