In this article we address how to repot snake plant that are in a small pot, When would I know how to do repotting and why it is necessary.
Whatever type of snake plant you have, there will come a time when it will look uncomfortable on the container where you planted it.
Roots coming out of the container and its drainage holes is a good indicator that your plant could be suffering from lack of growth space.
With this sign, it’s possible that your snake plant is due for repotting. While most plants are fine to be left on the same pot during its lifespan, most varieties of Sansevierias or "Mother In Law Tongues"are known to grow tall and wide. Because of this, repotting will really be necessary.
If you think your snake plant is due for repotting, in this post, I’ll let you know the importance of repotting, when it’s best to do it, and the steps you can follow to repot your snake plants properly.
why Should Should I repot my snake plant??
Aside from roots peeping through the drainage holes of your snake plant, there are other signs that you should be on the look-out for to know if you should repot already.
Roots showing up on the surface of your container is also an obvious sign to repot.
Bulging pots should also be observed. Plastic containers are mostly only going to bulge when the roots don’t have much space anymore.
If your container is made of clay, however, it’s possible for it to crack and no longer be usable. With this, you really should check your plant’s roots from time to time.
When the container or pot that your plant is in becomes crowded, your plant will be under distress. When it is under distress, your plant will stop growing, have stunted leaves, and quickly dry out.
This is because your plant can’t get enough nutrients and moisture due to its root situation.
The main benefit of repotting your plants is to promote healthy growth. Besides that, depending on the age of your plant, repotting can also let you split your plants or grow more plants.
Another benefit of repotting is that it’s a good time for you can replace the bad soil to ensure that your plants will get the right nutrients.
When is the Best Time to Repot Your Snake Plants?
Generally speaking, the best time to repot any plants is during spring when the plants are not yet actively growing. The same applies to your Snake Plants of any variety. You can have it repotted during the late winter or early spring.
However, you can still repot your plants whenever it’s needed. This could be anytime within a year or even up to six years.
This will really depend on the growth speed of your plants. It’s also best to repot your snake plant after a transplant.
While it’s true that most snake plants like to be rootbound, repotting is just really necessary if its roots are already trying to land somewhere else.
What You Need When Repotting Your Snake Plant
If you feel like you already need to repot your snake plant because it’s showing any of the signs I mentioned, then be prepared with the following:
Correct pot size for snake plant
The size of your pot or container will depend on the age of and how big your snake plant is.
Typically, it’s best to get a medium to large sized containers that are about 2 to 3 gallons in size. Snake plants are rather tall, so depth should be considered too.
Measure the diameter of your current container and make sure that the new container will at least be more than an inch wider.
Do snake plants need drainage holes? Of course, don’t forget to make sure that the pot of your choice will allow good and smooth drainage.
What type of soil is best for snake plant?
You’ll need a free-draining soil for your snake plant. Snake plants are very much prone to root rot when it is overwatered. You won’t want to let your snake plant sit on moist or soaked soil for a long time.
It’s best to use a soilless potting mix or the ready-to-use cactus and succulent mix. These are known to be great when it comes to good drainage.
If you only have a regular potting mix or regular soil, just make sure you also have some perlite or sand that you can mix with those.
- Knife – this is optional, but if you see that your snake plant has gotten big and is ready for a transplant or a division, then you’ll need this too.
- Water – You won’t need much water, but this could help you soften the soil that wrapped your snake plant before transferring.
- Mesh tape or cloth – this can be placed at the bottom of your 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 Guide on How to Repot Snake Plant
It’s actually very easy to repot your snake plant, so even if you’re a first-timer, you won’t really have any struggle to do this.
However, I sure would like to share with you my guide as to how you can effectively and efficiently repot your snake plant. Here are a few easy steps that you can follow.
Removal of the plant from its old container
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 snake plant from its old container. Moist soil is easier to get rid of.
Try to remove half of the soil first in your container and see if the plant is already ready to part with it. If not, keep on removing more soil.
Don’t be scared of damaging the roots of your plants.
What’s important is that you make sure that the main roots or the roots close to the plant itself remain in tack. 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 plant from its old container. It’s great to check the soil so that you can see if it’s still in good condition or just really needs to be replaced already.
A good sign that the soil is still good or healthy is seeing its ability to drain well.
Healthy soil could still be used for repotting, but it doesn’t mean that a bad soil is already hopeless. A bad soil is very dry and could easily crack.
