Do Snake Plants Need Drainage Holes? (Explained)

do you need pot with drainage holes for your snake plants?

Are you thinking about how to care for your snake plant?

It’s essential that you keep your plant happy and healthy, but sometimes it can be challenging to know the best way.

One question I see people asking a lot is, “do snake plants need drainage holes?” 

In a nutshell, snake plants do need drainage holes and will do better in a pot with drainage holes. Adding them to your pot will make caring for them more manageable.

Your snake plants will also thrive better in a pot with good drainage holes.

This blog post will discuss why your snake plants need drainage holes in their planter and what you can do if you don’t have any holes already in your planter.

Let’s get started!

Why do snake plants need good drainage holes?

Snake plants are great houseplants. They are easy to care for and easy to grow.

They are also beautiful and can be found in many different shapes and colors.

And, like other plants, they need to drink some water. Snake plants, however, require less water than other plants.

In fact, some varieties can go up to three weeks without water. This means that your snake plants will not need a lot of water.

Snake plants are sensitive to water and tend to grow better when there is good drainage.

Having good drainage holes on the bottom of your pot allows excess water to drain out of your plant’s pot, which helps to prevent the potting soil from becoming soggy.

These drainage holes help your potting soil to dry out more quickly and reduce the likelihood of getting root rot. 

That’s good news for your snake plants because if you don’t give your snake plants good drainage holes, you may end up with soggy potting soil, which can make your snake plants miserable.

Many other problems can occur when you have soggy and wet soil, and these problems can be very frustrating.

We will talk about those problems later, but the bottom line is this:

The next time you are thinking about buying a pot or planter for your snake plants, make sure that the bottom of the pot has good drainage holes. 

Do snake plants need pots with holes?

Yes, your snake plants do need drainage holes in their pot. Your snake plants will thrive better in pots with holes.

If you don’t have any holes in your pots, you can still add them yourself. 

Although your snake plants can grow just fine in a pot without a hole, I strongly suggest you get a pot with holes for your snake plants.

If your pots don’t have holes in the bottom, you must be particularly cautious while watering your snake plants since you don’t want any water to sit on the soil.

You will need plenty of tools just to make sure you don’t overwater the plant.

But by using a pot with holes, you can just let the excess water go through the holes and not have to worry about it sitting on the soil.

This means that you will be able to give your snake plants the best care possible.

Since snake plants are well-known for being low-maintenance, why make things more complicated by selecting a pot without holes?

Drainage holes help your snake plants to thrive. When you have good drainage holes in your pot, you will notice that your snake plants grow better and that your plant is happier. 

So, when buying your snake plant pots, make sure that the holes are already in the pots. That way, you won’t have to drill holes in your pots.

But if you don’t have any holes in your pots, you can still add them yourself. 

Also read: Are Eggshells Good for Plants? (Explained)

What is the effect of not having a drainage hole for a pot?

Several different problems can occur if you don’t have drainage holes in your snake plant pots.

If you don’t utilize a pot with a drainage hole, the following three things may happen to your snake plants:

Root rot

We know that a snake plant is a highly resilient plant, and it can survive neglect and severe conditions.

But when there is a lot of water in their soil, the snake plant becomes particularly vulnerable.

Snake plants, as well as all other succulents, hate spending days in moist soil.

This is because the plant’s roots are extremely prone to fungus infections and can quickly develop root rot.

For your information, root rot is the most common cause of snake plant death, accounting for more than 90 percent of all deaths.

Oxygen deficiency

In addition, your snake plant won’t get enough oxygen if it doesn’t have a drainage hole in its pot. This makes the roots weak and sickly.

As we know, snake plants absorb carbon dioxide and oxygen through pores in their leaves, known as stomata. But not many people know; they also absorb oxygen through their roots.

So if your snake plant’s roots are completely submerged in water, as they are in wet soil, they will be unable to absorb enough oxygen and will begin to suffocate as a result.

When it comes to plants, lack of oxygen and root rot are often associated with one another. 

As a result, if you have a snake plant that is suffering from one of these problems, it is likely to be suffering from the other.

Salt and mineral buildup

Finally, without a drainage hole at the bottom of the pot, your snake plant will be more susceptible to salt and fertilizer buildup.

When it comes to snake plants, many people are unaware of the dangers of salt and chemical buildup in the soil.

The problem is, it’s a quiet killer that deteriorates the health of your snake plant over time.

