Snake Plant (Sansevieria trifasciata) is a very popular houseplant that is almost indestructible and great for beginners. It is a tough houseplant that is easy to grow because it can tolerate low light conditions. Your Snake Plant is known for pointy, sword-like leaves. If you have children and pets at home, you should keep your Snake Plant out of reach because it is toxic to humans and pets. Snake plants are believed to be lucky houseplants that can bring good fortune to the home and office. Here are tips on how to care for your Snake Plant as a houseplant.
Snake Plant Infographic
Tips on How to Take Care of Your Snake Plant
1. Your Snake Plant is Happiest in Bright, filtered light but can tolerate low light
Snake Plant is happiest in bright, filtered light but can tolerate low light. Avoid direct sunlight.
Check out other houseplants that can tolerate low light: ZZ Plant and Prayer Plant
2. Moderate Water is Best for Snake Plant
Your Snake Plant Water your Snake Plant when the soil feels dry. The best way to tell when it is time to water your Snake Plant is to feel the soil.
During the growing season, stick your finger in the soil 1 inch deep. If the soil feels dry, it’s time to water your Snake Plant. In the winter, stick your finger in the soil 2 inches deep. If the soil feels dry, it’s time to water your Snake Plant. If the soil is wet, then don’t water your Snake Plant.
If it’s kept at low light, allow the soil to dry all the way to the bottom before watering.
3. Get the Soil Right for Your Snake Plant
Your Snake Plant needs a well-draining, organic cactus and succulent potting mix.
4. Fertilize Your Snake Plant
Your Snake Plant should be fertilized at half strength once a month. Don’t fertilize during the winter months.
5. Don’t forget to Repot Your Snake Plant
Repot your Snake Plant when it’s outgrowing its current pot. Repot in a container with a diameter 2 inches larger than the current pot. Make sure you repot your Snake Plant in a heavy container so it doesn’t topple over. You can also add pebbles at the bottom of the pot to keep it from falling over.
6. Drainage is Essential for Your Snake Plant
After watering your Snake Plant and you see water draining out of the pot’s drainage holes, make sure you empty out the accumulated water in the saucer. Don’t let your Snake Plant’s pot sit in this puddle of water. It will cause root rot!
7. Get the Temperature Right for Your Snake Plant
Your Snake Plant needs to have a daytime temperature of 70F to 80 Fahrenheit (21-26C). The nighttime temperature should be at 60-70 Fahrenheit (15-21 C). Your Snake Plant does not like cold, don’t let the temperature drop below 60F (15C).
8. Your Snake Plant Does Not Need Humid Air
Your Snake Plant is a plant that tolerates dry air well.
Common Snake Plant Problems
The common problems for Snake Plant are sunburn, mealy bugs, and root rot.
Snake Plant: Fluffy White Growth In Between the Leaves and Stems
Problem: There are fluffy white growths in between the leaves and stems of your Snake Plant.
Cause: Mealybugs are causing the fluffy white growth on your Snake Plant. It is a common houseplant disease.
Solution: To get rid of mealybugs on your Snake Plant, wash your plant with water. You can also use soapy water. Spraying rubbing alcohol on affected areas can also get rid of mealybugs. Horticultural oil and insecticidal soap are also effective in getting rid of mealybugs.
Check out our article on how to make your own homemade pesticides using baby shampoo: How to Make Horticultural Oil and How to Make Insecticidal Soap
Snake Plant: Looks Wilted (Soil is Wet)
Problem: Your Snake Plant looks wilted even if the soil is wet. Check for root rot by pulling the plant out and examining the roots. If the roots of your Snake Plant plant look mushy (healthy roots are firm) and the roots are gray to black in color, these are telltale signs of root rot.
Cause: Root rot is caused by fungus and is a serious problem for your Snake Plant. Root rot is a result of wet soil due to overwatering or poor drainage.
Solution: When your Snake Plant is afflicted with root rot the chance of survival is slim. Your best course of action is to throw your Snake Plant out and start over with a new plant. This time don’t overwater your Snake Plant and make sure there is good drainage in the pot.
