Healthy Snake Plant Roots| Tips For Nurturing Success Maintaining


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Healthy roots make healthy plants. Ensuring healthy roots is the key to healthy growth. 

Hi, guys. This is your friend John. Today, I will repot my snake plant (dracaena trifasciata) to check its root health. 

Recently, I noticed that the roots of my snake plant outgrew its pot. Also, my plants are looking droopy—it’s like they lost their vibrant appearance. I think there are some problems with the roots, so I decided to unpot the plant and check its roots.

Healthy Snake Plant Roots

If you have snake plants and want to keep them happy and healthy, you can join me on this journey.

Main Facts:

  • Healthy roots are essential for the vitality of snake plants.
  • Treat healthy snake plant roots by providing well-draining soil, adequate watering, indirect light, and periodic repotting.
  • Unhealthy roots exhibit signs such as discolouration, softness, limited branching, and foul odor.

Characteristics Of Healthy Snake Plant Roots

Now it’s time to remove my plant from its current pot. You can do it easily by turning the pot on its side and holding the leaves for support.  Squeeze the pot gently all around to loosen the soil and roots. If it’s still stuck, try tapping the bottom of the pot on a firm surface. Or use a butter knife to loosen the edges of the soil from the pot carefully. 

Let me shake off the excess soil. Thank God! They are not looking unhealthy. 

Characteristics Of Healthy Snake Plant Roots

Wondering how do I know if they are healthy or not. Actually, to identify this, you have to know about the characteristics of healthy snake plant roots. 

If you know, their characteristics can help you ensure your snake plant thrives. Here’s a breakdown of what healthy snake plant roots look and function like:


Snake plant roots come in two main parts. They work together to keep your plant happy:

  • Rhizomes (1-2 inches thick): These thick, underground stems act like a personal water bank for your snake plant. Think of them as plump sausages storing water and nutrients to help your plant survive dry periods.
  • Fibrous Roots (hair-thin): Branching out from the rhizomes, these finer roots are the workhorses. They absorb water and essential minerals from the surrounding soil. 


  • Color Check: Healthy snake plant roots should be bright white or cream in color. This indicates healthy, actively functioning roots.
  • Texture Talk: Healthy roots should feel firm and turgid to the touch. They should not be soft, mushy, or slimy, as these are signs of root rot or decay. Healthy roots have a crisp texture, indicating proper hydration and structural integrity.
  • Density: Healthy roots are densely packed within the fresh soil or potting mix. They form a strong network to support the plant’s above-ground growth. Sparse or sparse roots may indicate poor root development or issues with soil conditions.
  • Odor: Healthy snake plant roots should have a neutral or slightly earthy scent. Foul or pungent odors may indicate root rot or other issues.Absence of Damage: Healthy roots should be free from any signs of damage, such as cuts, tears, or bruising. 

Growth Rate:

Don’t expect aggressive growth from snake plant roots. They’re known for being moderate growers. They also like to be slightly root bound. However, during repotting every 2-3 years, you should see some evidence of new root growth.  

How To Treat Healthy Snake Plant Roots?

Some people wanted to know if it is necessary to treat the healthy roots of snake plants. How can I treat them? Listen, it’s not actually what you think.  Treating healthy snake plant roots primarily involves maintaining their well-being through proper care practices. 

How To Treat Healthy Snake Plant Roots?

For example, ensure your plant is potted in well-draining soil to prevent waterlogged conditions. Typically, a well-draining mix consists of 50% potting soil, 25% perlite, and 25% coarse sand or peat moss. 

Then, allow the soil to dry out between waterings, as excess water can suffocate the roots. Aim to water your plant every 2-4 weeks. You can adjust based on environmental conditions such as temperature and humidity. 

In addition, provide a minimum of 4-6 hours of indirect light and keep away from direct sunlight. These indoor plants thrive in low to moderate light conditions to mimic their natural habitat. You also need to avoid overcrowding the roots by repotting the plant every 2-3 years or when the roots outgrow the pot

Then, periodically inspect the roots for signs of pests or diseases and take appropriate action if needed. These will also improve the vitality of your snake plant’s roots, which will promote robust growth and longevity.

Healthy Snake Plant Roots Vs Unhealthy

If you can’t keep your plant’s roots healthy, then your plants will never be healthy. So, you must learn before you start the process of keeping snake plant roots healthy. Before that, you need to know the difference between healthy roots and unhealthy roots. 

