Snake plant or sansevieria is one of my most favorite indoor plants for it looks very elegant in every corner. Even more special, snake plants are extremely hardy when it comes to being in various environmental conditions. It grows in any season from spring to winter in a garden or in a pot. This is why I always recommend them to those who want to have minimalist and sophisticated indoor plants that are easy to care for. Plus with a plethora of growth patterns and variegations, the choices are very wide for you to select from. If you plan to have a pot or two, here is a complete and quick guide on how to care for them. But before that, I want to answer the most popular question about watering these plants first.
1. How Often You Need To Water Snake Plant
Snake plants are famous for being diehard plants that are very easy to grow and take care of. This is why watering them is also an easy and simple task that you should not worry about. I recommend watering your snake plant once a week during dry and hot days. However, make sure to check the soil and see if it is ready to receive its weekly drink. Wait until the top soil is dry because it indicates that it is time to water them. And if your snake plant receives ample air and sunlight, it may only need to water every 10 days. You should also check the soil in case the soil dries up before 10 days, it may need water. To cut things short, do not water your snake plants too often or every day because it could kill them.
2. How To Water Snake Plants
Watering is an essential part although snake plants don’t require daily watering to thrive. Because overwatering and too much water could kill them, here is how to water your snake plants correctly:
- Do not water too frequently, let most of the soil dry out between each watering.
- Winter is the time when your plant is not actively growing, so water it less often. You may want to give it some water every 2 or 3 weeks.
- Water from the bottom of the pot to encourage the roots to grow deep and downward. This can also help to stabilize the tall and thick leaves of the plants.
- Overwatering can cause the tips of their leaves to turn brown. Brown leaves are not a good sign to see in snake plants which is why you should always check before watering.
- You can stick your finger or a wooden popsicle stick a couple of inches into the soil. If you feel any moisture, that means the soil is still wet so your watering can wait for another day.
Notes: Overwatering can lead to too much water and moisture, hence root rots. When you notice the leaves are turning yellow, remove those dying leaves. Then allow the plant to dry out more than usual so that it can recover. If the plant continues to die, remove it and discard any rotted leaves and roots then repot it in fresh soil. Too much water and moisture are bad for the plants so avoid that from happening at all costs.
3. 8 Basic Care Tips For Snake Plants
Watering your snake plant is not the only thing that the plant needs, there are other important factors too. From bright light to good-quality potting mix and proper humidity, your plant wants them all for healthy growth. On top of watering, there are 8 more components that you want to have in mind. Whether you grow snake plants in a garden or pot, the elements below are ideal for them all so take a look.
My favorite thing about snake plants is that they don’t mind the dry or stale air in the room at all. Although your snake plant is strong, you should offer it the best living conditions possible. It is nice to open the window and let the air in sometimes, and it is also good to do it every day. This is part of snake plant care that you can easily do so that they are healthy. Because no matter how strong a snake plant is, it is always nice to let it breathe natural air sometimes. You can also bring the pot outside and leave it for an hour or two if you prefer the windows closed. And if you cannot do it every day, a few times a week will also do.
People often say that fertilization is important for the growth of a plant, but this is not always the case. For houseplants that require low maintenance like a snake plant, you almost don’t need to use fertilizer at all. As long as you give it proper snake plant care like good soil and enough watering, fertilization is not necessary. But you can if you want to, and the perfect option is a topping of compost and worm compost. Snake plants are not needy when it comes to fertilizer, and another alternative to it is organic all-purpose houseplant food. A light layer of compost or houseplant food to the soil every spring and summer will do the job.
Snake plants are very strong, and they are also pest-resistant which is a good thing to know about this houseplant. However, these plants may still get mealybugs or spider mites if they live in poor conditions. One important thing about snake plant care that is similar to other plants is to regularly check for pests. It is crucial to be able to take action on time because pests like mealybugs or spider mites multiply fast. So no matter how strong your snake plants can be, they cannot handle hundreds of bugs feeding on them. Things are even more dangerous if there are other types of houseplant nearby because pests can travel fast.
Snake plants do not only require low maintenance but also provide ease in propagation in case you want to expand the collection. When growing in the garden, snake plants actually propagate on their own as they spread by underground stems called rhizomes. As a houseplant, one of the easiest methods to propagate your snake plant is leaf cutting. Don’t worry that it is a difficult task because propagating a snake plant is so simple to do. We are going to discuss this part further in detail in another segment below, so keep reading.
Sansevieria is not picky when it comes to soil nutrient requirements which is why it is perfect for beginners. You can ask your local gardening shops for advice when you buy a snake plant for the first time. Or you can go for a cactus and succulent mix with potting soil in a ratio of 1:1 for your plant. You want the soil to be good and well-draining so that your snake plants won’t risk having root rot. There are several factors that cause the roots to rot in snake plants, and soil is one of them. Overwatering can lead to wet soil, and wet soil is bad for the plants.
