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Snake plants, also known as Sansevieria or Mother-in-Law’s Tongue, are exotic, beginner-friendly Succulent. If you keep your Snake plant in a healthy growing environment, it will keep expanding and soon become too large for the current pot.
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 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 at the end 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, and this means 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 will have to 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 from the pot. You might have to remove some soil by hand if the plant is stuck inside the pot.
You can water the plant a day before repotting, as this will make 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 take a close look at 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 make sure 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.
Transfer The Snake Plant To The New Pot
Once the new pot is ready, fill half of it with a potting soil recommended for Sansevieria. Now place the plant to check the height. It would be best to make sure the plant is sitting at the same depth as it was in the old pot. 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 the age of your plant and the size of the root ball. The general rule for repotting is that the new pot should be one size up than the old pot. Sansevieria plants need a pot that’s wide enough 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.
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 it’s recovering.
Let’s begin with light. Snake plants can handle a few hours of full sun but keep a newly re=potted plant under bright but filtered sunlight only. Skip fertilizing for a few weeks if you don’t want to burn the delicate roots. You can resume the fertilization routine once you are sure that 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.
FAQs About Repotting Snake Plants
Conclusion About Repotting Snake Plants
To conclude, re-potting the Sansevieria at the right time will keep it thriving throughout its life. 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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