You’ve probably seen those tall, sword-shaped plants with tough, glossy leaves at your local nursery or home improvement store.
Snake plants, also known as Sansevieria, are one of the most popular houseplants in the world.
They’re easy to care for, drought-tolerant, and can tolerate low light conditions.
In this article, you’re about to discover how to grow and care for snake plants so that they can thrive in your home for years.
- What Is Snake Plant?
- How To Grow Snake Plants?
- Caring for Snake Plants
- Possible Problems and Solutions
What Is Snake Plant?
A snake plant, also known as Sansevieria, is a succulent plant that belongs to the lily family.
It has thick, upright leaves that are usually green with yellow or white edges.
Some varieties have striped, spotted, or wavy patterns on their leaves.
The leaves can grow up to 3 feet (90 cm) tall and form dense clusters.
A snake plant rarely blooms, but when it does, it produces fragrant white or green flowers on long stalks.
There are over 70 species of snake plants, but the most common type is the “mother-in-law’s tongue.
Some of the different varieties of snake plants are:
- Sansevieria trifasciata: The most common and popular type, with dark green leaves and yellow borders.
- Sansevieria cylindrica: A cylindrical snake plant with round, stiff leaves that can be braided or twisted.
- Sansevieria zeylanica: A snake plant with long, narrow leaves with dark green and silver stripes.
- Sansevieria hahnii: A dwarf snake plant with short, broad leaves that form a rosette shape.
Snake plants are a great addition to any home or garden. They are beautiful, easy to care for, and can help to improve the air quality.
According to the ancient Chinese art of Feng Shui, snake plants can bring positive energy and prosperity to your home or office. They can also protect you from negative influences and bad luck. Place them near the entrance, in the bedroom, or in the wealthy corner of your space.
How To Grow Snake Plants?
Selecting the right snake plant variety for your needs is the first step toward successful cultivation.
Consider the space and style available, and pick a snake plant that matches your preferences.
If you are looking for a plant that can tolerate low light conditions, a variety such as Sansevieria trifasciata “Laurentii” is a good choice.
Once you have chosen your desired variety, follow these step-by-step instructions to ensure your snake plant thrives.
Snake plants can grow well indoors and outdoors but have different light and temperature requirements.
The ideal temperature range for snake plants is between 60°F and 85°F (15-30°C).
For indoor plants, place them in a bright spot that receives indirect sunlight, such as near a window or a lamp. Avoid direct sunlight, as it can scorch the leaves.
For outdoor plants, place them in a shady or partially shaded area that is protected from strong winds and frost.
Proper Potting and Soil Requirements
Snake plants prefer well-draining soil. When potting snake plants, use a potting mix specifically designed for succulents or cacti.
Snake plants do not need to be repotted very often. Once the plant has outgrown its pot, repot it in a pot that is one size larger.
Avoid using heavy or clayey soils, which can retain too much moisture and cause root rot.
Plant or Propagate Your Snake Plant
You can plant snake plants by seed, divide existing plants, or use leaf cuttings.
Here are some methods to try.
Method #1: Planting From Seeds
This is the slowest and least reliable method, as snake plant seeds are hard to find and germinate.
If you can access snake plant seeds, sow them in moist soil and keep them warm and bright places.
It can take several weeks or months for the seeds to sprout and grow.
Method #2: Dividing Snake Plant Pups
This is the easiest and fastest method, as snake plants produce small offshoots or pups that can be separated from the mother plant.
To do this, gently remove the plant from its pot and use a sharp knife to cut off the pups from the main rhizome.
Make sure each pup has some roots attached to it. Then replant the pups in new pots with fresh soil and water them well.
Method #3: Leaf Cuttings
This is another simple method that can produce multiple new plants from one leaf.
To do this, cut off a healthy leaf from your snake plant and chop it into 3 to 4 inches (7.5-10 cm) long sections.
Make sure you mark each section’s top and bottom ends, as they need to be planted in the same orientation.
Then insert the bottom ends of the sections into moist soil and keep them in a warm and bright place.
Roots and new leaves can take several weeks to emerge from the cuttings.
Watering and Moisture Requirements
Snake plants are drought-tolerant plants. They do not need to be watered very often. Water the plant when the soil is dry to the touch.
Be sure to water thoroughly so the water drains out of the bottom of the pot.
Use room-temperature water and pour it slowly and evenly around the base of the plant.
Avoid getting water on the leaves or the center of the rosette, as this can cause rotting or fungal growth.
You can also use a watering can with a narrow spout.
Caring for Snake Plants
Snake plants are easy to care for and can tolerate a wide range of conditions.
However, you can do a few things to help your snake plant thrive.
Temperature and Humidity Preferences
Snake plants prefer average room temperatures between 65 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit (18-27 Celcius).
They can tolerate temperatures as low as 50 degrees Fahrenheit (10 Celcius) but will grow more slowly at cooler temperatures.
Snake plants also prefer average humidity levels between 40% and 50%. However, they can tolerate lower humidity levels.
Fertilizing Snake Plants
Fertilize your snake plant once a month during the spring and summer with a balanced fertilizer diluted to half-strength or a granular or slow-release fertilizer formulated for cacti or succulents.
Avoid over-fertilizing your snake plant, as this can cause leaf burn or root damage.
You should also stop fertilizing your snake plant when it is dormant or less active in fall or winter.
Pruning and Maintenance
You can trim your snake plant to shape it or control its size.
To prune your snake plant, use a sharp and sterile pair of scissors or a knife and cut off the unwanted parts at the base.
You can also use the cuttings to propagate new plants if you wish.
Repotting Snake Plants
You don’t need to repot Snake plants very often.
Once your snake plant has outgrown its pot, repot it in a pot that is one size larger.
Use a well-draining potting mix and water the plant thoroughly after repotting.
Possible Problems and Solutions
Some of the possible problems are listed below.
Snake plants are susceptible to root rot if they are overwatered.
Overwatering can cause the roots to become mushy and black, and the plant may eventually die.
To prevent root rot, only water your snake plant when the soil is dry to the touch.
Pest Infestations and Their Control
Snake plants are not susceptible to many pests or diseases. However, they can be vulnerable to mealybugs and scale.
Mealybugs are small, white insects that look like cottony growths on the leaves. Scale insects are small, brown insects that look like bumps on the leaves.
To control pests, you can use an insecticidal soap or neem oil.
Leaf Discoloration and Other Visible Symptoms
There are a few other visible symptoms that can indicate a problem with your snake plant.
- Yellowing leaves: This can be a sign of overwatering, underwatering, or pests.
- Brown tips: This can indicate underwatering or too much direct sunlight.
- Drooping leaves: This can be a sign of underwatering or too much direct sunlight.
- Wilting leaves: This can be a sign of overwatering or pests.
Overwatering and Underwatering
Overwatering can cause the leaves of snake plants to turn yellow and mushy.
Underwatering can cause the leaves of snake plants to wilt and turn brown.
If you notice any of these signs, adjust your watering schedule accordingly.
Incorporating snake plants into your garden or home is a rewarding endeavor that offers not only aesthetic beauty but also air-purifying benefits.
With the right care and attention to their needs, these resilient plants can thrive and bring a touch of natural elegance to your surroundings.
Start growing and caring for snake plants today and reap the rewards of their enduring allure.