Speaking of soil, you also have to choose the right pot for the plant and soil. Look for the pot with a few drainage holes so that excess water can leave the roots and soil. Drainage holes are very important, especially for those who often water the plants with slightly more amount of water. Watering your snake plant will also be easier to control when you see water coming out of the drainage holes. With the right pot and soil, taking care of your snake plant will be even more convenient.
Snake plants are slow growers that thrive in bright light with an ability to subsist in extremely low light conditions. This makes them one of the most popular indoor plants among plant lovers out there. However, it is still important to provide a snake plant with sufficient sunlight if possible for healthy growth. Sansevieria plant prefers medium light, so an area that is about 10 inches from the south or west window will do. You can pick a spot where there is no indirect sunlight like a corner next to the window or door. That way, your snake plant will be able to receive sunlight even if you place it indoors. If your room has little light, then you should go for darker plant varieties like sansevieria trifasciata. Since sansevieria trifasciata plant does well with little light, its growth is still great.
As a very hardy houseplant, snake plants can also tolerate a wide range of temperatures in our homes. But once again, you should not neglect this plant just because it is one of the easiest plants to care for. What you should know is to keep them away from air conditioning vents, cold drafts, and heating vents. Those areas are not healthy for them, and the air from the vents can also affect their growth. Another thing to know is that snake plants are not strong enough to endure a cold temperature. In case your snake plant is outside on cold days, make sure to bring them inside. They cannot tolerate frost or snow, so get them to room temperature before the cold weather affects them. Growing them in a pot is convenient because you can bring them out for humidity, light, or moisture with ease.
You need to water your plant when it comes to snake plant care, and you need to do it right. A snake plant can go weeks without water, but it can affect its appearance when the soil is dry. Overwatering can rot the plant, and your snake plant will dry if you don’t water it enough. The right thing to do when watering the plant is to wait for the soil to dry. Avoid keeping the soil completely dry because it is not good for the plants. You can check the top of the soil to see if it is not too damp to receive water. That way, you will be able to water your snake plant correctly without giving it too much water. The key is to avoid giving them too little or too much water,
Along with that, you should also know when to water your plant in different seasons like summer and winter. Your plants will need more water on hot summer days, especially when the day is dry. In the winter months, the snake plant needs less water so you can water your plant every 8 weeks for large pots. Eight weeks sounds very long but it is not less often to water them. When the sun is less intense and the temperatures are cooler, it is time that your houseplants like to rest. You should water the plant with the right amount of water at the right time to water. That way, they will be able to live and grow with good health and pretty color.
4. Snake Plant Varieties
Sansevieria or snake plant also goes by another nickname as mother in law’s tongue. People call them mother in law’s tongue because their leaves are sharp, and they could hurt you unexpectedly sometimes. Sounds familiar? Jokes aside, pointy leaves are actually the distinctive parts of sansevieria. There are multiple snake plant varieties that you can take into consideration if you want to grow some.
4.1. Sansevieria Black Gold
Black gold sansevieria or viper’s bowstring hemp is a beautiful and popular snake plant that many people love. These snake plants have broad dark green leaves along with bright yellow outlines on the edges. The combination of dark and yellow leaves makes them look very vibrant. An interesting thing about it is that it is a drought-tolerant plant so it can go long without water. This type of snake plant grows well in low light conditions, and it reaches up to 30 to 35 inches tall. Because of its straight and tall appearance, this snake plant makes a nice floor plant to have in the room. With proper care, you may also see small tubular flowers in the summer or fall which is pretty nice. Since it is a great indoor and air purifying plant, you can have it pretty much anywhere at home.
4.2. Sansevieria Futura Robusta
As for this one, it is another type of sansevieria trifasciata with grayish-green leaves in striped patterns. The interesting about this snake plant is that it also has shorter sword-shaped leaves that grow in a dense clump. I also like the fact that this snake plant does not grow too tall. It is compact and space-saving, making it a nice table plant in the bedroom or living room. Sansevieria Futura Robusta grows well in most indoor conditions, and it can also withstand infrequent watering. You may forget to water it once or twice, and it won’t be a problem at all. So if you are a busy person who wants to have an indoor plant, this is the perfect choice to choose.
4.3. Sansevieria Kirkii
This star sansevieria is a popular and pretty snake plant that you can easily grow in a pot. It has dark green foliage with unique fluorescent green patterns and star-like leaves. The leaves of this snake plant variety can grow up to 6 feet long, in a large pot. As an indoor houseplant, its leaves only reach about 3 feet tall which is a nice height for a floor plant. Many people also like it when it grows in clumps because of the spiky look and tall leaves it has. Watering it is also easy because you only need to water it when the soil dries out. With proper light and soil, you will also see large conical white or pale pink flowers emerge sometimes. The flowers rarely bloom, but they give off a fresh scent that you will surely love if they do.
4.4. Sansevieria Moonshine
Looking quite attractive and unique, this sansevieria moonshine is one of the best house plants to have in mind. It has broad pointed succulent leaves that grow in a spear-shaped with pale silvery-green colors that are quite stunning. This snake plant also goes by the name of moonlight snake plant or sansevieria Moonglow because of its leaves. It is easy to care for, and it survives in most conditions even in low-light with little water. You will only need to water it when the soil is completely dry. Plus with the short upright leaves, these snake plants don’t take much room at all. You can also grow them in the garden if you like, but this one looks nice in the home or office.
