How To Plant Snake Plant [ Full Guide ]

Snake plants, also known as mother-in-law’s tongue or sansevieria, are popular indoor plants due to their low maintenance and air-purifying properties. They are resilient, drought-tolerant, and can thrive in various light conditions, making them a perfect choice for both novice and experienced gardeners. If you’re looking to add a touch of green to your indoor space, planting a snake plant is an excellent option. This comprehensive guide will walk you through the process of selecting the right variety of snake plant, choosing a suitable container, preparing the soil, and planting the snake plant with step-by-step instructions.

Quick Answer: How To Plant Snake Plant

  1. Selecting the right variety of snake plant: Choose a snake plant variety that suits your preferences and indoor conditions. Common varieties include Sansevieria trifasciata, Sansevieria cylindrica, and Sansevieria laurentii.

  2. Choosing a suitable container for planting: Select a well-draining pot that is slightly larger than the plant’s root ball. Ensure the pot has drainage holes to prevent waterlogging.

  3. Preparing the soil for the snake plant: Use a well-draining potting mix, or create a mix using equal parts of potting soil, coarse sand, and perlite.

  4. Planting the snake plant: Carefully remove the plant from its nursery container, position it in the new pot, and fill the remaining space with soil. Water the plant lightly and place it in an appropriate location.

Selecting The Right Variety Of Snake Plant

Before embarking on the planting process, it’s crucial to choose the right variety of snake plant that aligns with your preferences and the conditions within your home. There are numerous snake plant varieties available, each with its unique leaf shape, size, and pattern. Some popular varieties include:

  • Sansevieria trifasciata: Also known as the mother-in-law’s tongue, this variety features tall, upright leaves with distinct yellow edges. It’s a classic choice and is widely available.

  • Sansevieria cylindrica: This variety is characterized by cylindrical, spear-like leaves that grow vertically, providing a striking and modern aesthetic.

  • Sansevieria laurentii: Recognizable by its mottled green and yellow foliage, the Sansevieria laurentii adds a tropical touch to indoor spaces.

When selecting a variety, consider the space where you intend to place the plant, as well as the overall aesthetic you wish to achieve. Additionally, different varieties may have slightly different care requirements, so it’s essential to familiarize yourself with the specific needs of your chosen variety.

Choosing A Suitable Container For Planting

Once you’ve decided on the variety of snake plant you want to grow, the next step is to select an appropriate container for planting. Proper container selection is crucial for the overall health and growth of the snake plant. Consider the following factors when choosing a container:

  • Size: Opt for a container that is slightly larger than the plant’s root ball to allow for adequate space for root development. However, avoid choosing a pot that is excessively large, as this can lead to waterlogging and soil moisture issues.

  • Drainage: Select a container with drainage holes to prevent water from accumulating at the bottom of the pot, which can lead to root rot and other moisture-related problems.

  • Material: Choose a container made from porous materials such as ceramic, terra cotta, or unglazed clay, as these allow for air and moisture exchange, promoting healthy root growth.

  • Aesthetic appeal: Consider the overall aesthetic of the container and how it complements the chosen variety of snake plant as well as the interior decor of your space.

For snake plants, it’s essential to prioritize functionality and health when selecting a container. While aesthetics are important, ensuring proper drainage and adequate space for root growth are critical for the plant’s long-term well-being.

Preparing The Soil For The Snake Plant

The soil in which the snake plant is planted plays a fundamental role in its overall health and growth. Snake plants thrive in well-draining soil that allows excess moisture to escape easily, preventing waterlogged conditions that can lead to root rot. Here’s how to prepare the ideal soil mix for your snake plant:

  • Well-draining potting mix: Purchase a high-quality, well-draining potting mix specifically formulated for succulents and cacti. These mixes typically contain ingredients such as perlite, coarse sand, and organic matter that promote excellent drainage.

  • DIY soil mix: If you prefer to create your own soil mix, combine equal parts of potting soil, coarse sand, and perlite. This blend provides the necessary structure and drainage while still retaining the essential nutrients for the plant.