Healthy Snake Plant Roots Vs Unhealthy

So, why delay? Let’s find out healthy roots vs unhealthy roots: 

CharacteristicsHealthy rootsUnhealthy roots
ColorVibrant white or creamyDiscolored, brown, or black
TextureFirm and turgidSoft, mushy, and slimy
BranchingExtensive branching, numerous smaller rootsLimited branching, few or no smaller roots
LengthVaries depending on plant size and container depthShort, stunted, or overly long
DensityDensely packed, strong networkSparse, weak, or lacking in structure
Absence of DamageFree from cuts, tears, or bruisingPresence of cuts, tears, or bruising
OdorNeutral or slightly earthy scentFoul, pungent odor indicating rot or decay

How Do I Know If My Snake Plant Is Healthy Or Unhealthy?

Several telltale signs can help you determine if your snake plant is healthy or unhealthy.

  • Step 1: Examine the leaves for their overall health. Vibrant green foliage with crisp edges indicates a happy plant. Conversely, dull or discoloured or yellow leaves, especially if they’re limp or floppy, suggest trouble. Ideally, new growth should be slow but steady, with 1-2 new leaves emerging every few months.
  • Step 2: Assess the snake plant’s watering habits. Snake plants are famously drought-tolerant. The soil should feel completely dry to the touch at least 2 inches down before watering again. Overwatering is a major cause of problems, so underwatering is actually safer. So, if you are seeing abnormal water habits, then it means there is a root issue.
  • Step 3: Inspect the roots for signs of trouble. If you have to report or suspect root rot, healthy roots should be white or light brown, firm, and have a smooth, slightly elastic feel. Unhealthy roots will be mushy, black, or easily breakable, and may emit a foul odor.
  • Step 4: Keep an eye out for pests. Mealybugs, spider mites, and other unwanted visitors can weaken your snake plant and hinder its health. Regularly inspect your plant, especially the undersides of your snake plant leaves, for signs of infestation.

Ways To Revive Unhealthy Roots

Unfortunately, you cannot completely revive severely damaged or rotten roots. If you catch the problem early, you can take steps to save your snake plant. It also can encourage healthy root growth. Let’s see a multi-pronged approach:

  • Isolate and inspect the roots:
  • Address root rot
  • Encourage healthy growth
  • Prepare a healthy environment
  • Report carefully
  • Provide proper care
  • Isolate and inspect the roots: Carefully remove your snake plant from its pot. Gently loosen the soil around the roots to expose them for examination.
  • Address root rot: If you find mushy, black, or foul-smelling roots, they are signs of snake plant root rot. Using sterilised shears or a sharp knife, carefully remove all affected roots. You can disinfect your tools with rubbing alcohol between cuts to prevent spreading pathogens.
  • Encourage healthy growth: Rinse any remaining healthy roots with clean water. For an additional preventative measure, soak them in a diluted fungicide solution.
  • Prepare a healthy environment: Choose a pot with drainage holes to prevent future waterlogging. You should use cactus soil, which is specifically formulated for succulents.
  • Report carefully: Plant your snake plant in the new pot, ensuring the roots are spread out evenly. Fill the pot with fresh potting mix, leaving some space at the top for watering. Avoid overwatering. Wait until the soil is completely dry to the touch, at least 2 inches down, before watering again.
  • Provide proper care: Ensure your snake plant receives bright, indirect sunlight. Avoid fertilising too frequently, especially while the plant recovers. 

With proper care and these steps, you can encourage new, healthy root growth and potentially revive your snake plant.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s)

How Do You Grow Strong Roots On A Snake Plant?

Snake plants are naturally low-maintenance. Strong roots thrive with neglect over coddling. The key lies in mimicking their dry habitat. Keep the soil dry and avoid over fertilizing. 

Are There Signs That Indicate My Snake Plant Roots Might Be Unhealthy?

Absolutely! Watch for signs above the soil first. Limp, discolored leaves or a lack of new growth can indicate root issues. When watering, if water drains out very quickly or pools on top. 

Can I Check The Roots Of My Snake Plant To See If They’re Healthy?

Yes, checking the roots is a reliable way to assess your snake plant’s health. 


With a little knowledge about their root system, you can easily cultivate healthy and thriving snake plants. Remember, healthy roots are the foundation for a happy plant. 

I hope you now understand the characteristics of healthy snake plant roots. Proper watering techniques and the importance of a well-draining environment can ensure your snake plant flourishes for years to come. If you want more updates like this, then get in touch with a Plantrick expert.

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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