When and How to Replant a Snake Plant

Snake Plants are considered a good option for those that often forget about their plants and greenery. They happen to thrive on little attention while also providing a beautiful dash of color in the home. 

Though they enjoy being left to their own devices, they do need a little care occasionally. Repotting, however infrequently it needs to occur, is an example of some of the care your plant may need. But when and how do you replant a Snake Plant?

Snake Plants can often go three to ten years without having to be replanted, though there are some signs – such as tipping over and roots escaping the pot – that signal your plant needs to be moved to a bigger pot.

Keep reading to learn more about how your plant will signal when it needs to be replanted, and how to repot your Snake Plant the right way. 

Do Snake Plants Outgrow Their Pots?

Snake plants in a big pot
Compared to other plants, it might seem like your Snake Plant never outgrows its pots. While it is true that it takes a long time before your plant outgrows its pot, it does occasionally happen. 

You may find you have to replace your Snake Plant’s pot somewhere between three to ten years. Even in high light levels, Snake Plants only need to be repotted every three years at most. In lower levels of light, they can last as long as ten years. 

When Should I Replant My Snake Plant?

There are a few signs to look for when deciding when it is time to replant your Snake Plant. 

  1.  You can start seeing roots out of the bottom of the pot. When your plant runs out of room in the pot, the roots don’t have anywhere else to go. When that happens, they will start to climb out of every available crevice. This includes the holes in the bottom of pots. When they start expanding outwards, beyond the confines of the pot, it is time to replant. 
  2. The pot is cracking. If your pot doesn’t have a lot of options that allow for the roots to escape from the bottom, the plant will begin to push out at the sides. This may be more evident in thin plastic pots which are more prone to cracking, but it may appear in harder pots as well when the pressure becomes stronger. 
  3. The plant is crowded. As your plant grows, it will start to produce new offspring, causing your pot to become overcrowded. One or two offspring isn’t a big deal, but when several start to grow, it is probably time to separate and repot. 
  4. Water doesn’t seem to be staying in the pot. Over time, soli disintegrates. When that happens, there often won’t be enough soil in the pot to hold onto water. Or, as the soil breaks down, your plant’s roots might take over the free space. Either way, if there isn’t enough soil, there is nothing to retain the water, and it will almost immediately come out of the holes in the bottom of your pot. 
  5. The plant falls over a lot. This is another side effect of disintegrating soil. Without enough weight on the bottom of the pot, your plant may start to tip over. Also, if your plant is too tall for the pot, whether or not there is enough soil, it will tip over. 

Why Does My Snake Plant Fall Over?

Snake plant fallen overThere are two main reasons why a Snake Plant may start falling over often. The first is due to a lack of soil in the pot. If it has been a long time since your Snake Plant has been repotted, then it is likely that the soil has dissolved over time until there isn’t much left. 

This sometimes presents itself as the sinking of the soil in the pot. You may not always see the signs since the roots can take the place of the soil and make it still look full. If your plant is tipping over a lot though, it might be a sign that the soil is low. 

The other reason your plant might tip over a lot can be because it is too tall for the pot. Generally, if your plant is over twice the height of the pot, it is a good idea to repot it soon, as it will be too top-heavy. 

Do Snake Plants Like to Be Repotted?

No plant likes to be repotted. It is often a stressful time for the plant, just as it is for us humans when we move homes. If you notice your Snake Plant’s leaves are drooping shortly after repotting, don’t be immediately worried, it may just be your plant showing signs of stress. 

Though it is necessary to repot your Snake Plant occasionally, it isn’t ideal to do it often. 

Some research shows that Snake Plants do a little better when they are a little bit root-bound. As long as they aren’t excessively crowded or too root-bound, your Snake Plant is fine to stay in their pot. 

How Do You Repot a Snake Plant, for Beginners?

Repotting Snake Plants is easy, once you know what you are doing. The most important thing when repotting your Snake Plant is to be careful and patient so that you don’t injure your plant. 

  • Grab the leaves of the plant. Holding onto the base of the Snake Plant, close to the bottom of the soil, slowly tug on the pot with your other hand. If the pot is flexible, you can try to squeeze the sides a little to help break up tight root spots or soil. Only use scissors as a last resort, as you may damage the roots along the edge. 
  • Remove most of the soil from the roots. Gently, shake the root bundle and work out most of the soil from the roots. This serves two purposes as it loosens up the roots and gets your plant ready to be potted into new, nutrient-rich soil. 
  • Hold your plant in the new pot. The next step is to place your plant into a new, larger pot. You don’t just want to place the plant at the bottom of the pot. Instead, line up your plant so the leaves would still be sticking out of the soil when filled up, and hold it there in the center of the pot. If you are worried about your plant tipping over, you can sink the leaves just a little into the soil. 
  • Pour in the new soil. This part gets a little tricky. While still holding the plant in place, pour the soil around it into the pot. Once the pot is full, you can press gently to compact the soil just a little. This will help your plant to stand up more. 
  • Water the plant. After the plant is nice and secure, place them where you want and water just enough to moisten the soil. Your plant will be a little stressed from the move, so you don’t want them to have to deal with too-high moisture levels as well. 

What Soil Do I Use to Repot My Snake Plant?

For Snake Plants, you want a softer soil. One that is too thick or holds too much water can end up harming your plant. For this reason, you want to be careful when picking out the right mix or soil for your plant. 

Most potting soils and mixes are fine for your Snake Plant, so long as it has a fair amount of drainage. If it is lacking in drainage, mixing in a bit of perlite can help a lot. Perlite looks like little styrofoam balls but are in fact made from rock. These little balls can help to increase the aeration in the soil. 

If you are going to use perlite, you can include up to 40% perlite and 60% soil. 

What most people end up with, when choosing the right soil for their Snake Plant, is a potting mix designed for cactus and succulents. Since it is made for plants that have minimal water requirements, this mix has excellent drainage.

Sometimes, it can have a little too much drainage. If this occurs, consider trying a ratio of 30% cactus potting mix and 70% regular potting mix. 

Can You Replant Snake Plant Leaves?

Snake plants in a pot
It can be hard to get your Snake Plant to grow from leaves. However, it is possible. If you can get the leaves to start to grow roots, you have a good chance. There are a few ways to try and get those leaves to grow, though we find that letting the leaves sit in water works best. 

For this method, you simply cut off a leaf close to the soil. Try to keep it even and clean. Then, stick that cutting into the water and cover up about a quarter of the rest of the leaf in the water. Try to keep the leaves sticking straight up for the best chance and with the roots facing down. 

We also usually cut a V-shape into the bottom of the leaf so that it can grow roots even if pressed into the bottom of the glass or cup you are using. 

This process isn’t fast. It can take upwards of two months for roots to develop, so don’t give up too early. Once you start to get a fair amount of roots and offshoots, place the leaf into a pot with the roots snug in the soil.

Should I Water a Snake Plant Right After Repotting?

Watering your Snake Plant right after repotting isn’t a bad idea. It helps to moisten the soil and makes sure everything is soft enough that the roots can spread. However, repotting a plant can stress it out, so make sure you are just watering enough to soften the soil, and not soaking it. 


Snake Plants are easy to repot, and they might only need to be repotted every three to ten years. There are a few signs that your Snake Plant is ready to be repotted: roots are growing out of the bottom of the pot, the plant is crowded, your pot is cracking, water isn’t staying in the pot, or your plant keeps falling over.

Snake Plants thrive in soil that has good drainage, so try adding perlite or potting mix designed for cacti and succulents to your soil for the best results. Snack Plants are low maintenance, but occasional repotting can help them stay healthy.