snake plant succulent soil

Is Succulent & Cactus Soil Good for Snake Plants?

The kind of soil you use for growing your plants plays the main role in deciding its growth & overall development. Succulents are more selective on this matter and growing them in a suitable potting mix will save you from loads of headaches in the future. So,

Is Succulent soil good for Snake plants? Snake plants hate growing in damp soil conditions & can only thrive in drainage friendly soil mix. Snake plants will thrive best in succulent & Cactus soil mix as these soil mixes do not retain water for long & are stunningly drainage friendly.

Let’s take a deeper look at this topic.

Any plant will likely do better when kept in soil conditions that resemble their natural habitat. Snake plants like all succulents are habituated to grow under extreme drought-prone conditions where the soil is gritty & rich in inorganic components like sand, crushed rocks, gravels, etc.

  • As a result, the soil of their natural habitats is extremely drainage friendly and has outstanding aeration available that further helps the succulent roots to breathe and to grow much deeper into the soil. Over the years the succulents have evolved itself to suit these conditions only.

So in case you try growing them in a soil mix that is not drainage friendly and filled with organic components like compost, pine bark, etc, its chances of survival are not that suitably high.

So the best soil for growing snake plants must be highly drainage friendly, needs to support aeration, and should contain lower amounts of organic components as some basic organic supply is required to keep the soil texture and nutrition intact.

Ideal Snake plant-soil Mixture: What kind of soil does a Snake plant need?

Snake plants thrive best in soil mixes that have the following properties:

  • Very Low water retention
  • Lightning Fast Drainage
  • Supports Aeration
  • Has a slightly acidic pH

In general snake, plants are highly adaptive plants that can survive in extreme conditions and under neglect as well. However, their roots are very sensitive to damp soil conditions. If the succulent sits on damp soil for days, it will catch a root rot quite easily.

So even if it can survive in gritty, moderate to low fertilized soil, it cannot survive in mixes that hold soil moisture. Hence using a soil mix that drains fast is not optional, it is a must.

Suitable aeration will not only help the roots to grow stronger but will diminish the chances of fungal growth or pest manifestations in the soil.

So the soil mix for growing snake plants should have

  • Higher proportions of inorganic components like gravels, pebbles, crushed granite, volcanic lava rocks along with coarse sand and perlite or pumice. These components will dry up faster even after getting wet giving the roots of the snake plant the needed time to absorb water.
  • Lower amounts of organic materials that can include compost, tree barks, or peat moss ( Less than 25%).
  • An optimized pH ranging between 6 to 6.5.

Can You use Succulent soil for a Snake plant?

Succulent soil is one of the best soil mixes you can use to grow snake plants! They are tailor-made to match their needs & they will thrive best under these conditions.

Succulent soil is suitable for growing almost the majority of indoor plants as all of them need drainage friendly conditions to thrive indoors under limited availability of resources. However, in such cases, you also need to mix other soil components with the succulent or cactus soil mix to match their exact needs.

Lets quickly look at some of the benefits of growing snake plants in the succulent & cactus soil mix:

Pros of Using Succulent Soil For Snake Plant

The soil mix will have an incredibly Fast Drainage facility

The soil mix will be rich in inorganic components which will by default lower the water retention. This is the biggest benefit of using a succulent soil mix to grow succulents as the basic soil needs of the snake plant will be well taken care of under these conditions.

The Soil mix will Support better Root Development

The presence of greater amounts of inorganic components in the soil facilitates better root development of the plant. The water will also travel very easily to the bottom of the pot which further promotes the succulent roots to grow deeper.

The upper part of the snake plant is a direct reflection of the root health of the plant. A plant with a stronger base will grow up to be healthier, prettier, and stronger.

The Gritty nature of the soil mix will by default diminish the chances of pest manifestations

Pest and fungal manifestations occur in the soil when the soil remains damp for a long time and the soil texture is dense and heavy.

However in this case the soil is naturally drainage friendly which makes well suited to be used for growing plants indoors as it not only supports suitable drainage but also promotes better aeration which is not suitable for the growth of microbes in the soil.

But in this regard, you need to be very careful about your watering practices as overwatering can lead to root rot and kill the plant slowly.

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The aeration of the soil will be great

The presence of small crushed rocks along with pebbles, gravels, and sand makes sure that the soil gets a sufficient dose of oxygen which means the root ball will also get sufficiently oxygenated.

The variation in soil particles will help the roots to breathe better and develop more vastly without much stress. Also, the chances of fungal or microbial growth decrease a lot in well-aerated soil.

If you can, try growing the snake plants in pots made of terra cotta as it supports airflow as well and also absorbs water from the soil supporting better drainage.

The soil pH will be optimized

The pH meter is a scale that measures soil acidity and alkalinity. It ranges from 1 to 14 with 1 being the maximum acidity parameter and 14 being the highest alkaline reading. Succulents like to thrive in slightly acidic conditions.

This is why they love rainwater as rainwater is slightly acidic in nature. They thrive well under soil pH of 6 to 6.5 so in case you buy a cactus soil mix from the store, it is likely that its pH will be well balanced.

“How do I make my Snake Plant Soil?”

You can also try to make yo0ur very own soil mix at home. It is no rocket science, is incredibly easy and fun to make. Also, The process will be slightly less cheap than buying it from the store or from online.

You can aim to use 1/3 rd potting soil with 2/3rd inorganic components. If you want to be more precise can use the recipe of  25% potting soil, 30% pumice or akadama or perlite, 30% sand and 15% pebbles, gravels, etc.

There is no one magic formula for making soil mixes. That’s the beauty of it.

You can play with these numbers a bit and as long as the organic content of the soil remains low the soil will remain drainage friendly.

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Tools that you will need for preparing soil mix for your snake plant includes:

  • A measuring cylinder to quantify the potting soil and other inorganic components
  • A big container where you will mix everything together
  • A trowel for mixing everything

How much Soil does a Snake Plant need?

The snake plant should be grown in pots which is 2 inches deeper than their roots. However, they can do well in pots that are 5 inches deep. The roots will have sufficient space to grow.

So you should use the required amount of soil to fill up the containers of these sizes. Firstly fill 80% of the pot with the soil mix, then gently place the succulent into it. After that add the remaining soil mix over the roots.

  • Using a larger container will be a waste of effort as it will require more soil to be filled and hence it will stay moist for a longer time.

This can be sometimes beneficial for growing outdoor plants that love soil moisture but this is not the case with indoor plants especially with succulents.

Succulent roots are highly sensitive to soil moisture and the longer the soil holds water the greater the chances of the plant catching root rot. Succulent roots just need a few inches deep spaces to thrive so you should use the pot and soil quantity as per that.


Do snake plants like coffee grounds?

Snake plants along with all succulents like having a diluted dose of coffee grounds from time to time. Coffee ground is rich in potassium, nitrogen, phosphorous, and load of other minerals they can act as a great compost for the soil.
Also using them once in a while helps in fertilizing the soil. However, you should be very wary of using it for potted plants as it can facilitate tremendous microbial growth.
If you want to read more regarding using coffee grounds for growing succulents, I have got a full post on this topic: Is Coffee Ground Good for Succulents & Cactus?


Snake plants are one of the best low maintenance plants you can ever grow. They are highly adaptive, can survive well in rooms with high lights, and also with low lights. They also have a reputation for thriving under neglect hence they are quite popular in offices and workplaces.

By giving them a solid foundation of the right potting mix and by watering them once in a while you can easily grow a well-developed snake plant. The key is to provide them with a soil mix that is gritty and drainage friendly and this is just hat succulent and cactus soil mixes have got to offer.

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