Do Snake Plants Need Drainage Holes In Their Pots? No & Discover Why Not!

Do snake plants need drainage holes

Snake plants are a really common houseplant to have! And it’s no wonder why; they’re known for being low maintenance (and also just look really cool). One thing you might be considering when you get a snake plant and are looking at pots for it is, do snake plants need drainage holes? The quick answer is no! But there are some things you need to do to keep it thriving.

*This post may include affiliate links. When you purchase items from these links, we will receive a small commission, at no extra cost to you, to help support this website. Thank you for your support! Read more ->

I have two snake plants; one is in a pot that has no drainage holes, and the other is in a felt pot (so it’s got drainage all over the pot). And personally, if I had another cute pot waiting for a plant that didn’t have drainage holes, I would probably move it. For me (and keep in mind, this is my opinion), it’s easier to grow cacti and succulents (which a snake plant is) in pots without drainage holes.

Keep reading to find out how to grow a snake plant in a pot without drainage holes and what to look out for!

The Catch

There is a catch (literally) when growing snake plants in pots without drainage holes. And that is you need something to catch any excess water. While there aren’t drainage holes, snake plants do still need drainage.

Before you pot your plant, first make a layer at the bottom of the container with enough pebbles/rocks to create a layer at the bottom for any excess water to drain into. (You can see a good example of this in the article how to repot succulents)

Rocks and pebbles that you can find out on walks or by rivers or maybe even on your property will work perfectly fine, you don’t have to go out and buy anything fancy. The key is to just have a layer for the water to sink to after watering.

houseplant care journal breathing garden

Do Snake Plants Need Drainage?

So we know that snake plants do not require drainage holes, but they does need drainage. If there is no way for water to escape the soil, the plant will start to suffocate and rot. You may also see the leaves turning yellow.

That’s why it’s so important to have something in the pot under the soil to hold the water. And it’s vital to not excessively water the plant, since it only has a limited space for the water to go.

Snake Plant Drainage

When you water a snake plant in a pot without drainage holes, make sure to do it slowly and carefully. It is a succulent, so it needs less water than a lot of other plants. It can also survive being forgotten about for a month with no watering. But it will die if it gets root rot, from having no drainage.

Caring For a Potted Snake Plant With No Drainage Holes

snake plant with no drainage holes
This is a birds nest snake plant. Read more about snake plant varieties here (and see how well this snake plant has grown in images in this pot with no drainage holes)

So how do you care a snake plant with no drainage holes in the pot? Remember the key is that you still have drainage (with a layer of rocks or something similar at the bottom), even if you don’t have drainage holes.

When To Water

Snake plants are succulents, so they already need to be watered less often than some of your other houseplants. There are two kind of easy ways to check if you need to water your snake plant. The first is to feel the soil; if it’s bone dry to the touch then you need to water it! If it’s still slightly damp, then you do not need to water your plant. (Keep reading – underwatered snake plant)

Another quick test for a plant without drainage holes to see if it needs to be watered is to pick up the pot, and if it feels really light, then it probably needs to be watered.

You will NOT need to water your snake plant on a weekly basis, it will likely be much less often than that, especially in a pot without drainage holes.

Tip: Pick a day of the week to water your indoor plants, and try to stick with that day every week so you don’t forget about any of them. I.e. I water my indoor plants on Mondays, but that doesn’t mean all of them need it. I check the soil of each plant beforehand to see which ones are dry and in need before watering them. By doing this, I stay on schedule while also not overwatering any of my plants.

How Much Water It Needs

So how much water does your snake plant need if it’s living in a pot with no drainage holes? Some people will tell you that you need to use a syringe or a spray bottle to carefully water your snake plant, but I’ve never found that the case. Water with a watering can, water bottle, or however you would normally water other plants. Just gently pour water into the soil, enough to dampen the soil.

You may be interested in: do snake plants like humidity?

If You’ve Got Excess Water In Your Snake Plant Pot

If you’ve watered your snake plant and it looks like the soil is drowning in it, then you need to remove that water. The best way to do this is to simply wait a few minutes after watering, and then pour out any water that has collected in the bottom.

Over a sink, hold the pot with one hand and cover the soil/hold the plant in place as well as you can with your other hand. Then gently tip the pot sideways to allow the water to drain out of the top of the pot. Do this until no more water drains out, while trying to not lose any soil.

Growing A Snake Plant With Drainage Holes in the Pot

snake plant with drainage holes
Snake plant in a felt pot

Now that we’ve covered do snake plants need drainage holes and discussed how to grow them without drainage holes, is there different care for snake plants with drainage holes?

The key difference in taking care of a snake plant with drainage holes is that you need to water it more frequently than if it did not have drainage holes. How often you water the snake plant will depend on the climate, size of the pot, and how much water the plant is using. You may need to water your snake plant every week, or every other week, rather than almost once a month. Be sure to tip out any excess water that drains into the saucer.

Final Thoughts

Do snake plants need drainage holes? No, but they do still need some form of drainage. If you’re potting a snake plant and it does not have drainage holes, be sure to use a pot with a layer of rocks or something similar at the bottom, and water less frequently than you would normally water your plants. With proper care, your snake plant will thrive no matter what type of pot it’s in!

I hope this article helped answer the question do snake plants need drainage holes. Happy planting!

track your houseplants a journal

Looking for information specific to Colorado? Check out Naturalist Perspective!

Step into Autumn: 5 actions to prepare your house plants for dinner 8 Mother’s Day Gift Ideas for Gardeners