How to care for snake plants

 How to care for snake plants

Almost indestructible, snake plants thrive when you ignore them. Traditionally, these beautiful people are botanically known as Sansevieria, but in 2018, botanists reclassified them as Dracaena. You will find them sold under two botanical names. These small plants thrive in any light level, including shaded indoor areas that only need a little green.

There is only one critical aspect to growing these beautiful plants: knowing the snake plant. These plants grow in neglect, so it is best to only water when the soil is almost dry. Even then, it won't hurt to wait a few more days, especially if you water the plants.

Snake Plant Benefits

The snake plant has a beauty that goes beyond the depth of its leaves. These greenhouses are some of the best indoor air conditioners, removing formaldehyde and nitrogen oxide from the indoor air every night. They are like the house elves you dream of, except they clean the air while you sleep, making them the perfect choice for planting.

Like all houseplants, the snake plant improves mental health, improves physical health. Research 
Research shows that houseplants make people happy, and snake plants are no different.

Last but not least, snake plants have the great advantage of not being plant divas. They are resistant to hot or cold, dry air and underwater. They are also not attacked by parasites. If you're looking for a foolproof indoor plant, consider adding a potted snake plant to your collection.

Snake Plant Care

Snake plant light Requirement

Snake plants offer versatility that is hard to beat, especially when it comes to lighting requirements. These hardy plants thrive in any light level, from low to high. They grow quickly in bright light, but strong sunlight burns the leaves, especially when the plants are outside. A good place in the house is about 10 feet from a west or south window. Pay attention to the pot label when buying snake plants. Some varieties, especially varietals, require special light levels to maintain bright leaf color.

Snake Plant Watering

This is the most important part of planting a snake plant. Remember, these dying plants are succulents that store water in their leaves and roots. They thrive on neglect. Water only when the soil is almost dry. The best way to kill a snake plant is to flood it with water. Before you think it's time to water, check the soil with your finger. If it feels dry to the touch, you can safely wait a day or two before watering. If you often overwater houseplants, definitely wait before watering.

The best soil for snake plants

When planting snake plants, use a commercial potting mix designed for houseplants mixed 50:50 with cactus and succulent mix. You can also add small fir balls, perlite, pumice or clay balls. Try to create a loose, fast-draining soil with lots of air pockets, which provides a good growing environment for snake plant roots. This type of potting soil also helps prevent excess water.

The best fertilizer for snake plants

You rarely need to feed these fast growing plants. Give snake plants a dose of any plant food twice a year - once in the spring and again in the summer. Or use fertilizer and compost in a small layer on the ground once a year

 Grow snake plants outdoors

Snake plant grows in hot and dry places. Consider putting the pots outside for the summer, in the shade. Where there is no frost or snow, you can grow snake plants outdoors in containers or as plants. The tall, lanceolate-leaved species are attractive when grown in round pots and placed vertically in outdoor spaces. Be careful when growing snakes outdoors in rainy areas. These plants grow in dry soil and long periods of rain can lead to root rot.

 In warmer climates, giant snake plants are often planted as small hedges along sidewalks, driveways, or patios. Before investing in growing snake plants outside as part of your landscape, check with nurseries to make sure the plants are not harmful to your area.

Revamping the Snake plants

Snake plants grow slowly and do not need to be replanted (they grow best when cut). Plants with low light may need to be repotted every 5 to 10 years. For snake plants exposed to bright light, expect to be repotted every 3 to 6 years. Many gardeners wait for the plants to grow out of their pots: then they knew it was time to recover.

 A good snake plant pot is short and porous (think terracotta). The snake plant does not take root; they expand as they grow. If you use a deep pot, you may have a lot of soil that is too wet and causes a lot of water.

If you are repotting an outgrown snake plant, increase the pot height only if you are not dividing the can. For example, if it is a 4 inch pot, the next pot is 6 inches (they increase in even numbers). If you split a crowded pile, you can transplant one of the splits into the first pot.

