Do Snake Plants Need Drainage? Here’s What Experts Suggest

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When a mishap happened with my snake plant in my early enthusiast days, many questions truly hit my mind. I chose an aesthetic pot with no drainage holes for my snake plant and unknowingly invited trouble. The soil felt constantly damp, and the leaves looked weary.

Thar’s when do snake plants need drainage questions pop up in mind and i asked a friend about it.

He assure me-

Do Snake Plants Need Drainage

Lack of clarity? Don’t worry. In today’s guide, I’ll walk through comprehensively why and how to get proper drainage, risk factors, care tips, and so on. Just keep reading.

Key Facts:

Do Snake Plants Need Drainage?

So, i asked my friend do snake plants need drainage? 

He replied- Yes. Snake plants need drainage for their thriving growth and to avoid associated issues. 

Snake plants are succulent and do their best in the low water conditions. Unlike any other household plants, snake plants do not require excess water to grow the foliage and roots. 

In fact, 

Snake plants are prone to root rot if they are left in waterlogged conditions for a long time. Proper drainage is essential to prevent root rot and waterlogged soil. 

Do Snake Plants Need Drainage Holes?

I’m still kinda confused about do snake plants need drainage holes? 

Let me make the whole thing. 

Do snake plants need drainage holes

Snake plants do not essentially need a pot with a drainage hole for their growth; they just want a proper drainage system. They can survive in a pot without drainage holes for a while. 

But proper drainage is a must to prevent root rot or any other issues. Although the pots with drainage holes are the easiest way to create proper drainage of the snake plants. However, you can also follow the alternative methods of setting up a drainage system using gravel, activated charcoal, or perlite/vermiculite. 

How can you do that, right? Don’t worry I’ll discuss it in the later sections.

Reasons To Get Drainage For Snake Plant

Ok so, to maintain the optimal health of my snake plant, I always prioritize proper drainage. But is there any other reason for it?

-Of course there is. There are many actually as in:

  1. To Prevent The Root Rot 
  2. Maintaining Proper Soil Moisture 
  3. Providing Oxygen 
  4. Ensuring Optimal Root Growth 
Reasons To Get Drainage For Snake Plant

To Prevent The Root Rot 

As I already mentioned, a good drainage system is essential for the snake plants to prevent root rot. The adequate drainage system allows excess water to seep out of the pot after watering and prevents the water from pooling at the base of the pot. Otherwise, it will create a waterlogged condition and rot the roots. So, if you wanna healthy roots for snake plants then drainage is a must need for you.

Maintaining Proper Soil Moisture 

So, to prevent root rot or healthy plants, proper soil moisture is required. Through the proper drainage system of the snake plants, you ensure that the water level of the soil is maintained optimally. 

For this reason, I recommend and always choose well-draining soil for my plants. This soil lets the roots absorb water, and excess water seeps out of the pot. Ultimately, it maintains the optimal soil moisture for the snake plants

For Providing Oxygen 

Whatever the plant it is, the roots require oxygen to function properly. When the soil is waterlogged due to a poor drainage system, the roots lack the necessary oxygen. 

A proper drainage system helps to maintain a healthy balance between the water and the air in the soil. It allows the roots to absorb nutrients effectively.

Ensuring Optimal Root Growth 

Finally, a good drainage system is essential for robust root system development. Needless to say, root growth is a crucial factor for the optimal and enhanced growth of your snake plants.

Risk Of Not Getting Drainage For Snake Plant

Proper drainage is essential for all the potted plants, and snake plants are no exception. If you do not get drainage for snake plants, it will lead to slew problems for your plants. 

Due to the lack of a drainage system, water will build up in the plant’s pot. If you leave the condition unattended, it will lead to root rot, which will quickly kill your plant. 

Moreover, the roots of snake plants may also be starved of oxygen without good drainage. When the roots of the plants are sunk in excess water continuously, they can’t get enough oxygen. 

It happened to one of my plants as I already mentioned earlier. I was unaware of the importance of drainage for snake plants, my snake plants had stunted growth and started having yellow leaves. 

To me, everything was perfect, but what went wrong? 

It was the oxygen shortage due to poor drainage. 

Not only that, lack of drainage leads to the accumulation of minerals and salts from water and fertilizers. As a result, it causes root burns.

How To Get Drainage For Snake Plants?

Ok, ok, I get it. Drainage is super important for my snake plant, but how to do it?

-it’s not a big deal. You just gotta follow the process. Such as:

  • Method 1: Choose The Correct Planters
  • Method 2: Create Drainage Holes In The Pot
  • Method 3: Add Amendments To Your Soil
  • Method 4: Get A Well-draining Soil Mix 7
  • Method 5: Create A False Bottom

Method 1: Choose The Correct Planters 

Pots with drainage holes are the most straightforward way to ensure good drainage for your snake plant. 