  • Avoid dense or moisture-retaining soils: Refrain from using heavy garden soil or peat-based mixes, as these can retain too much moisture, leading to issues such as root rot and fungal diseases.

Once you have the soil mix ready, fill the chosen container with the prepared soil, leaving enough space at the top to accommodate the snake plant’s root ball. Proper soil preparation sets the stage for healthy root development and overall plant vigor.

Planting The Snake Plant

With the groundwork laid in terms of variety selection, container choice, and soil preparation, it’s time to proceed with the actual planting of the snake plant. Follow these step-by-step instructions to ensure a successful planting process:

Step 1: Gather Your Materials

Before you begin planting, gather all the necessary materials and tools, including:

  • Chosen snake plant variety
  • Suitable container with drainage holes
  • Well-draining potting mix or DIY soil mix
  • Small garden shovel or trowel
  • Watering can or spray bottle

Step 2: Prepare The Container

Fill the bottom of the container with a layer of the prepared soil mixture, ensuring that it covers the drainage holes to prevent soil from escaping while allowing water to flow freely.

Step 3: Prepare The Snake Plant

Carefully remove the snake plant from its nursery container by gently squeezing the sides and easing the plant out, taking care not to damage the roots or leaves. If the plant resists, tap the sides and bottom of the nursery container to loosen it before attempting to remove the plant.

Step 4: Position The Plant In The New Container

Place the snake plant in the center of the prepared container, ensuring that the top of the root ball rests a bit lower than the rim of the container. Adjust the amount of soil beneath the plant as needed to achieve the proper height.

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Step 5: Fill The Container With Soil

Fill the remaining space in the container with the prepared soil mix, gently tamping it down around the plant to secure it in place. Leave a small gap between the soil surface and the top of the container to allow for watering without soil spillover.

Step 6: Water The Plant

After planting, water the snake plant lightly to settle the soil around the roots. Avoid saturating the soil excessively, as snake plants are susceptible to root rot if subjected to prolonged periods of waterlogged conditions.

Step 7: Placement

Find a suitable location for your newly planted snake plant. Choose a spot that receives moderate to bright indirect light, as snake plants thrive in such conditions. Ensure that the plant is not exposed to direct, intense sunlight, as this can scorch the leaves.

By following these steps, you can successfully plant a snake plant and set it on the path to thriving and flourishing within your indoor space.

Planting a snake plant is a straightforward process that, when done correctly, sets the stage for the plant’s long-term health and growth. From selecting the right variety to choosing an appropriate container, preparing the ideal soil mix, and executing the planting process with care and precision, each step contributes to the overall success of the endeavor. By understanding the specific needs of snake plants and following the detailed instructions provided in this guide, you can ensure that your snake plant not only survives but thrives in its new environment, bringing beauty and natural air purification to your indoor space for years to come.

Selecting A Healthy Snake Plant For Transplantation

The snake plant, scientifically known as Sansevieria trifasciata, is a popular choice among indoor plants for its ability to purify the air and its low maintenance requirements. It is a hardy plant that can thrive in various conditions, making it ideal for both novice and experienced gardeners. Whether you are diving into the world of gardening or expanding your plant collection, planting a snake plant can be a rewarding experience.

Before you begin the process of planting a snake plant, it is crucial to select a healthy specimen for transplantation. Look for a snake plant that has vibrant green leaves and no signs of damage or decay. The leaves should be firm to the touch and free from discoloration or wilting.

It is essential to choose a snake plant with a well-established root system. Healthy roots are white or light brown in color and should be visible at the bottom of the pot. Avoid plants with roots that appear to be rotting or overly crowded.

Preparing The Snake Plant For Transplantation

Once you have chosen a healthy snake plant, it is time to prepare it for transplantation. Follow these steps to ensure the plant is in the best condition for planting:

  1. Inspect the roots: Gently remove the snake plant from its current pot, being careful not to damage the roots. Take a close look at the roots and remove any dead or damaged ones. If the plant is root-bound, meaning the roots are tightly packed, gently tease them apart with your fingers.

