• Annie Vautour

Plant Care 101: Everything You Need to Know About Snake Plants

Updated: May 21, 2020




Snake plants are a member of the Asparagaceae family. They are known as an extremely low maintenance houseplant, these beauties can put up with a lot. Still, there are a few things you should know.


Description



Dracaena (Sansevieria) trifasciata is a common species. It has yellow variegation on the margins of the leaves. Dracaena (Sansevieria) zeylanica is also a very popular choice. It is an attractive green banded variety if you do not want the yellow on the margins of trifasciata. Dracaena (Sansevieria) trifasciata 'Hahnii' or bird's nest snake plant is often featured as well due to its dwarfing characteristic. There are approximately 70 different species to choose from of this popular houseplant.

How it looks: It is a very attractive plant with its stiff, upright growth habit. There are many different species and cultivars featuring different patterns of variegation and colours. Overall, a very fashionable houseplant to feature in your home.


Care level: A very low maintenance plant not needing a lot of light to survive and can handle a fair bit of neglect in the way of watering. Snake plants are the perfect choice for the novice gardener.



Facts

Origin: Southeast Asia and West Africa.
Common names: Mother-in-laws tongue, snake plant, bowstring hemp, and more.
Max Growth (approx.): 1 to 3 feet tall and about 1 foot wide depending on the species.
Poisonous to pets: Yes.


Pictured is Dracaena (Sansevieria) zeylanica

Snake Plant Care


Temperature: They prefer warmer temperatures. 55-85 degrees is the preferred threshold. Temperatures below 50 degrees Fahrenheit can cause some harm to the plant.

Light: Bright, indirect to low light is fine. They do very well in low lit areas.

Watering: Water once the soil dries out completely. The worst thing that you can do is overwater a snake plant as they are susceptible to root rot.

Soil: A well-draining and well-aerated potting soil is best so that the water can drain out well.

Re-Potting: Repot once the roots have become pot bound. This is also a good time to propagate by dividing your snake plant into a few smaller plants. They grow by rhizomes meaning they send out new growth by modified plant stems which grow horizontally underneath the soil surface.

Fertilizer: They are low maintenance with their soil nutrient requirements. You can add a basic fertilizer every few weeks in the growing season but they will be fine without it.

Humidity: Snake plants do not require extra humidity.

Propagation: Propagation by division is the most popular method.

Potential Problems


  • Mealybugs: To get rid of mealybugs, soak a cotton ball in rubbing alcohol and be sure to make contact with the bugs in order to kill them.

  • Spider mites: If spider mites are noticed, spray them with insecticidal soap to get rid of them.

  • Root rot: Avoid overwatering.



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