If your soil is showing that sign, you can still use it but not much of it when repotting. It could serve as a filler but it’s best to add an organic matter to it so it could still allow drainage.
Examine the roots of your plant
After you’ve decided whether to reuse the soil your plant was in or not, you should also check how your plant’s roots are doing.
Again, snake plants are susceptible to root rot when over watered, so check for any signs of this.
A plant with root rot will have dark or black mushy spots on its roots. If the root rot is only found on the small portions of your plant’s roots, then this can be easily remedied with your knife or scissors. You can simply cut or slice these parts away.
If you already have a big or tall snake plant with bulgy roots, you can also get rid of these. You can cut the bigger roots out to avoid overgrowth in the new pot.
However, if you are aiming to continuously grow your snake plant, then only cut small portions of the roots as much as possible.
Prepare your container or pot
Check the drainage hole or holes of your pot and make sure that these are not blocked and are completely open.
To prepare your pot, the mesh tape or cloth will then be needed. The mesh will serve as a safety net for your soil. This will make sure that the soil will not escape through the drainage hole.
It’s also good to make sure that your pot is dry when repotting. This will make it easier for you to adjust the soil or the fillers when you have the need to do so.
Place the plant and soil in the pot
Once you’ve already secured the mesh at the bottom of your pot, you should be ready to burry the roots of your plants again.
Place the plant in your container and hold it with just one hand. It’s really up to you if you’d like its roots to touch the container or not.
As you hold your plant in place, you can already start filling your pot with the soil you have. You can use regular soil as snake plants typically thrive on any soil.
Just make sure that after a few inches of a regular soil or potting mix layer, you place sand or perlites with it too. This will allow better drainage and avoid the plant from getting overwatered.
You can also use the cactus or succulent mix that you have, and usually, this kind of mix already have perlites, moss, and sand in it.
Cactus mixes are specifically made for plants that need well-draining soil, so you won’t need to add other ingredients with it.
It’s also up to you if you’d like to decorate the top layer of your soil with rocks or pebbles.
Just make sure that before you do this, you still place a thin layer of worm compost on top of your soil mix. This could help nourish your snake plant.
So those are the five easy and simple steps you can follow to repot your snake plant.
Well, it could go differently if you’re trying to divide your plant but it’s also really simple if this is the case.
You’ll just need to divide your snake plants and make sure that all plants will still have its roots.
how often to water snake plant After Repotting?
Now, aftercare is very necessary and it’s perfectly fine to ask these questions. Right after potting, you need to allow your plant to settle first.
This means that you don’t need to water your plant right away. I’d say it’s best to wait for a day or two before you water your plant again.
I can’t stress enough how important it is to not overwater your snake plants. Again, snake plants are very prone to root rot when overwatered, so make sure that you don’t do this.
After watering your plant for the first time after having it repotted, wait for its soil to completely dry out before watering again.
During winter, the most you can water it is 1 to 3 times a month.
Do You Need to Fertilize Right After Repotting?
When it comes to fertilizing, the answer is no.
No, you shouldn’t fertilize your plant right away. You can wait for a whole month before you do this or when your plant is actively growing. Over-fertilizing can also cause harm to your plants so be wary of this.
If you’re ready to fertilize your plant, you may use an all-purpose fertilizer. Typically, it’s best to fertilize a snake plant during the summer.
The frequency should only be once every three months during the summer to avoid overfertilizing.
snake plant light requirements after repotting
Part of the aftercare is light or sun exposure. Snake plants can be placed indoors and outdoors. What’s important is that it at least gets partial to full sun for at least six hours a day.
Take note of overexposure too.
Now, repotting your snake plant can definitely be a very fun project. The outcome is always great as you’ll be sure that your plant can healthily thrive again.
Snake plants, in general, are really attractive so seeing it in a new container or pot where it can breathe well is worth it.
I hope you find this guide very helpful if you’ll be repotting your own snake plant too. Make sure you’re ready and you have your soil mix prepared. Have fun repotting!
Lindsey Hyland grew up in Arizona where she attended University of Arizona’s Controlled Environment Agriculture. She has supplemented her formal education by working on various organic farms, including spending a semester abroad in India.
Growing and/or raising just about anything gets her excited. She is especially passionate about environmental justice and low-tech, sustainable ways to better run small-scale farms and homesteads. Lindsey started Urban Organic Yield to discuss gardening tips and tactics.
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