4.5. Sansevieria Trifasciata Laurentii
Here we have one of the tallest snake plants that look elegant in any room you place them in. A sansevieria trifasciata has green and yellow leaves with stripy patterns along their length. The unique yellow leaves make them very lively to have as outdoor plants also. As a tall snake plant, it can grow up to 4 feet which is ideal for tall plant lovers. The great thing about them is that it is robust and strong, and this snake plant grows well in most conditions. It still lives even if you forget to water it for a week or two. If you choose one for indoor, you want to make sure that there is enough space for it. A vacant corner will do, and it is a snake plant that is very easy to care for.
5. How To Propagate Snake Plants
The awesome thing about these indoor houseplants is that you will only need one plant to create a big collection. To achieve this, you will need to propagate your snake plant and multiply them by following some easy tips here. From just one pot to several, you can easily do it all at home. This is a great way to expand your mini garden and grow a nice plant as a gift for your friends. Below are some useful tips on how to propagate a snake plant in different methods.
5.1. Method 1: Division
Remember the rhizomes that I mentioned in the propagation part in the snake plant care tips above? This is where the plant rises from, and rhizomes also house the energy for leaf and stem growth. You can propagate your snake plant by pulling the plant from the pot and cut the base apart into sections. Make sure to use sharp shears to ensure a clean cut. All you need to do is break up the root clump of a snake plant into two or more parts. You also have to keep the crown and root of each part intact. Simply cut it in half then plant each new section in a fresh potting medium. Each division should have some leafy top or pups and roots attached. Experts recommend using at least 3 rhizomes with one healthy leaf per new plant, and you might want to follow that.
5.2. Method 2: Soil
This is an easy and fast approach to propagate your snake plant, and it takes a few weeks. Look for a healthy leaf on your snake plant and cut it with clean and sharp shears. Let it callus over (form a new tissue or let it heal) for a day or two first. Then insert the cut end into a container or small pot with lightly moist sand or soil. Make sure that the soil is not too dry or wet because cuttings can rot in soggy soil. Don’t forget to check and add water every one to two weeks if the surface of the soil feels dry. After a couple of weeks, the plant’s roots will appear because it will root on its own.
5.3. Method 3: Water
You can root a snake plant in water, and it does affect or kill the plant’s roots at all. First, choose a container that is tall enough to hold the leaf of your snake plant. Pick a healthy leaf that is not too old then cut it off with clean sharp shears. Put the cut end in just enough water to cover the bottom quarter of its tissue. Then place your container in an area with indirect light at room temperature and proper humidity. Change the water every couple of days, and you will see little roots within several days. When you see that, take it out of the water and plant it in peat moss or sand. Simply follow snake plant care routines, and that is how you get a new snake plant.
Here is a video that more details on how to propagate your snake plant.
6. The Best Soil For Snake Plant
Soil is easy to find, but the best soil for a snake plant and similar houseplants requires you to do some research. With the right soil in the pot, your plant will flourish and grow without being vulnerable to diseases like root rot. You can also mix your own soil for your snake plant but it is easier and fast to buy a potting mix. There is a wide range of choices from potting mix to potting soil available. Below is a quick guide and tips about soil that will be useful for you.
- If you look for soil that offers adequate drainage for your snake plant, go for a soilless potting mixture. You can also use it when you repot your plants as well.
- A snake plant is easily prone to root rot so it does best with a free-draining soil mix. You can look for this type of soil in your local gardening suppliers, there is plenty to choose from.
- Another nice soil alternative is Ramsey succulent potting mix with seaweed as a key ingredient. This potting soil also includes perlite and sand for great drainage and high nutritional values.
- One of the most famous soil options that you should have in mind is from Miracle-Gro. Their cactus palm and citrus potting mix help with a fast-draining and nutritious planting medium that your snake plant needs.
7. Best Pots For Sansevieria
Good soil is important, but make sure to choose the pots that provide proper drainage to remove excess water. Plastic pots are nice, but terracotta pots offer the perfect drainage for your plant. This is to ensure that there is no water trapping inside that can affect the plant’s health. When you have the best pot and soil, your snake plants will grow beautifully. Most beginners out there often have a problem with choosing the right pots for their plants, but worry no more. I searched and selected some high-quality and pretty pots that you might want to take into consideration. There are many options that you can choose from, and the decision is all yours.
Snake plant is a hardy plant that you can grow in a pot at home or office with ease. With some simple routines above, and the plant will flourish no matter if it is spring or winter. This may sound like a lot, but trust me, taking care of a snake plant is easier than you think. From proper light and watering to the right humidity and container, they are all simple things you can provide. If you can do all those, you won’t also have to worry about problems with their leaves or roots at all. Feel free to shoot your questions, I will be happy to help you out. I talk a lot about watering today, and I will discuss how to repot your plant later. Since not many plant owners know how to repot the plants yet, it is going to be interesting.