Another name for Snake plant is Sansevieria and is also called mother-in-law's tongue. The Snake plant is a popular and hardy houseplant with stiff, sword-like leaves. The Snake plant is available in different varieties, a lot of them have green-banded or striped leaves with a yellow or cream border.

The Snake plant is an attractive, easy-to-grow houseplant that actually tolerates drought and low light.


Snake Plant Info

The common name: The common names are mother-in-law plant, Snake plant, mother-in-law's tongue.

The botanical name: The botanical name is Dracaena trifasciata.

The family: The Snake plants belong to Asparagaceae family.

The plant type: The Snake plant is evergreen perennial typically grown as a houseplant.

The mature size: The mature size is 6 inches to 12 feet tall in native habitat depending on the variety; 2-5 feet tall when grown as a houseplant

The sun exposure: Snake plant prefers sun to part shade.

The soil type: Snake plant does well in sandy, well-drained soil.

The soil pH: Slightly acidic to slightly alkaline.

The blooming time: The blooming time is Spring.

The flower color: The flower color is white.

USDA hardiness zones: Nine to eleven.

The native area: Snake plant is native to West Africa.

Plant toxicity: Snake plant is toxic to cats and dogs.


What is the Best Way to Grow a Snake Plant?

The Snake plant also known as Sansevieria is a good choice for beginners because the plant tolerates a range of growing conditions. The Snake plant is low-maintenance container plant that can add decorative interest when planted indoors.


Light requirement

The Snake plants grow best with eight to ten hours of indirect sunlight or a few hours of early-morning direct sunlight. Actually too much direct sun can burn the Snake plant and also damage its leaves. The Snake plants can also tolerate some shade, although lack of light can stunt the growth of the plant and also dilute the plant's color.


Soil requirement

Like any other houseplant, the Snake plants actually prefer a loose, well-drained potting soil mix. Snake plant does well in sandier soil which makes all-purpose cactus potting soil a good choice. Make sure you avoid soil mixes that contain a high percentage of peat, which can retain too much water.


Water requirement

How often do you water a snake plant? You can water your snake plant when the soil has completely dried out, make sure you water deeply. During the winter, you need to check the plant's soil mix every 2 weeks or so, the Snake plant might need to be watered only once a month. If you notice that the leaves are brittle and dry you can water immediately.

Remember that overwatering the plant is the quickest way to kill the plant. Too much watering of the plant or letting the plant sit in water will rot its root system. Yellowing of leaves is one of the early sign of overwatering.


Temperature and humidity requirement

The snake plants grow best in warm temperatures between seventy degree Fahrenheit and ninety degree Fahrenheit. Keep the snake plants away from cold drafts.

The snake plant won't tolerate frost, and prolonged exposure to less than fifty degree Fahrenheit can kill the plant. The snake plant will do fine with average household humidity between thirty and fifty percent.


Fertilizer requirement

You can easily feed your snake plant once in spring and once in mid-summer with a balanced, slow-release 10-10-10 fertilizer diluted to half strength. Don’t fertilize your snake plant in winter.


Varieties of Snake Plant

The Dracaena trifasciata 'Hahnii' variety: The Dracaena trifasciata 'Hahnii' is also called bird's nest snake plant, they grows to just 6 inches tall.

The Dracaena angolensi variety: The Dracaena angolensi has round, stiff leaves several feet long, arching outward from a central crown.

The Dracaena trifasciata 'Laurentii' variety: The Dracaena trifasciata 'Laurentii' is a variegated cultivar that has creamy yellow leaf margins.

The Dracaena trifasciata 'Twisted Sister': This particular variety has twisting leaves with yellow variegated edges. This variety grows to fifteen inches tall.

The Dracaena trifasciata 'Bantel’s Sensation' variety: The Dracaena trifasciata 'Bantel’s Sensation' leaves are narrow with white vertical stripes.

The Dracaena pearsonii variety: The Dracaena pearsonii are sometimes called rhino grass, this variety features succulent red-tinted leaves and grows to twelve inches tall.



Pruning Snake Plant

You can prune your snake plants during the growing season to encourage new growth. To control the plant height, just remove the tallest leaves at the soil line with a sterile cutting tool. The damaged leaves can be easily removed at anytime; however, winter pruning can cause stress.


Potting and Repotting Snake Plant

You can repot your snake plant every 3 to 5 years, or when you see roots growing out of the holes in the bottom of the pot. Other signs that your snake plant needs repotting are when water draining out too quickly, the roots filling the entire container, or stunted growth and a dull appearance.


Type of Pot to Use

The snake plants actually prefer wide, shallow pots with ample of drainage holes. The pot diameter should be roughly twice the size of the root ball. You can Choose a sturdy pot made from ceramic, terracotta, or clay, as strong roots can crack and break plastic pots. Terra cotta pots wick away excess moisture, which can help prevent overwatering.


When to Repot Snake Plant

It's time to repot your Snake plant again into a container 2 inches wider when the roots become overcrowded or the plant outgrows its original pot. The best time to repot your snake plant is in spring. When repotting your snake plant, you have to place it at the same level as it was in the original container.


Pest Control

Actually all snake plants are susceptible to common houseplant pests such as gnats, scales, spider mites, mealybugs, aphids, and whiteflies. Most of these pests can be easily removed by hand or with a gentle spray of water. You can treat infestations with neem oil.

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