How to Care for Snake Plant
If you’re planning to be a plant-mom, but you don’t have the skills (or the green thumb), or you’ve killed a hundred succulents (rip), then I strongly suggest that you get yourself a snake plant. It’s the easiest plant to take care of, and it’s also the hardest to kill. Perfect for people who can’t keep anything alive (yay!). Snake plants are chill, low-maintenance, and very forgiving. If ever you accidentally ignored them because you’ve spent so much time pinning inspirational photos of lavish gardens that you forgot to water them, they’d still purify your home’s air unconditionally.
So, if you think the only type of plant you can keep alive are fake plants from Amazon, think again. We’re going to know more about this diehard plant, care tips on how to keep them happy, and how low maintenance they really are!
Sansevieria trifasciata or better known as snake plants or mother-in-law’s tongue (who really calls it that, though?) is a member of the Asparagacea family—a relative of garden asparagus. One of its features are stiff, upright leaves that range can grow anywhere from eight inches to 12 feet tall, depending on the type.
In China, they considered snake plant as a treasured houseplant because they believed that the eight virtues could pass through (long life, prosperity, intelligence, beauty, art, poetry, health, and strength). In Africa, snake plant was used for its medicinal feature, to produce fiber, and as a protective charm against bewitchment.
The leaves of snake plants are broad, stiff, and upright, in a dark green color with white and yellow striping. Snake plants are popular for their ability to survive in the most unsuitable growing conditions. If you neglected your snake plant, it won’t hold a grudge on you, and it would still grow.
Also, they are one of the best air-purifying houseplants. If you want a good night’s sleep, snake plants are a great bedroom companion because they produce oxygen mainly at night.
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Snake Plant Care Tips
As I have mentioned, snake plants are easy to care for. However, it’s better to familiarize yourself with the plant’s basic preferences and requirements. Let’s start with sunlight.
SNAKE PLANT CARE TIP #1: SUNLIGHT
Snake plants will thrive in either very bright light or low light areas of your home. How versatile they are! I have a snake plant in every corner in my home, but my favorite is my 3 feet tall snake plant in my entryway (my pride and joy!). However, it’s best or ideal to position your snake plant in an area with indirect sunlight or medium light.
SNAKE PLANT CARE TIP #2: WATER
Snake plants originated from arid deserts, so they do well in sandier soils. I guess this is the only thing snake plants are picky about. Be careful not to over-water your snake plant, or it will rot out and can kill your snake plant. A rule of thumb: water when the soil is almost completely dry. Seriously, I can’t stress this enough like it would prefer neglect over over-watering. Plus, it can go without being watered for a month, so it’s perfect if you tend to forget you have a houseplant. It’s ideal to water your snake plant every 2-6 weeks. This depends on your home temperature, humidity, and light levels.
SNAKE PLANT CARE TIP #3: TEMPERATURES
Snake plants prefer warmer temperatures. Temperatures below 50℉ are harmful to snake plants because this can lead to scarring of the leaves, which cannot be reversed.
SNAKE PLANT CARE TIP #4: TOXICITY
Snake plant has a low level of toxicity, so it’s best to keep your pets away from it. It can cause nausea, diarrhea or vomiting. Learn more about poisonous plants here.
SNAKE PLANT CARE TIP #5: PESTS & PROBLEMS
Even though the snake plant is considered as “diehard” plant, it still has a few problems. Snake plants are prone to mealybugs and spider mites. These pests can cause small wounds and leaf shedding. To eliminate spider mites, you should wash the leaves and increase the humidity around the plant and remove mealybugs with alcohol.
SNAKE PLANT CARE TIP #6: PROPAGATION
Snake plants are very easy to propagate. Joy Us Garden created a video on how to propagate your snake plant in 3 different ways. She also advised that a garden snake plant can propagate on its own, spreading by underground rhizomes. For indoor snake plants, it’s best to propagate by division followed by leaf cuttings.
BENEFITS OF KEEPING SNAKE PLANT
According to plant experts from Ferns N Petals, there are many benefits to keeping a snake plant aside from purifying the air in your home.
- Increases the flow of oxygen: Snake Plants are one of the most oxygen producing houseplants.
- Controls carbon dioxide at night: Snake Plants work mainly at night by decreasing carbon dioxide from your home.
- Gives you a good night’s sleep: A great bedroom companion because would help you improve the quality of your sleep. The rich oxygen at your home would let your nerves relax and enjoy a sound sleep.
- Prevents allergy: Snake Plants lessen airborne allergies. It’s a natural air purifier that will protect you from airborne allergies.
- Eliminates pollutants: The NASA Clean Air Study says that Snake Plant can eliminate 4 out of the 5 main toxins involved in the effects of sick building syndrome. Apart from Carbon Dioxide, this plant can absorb benzene, formaldehyde, xylene, and toluene, and thus you can be safe from the cancer-causing pollutants. Also, NASA stated that those plants with more leaf surface area are better air pollutant remover and Snake Plant is one among them.
Snake plants are really low-maintenance and the easiest of plants to look after. It’s the perfect choice for plant enthusiasts like you or new plant-moms. Do you think the snake plant is the perfect plant for you?
Grow your plant knowledge. Visit our Plant Care page to learn more tips on how to keep your plants alive and healthy.