Low maintenance and easy to care for, the snake plant is one of the most common and hardy houseplants. Originating in Africa, with Sansevieria trifasciata as its scientific name, this plant has beautiful and long sword-shaped leaves with patterned foliage and yellow border and ranges around 6 to 8 feet tall.
What makes it popular with beginners is the fact that you can neglect it for weeks or even months, and it will still be alive and kicking. Yes, they are nearly indestructible. It does require some maintenance though, like occasional watering and low to moderate light to get the classic variegated look, which we think is quite doable.
Snake plants can survive in both bright light and dark corners of the house and even outdoors. They do grow a bit slowly indoors, but if you can give them just a few hours of direct morning sunlight, it will boost their growth. There’s another thing that can help snake plants grow fast- acidic soil.
Is Snake Plant An Acid Loving Plant? Does It Like Acidic Soil?
Yes, the snake plant grows best in acidic soil with a pH of between 4.5 and 7.0, which is neutral to slightly acidic. But the natural pH range of soil is between 3.5 to 10. The range is a bit wide because several conditions, such as geological history, temperature, weather, industrial contaminants, and use of fertilizers affect the pH of soil.
How To Make The Soil For Snake Plant Acidic?
The soil isn’t naturally acidic, but there are a few things you can add to acidify it. Below we’ll share a few ways to raise the acid levels in your snake plant’s soil. Note: Before trying these remedies, please test the pH level of your soil.
Coffee grounds are the best product to make the soil acidic for your snake plant. Apart from providing an ideal pH value to the soil, coffee grounds also provide nitrogen, a macronutrient that helps tremendously in the growth of plants.
How To Use Coffee Grounds For Snake Plant?
You can mix coffee grounds in mulch, compost, or liquid fertilizer used for your snake plant.
The easiest way to use coffee grounds for snake plants is by mixing it with other organic matter to make rich compost. Such rich organic matter can attract earthworms and microorganisms that almost always work in favor of the soil. To make organic-rich compost for your snake plant, add coffee grounds into your garden or kitchen waste in a 20:80 ratio. Please ensure that coffee is just 20% of the entire quantity of compost. Anything more can create an imbalance in your compost. You can fertilize your snake plant with this compost every 6 to 8 weeks.
Now just because rich composts are good for plants doesn’t mean you will go overboard with it. You need to be very careful about the quantity of compost you put in your snake plant. Snake plants prefer dry soil, but composts hold in moisture for a long period of time. So overdoing will definitely backfire.
- Liquid Fertilizer:
You can even create a liquid fertilizer out of coffee for your snake plant. It’s very easy to make too. Simmer 300 ml of water and add a teaspoon of ground coffee to it once the water has cooled. Leave the mixture for few days to let the beneficial bacteria colonize. It will even break down the coffee grounds, thereby releasing nutrients into the water. Strain the liquid and fill it in a spray can. You can use this fertilizer once a month for your snake plant.
Mulch is a mixture of organic matter that preserves moisture in the soil and provides a healthy environment for the growth of beneficial bacteria and microorganisms. For your snake plant, you can prepare a mulch using leaves, branches, straw, wood chips, and of course, coffee ground. But you have to be careful here as mulch can alter the pH value of your soil significantly, inhibiting the growth of your plant. So once in two months should be enough.
How Often Should You Use Coffee Grounds For Your Snake Plant?
Coffee grounds are indeed useful for making snake plant soil acidic, but please avoid using it regularly. We would advise you to use coffee-based mulch, compost, and fertilizer just about once a month. Furthermore, alternate it with other fertilizers because coffee is rich just in nitrogen, but lacks other nutrients required for healthy plant growth. And plants need various nutrients to thrive. So you can maintain a balance by using a fertilizer ideal for snake plants.
Also, please avoid adding coffee grounds directly to your plant, as this can lead to various problems such as stunted growth, pests, and even fungus. Snake plants are very hardy, but not so many that they can survive even these conditions thrown on them.
Peat Moss Or Sphagnum Peat:
Lightweight and fluffy peat moss can also help make your snake plant soil acidic. Apart from providing the much-needed acid, peat moss also improves the texture of the soil. It also contains several useful nutrients that boost microbial growth in the soil.
How To Use Peat Moss For Snake Plant?
You can add 20 to 30% of peat moss to your snake plant soil mixture or an inch or two of it to the topsoil in or around the plant. It’s more than enough to make the soil acidic. You can add it during planting too. This will acidify your soil for almost 2 years.
Vinegar would be the quickest fix for acidifying soil for your snake plant.
How To Use Vinegar For Snake Plant?
Make a solution of 1 gallon of water and 2 tablespoons of vinegar. Water your plant with it once a day and your snake plant will grow in no time.
You can even use acidifying fertilizers to raise the acidity of your snake plant’s soil. While purchasing a fertilizer, look for the ones that contain ammonium sulfate, ammonium nitrate, or sulfur-coated urea.
How To Use Acidifying Fertilizers For Snake Plant?
Please read and follow the instruction label carefully. And never overdo with fertilizer. It never helps. Always begin with a mild solution until you understand the kind of impact it is having on your plants. While all three fertilizers are extremely helpful to make the soil acidic, use ammonium sulfate sparingly as it is a bit strong and can even burn your plant.
We hope our article answered all your burning questions about the acidic soil requirement of snake plants. Please note, if the soil gets too acidic, it can destroy the leaves and roots of your snake plant. So the key is to maintain balance. Do not go overboard with anything because excess of anything can be fatal.
Aiza Siddiqui is one of the content providers in Gardener’s Toolbox. From a very young age, Aiza has been passionate about gardening, which explains her choice of major in studies. She holds a BSc Degree in Botany from the University of Calcutta. Aiza is a green thumb through and through and owns more than 100 different types of plants. Every article that she contributes to Gardener’s Toolbox is written by doing extensive research and from her own experience with planting and gardening. Hoping that you will find her articles on different houseplants helpful.