 Be sure to keep the plants at the same depth in the soil where they originally grew. Fill in the new lawn that you created around the plant and tamp it down a bit. Pour a little water into the soil to help the plants get established, and wait a week before soaking thoroughly.

How to Trim snake plants

There is no reason to prune a snake plant. Sometimes the paper tips are brown and crispy. If you want to erase these parts, make your cut to resemble the shape of the paper. In the giant snake plant (Sansevieria trifasciata), sometimes the leaves will fall off. This is usually a sign of high tide, but not always. In outdoor plants, the wind can cause the leaves to fall. Sometimes the leaves are too heavy for the roots. When a leaf falls, cut it to the ground level or perhaps try to remove it from the main stem if it is coming out quickly. You can use this paper to create many snake plants.

 How to propagate snake plants

It is very easy to propagate your snake plant. Each plant can grow new plants next to the main parent plant. This allows time to grow as the plant grows - so the seeds gradually fill the pot from side to side. To transplant a young plant (called a "plantlet"), gently lift it out of the ground and cut the root attached to the parent plant. Wait to turn the fruit until they have a few leaves.

Each leaf of the snake plant can also grow a new plant. You can cut large snake plant leaves into 2 to 3 long strips and grow a new plant from each strip. If a leaf falls, when you cut it from the tree, use a knife or scissors to cut it into several pieces. Mark the bottom of each piece as you cut it; this part will produce roots. An easy way to mark the paper is to use a waterproof marker, using an arrow to indicate the end that goes into the pot.

 The leaves of the snake plant should be kept dry for several days so that the surface of the leaves is dry. This also helps prevent rotting later. As soon as the cut end looks dry, it's time to plant. Fill a small pot with your snake's cultured soil mix. Make the soil smooth before pushing the bottom end of the cutting into the mixture. Dig the bottom of the leaf about half an inch deep. Place the pots in a warm place near your brightest window. A heat mat in the root zone keeps the soil warm and encourages root formation. Water whenever the soil is completely dry.

Some varieties lose their distinctive color when you cut the leaves. The 'Golden Hahnii' snake plant loses its golden color when it grows from the leaf stalk, reverting to the original 'Hahnii' cultivar which is green.

Another way to propagate snake plants is to cut the wood and put it in water. This process takes longer than growing from a cutting and you may find your plant rotting.

Cut 4 to 5 leaf segments lengthwise for rooting in water. Allow the stop to stop - down - is not acceptable for a day or two. Place the dried end in room temperature water, making sure to keep the stem straight so that the roots will grow from the cut end. Keep the water clean and add it while you wait for the roots to develop. Do not use soft water and take the time to wash the glass with soap about once a week. The rooting process can take 4 to 8 weeks (most gardeners report 2 months). The seeds are transplanted into the soil when the roots are 2 centimeters long. 

Snake plants are Varieties

Snake plants are famous and popular indoors. One of the most common types is the green snake plant (Sansevieria trifasciata "Laurentii") with straight, long military leaves. You'll also find short snake plants with triangular leaves (Sansevieria trifasciata \'Gold Hahnii') and plants whose leaves are almost glassy as they grow (Sansevieria trifasciata \'Hahnii').

Leaves can be solid green or have a combination of different tones including silver, gold, white and green. Newer varieties include snake plant 'Bantel's Sensation', which has 36-inch-tall green leaves with white and cream spots, and the playful Glowee, which has leaves that glow in the dark. Don't miss the circular leaves of the Cylindrica snake plant (Sansevieria cylindrica), which emerge from the ground like a pencil. 

Do snake plants flower?

Snake plants can produce flower spikes. This doesn't happen often, but it usually happens when the plant is exposed to bright light and is stressed. Flowers open from the ground up and each flower produces sticky nectar. Horticulturists think (they don't really know) that flowering snake plants will eventually die, but not before producing plantlet


Finally, snake plants can be a great addition to any home or garden. They are easy to care for and require little water and soil. With proper care, they can thrive in many different areas. Although it may seem intimidating at first, knowing how much and how often to water your snake plant is key to its success.

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