When is the Best Time to Replant a Snake Plant?

Alternatively referred to as Sansevieria or Mother-in-Law’s Tongue, snake plants are distinctive, low-maintenance succulents. If you provide your snake plant with a supportive environment for growth, it will flourish and ultimately need a larger pot due to its expansion.

Re-potting is a task in the Snake plant care schedule, but the period will vary depending on the growth rate because some Sansevierias grow faster than others. Lack of space can cause the plant to have stunted growth and discolored leaves.

Luckily you can watch for indications that will help you decide when your Snake plant is ready to be re-potted. In this article, I’ll discuss the steps for re-potting Snake plants with some extra tips to keep your plant thriving. Let’s dig deeper and learn when re-potting is necessary for your Snake plant.

Why Should You Repot A Snake Plant?

Snake plants are easy to care for; the best part is you can buy them reasonably. They prefer being root bound, but if you notice any of the following signs, it’s time to move your plant to an enormous container.

  • The pot looks bulgy or cracked as the root system gets bigger and exerts pressure on the sides of the container.
  • Roots have started peeking out from the drainage hole of the container
  • Roots are noticeable at the soil surface
  • The plant is suffering from a pest or fungal infection
  • The potting soil is infected with pests

You can also re-pot if you want to upgrade the pot. But generally, avoid disturbing the root system unless necessary as this might stress the plant and result in poor growth.

Apart from the above signs, you will also notice that the soil will take longer to dry out or not hold any moisture at all. Nutrients are also not appropriately absorbed by the roots. Once the drainage capabilities are impacted, your plant is at a high risk of root rot.

If your plant needs more space for growth, you can replant it in a bigger pot, but if it’s mature and large enough, you can divide it or prune it and repot it in separate pots.

How Do You Repot A Snake Plant?

Deciding what time of the year is best for repotting Sansevieria involves understanding the growth period of your plant. Sansevieria plants grow actively in spring and summer, meaning you should repot them before they start growing, i.e., in late winter or early spring.

Remember, this is the ideal time, but repotting can be performed at any time of the year. If your Sansevieria plant has an average growth rate, you must perform repotting every 2-3 years.

Remove The Snake Plant From The Old Container

Hold the pot sideways and tap on the sides to loosen the soil near the edges. Turn the pot upside down to take the plant out of the pot. If the plant is stuck inside the pot, you might have to remove some soil by hand.

You can water the plant a day before repotting, making it easier to separate the plant from the pot.

Check The Soil And Roots

The next step is to inspect the Snake plant for any sign of root rot. Gently brush away the soil near the root fibers and closely examine the root ball.

The roots’ color is a clear indicator; if they are dark and mushy, they suffer from root rot. It’s essential to get rid of these rotten roots. Take a clean blade or knife for root pruning, and ensure you do not damage any healthy roots during the process.

You will notice that some of the roots will circle the root ball; these roots will slow down the root development; therefore, it’s best to trim them.

Picture of hands adding potting soil for Sake plants

Transfer The Snake Plant To The New Pot

Once the new pot is ready, fill half with potting soil recommended for Sansevieria. Now place the plant to check the height. Ensuring the plant sits at the same depth as in the old pot would be best. If needed, you can add more soil to raise the base level.

You can also add a layer of sand or perlite in the middle for extra drainage. The leaves should not touch the soil surface once the root system is buried under the soil. Otherwise, constant contact with moist soil can cause the leaves to rot.

The pot size is variable because it depends entirely on your plant’s age and the root ball’s size. The general rule for repotting is that the new pot should be one size up than the old pot. Sansevieria plants need a wide enough pot because as the plant matures, it becomes top-heavy with all those wavy, long leaves.

Having a small pot can make the plant root-bound, but having a huge pot can rot. A large pot means more potting soil, creating unnecessary pockets to trap moisture.

Snake Plants can also be repotted using the division method. The division method is one of the propagation methods for Snake plants. The roots forming a single clump should be separated from the mother plant.

The number of clumps will depend on the size of your Sansevieria. You can group these clumps in one container. However, I recommend growing them in separate pots to expand your Sansevieria collection throughout the garden and indoor spaces. These pups or clumps should not be planted deep in potting soil.

Picture of snake plants pups and roots

How Do You Care For Snake Plants After Repotting?

It would be best to take special care of the Snake plant for the first few days after repotting. Post-repotting care for the Snake plant will protect it from transplant shock while recovering.

Let’s begin with light. Snake plants can handle a few hours of full sun but only keep a newly repotted plant under bright but filtered sunlight. Skip fertilizing for a few weeks if you don’t want to burn the delicate roots. You can resume the fertilization routine once your plant has adjusted after repotting.

Overwatering is a big no for Snake plants at any time, but this is especially true after repotting. The rhizome for this plant will store plenty of moisture. Your plant might already be struggling to adjust to the new environment, so you don’t want to increase the chances of root rot.

Follow the simple rule to water the plant only when the topsoil dries out. Your Snake Plant can go without water for about two weeks during the hot months and longer in winter.   

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the best soil mix for Snake plants?

You can plant Snake plants in various soil mixes if the potting mix is well-draining. Succulent or Cacti mixes are the best choice because they provide aeration and proper drainage.

Do Snake plants like to be root bound?

These are some of the few plants that like staying root-bound. The roots will perform better in water and nutrient absorption in a tight pot.

What’s the best pot for Snake plants?

Terracotta pots will provide drainage and allow the soil to dry faster, but you can also use plastic or ceramic pots. No matter what material pot is used, it should have at least one drainage hole. These plants don’t grow deep in the soil, so avoid using a deep pot; your Snake plants will stay wet longer.

Should you water Snake plants after repotting?

Avoid watering the Snake plant immediately after repotting because it needs to settle in the soil. The roots still have some moisture if you watered the plant before repotting. You can start the usual watering once your plant looks happy in the new pot and dry the topsoil.

What does it mean when a snake plant flowers?

A mother-in-law’s tongue plant will produce a flower stalk when mildly and continually stressed, usually when the plant becomes root-bound. The flowers will not hurt your plant, so enjoy the show. It may be several decades again before you see one again.

Conclusion About Repotting Snake Plants

To conclude, re-potting the Sansevieria at the right time will keep it thriving. This simple task will refresh the soil mix, improving soil conditions like drainage and nutrients. It also allows you to better look at the root system to detect root rot before it takes over the plant.

Remember, the lack of growing space will limit both root and shoot development. But always make sure you use the best soil type and the recommended pot size while re-potting Snake plants.   

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