For an easy-care indoor plant, you can’t get a deal better than that offered by a snake plant.
A snake plant is a resilient succulent that requires the least care when grown indoors. With their hardiness and striking lines, they’re perfect houseplants for even the black thumbs to show off.
Native to Southern Africa, these twisty desert plants can well adapt to most weather conditions except freezing temperatures which end up damaging the foliage rapidly.
How to Take Care of Snake Plant Indoors
Although snake plants need little attention to grow, there are a couple of things to consider.
How to Water a Snake Plant?
Even though snake plants have big leafy limbs, remember they are succulents. They can be pretty sensitive to soil moisture issues. So, the quickest way to kill a snake plant is to overwater it.
It may not be the excess water that always kills the plant off, but it encourages bacterial and fungal growth in the potting mix which eventually spreads to the plant’s roots.
Like most succulents, snake plants can retain water and thrive with infrequent but consistent watering.
So, avoid overwatering the plant as it leads to root rot. Also, make sure the draining system of the pot is well-planned. Finally, allow the soil to dry out in between waterings.
Some common signs that your snake plant is overwatered include soft, squishy, drooping leaves, leaves easily falling out, or turning yellow.
How Much Light Do Snake Plants Need? Sun or Shade?
It can survive in a wide range of light conditions, including direct sunlight but may turn pale or lead to leaf burn in extreme exposure. But, indirect sunlight works best.
Ideally, five to six hours of indirect sunlight is perfect for these slithering beauties to thrive. It gives sufficient sunlight to the plant to produce energy for new growth.
What Is the Best Soil for Snake Plants?
Free-draining soil mix works best for snake plants. You can use any commercial potting soil with half cactus and half succulent mix. This generally helps create a fast-draining, loose soil with lots of air pockets.
A terracotta pot is ideal for all houseplants (including succulents) as they remove any standing water without trapping it inside.
Do Snake Plants Need Fertilizers?
Being native to rocky soil, snake plants do not need a lot of fertilization. You can give them a dose of mild cactus fertilizer during the summers. Avoid over-fertilizing, especially in the winters.
When to Re-Pot Snake Plants?
Snake plants are low maintenance in every sense of the word. They like to be pot-bound without needing too much repotting.
Most snake plants can be left without re-potting for approximately two to five years. You can also leave it longer depending on the type of snake plant.
How to Propagate Snake Plants?
You can propagate a snake plant using a healthy leaf.
Make an inverted V cut at the bottom of a leaf near its base. Place it in a clean jar containing a water level that is slightly above the V cut.
Roots should start in 3 to 5 weeks. Transfer this cutting to soil with proper drain arrangement. Maintain appropriate water levels to keep roots from rotting.
Types of Snake Plants
A snake plant has green leaves with horizontal streaks of silver or gray color. The slender and sword-like shaped leaves look aesthetic. However, this is not their only form, as they exist in various shapes and sizes.
Of the 70 species of the Sansevieria genus, only a handful of them are commonly grown by plant lovers.
Bird’s nest snake plant is small and grows only up to 6 inches tall. They have cup-shaped clustered leaves.
The cylinder snake plant resembles a crown made of round leaves and grows several feet high.
Laurentii Sansevieria has an eye-pleasing green center with yellow margined leaves.
The twisted sister type is similar to the above type but with twisted leaves. It grows only up to 15 inches and is a hard-to-find variety.
The white snake plant has white vertical stripes on dark green leaves. They look majestic for interior landscape design.
Rhino grass has a tight clump of vertical leaves, forming an attractive design.
Elephant’s Toothpick resembles a Japanese fan-like structure and has thicker leaves.
Are Snake Plants Poisonous?
Though it is notoriously called mother-in-law’s tongue, it is not highly poisonous. But, if you consume large doses of its leaves, it can be mildly toxic. It can cause numbness and swelling of the tongue.
Benefits of Having an Indoor Snake Plant
One of the Highest Oxygen-Producing Houseplants
A Harvard study shows that snake plants can produce the most oxygen compared to many other houseplants.
During the night, just a few indoor plants can turn carbon dioxide into oxygen. One of these is the snake plant, which filters the indoor air even while you sleep. Keeping a few in your bedroom or office will help keep the air around you healthier.
A Great Toxin-Fighting Houseplant
Snake plants are capable of dealing with cancer-causing pollutants by absorbing them.
Though their contribution is small, they remove toxic gases from the air. For example, benzene, CO2, formaldehyde, toluene, trichloroethylene, and xylene, to name a few.
NASA research reveals that snake plants help in reducing harmful toxins too.
Boosts Mental Health and Reduces Anxiety
Having plants indoors has a therapeutic effect when looking at the lively green color. Moreover, snake plants produce huge amounts of oxygen, which naturally helps uplift the mood and energy of any space.
According to Horticultural therapy, caring for plants positively affects your mood.
Lessens the Impact of Airborne Allergies
Dust particles and dander float around when the air is dry. These plants release moisture into the air. The lightweight particles cannot float through the moist air. Thus, it controls the allergens that can cause asthma and allergies.
Also, the fresh oxygen enhances the indoor air quality supporting your lung health.
So, if you’re a forgetful gardener, Sansevieria is the one for you.