How Much Moisture Should be in the Soil for a Snake Plant?

If you’re looking to revamp your home or office space, you can’t go wrong with a houseplant. They add a lovely touch of greenery to any space and make you feel closer to Mother Nature.

So what plant do you get? You have a lot of options to choose from, but the humble snake plant is one of the best you can get.

These indoor planters are often easily available everywhere in the world, and their ability to fully enhance the outlook of any space makes them one of the most popular purchases in the USA.

However, although a majority of the American population loves buying and caring for a potted house plant, many struggle with being able to keep their planters alive for long.

At times, these people either do not have the time to provide a plant with its daily watering and nutrient needs, or they simply are unaware of what a specific indoor plant species requires to stay alive.

Fortunately, the snake plant is perfect for people looking for a potted house plant species that barely needs any attention or continuous care.

Not only is the snake plant highly tolerant of varying environmental conditions, but its ability to survive on dry and barely watered soil makes it a common favorite everywhere in the world.

The Sansevieria or the Snake Plant

The common care routine for most potted house plant species is far more complicated and extensive than the care routine you would follow for most outdoor plants.

Unlike most outdoor plants with the naturally in-built tolerance and strength to survive rain, strong winds, heat, and cold, most potted house plant species only thrive under highly selective and specific external conditions.

As soon as the external environment around the potted house plant or the required care routine changes, indoor plants begin to display signs of distress and weakness almost immediately.

This is the main reason a majority of the house plant parent community of the USA is unable to keep their plants alive for too long.

They forget about their plants’ care routine, which leads to their plants dying.

However, fortunately, some indoor plant species have a relatively higher tolerance and can withstand varying environmental conditions.

Hence, owners of these indoor planters usually do not have to fret about their plant’s everyday care and can instead enjoy their plant’s company for a long time as long as they remain punctual about the plant’s relatively low-maintenance routine.

One such indoor planter is the Sansevieria plant, commonly known as the snake plant. This indoor plant species is known for its tall, green leaves that have snakeskin-like marks across them.

Apart from the pleasant appearance, the snake plant is loved and highly demanded across the globe for its commendable tolerance and ability to retain its shape, firmness, and health for a long period of time.

Unlike most indoor plant species, the snake plant does not have an extremely strict watering or sunlight requirement and can usually last without either for many days.

Hence, owners of this beautiful and refreshing planter usually do not experience much anxiety or stress as they rarely have to grieve the premature death of their indoor plant baby.

Instead, the low-maintenance and calming care routine of the snake plant allows them to relieve their stress, increase their productivity, and overall enjoy the refreshing and calming ambiance the plant can create.

However, although the potted snake plant is known to last a long time without much water or sunlight, it is still possible to mistreat and kill the potted plant prematurely.

This usually occurs when the snake plant’s soil is too moist, too dry, infected, infested, or lacks the essential micronutrients needed for the plant’s healthy growth and survival.

Continue reading the remaining article to learn what type of soil is ideal for the snake plant and what happens when the quality and condition of the planter’s soil are not as advised.

Moreover, the article also elaborates on some bonus tips one can follow to improve the condition and quality of a snake plant’s soil to keep their plant healthy and alive.

Let’s get started!

Check out: Can You Grow Dieffenbachia in Water?

What is the Ideal Type of Soil for a Snake Plant?

Although some indoor plants need regular watering, the snake plant can survive and thrive on just traces of water and moisture.

Hence, the owner of the snake plant is advised to only water their indoor planter once every two weeks.

However, if the soil seems excessively dry, and the leaves of the snake plant begin to change in color and fall off due to the external hot weather conditions, one can also water it twice in two weeks.

Hence, the goal is to keep the soil generally dry and to prevent moisture from accumulating inside the snake plant’s pot.

Moreover, apart from the watering needs, the snake plant’s soil should also be occasionally examined for a fungal infection or a pest infestation.

If the timely treatment of infested or infected soil is neglected, the chances of the snake plant surviving the fungal or pest attack will drop drastically.

Furthermore, the soil supporting and enabling the growth and survival of the potted snake plant must be nutritious and rich in essential micronutrients.

Usually, the commonly advised micronutrients needed for a snake plant’s healthy growth and strong immunity are as follows:

  • Boron
  • Zinc
  • Copper
  • Magnesium

Although all four micronutrients are usually already a part of most high-quality potting mixes, the plant owner can also add traces of these micronutrients on their own as well.

As long as the potting soil fulfills all the requirements mentioned above, the potted snake plant will have a much higher chance of staying healthy and keeping its lustrous shine for up to five to ten years.

What Happens When You Don’t Provide Your Plant with the Right Conditions?

The Soil is Too Moist or Wet

As mentioned above, a snake plant’s soil should only be watered once or twice in a period of two weeks. However, if the owner overwaters their snake plant, the unnecessary water will excessively dampen the plant’s soil.

When this happens, the accumulated water creates the perfect medium to encourage and sustain fungal growth. 

If the growing fungus is not treated on time, it can spread across the plant’s soil and even cover the surface of the snake plant’s roots, leading to root decay.

Since the roots will no longer be able to carry any water up the plant, the dehydration will eventually cause the potted snake plant to lose its ability to stand tall or survive.

Also read: Are Dieffenbachia Toxic To Dogs?

The Soil is Too Dry

Although one is needed to water their snake plant once a fortnight, forgetting to do so can create a problem as well.

If the soil is too dry and lacks any traces of moisture, the roots will once again be unable to transport any water up to the plant’s body or leaves.

As a result, the leaves will lose their color and uprightness, and the entire plant will begin to droop before dying prematurely.

The Soil is Infested or Infected

As mentioned above, soil that is suffering from a fungal infection will eventually lead to root decay, which can lead up to the plant’s premature death.

Similarly, if the snake plant’s soil gets infested by gnats, aphids, mealybugs, etc., the plant may suffer from stunted growth, lack of proper immunity, and might die way before its expected time.

The Soil Lacks the Vital Micronutrients 

Traces of boron, zinc, copper, and magnesium can play a major role in improving a snake plant’s tolerance and strength against external environmental conditions.

However, if the snake plant is potted in soil that lacks these vital micronutrients, its growth, immunity, reproduction rate, physical appearance, and overall lifespan will be negatively affected in multiple ways. 

How to Improve and Maintain the Condition and Quality of the Potted Snake Plant’s Soil

  • Set up an alarm, so you do not miss watering the snake plant after two weeks.
  • Dry up the moist soil of a snake plant using a solar or heat lamp.
  • Always use a spray bottle when watering the snake plant’s soil.
  • Use a stick to move and examine a snake plant’s soil to check for an infection or an infestation.
  • Add the vital micronutrients to the soil if your snake plant displays signs of some deficiency or stunted growth.

Final Thoughts

If the nature of your work requires you to travel alone, or you just do not have the desire to spend time each day caring for your plants, the best thing to do is get yourself a snake plant.

These plants have a long-expected lifespan, but their relatively less-demanding care routine allows you to enjoy the plant’s company without constantly fretting about the plant’s wellbeing.

All you need to do is occasionally examine your potted snake plant’s soil to ensure that it is well-aerated, sufficiently dry, nutritious, and free of infections or infestations. If you keep an eye on these conditions, you’ll be able to keep your snake plant healthy for a long time to come, ensuring that you have a bit of greenery in your home or office at all times.

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