  2. Trim the root ends: If you notice any long, straggly roots, you can trim them back slightly. This process is known as root pruning and can help stimulate new growth. Use a sharp, clean pair of scissors or pruning shears to trim the roots, ensuring you make clean cuts.

  3. Let the roots dry: After trimming the roots, allow them to air dry for a few hours. This step helps prevent the plant from becoming waterlogged after transplantation.

  4. Select an appropriate container: Choose a container that is slightly larger than the current pot the snake plant is in. Ensure the container has drainage holes to prevent water from pooling at the bottom.

  5. Prepare the potting mix: Snake plants prefer a well-draining potting mix. You can create a suitable mix by combining equal parts of peat moss, perlite, and coarse sand or succulent soil. This blend provides excellent drainage while retaining enough moisture for the plant’s roots.

Planting The Snake Plant In The Container

Now that you have prepared the snake plant for transplantation, it is time to plant it in the container. Follow these steps for a successful planting process:

  1. Add potting mix to the container: Fill the container with enough potting mix to support the root system of the snake plant. Make sure to leave enough space at the top to accommodate the plant without overcrowding it.

  2. Create a hole for the plant: Use your hands or a small gardening tool to create a hole in the center of the potting mix. The hole should be deep and wide enough to accommodate the snake plant’s roots without bending or overcrowding them.

  3. Place the snake plant in the hole: Gently lower the snake plant into the hole, making sure the roots rest comfortably within it. The base of the plant should be level with or slightly above the soil surface.

  4. Backfill the hole: Fill the hole with the remaining potting mix, ensuring the plant is held securely in place. Lightly press down on the soil to eliminate any air pockets around the roots.

  5. Water the newly planted snake plant: Give the newly planted snake plant a thorough watering. This step helps settle the soil and ensures proper hydration for the plant. Water until you see moisture coming out of the drainage holes, then allow the excess water to drain away.

Watering And Caring For The Newly Planted Snake Plant

After planting the snake plant, proper watering and care are essential for its long-term health and growth. Follow these guidelines to keep your newly planted snake plant thriving:

  1. Watering: Snake plants are drought-tolerant and prefer to be slightly underwatered rather than overwatered. Allow the top inch or two of soil to dry out before watering. Insert your finger into the soil to gauge its moisture level. When watering, thoroughly drench the soil until you see water draining out of the bottom of the pot. Avoid letting the plant sit in standing water, as this can lead to root rot.

  2. Light requirements: Snake plants prefer bright, indirect light but can tolerate low light conditions. Place your snake plant near a window where it will receive filtered sunlight for a few hours a day. Avoid exposing the plant to direct sunlight, as this can scorch the leaves.

  3. Temperature and humidity: Snake plants can tolerate a wide range of temperatures, but they prefer temperatures between 70-90°F (21-32°C). They can survive in lower temperatures but may not grow as vigorously. Snake plants are adaptable to various humidity levels, making them suitable for both dry and humid environments.

  4. Fertilization: Snake plants are not heavy feeders and can survive without regular fertilization. However, if you want to encourage more vigorous growth, you can fertilize your snake plant sparingly. Use a balanced houseplant fertilizer diluted to half the recommended strength. Apply the fertilizer monthly during the growing season (spring and summer) and reduce or cease fertilization during the dormant period (fall and winter).

  5. Pest control: Snake plants are generally resistant to pests, but they can occasionally suffer from mealybugs or spider mites. Inspect your plant regularly for any signs of infestation, such as webbing or sticky residue. If you notice pests, isolate the affected plant and treat it with an appropriate insecticide or soap-water solution.

Planting a snake plant is a straightforward process that can be accomplished by gardeners of all levels of experience. By selecting a healthy plant, preparing it properly, and providing adequate care after transplantation, you can ensure the success of your snake plant. Remember to water the plant appropriately, provide it with the right amount of light, and monitor its temperature and humidity requirements. With proper care, your snake plant will thrive and bring beauty to your indoor space while purifying the air.

