The Ultimate Snake Plant Soil Mixture (Read This First)

The Snake Plant (also known as Dracaena trifasciata or Mother-in-Law’s Tongue) is an easy to care for tropical houseplant. It’s often touted as a great beginner houseplant due to its hardiness.

Because Snake Plants are native to the deserts of West Africa, they have adapted to survive periods of drought. This means that they prefer dry soil, and cannot tolerate overwatering. Overwatering your Snake Plant will lead to root rot, which can kill your plant. 

The best defense against overwatering is light, well-draining soil. For the ultimate Snake Plant soil mixture, we suggest using 1/2 part coarse sand, 1/4 part potting soil, and 1/4 part peat moss.

We’ll explain how we came up with this soil mix and the reasons why these particular soil mediums are best suited to your Snake Plant!

Different Soil Types for Snake Plants 

Putting soil in pot
If you plant your Snake Plant in regular old potting soil, it may survive, but it certainly won’t thrive. Regular potting soil is not designed for desert plants as it retains too much moisture. Instead, it’s best to use potting soil in a mix along with other soil mediums that offer better drainage.

Here are a few of the most common soil mediums used for Snake Plants. 

Peat Moss

Peat moss comes from decomposed sphagnum moss from bogs. It’s a favorite of gardeners because it’s a source of vital plant nutrients like potassium and nitrogen. It’s also a great addition to soil mixes because it is lightweight and prevents soil from becoming compacted. Lots of air in the soil helps water drain faster and easier. 

Peat moss also has an acidic pH of around 4.4, so it’s perfect to pair with plants that prefer acidic soils—like the Snake Plant!


Although these little white balls look like styrofoam, they’re actually made from expanded volcanic glass! Perlite keeps its shape and is very porous so it’s good at draining water. Perlite is often added to soil mixes to provide aeration to the soil, so the roots have room to grow.

Potting Soil

Potting soil is a mix of bark, perlite, and peat moss. This mix of organic materials is designed to retain moisture long enough for the roots to receive water, then drain away any excess. Due to its density, potting soil also helps provide a strong base for a plant’s roots to anchor into

The problem with potting soil is that these dense organic materials drain too slowly for a Snake Plant.


Pile of sand
The sand used for plants is the same sand you’d find on a beach. It is composed of large gritty particles, which allow water to drain very easily. 

Sandy soil is also very loose, which makes it easy for plants to establish roots. Since sand retains very little moisture, it’s best suited for dry, drought-tolerant plants

Cactus Soil 

Cactus soil is a super well-draining blend of pumice, perlite, sand, and gravel. It’s designed for plants like succulents that require very little water. Cactus soil is also low in nutrients, which is perfect for drought-resistant plants which generally prefer nutrient-poor soils. 

The Snake Plant wouldn’t be the best fit for 100% cactus soil, as it prefers soil that is rich in nutrients

What is the Best Soil Mix for Snake Plants?

There are many types of soil mixes that will suit a Snake Plant. Given the abundance of soil mediums available, there’s not one “right” answer. When you’re putting together a soil mix, just keep in mind the following soil requirements of a Snake Plant:

  • Acidic pH 
  • Good drainage
  • Rich in nutrients

With these traits in mind, our choice of the ultimate Snake Plant soil mixture is 1/2 part coarse sand, 1/4 part potting soil, and 1/4 part peat moss.

Coarse sand provides excellent drainage and will prevent the dreaded root rot.

Potting soil provides nutrients from organic materials like bark and peat moss. The denseness provided by these organic materials also helps give the Snake Plant’s roots stability. 

Peat moss has an acidic pH which will provide the Snake Plant with acidic soil. Peat moss also contains potassium, which supports plant growth and drought resistance, and nitrogen which helps support healthy foliage

Does a Snake Plant Need Coco Peat?

Coco peat
Coco peat is the fibers from the inside of a coconut. It’s also known as coir in the plant world and is often added to soil mixes or used on its own. This material has become popular with gardeners due to being environmentally friendly, reusable, and filled with vital plant nutrients

Coco peat is similar to peat moss as it’s used to provide more drainage and aeration to soil. Similar to peat moss, coco peat contains nutrients like potassium and iron which are critical to plant growth. Coco peat retains less water than peat moss, which makes it good for dryer plants like the Snake Plant.

So while a Snake Plant certainly doesn’t need coco peat, it can make a great addition to your soil mix!