It will let out excess water from the pot and prevent waterlogged conditions. So, for your snake plants, choose a slightly larger pot than the plant’s root ball with drainage holes. There are two different options for planters: Porous and nonporous. 

Porous pots, like clay pots, evaporate water faster. That’s why porous pots are the best option for succulent plants like snake plants or any plants that prefer to dry between watering. 

Non-porous pots like plastic pots are ideal for plants that retain moisture. 

Method 2: Create Drainage Holes In The Pot 

If your plant doesn’t have a drainage hole, you can also make holes in the pot. 

For my pots, I made a hole 150 mm/9 mm in diameter with a hammer and a decking nail. First, fill the pot with potting mix. Press the potting and make sure that it is compact and tightly packed. 

How To Get Drainage For Snake Plants

Now wear your protective gloves, turn the upside down of the pot and ensure the pot is well tight. Grab the nails and the hammer and use it to make a hole in the pot. It will create a drainage system for your snake plant. 

For a detailed guide, you can refer to the video below. 

How To Get Drainage For Snake Plants?

Method 3: Add Amendments To Your Soil

Another way to ensure proper drainage for your snake plants is to add chunky bark or a more porous material to the soil. This will prevent the root from sitting in the pot. When you are looking for amendments, my recommendation is to use peat moss, shredded bark, long-fibre sphagnum moss, or perlite. 

  • Peat moss: It retains water and helps to provide moisture to the roots between waterings. 
  • Shredded bark: The size ranges from chunky to fine and is used for growing potted plants. 
  • Long-fiber sphagnum moss: It is used for water retention from the soil and prevents soil compaction. 
  • Perlite is the better option for drainage. Perlites are porous and help move water through the soil. 

Method 4: Get A Well-draining Soil Mix 

Using a well-draining soil mixture is also a good way to get drainage for your snake plant. 

Well-draining potting soil specially formulated for succulents and cacti improves drainage and prevents water logging conditions. 

The cacti and succulent potting mix already contains perlite, coarse sand, or pumice.

Method 5: Create A False Bottom 

If you find a pot without drainage holes you can create a false bottom to provide some drainage within the pot. 

Here you have to use drainage materials like gravel, pebbles, activated charcoal, or clay balls. 

  • Place the materials at the bottom of the pot. This layer should be at least two inches deep. 
  • Now fill the pot with a potting mix. The gravel or activated charcoal layer will act as a reservoir for excess water and reduce the chances of root rot. 

Care Guidance For Snake Plants With Drainage

Care Guidance For Snake Plants With Drainage
  • For your snake plants, use the pots that have drainage holes. If your pots don’t have holes, you can create an alternative drainage system. 
  • You can use activated charcoal or perlite to enhance the drainage system. 
  • Always remove the excess water collected in the cache pot or saucer. 
  • Inspect the soil moisture before watering your snake plants. 
  • In the growing seasons of summer and spring, water the snake plants every two to three weeks, and in the winter seasons reduce it to once a month or less.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s)

Is it OK to put plants in pots without holes?

You can plant the snake in pots without holes but it will need extra care. You have to make sure drainage layers, and healthy soil for the plants and monitor the moisture levels. Then only the planter with drainage holes can be the perfect home for your snake plants. 

Should I put rocks in the bottom of the snake plant?

You should plant your snake plants in a pot with proper drainage holes. If your pot for snake plants lacks a hole, inspect whether you can create holes on your own. If not, you can add a layer of lava rocks to the bottom of the snake plant pot to make sure the roots are never swimming. 

Conclusion

Do snake plants need drainage? I hope you got your answer now. Snake plants do not require pots with drainage holes but a proper drainage system for uninterrupted growth. Using pots with drainage holes is the most straightforward way to remove excess water. 

But if you opt for pots without drainage holes, create an alternative drainage system through activated charcoal, gravel, vermiculite, or perlite. Never water your snake plant more frequently. Watering your plant is suggested only when the soil dries out. Follow up on the guidelines I gave you, and be ready to enjoy the striking beauty of your snake plants, aka mother-in-law’s tongue! Want more updates? Then stay with Plantrick.

Raina Trick

Written by

Raina Trick

Meet Rayna Trick: Your Indoor Plant Whisperer! With her roots in environmental science and a passion for exotic succulents, she’s the Green Thumb of the Year. Rayna’s here to be your plant companion, sharing her expertise and nurturing your green oasis at PlantTrick. Let’s make your indoor space bloom, one leaf at a time, together!

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