The snake plant is a vigorous plant and is widely grown indoors as an ornamental plant. If you are just starting to grow bonsai or have little time to take care of it, the snake plant is a reasonable choice.
This plant is easy to grow, easy to care for, and can survive in the harsh conditions of nature. However, one of the questions we frequently receive about snake plants concerns water issues.
Does the snake plant need drainage holes? Do many people doubt whether drainage holes are really necessary for snake plants? So why do you need a pot with drainage holes to grow plants? Please help us answer all the questions below.
Does Snake Plant Need Drainage Holes? – YES or NO!
The answer is YES! It is best to grow the snake plant in a pot with a vent hole.
The snake plant is a succulent plant and has a survival mechanism similar to that of a cactus. Therefore, many people know this plant with the ability to live in conditions of lack of water.
In fact, this plant does not like wet environments and waterlogged soil. It prefers dry, loose soil and more open space. Snake plants can survive up to 3-4 weeks without watering because their leaves act as a water reserve like the leaves of a cactus.
However, water is still one of the three most important elements for any plant. Sufficient watering for the snake plant will stimulate its growth and vitality of the plant.
In particular, snake plants do not like waterlogging and too humid environments, so vent holes are extremely necessary when you grow them in pots. The vent will remove excess water to prevent waterlogging and root rot.
The drainage holes also help the soil dry faster because there is an exchange of air to prevent fungus from growing in a humid environment. Therefore, when growing snake plants, you should use pots with vent holes to limit fungal and pest problems.
However, you can still grow this plant in a pot that doesn’t have a vent hole. The snake plant can still survive due to its intense vitality in extreme conditions. The problem is that if the pot doesn’t have a vent hole, you need to be careful when watering.
Because the pot does not have a vent hole, if it rains or you water too much, the excess water will not be able to escape, causing frequent waterlogging. Overwatering will destroy the structure of the roots and cause the plant to die slowly over time.
Read more: Is It Bad to Water Plants at Night?
The Harm Of Pots Without Steam Vents
As you know, the effect of transpiration holes is to remove excess water and promote faster drying of soil and air circulation. If the pot does not have a vent hole, it will seriously affect the growth of the snake plant.
1. Root rot
This is completely understandable when the water is too much and cannot drain out, it will cause waterlogging. Snake plants are very sensitive to moisture and vulnerable to waterlogging.
In fact, this plant can withstand and endure harsh conditions when lacking water more than much water. Because it’s a succulent plant that resembles a cactus, a humid environment is not ideal for it.
Root rot allows fungi and pests to attack and destroy entire leaves and stems in a short time. Root rot due to waterlogging and lack of transpiration is also the leading cause of snake plant death.
2. Oxygen deficiency
The drainage holes not only help to remove excess water but also help exchange oxygen for the plant. We often know that plants absorb carbon dioxide and release oxygen through holes in the leaves. However, they can also carry out this process through the root system.
In particular, the root system also needs to absorb oxygen in the soil to practice the plant’s life cycle. If the water is too much and causes waterlogging, the root system will not be able to absorb oxygen which leads to weak and soft leaves.
3. Accumulation of salts and minerals
Not having a vent will cause a buildup of salts and minerals from the fertilizer. Salt and excess substances are the culprits that cause the snake plant to slowly die.
In particular, if you regularly use tap water instead of filtered water, excess salt will accumulate and prevent plant growth. Because tap water contains chlorine, fluoride, and a host of minerals that are completely unnecessary for the growth of the snake plant.
In short, the lack of transpiration holes for snake plants will cause the plant to encounter three main problems as follow:
- Root rot due to waterlogging
- Lack of necessary oxygen causes plants to weaken and die slowly
- Harmful salt and mineral accumulation inhibits the growth of snake plant
How Does The Soil Drain Better?
To help the soil drain more quickly, you should place pebbles or gravel in the last layer of the pot. The layer of pebbles and gravel will work to create gaps to push excess water out of the pot.
At the same time, it also has the effect of helping the air circulate better and helping the root system to better absorb oxygen. You can also add charcoal to the top of the soil to absorb excess moisture.
Charcoal also has natural antibacterial properties, wicking moisture, creating a dry surface, and preventing the entry of harmful bacteria.
Read more: Can I Use Succulent Soil For Snake Plant?
Water Properly If The Pot Does Not Have A Vent Hole
This may sound ridiculous, but many people don’t want excess water from the vent to drain into their home or desk. Therefore, they choose pots without vent holes to avoid running water, soil, or insects from the pot.
If you still want to grow a snake plant in a pot without a vent, the most important issue you need to control is watering. If you water it properly, the snake plant can still grow and develop normally.
Create a bottom drainage layer with pebbles or gravel: This liner will help push excess water to the bottom of the pot and help limit the roots from being exposed to a lot of water.
Check the moisture before watering: To avoid waterlogging, you need to check the soil moisture before watering using your finger or a moisture meter.
Watering with a syringe or sprayer: This is a way to help you control the amount of water you water your snake plant. In particular, the method of using a spray bottle or syringe will help the soil absorb water slowly and avoid excess water when watering with a hose.
Completely remove excess water from the surface of the soil: Tilt the pot slightly to the side to remove the excess water on the ground. Place the pot in a well-lit place to dry the leaves and promote rapid water evaporation.
Check every few days: Check regularly to make sure the plant has enough water and soil stickiness to determine the amount of water in the pot.
Snake plants will grow better and healthier if planted in pots with vent holes. The vent hole helps to push excess water out of the pot, thereby avoiding waterlogging that causes root rot.
In addition, it also has the effect of promoting the absorption of oxygen in the roots, preventing the growth of insects and pests. If the pot does not have a vent hole, it also leads to the accumulation of salts and minerals that prevent the growth of the snake plant.
Ideally, you should plant in a pot with a vent hole or create a vent with little stimulation. If you are concerned about dirty water, soil, or insects coming out of the vent, you can place a pad and change it regularly.