Snake Plant (most commonly known as Sansevieria, but now classified in the genus Dracaena) grows outdoors in its native Africa and is also a very popular houseplant worldwide. Snake plants are naturally drought-tolerant, and can withstand extended periods of dry potting soil in containers (unlike most fussy houseplants).
How to repot a snake plant ?First, let’s make sure your snake plant really does need repotting. Repotting snake plant that doesn’t need it can cause unnecessary stress. Always repot only when absolutely necessary. It’s not a difficult task. Depending on the age of your plant, you may be able to divide it at the same time, thus making a second plant!
How to Propagate Snake Plants
Propagating snake plants is easy! Once you have one, you will never need to buy another.
There are 2 main ways to propagate your plant:
Separating the rhizomes; This is more common for outdoor snake plants but you may notice some smaller plants shooting up from the base of your indoor snake plants. These are rhizomes which are roots that grow from the mother plant and sprout a new baby plant. If one of these pops up then they can be separated and planted into new pots.
Take leaf cuttings; Cut around 2-3 inches from the top of one of the leaves and plant about 1 inch deep into soil (make sure it’s facing the way it should be growing) and in no time it should start to sprout roots. Viola, easy propagation!
With indoor plants, propagation can be done at any time of the year but we suggest the springtime for best results. Spring is the start of the growing season so will allow your plant to put as much energy as possible into growing new roots.
How often should you repot snake plants?
Snake Plants don’t mind being tight in their pots. They actually seem to do better if a bit pot bound. I’ve seen quite a few which have actually broken their grow pots and they look just fine.
I have a couple of Snake Plants that I haven’t repotted for over 5 years. Don’t rush to repot yours unless it’s looking stressed or it’s cracked the grow pot.
Prepare The Soil
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.
How To Repot A Snake Plant – Step-By-Step
Gather all your supplies and lay down your plastic or newspaper to protect your surface. Once you get going with this, you won’t really want to pause.
Take your to-be repotted Snake Plant and grasp the leaves gently with one hand, and with the other tug at the plastic or ceramic pot. If it doesn’t slide off, squeeze gently all around the pot to loosen the soil and roots and pull the pot off. If it well and truly stuck, use your box cutter to carefully cut the plastic pot. If you are repotting snake plant from a ceramic container you may need to use a chopstick or pencil to loosen to soil around the perimeter, doing your best to not damage the roots. Pull the plant free.
Using your fingers loosen and remove most of the soil away from the root ball to expose the root system. This is important if you are going to divide your plant so you can see the pups. If you are just repotting this gives you at opportunity to remove any old mushy roots.
Once you have cleared away the soil you will look for a L or J shaped protrusion from the main plant. This fleshy white rhizome is what we call the pup and it is what we are going to cut away from the main plant.
Isolate a pup which has delicate roots already appearing on the white rhizome. These pups are likely to have the best success rate.
Take your sterile knife (I personally like a pairing knife with a curve) or box cutter and slice the rhizome doing your best to preserve as many small roots on the pups half. Work your way around the plant and thin out a few more pups. I would say only do about 1/3 of the plants total mass to not shock the plants.
Now prepare your new pots with the ProMix Cactus soil, leaving about an inch from the top. Take the main plant and either repot it into its old container or into the new container you have chosen for it. Be sure not to mound soil too far up the leaves and try to match the old soil level to prevent rot. Press the soil down gently, just to secure the plant in the soil. If it starts to lean, you can support it with a bamboo stake until the roots reestablish.
Now take your pups and you can either repot them individually or cluster them together in a larger pot for a more full look. Like with the main plant, do not plant these pups too deeply, just enough to secure them into the soil with a firm press.
Lastly, you want to lightly water the plants to just moisten the soil in the pots and place them in a medium light location meaning not direct sun, or indirect sun near a window, but a few feet away from indirect sunlight would work like that from a North facing window. This is because you want the roots to grow and high light may stress the plant out as it recovers.
And there you have it! You just divided or repotted your very first Snake Plant! During these times being stuck inside, it is these projects that help us all feel like we are accomplishing something. Gardening is very much therapy for many of us, so don’t under estimate how soothing getting your hands dirty can be. If you are looking for all of the supplies used in our project today you can now get them all via online or phone order with contactless parking lot pick up.
After Care snake plants
Although snake plants can normally tolerate some direct sun, placing the pot in an area with only bright and indirect light for two or three weeks after repotting helps the plant recover from any transplant stress. Allow the roots to reestablish for at least one month before applying any type of fertilizer, otherwise the fertilizer may burn the roots. Water the snake plant when the top 1 inch of soil feels dry and empty any collected water from the drip tray beneath the pot promptly so the soil doesn’t become waterlogged. Overly wet soil can cause root rot or lead to fungal problems on recently cut or damaged roots.