Common Name: Snake Plant, Mother in Laws Tongue, Saint George's Sword, Viper's Bowstring Hemp
Botanical Name: Sansevieria trifasciata, Sansevieria cylindrica (see below for available varieties)
Sansevieria care is easy, and that’s why they are at the top of the easy-care indoor plant list. As a succulent, the water requirement is low. They can live in the shade or in bright light, they do not require much food, and humidity is never an issue. They also tolerate being root bound, so you do not need to re-pot them often. If you want to limit your sanseviera’s growth, simply refrain from re-potting for a few years!
From the squat, plumb hahnii varieties to the tall and lean laurentii and zylanicas, Sansevieria brings form and function together, making them ideal for interior design. These houseplants are considered the best air purifying plants because they clean formaldehyde from the air and release oxygen at night. They are perfect bedroom companions!
These plants will tolerate low to bright indirect light, but if you want flowering and faster growth, place them in bright indirect light. Bright indirect light will encourage faster growth, and healthier development! Avoid placing them in direct sunlight if placing them outside. If you are planning on planting them into a full-sun garden then you must acclimate them to the sun first!
Water this plant only when the soil is completely dry. Remember, it is a succulent, so its leaves hold moisture. Water the soil slowly and make sure that all parts of the root ball are saturated. It is important that you drain the excess water from the grow pot. Over-watering your snake plants can cause bacterial issues which can cause the foliage to soften and die. If this begins to happen, remove the damaged foliage and let the soil dry out before watering it again!
Snake Plants love good drainage and a soil mixture containing pumice, perlite, or wood chips to provide the drainage they need! Most bagged potting soils will be adequate for transplanting your sansevieira. Consider mixing in cactus potting soil to help with drainage. If you decide to transplant your snake plants (we do not recommend transplanting your new plants for at least 3-6 months after receiving them), make sure you do not damage the roots. Learn how to make your own indoor plant potting soil.
This plant is incredibly adaptable to most temperatures. The ideal range is between 60-85℉. They can tolerate cooler and warmer temperature fluctuations.
Sansevieria can handle a wide range of humidity levels, but average household humidity is ideal for this indoor plant.
Fertilize once a month during the growing season with 1/4-strength complete liquid fertilizer, or simply use a slow release fertilizer in the spring. For larger plants add organic compost, such as worm casting to the top layer of soil. Scratch it into the first few inches and then water!
Pet Friend or Foe
Snake plants are toxic! Foe
- You can root your cuttings in water. Not only do they look fabulous in a water-filled vase, but you will generate another full plant!
- Heavy, wet soil is the sansevieria’s biggest enemy, so use a well-draining soil when you re-pot.
- If the soil becomes compacted from infrequent watering, soak the soil in water for ten minutes to open up the capillaries. This will loosen up the soil.
- If you notice that the leaves of your snake plant are becoming soft and mushy, then you should remove all of the soft leaves, place in a spot that provides more light and treat the soil with a neem oil drench!