Can a Snake Plant Grow in Sand?

Many plants can thrive in sandy soil, including the Snake Plant. Sand is usually acidic, which is the type of soil Snake Plants prefer. Sand also provides excellent drainage which the Snake Plant needs to prevent its roots from rotting.

However, since sand doesn’t hold onto water very well, this means it also doesn’t hold onto nutrients. The Snake Plant cannot live in sand without also receiving vital nutrients like nitrogen, potassium and phosphorus

So if you plan to plant your Snake Plant in pure sand, ensure that it receives liquid fertilizer to supplement the lack of nutrients. An even better solution is to combine sand with nutrient-rich soil mediums such as peat moss and use this soil mixture for your Snake Plant. 

How Do You Fertilize a Snake Plant?

The Snake Plant has low fertilizing needs, so you can get away with fertilizing this plant only twice a year! It’s best to fertilize the Snake Plant in its growing seasons, which are spring and summer. Do not fertilize in the winter and autumn as this is when Snake Plants go dormant.

Since the soil of a Snake Plant is dry, it’s best to use a liquid fertilizer to ensure the nutrients are properly absorbed. Make sure the fertilizer is diluted with water since the Snake Plant is susceptible to root burn from too much salt

With all the different types of fertilizers out there, it can be difficult to know which one you should pick. A Snake Plant will do just fine with a balanced plant fertilizer, such as a 10/10/10 fertilizer. This type of fertilizer contains 10% potassium, 10% nitrogen and 10% phosphorus—the three primary nutrients required by all plants to live. 

Do Snake Plants Like Coffee Grounds?

Coffee grounds
Coffee grounds are sometimes used as plant fertilizer, as they contain high amounts of nitrogen, potassium and phosphorus. The gritty texture of coffee grounds also makes them beneficial for aerating soil and improving water drainage.

Reusing your old coffee grounds for your houseplants sounds wonderful, but keep in mind that coffee grounds are acidic. That means they should only be used with plants that prefer acidic soil—such as azaleas, blueberries and Snake Plants! The boost of nutrients from coffee grounds can help your Snake Plants grow bigger, and have brighter colors. 

How Do I Add Coffee Grounds to Snake Plant Soil?

Keep in mind that coffee grounds contain a lot of moisture. Snake Plants love dry soil, so adding coffee grounds directly to your pot may oversaturate the soil. This excess moisture will not only cause root rot but will also create a welcoming environment for bugs and mold. 

Instead, try adding coffee grounds to your soil mix when you repot your Snake Plant. Use 1/4 cup of coffee grounds for every 4-6 cups of soil mix. When interspersed with other material, the coffee grounds will release their nutrients slowly and evenly. And since the grounds are mixed in before you pot the plant, you can control the moisture level of the soil. 

Make sure that you don’t use coffee grounds from flavored coffees with artificial colors or flavors. Artificial additives such as these can be harmful to your plants. 

Are Eggshells Good for Snake Plants?

You may have heard of fellow gardeners putting eggshells in their houseplant soil as fertilizer. But is this safe for your Snake Plant?

Egg shells contain a high amount of calcium, which helps in the development of a plant’s cell membranes. Like coffee grounds, eggshells also contain the vital nutrients phosphorus, potassium, and nitrogen. Unlike coffee grounds, eggshells do not affect the pH of the soil, so they are fine to use with almost any plant.

If you want to add eggshells to boost the nutrient content of your Snake Plant soil, first wash away any egg white or yolk to prevent rot. Let the eggshells dry out completely, then pulverize them in a blender until they become a fine powder. This will allow the Snake Plant to more easily absorb the nutrients. Then, simply add the crushed eggshells to your potting soil. 


Snake Plants love their soil dry, well-draining, nutrient-rich, and acidic. This mimics the soils of their native West Africa and is what allows them to thrive as indoor plants all over the world.

There are so many different soil mixes you can create that achieve this balance. We suggest using a mixture of 1/2 part coarse sand, 1/4 part potting soil, and 1/4 part peat moss. The coarse sand provides excellent drainage. The potting soil will provide nutrients and stability for the roots. Peat moss will give the soil an acidic pH and provide an extra boost of nutrients.

It’s time to ditch the plain old potting soil. Next time you repot your Snake Plant, give this ultimate soil mix a go instead—your plant will thank you!