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The Basics of Snake Plants

February 16, 2024

Snake plants

Snake plants, known as Sansevieria or Mother-in-Law’s Tongue, are renowned for their resilient nature and striking appearance. Whether you’re a seasoned plant enthusiast or a novice green thumb, mastering the basics of snake plant care is essential for nurturing these low-maintenance beauties. Let’s delve into the essentials of snake plant care to ensure your leafy friend thrives in any environment:

Understanding the Basics:

Drought Tolerance: Snake plants are champions of drought tolerance, making them an excellent choice for forgetful waterers or those with busy schedules. Allow soil to dry out between watering’s and be careful not to over-water. Water approximately every two weeks, during active growth seasons in the spring and summer, and reduce watering frequency in the winter.


Light Requirements: Snake plants thrive with 4-6 hours of indirect sunlight, however, too much direct sun can cause leaves to burn.


Soil and Drainage: Opt for sandy, well-drained soil to prevent waterlogging and root rot, a common issue for many houseplants. Most snake plants prefer cactus potting soil, avoid high-peat content. Ensure your pot has ample drainage holes to facilitate proper drainage and aeration.


Temperature Considerations: Snake plants prefer temperatures above 10°C, making them suitable for most indoor environments. Protect your plant from drafty windows during colder months to prevent temperature shock.


Fertilization and Pest Management: Feed with diluted 10-10-10 fertilizer in spring to mid-summer. Wipe down leaves with a micro-fiber cloth and with horticultural oil if needed.


Pruning for Growth:

Timing is critical; prune your snake plant during the growing season to encourage new growth and maintain its aesthetic appeal. Use sterile cutting tools to prevent the spread of diseases and ensure clean cuts. Any damaged or discoloured leaves can be removed with sterile sheers to promote overall plant health and appearance.

Potting and Repotting:

Repotting Schedule: Repot your snake plant every 3 to 5 years or when roots start protruding from the drainage holes at the bottom of the pot. Additionally, if your plant’s growth appears stunted or lackluster, it may be time for a new pot.


Choosing the Right Pot: Opt for wide, shallow pots made from sturdy materials like terracotta, clay, or ceramic. These materials provide stability and adequate drainage, essential for healthy root development.


Ideal Repotting Time: Spring is the optimal time for repotting snake plants, coinciding with their natural growth cycle. The plant is primed for new growth during this period, making it more resilient to the transition.

Common Varieties:

Sansevieria/Snake Plant – Striped: Recognized by its distinctive striped foliage, this variety adds a touch of elegance with its vertical lines and variegated patterns. The contrasting shades of green create a striking visual impact, making it a coveted choice for modern interiors.


Sansevieria/Snake Plant Black Gold: With its sleek, dark foliage accented by golden edges, the Black Gold variety exudes sophistication and timeless appeal. This striking contrast adds a touch of luxury to any space, making it a standout feature in your indoor garden.


Sansevieria/Snake Plant Futura Superba: The Futura Superba variety boasts broad, sword-shaped leaves with bold, yellow-green margins that gradually fade into a rich, dark green center. Its architectural form and vibrant coloration make it a versatile addition to both contemporary and traditional settings.


Sansevieria/Snake Plant Black Coral: Characterized by its deep, almost black foliage with subtle hints of dark green, the Black Coral variety adds a touch of drama and intrigue to any room. Its sleek, upright growth habit makes it an excellent choice for minimalist interiors seeking a bold focal point.


Sansevieria/Snake Plant – Zeylanica: Featuring long, sword-shaped leaves adorned with striking horizontal bands, the Zeylanica variety offers a classic yet contemporary look. Its sturdy, upright growth habit and resilient nature make it an ideal choice for beginners and seasoned plant enthusiasts alike.

Troubleshooting Common Issues:

Yellow or Brown Leaves: Yellow or brown leaves may indicate overwatering or underwatering. Adjust your watering frequency accordingly and ensure proper drainage to prevent waterlogged soil.


Curling Leaves: Curling leaves often indicate low humidity or insufficient watering. Increase humidity levels by misting the leaves regularly or placing a humidity tray near the plant.


Falling Leaves: Stress, improper watering, or inadequate light exposure can cause leaves to fall. Ensure your plant consistently receives adequate light and water to prevent leaf drop.

By mastering the art of snake plant care, you’ll enjoy lush foliage and vibrant growth year-round. With these fundamental care tips, you can cultivate a thriving indoor oasis with your beloved snake plant.