Providing The Ideal Growing Conditions For Snake Plants

Native to West Africa, snake plants have become a popular choice for indoor gardening enthusiasts due to their ability to tolerate neglect and survive in challenging conditions. These plants are known for their long, succulent leaves that grow upright in a sword-like fashion. Snake plants come in a variety of cultivars, each with its own unique leaf pattern and coloration. Whether you are a beginner gardener or an experienced plant enthusiast, planting a snake plant is relatively straightforward and rewarding.

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Before planting a snake plant, it is crucial to create the ideal growing conditions for it to thrive. Here are some important factors to consider:


Snake plants are extremely adaptable when it comes to lighting conditions. They can tolerate both low light and bright indirect light settings. However, it’s important to strike a balance to ensure optimal growth and leaf coloration. Ideally, snake plants should be placed in a location with bright indirect light for several hours a day. Avoid direct sunlight as it can scorch the leaves and cause discoloration.


Snake plants prefer temperatures between 60-85°F (15-29°C). They are relatively forgiving when it comes to temperature fluctuations, but they should be kept away from drafts and extreme temperatures. Avoid placing them near air conditioning vents or cold windows during the winter months.


One of the crucial things to know about snake plants is that they are succulent plants, meaning they store water in their leaves. Overwatering is one of the most common mistakes made when caring for snake plants. It is important to allow the soil to dry out partially before watering again. Only water the plant when the top inch of the soil feels dry to the touch. Be cautious not to let the plant sit in water, as it can lead to root rot.


Snake plants prefer well-draining soil that does not retain excess moisture. A mix specially formulated for succulent plants or cacti works well for snake plants. You can also create your own well-draining soil mix by combining equal parts of perlite, sand, and potting soil.

Pot Selection

When selecting a pot for your snake plant, choose one with drainage holes at the bottom. This is essential for preventing waterlogged soil and root rot. A pot that is slightly larger than the plant’s root system is ideal for promoting healthy growth.

Maintaining The Health Of The Snake Plant

Once you have planted your snake plant in the appropriate conditions, it is important to ensure its continued health and vitality. Here are some tips for maintaining a healthy snake plant:


As mentioned earlier, snake plants are susceptible to root rot if overwatered. It is essential to establish a watering routine that allows the soil to partially dry out between waterings. A good rule of thumb is to water the plant thoroughly and then wait for the top inch of soil to dry before watering again. Avoid the temptation to water on a fixed schedule and instead rely on the moisture level of the soil.


Snake plants have relatively low nutritional needs and can thrive without frequent fertilization. However, if you want to promote faster growth and enhance foliage color, you can feed your snake plant with a balanced houseplant fertilizer. Apply a diluted solution every two to three months during the growing season (spring and summer). Be sure to follow the instructions on the fertilizer packaging to avoid overfeeding.

Dusting The Leaves

Snake plants have broad leaves that can accumulate dust over time. Regularly dusting the leaves with a soft, damp cloth or gently rinsing them under lukewarm water helps maintain the plant’s health and appearance. Cleaning the leaves also improves the plant’s ability to photosynthesize and absorb light.

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Snake plants are adaptable to a wide range of humidity levels, but they do prefer average humidity. If you live in a dry climate or during the winter months when indoor heating can cause the air to be too dry, consider using a humidifier or placing the plant on a tray filled with water and pebbles. This will help increase the moisture level around the plant.


To ensure even growth and prevent the plant from leaning towards the light source, it is a good idea to rotate the snake plant occasionally. This will ensure that all sides of the plant receive equal amounts of sunlight, resulting in a more symmetrical and aesthetically pleasing appearance.