Snake Plant: Brown and Black Patches on the Leaves of Your Snake Plant
Problem: There are brown and black patches on the leaves of your Snake Plant plant.
Cause: These brown or black patches on your Snake Plant are sunburn spots. Sunburn spots are caused by too much direct, hot sun on your Snake Plant.
Solution: Move your Snake Plant to a less sunny spot. The sunburn spots on your Snake Plant plant are permanent. The sunburn spots will not turn back to green.
Snake Plant Houseplant Facts
|Scientific Name||Sansevieria trifasciata|
|Light||Bright, filtered light but can tolerate low light|
|Daytime Temperature||70 to 80 F (21-26C)|
|Night Time Temperature||60 to 70 F (15-21C)|
|Humidity||Tolerates dry air well|
|Potting||Well-draining, organic, cactus and succulent potting mix|
|Fertilizer||Once a month at half strength|
|Toxic to Pets and Humans||Toxic|
Snake Plant: Frequently Asked Questions
What are Other Names of Snake Plant?
Snake Plant is also called Mother-in-Law’s Tongue, Bowstring Hemp, Golden Bird’s Nest, Good Luck Plant, and Saint George’s Sword.
Snake Plant: Varieties
Common snake plant varieties are S. patens, S. trifasciata ‘Black Coral’, S. ehrenbergii., S. trifasciata ‘Moonshine’, S. trifasciata ‘Hahnii’
Is Your Snake Plant Toxic to Pets?
Snake Plants are toxic to humans and pets. Don’t let children or pets chew on the leaves of the Snake Plant plant because it contains saponins. Saponins have been used as fish poison! It can cause vomiting, nausea, and diarrhea. If you see any of these symptoms and suspect ingestion of Snake Plant plants, call poison control immediately! Also, call your doctor or vet once you start seeing adverse reactions in children and pets.
How Can You Tell When It’s Time to Water Your Snake Plant?
Water your Snake Plant when the soil feels dry. The best way to tell when it’s time to water is by sticking your finger into the soil. During the growing season, stick your finger in the soil 1 inch deep. If the soil feels dry, then it’s time to water your Snake Plant. In the winter, stick your finger in 1 inch deep. If the soil feels dry, then it’s time to water your Snake Plant.
If your Snake Plant is kept at a low light level, you should let the soil dry out completely before watering.
Can You Use Cold Water When Watering Your Snake Plant?
Snake Plant can be watered with tap water but be mindful of the water temperature that you are using to water your Snake Plant. Don’t use straight cold water from the tap to water your Snake Plant.
Snake Plant prefers cool water that is not hot and not cold. When you turn on the cold water from the faucet add a little bit of warm water. You can also get to this ideal temperature by filling a watering can or pitcher with water and leaving it out overnight until the water is at room temperature.
What Fertilizer Should You Use for Your Snake Plant?
Use organic fertilizer that is balanced.
How Big Does Your Snake Plant Get?
Snake Plant can grow to 3 feet tall. The leaves can grow to 2 to 2.5 inches wide.
How Do You Propagate Your Snake Plant?
Snake Plants are easy to propagate. You can propagate your Snake Plant plant by division of the rhizomes or leaf cutting. Below are steps on how to propagate Snake Plant by leaf cutting.
1. Take a Leaf Cutting of Snake Plant
2. Place the Snake Plant Leaf in a Jar of Water
Place the Snake Plant leaf into a jar of water and wait for it to grow roots.
3. Plant Leaf Cutting in New Pot
Once the roots grow, plant these leaf cuttings into a new pot. Water the new plant immediately after planting. Then water every 2-3 days until the roots are established.
4. Place New Snake Plant in a Spot with Bright Indirect Sun
Place your new Snake Plant plant in a spot with bright indirect sunlight. Don’t put it in direct sunlight.
You May Also Like this Low Light Houseplants: ZZ Plant
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