A Snake Plant
Tue, Nov 17, 2020

A Beginner’s Guide on How to Care for a Snake Plant

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The Snake Plant, official name: Sansevieria Trifasciata, otherwise known as Mother-In-Law’s Tongue or St. George’s Sword has been increasing in popularity throughout the years, and most recently it has been the go-to houseplant for many of us prone to (accidentally) letting plants die. This is because of the Snake Plants’ robust and adaptable nature. That being said, it is still highly important to understand how to care for a Snake Plant.

Before learning the ins and outs of how to care for Snake Plant varieties, we must first establish a clear understanding of what a snake plant is and be able to identify the many types of snake plants.

What Is a Snake Plant?

Snake Plants are a highly resilient succulent, well known for not only looks incredible but also for providing health benefits to those who keep them indoors. (Especially in the bedroom).

Snake Plants have the ability to help purify the air around them. They are skilled at absorbing Carbon Dioxide (CO2) and can then convert it into oxygen at night, leaving you with fresh, crisp airflow inside your home. These plants are great for people with airborne allergies thanks to their air-purifying properties.

If that wasn’t enough to convince you of how wonderful a Sansevieria is, then this surely will – snake plants are extremely easy to care for! They adapt well to a range of lighting conditions and barely need any water, so it’s ok if you’ve got a memory like a sieve and forget to water your snake plant every now and again. It won’t cause any real damage.

Types of Snake Plants

  1. Bird’s Nest Snake Plant

Botanical Name: Sansevieria Trifasciata Hahnii

Origin: Subtropical Africa

Visual Features: Dark glossy, funnel-shaped leaves

Other: Suitable for varied levels of light however will thrive and become more vibrant in high-level indirect sunlight

  1. Variegated Snake plant

Botanical Name: Sansevieria Trifasciata Laurentii

Origin: Tropical West Africa

Visual Features: Yellow outlines around the leaves with an almost striped green pattern

Other: This is the most commonly recognized snake plant. It can adapt to low-lighting. It is a slow-growing plant

  1. Cylinder Snake Plant

Botanical Name: Sansevieria Cylindrica

Origin: Angola

Visual Features: Tall cylindrical leaves that appear almost spear-shaped

Other: Very low maintenance plant that, like other snake plants, is mildly toxic when consumed (so keep away from children and animals!)

How to Grow Sansevieria?

Whilst many people choose to purchase a pre-potted snake plant for their home, some of you are probably more interested in learning how to grow Sansevieria Trifasciata from scratch. Below is a step-by-step guide to growing your snake plant.

Step 1. How to Propagate a Snake Plant

Learning how to propagate a snake plant is an incredibly rewarding activity. It allows you to share this easy-to-care-for houseplant with even your most clueless friends. Or you can propagate your plant in order to start your very own snake plant family! Whatever the reason, here’s how to do it:

Find a tall container for the first stage of propagation. Choose a leaf that looks healthy and cut it off at the desired height using sharp shears. Place the leaf into the container with a small amount of water (cover the leaf about ¼ of the way).

Step 2. Potting Your Snake Plant Cutting

Your leaf should now be in a tall container, this is the first potting stage as you need to wait for roots to form before planting it in a sturdy pot. Make sure you change the water every two days to allow your leaf to produce roots. Once you see roots appear, place the cutting in a medium-sized pot with a well-draining system. Use a mixture of cactus soil, sand, and pebbles to really ensure your snake plant won’t drown when watered.

Step 3. How Much Light Does a Snake Plant Need?

Place your snake plant in bright, indirect sunlight – especially in the initial stages of new growth. Once your plant has reached a mature age, snake plants are great at adapting to less light so feel free to move it somewhere more shaded if your feng shui is out of whack!

Step 4. How Often to Water a Snake Plant

Snake plants are quite susceptible to rot, so go easy on the water. Most snake plants only need watering once every month! Do make sure to check on it and allow the soil to completely dry out before watering though. (Don’t worry if you forget to water it, snake plants thrive on neglect!).

Step 5. How to Repot a Snake Plant

You may have found that the pot you initially potted your snake plant in has become too small and the roots are increasingly outgrowing their container. Now to worry! Repotting a snake plant is very simple and has almost no adverse effects if done correctly.

Select a pot that is about 2 inches wider than the current pot and part-fill with the same blend of soil/sand as before. Remove your snake plant from its pot ensuring all the roots are intact. Place your plant in its new home and fill in the remaining space with the leftover soil mix. The water you plant after the transplant and care for your repotted plant as usual.

How Fast Do Snake Plants Grow?

Sansevieria plants are all fairly similar when it comes to the growth rate. They all grow reasonably slowly. Part of the reason Sansevieria makes such good houseplants is because of their slow-growing nature which allows them to not outgrow a space. If your snake plant is exposed to more sunlight you may see a rapid growth spurt however your snake plant will be unlikely to reach taller than 3-4 feet indoors.

Try not to worry if you feel like your snake plant is not growing. They like to take their time and sometimes even have dormant periods, where they put their growth on pause. So for all those wondering ‘do snake plants grow fast?’ the answer is a categorical no!

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