Pruning And Repotting The Snake Plant

Pruning and repotting are essential tasks for maintaining the health and appearance of your snake plant. Here’s what you need to know:


Snake plants generally require minimal pruning. However, if you notice any dead or yellowing leaves, it’s important to remove them promptly. Use a clean pair of garden shears or scissors to make a clean cut near the base of the leaf. This not only improves the plant’s appearance but also prevents the spread of diseases or pests.


Snake plants have a slow growth rate, and they don’t typically require frequent repotting. However, if your snake plant has outgrown its current pot or the soil has become overly compacted, it may be time to repot it. Repotting should be done in the spring or summer when the plant is actively growing.

Choose a slightly larger pot with good drainage and prepare a fresh batch of well-draining soil. Carefully remove the snake plant from its current pot and gently loosen the roots. Place the plant in the new pot, ensuring that the root system is adequately covered with the new soil. Avoid burying the plant too deeply, as this can lead to stem rot.

Dealing With Common Pests And Diseases

While snake plants are generally quite hardy and resistant to pests and diseases, they can occasionally encounter some common issues. Here are a few pests and diseases to be aware of and how to deal with them:

Spider Mites

Spider mites are tiny insects that can infest snake plants, especially in dry and warm conditions. Signs of spider mite infestation include yellowing and stippling of the leaves, along with the presence of fine webbing. To get rid of spider mites, you can use a gentle insecticidal soap spray or wipe down the leaves with a mixture of water and mild dish soap. Be sure to thoroughly cover both sides of the leaves and repeat the treatment after a week to catch any newly hatched mites.


Mealybugs are another common pest that can affect snake plants. They appear as small, cotton-like clusters on the leaves and stems. To remove mealybugs, use a cotton swab dipped in rubbing alcohol and gently dab them off the plant. Alternatively, you can lightly spray the plant with a mixture of water, dish soap, and neem oil. Repeat the treatment every week until the infestation is eradicated.

Root Rot

Overwatering or poorly draining soil can lead to root rot in snake plants. The first sign of root rot is usually wilting and yellowing leaves. To treat root rot, remove the plant from its pot, trim away any mushy or discolored roots, and replant it in fresh, well-draining soil. Adjust your watering habits to prevent overwatering in the future.

Leaf Spot

Leaf spot is a fungal disease that causes dark brown or black spots on the leaves of snake plants. It is usually caused by overwatering or high humidity. To treat leaf spot, remove any affected leaves and adjust the plant’s watering routine. Avoid getting the leaves wet during watering, as the moisture promotes fungal growth. If the problem persists, you can treat the plant with a fungicide according to the manufacturer’s instructions.


Planting and caring for a snake plant is a rewarding experience that requires minimal effort. By providing the ideal growing conditions of proper lighting, temperature, watering, soil, and pot selection, you can ensure the plant’s continued health and vitality. Regular maintenance tasks such as watering, dusting the leaves, and occasional pruning and repotting help keep the plant in optimal shape. Although snake plants are generally resistant to pests and diseases, vigilance is necessary to address any issues that may arise promptly. With proper care and attention, your snake plant will thrive and become a beautiful addition to your indoor space.


What Kind Of Soil Should I Use For Planting A Snake Plant?

Use well-draining soil with a mixture of potting soil, sand, and perlite for optimal growth.

Can I Plant A Snake Plant In A Regular Pot Or Does It Need A Specific Type Of Container?

A regular pot with drainage holes will suffice, but terra cotta pots are ideal for promoting air circulation and preventing water logging.

How Often Should I Water My Snake Plant After Planting It?

Water your snake plant sparingly, allowing the soil to dry out completely between waterings. Overwatering can lead to root rot and other plant diseases.

Should I Fertilize My Snake Plant After Planting?

Snake plants are low maintenance and do not require frequent fertilization. However, you can use a balanced fertilizer once or twice a year for added nutrients.

How Much Sunlight Does A Snake Plant Need For Successful Growth?

Snake plants can tolerate a wide range of lighting conditions, but they thrive in indirect or filtered sunlight. Keep them away from direct sunlight as it can scorch their leaves.