The snake plant has been a very popular houseplant since Victorian times when Londoners quickly realized that these hardy succulents brought from tropical West Africa appeared to be indestructible. Today, snake plants are said to thrive on neglect. But all it takes is a little time and attention to provide proper snake plant care, and you will be highly rewarded by the bold look of its striking foliage and long-lasting nature.
Introduction to snake plants (Sansevieria)
The snake plant belongs to the genus Sansevieria, of which there are more than 60 different species. The most common and well-known species of the snake plant is Sansevieria trifasciata, although it is often referred to simply as Sansevieria, as it is the most common and well-known species.
Snake plants are known by other common names, such as mother-in-law’s tongue and St. George’s sword, because of their long, sharp leaves. Vipers rope hemp is another common name, due to the helpful fiber these plants produce.
Mature snake plants can reach up to 1.5 meters (150 centimeters) tall. Snake plants are tall and stately, with tight clusters of long, sword-like leaves that appear to stand tall in the pot. These sturdy leaves actually grow vertically from rhizomes, which are modified stems that grow horizontally while sending roots from the bottom and shoots from the top.
Snake plants are able to survive in their warm and arid native habitats by storing water in their leaves. Like many other succulents and cacti, sansevierias also have a unique way of photosynthesis that allows them to prevent water loss by opening their pores only at night to absorb carbon dioxide and expel oxygen, saving carbon dioxide. carbon for use the next day.
Snake plants are incredibly tolerant of neglect. The same characteristics that give snake plants the tenacity to thrive in harsh conditions also make them easy-care, low-maintenance potted houseplants that can thrive in a variety of settings.
If you’re having trouble keeping your snake plant healthy, read my guide to find out why your snake plant can have problems and how to fix them.
How to choose a snake plant
When buying a snake plant, look for a healthy plant that appears to be well cared for and shows signs of new growth. A healthy snake plant is dense, robust, and vibrant, with smooth, stiff leaves.
Do not accept snake plants that have yellowish leaves or that curl at the tips, or plants with drooping leaves, rough spots, or dull colors. And always inspect the leaves of any plant you are considering purchasing for insects.
Don’t be put off by a snake plant that appears crowded in its pot, as its root systems prefer to be fairly crowded. Make sure the pot it grows in has a good drainage hole.
Snake Plant Potting Mix
Since they are used to dry conditions, snake plants need a potting mix that provides excellent aeration and drainage. The best mixes for snake plants include materials like perlite, vermiculite, peat moss, loam, coconut, pumice, and lava rock, and it’s always good to mix in some coarse sand.
Where to place a snake plant in your home
Although snake plants are notorious for being non-picky and are especially known for tolerating low light conditions, you can show your snake plant some love by placing it in a location with indirect or filtered sunlight.
To encourage brighter colors and healthy growth, place your sansevieria near a north-facing window (of course, that’s a south-facing window, for those reading this from the southern hemisphere), or a bright window with curtains. transparent, or place it a little further from a bright sunlight source.
If the lighting is too bright, your snake plant’s leaves will turn crisp and yellow around the edges, and while your plant will survive in a low-light location, too little light will result in inhibited growth, dull colors, and plants that become they have become thin and weakened as they reach for the light.
Temperature range for snake plants
The temperature range for snake plants is 10-30 C (50-85 F). If you grow your snake plant indoors, the temperature is not usually a concern, although it should be protected from drafts or cold blasts of air.
These plants can be grown outdoors in mild to tropical climates. You just have to keep in mind that it is best if they are in pots instead of growing in the ground.
How to water a snake plant
When it comes to watering your snake plant, less is really better.
Although these plants are not very picky, snake plants begin to rot quickly when their growing medium is too wet. What happens in this situation is that the roots take in more and more water, in a desperate attempt to obtain the oxygen that has been displaced by the water in the growing medium.
This causes the water storage cells of the plant to overfill, causing irreparable damage to cell structures and ultimately causing the rotting of leaves and roots. To learn more about plant rot, see the section on snake plant pests and diseases below. I also have another article on common snake plant problems , to help you identify the reason for your snake plant and treat the cause quickly and easily.
A good way to determine how often to water your snake plant is to simply let the potting mix dry completely before watering again. Like most plants, sansevierias need more frequent watering during the summer when they are experiencing active growth, so you’ll need to re-water your plant as soon as it has dried out during this time of year. The frequency will depend on conditions such as the amount of light, the temperature, and the humidity of the plant’s environment.
During the winter, when you are resting, your plant should stay dry longer. You will know that your snake plant is under watering if the tips of the leaves start to turn an unhealthy yellow or start to curl.
To water the snake plant, use a watering can with a narrow spout so that the water reaches the roots directly and avoid wetting the leaves, as this will cause them to rot, especially if the water is allowed to remain in them during the cool or cloudy weather.
Water enough to soak the potting soil, and then let it drain well. Make sure to empty the saucer after draining it, and never leave standing water in it for more than five minutes or so.
It can be difficult to find a pot that drains well and is also pretty and fits in with my home décor. This is why I always choose the best type of pot for the plant I am growing, but then place it in a slightly larger decorative pot. This gives me complete freedom to get a really nice pot, while still providing the best care for my plants. I have written an article on some of my favorite decorative pots. Take a look at them and tell me what you think.
How to fertilize a snake plant
Since snake plants are slow-growing, they feed little, so they don’t require a lot of fertilization.
Starting in spring, feed your snake plant every 3 weeks with a good low-nitrogen houseplant compost diluted to half its normal strength, or every 4 weeks with a normal strength succulent fertilizer.
Snake plant leaf care
To keep the leaves of your snake plant healthy and robust, remove any accumulation of dust with a soft, slightly damp cloth. Do not use commercial products as they can damage the coating of the sheets.
Rather than trimming a snake plant leaf to remove any damaged areas, you should always remove the entire leaf by cutting it off at the bottom, as a trimmed leaf will not grow back from the cut point.