This is especially true if you water your snake plant with tap water instead of rainfall, distilled water, or filtered water.

Tap water may contain chlorine, fluoride, and a range of minerals that are absolutely unneeded for your snake plant’s growth.

Having drainage holes will help you mitigate this problem to some extent since surplus water is drained via these holes, and the salts are washed out.

To sum everything up, here are some of the destructive effects of not having drainage holes in your snake plant pot: 

  • Your snake plant will be more vulnerable to root rot.
  • Your snake plant will get less oxygen than needed.
  • Your snake plant will be more prone to salt and chemical buildup.

Are pots without drainage holes bad?

No, pots without drainage holes are not necessarily bad for your snake plants. But, as we said before, having drainage holes will make your life easier.

A pot without drainage holes is more prone to overwatering issues.

When watering your plant in a pot without drainage holes, you want to be very precise about the amount of water you give your plant.

You want to make sure you don’t give the plant too much moisture because a pot without drainage will not let the excess water drain out, so it can lead to overwatering easily.

This is why I will not recommend pots without drainage holes for new plant parents, especially new snake plant owners.

However, if you are an experienced gardener, pots without drainage holes might be fine for you.

What do you put in the bottom of a planter for drainage?

You can put pebbles or gravel at the bottom of your planter to make a drainage layer.

A drainage layer helps excess water flow more rapidly from the soil and away from the roots, preventing harm.

Drainage layer from bottom to the top: pebble, charcoal, and potting soil mix.

A drainage layer can also act as a buffer between too much water and your snake plant, even if the water is still in the planter.

You can also add charcoal on top of the pebbles and gravels to also help absorb excess moisture. 

Charcoal also contains natural antimicrobial characteristics that might help you prevent those pesky pests from invading your snake plant. 

How to water your snake plant without drainage holes?

If you are going to plant your snake plant in a pot without drainage holes, you will need to change your watering approach.

Snake Plants can handle a bit of drought and do not require a lot of water to thrive.

They are far more likely to be harmed by overwatering than they are by underwatering. Thus it is important to avoid overwatering.

So here are some crucial tips for watering your snake plant in a pot without drainage holes:

Make a drainage layer at the bottom of your pot or planter.

You can do this by placing a few pebbles or gravels at the bottom of your planter.

A drainage layer prevents damage by allowing excess water to move more quickly from the soil and away from the roots.

It can also assist you in keeping the snake plant’s roots from coming into contact with too much water.

Check the moisture level of the potting soil.

Always wait until the potting soil is bone dry before watering your Snake Plant again!

Try inserting your finger about two inches deep into the potting mix to see whether it feels moist; if it does, your plant doesn’t need any water yet.

A soil moisture meter. Image source: Amazon

I’d recommend using a moisture meter to get more accurate results.

Water your snake plant with a syringe or a spray bottle.

This is an excellent method of controlling the amount of water you give your snake plant.

Spray water over the top layer using a spray bottle or inject water straight into the potting soil with a syringe.

Do this until all the soil is just moist but not soggy.

Once you have done that, you can then leave it for a while before checking on it again with a moisture meter.

Drain any excess water inside the pot.

If you suspect you’ve overwatered your Snake Plant, don’t just leave it there and forget about it.

For example, if you see some water puddle sitting on top of the potting soil, gently tip the pot so that the water pours out.

It’s important to do this because you want to remove as much excess water as possible to prevent overwatering.

Don’t water your snake plants based on a schedule.

If you want to kill your snake plant quickly, all you have to do is give it more water than it needs.

It is important to know that your snake plant can survive without water for a couple of days. So it’s better to water your snake plant only when you see it needs it.

Remember, if you see your snake plant drooping, it is probably time for a drink. 

You can also check the moisture level inside the soil by using the method we discussed above.

Also read: How Often To Water Snake Plant: A Guide For New Plant Parents


To conclude, snake plants thrive best when they have good drainage holes. 

Without good drainage holes, your snake plant is prone to issues like root rot, oxygen deficiency and may not grow healthy due to salt and other chemical buildups in its potting soil.

This is why I highly recommend getting a pot with drainage holes for your snake plants.  

If you don’t have any drainage holes, you can still add some to your planter or pot. You just need to use a drill and a drill bit to create holes in your pots. 

I hope you found this article helpful.

Now I’d like to hear from you:

Do you have any experience growing houseplants in a pot without holes?

If yes, please share your experience by commenting below.

Until then, happy gardening!

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