How to Care for Snake Plants: Best Snake Plant Care Tips

Snake plants, also known as “Mother-in-Law’s Tongue” and scientifically called Sansevieria, are among the easiest houseplants to maintain. Their striking appearance and forgiving nature make them an excellent choice for both beginners and experienced plant enthusiasts. Here are some tips on how to care for your snake plant at home:

About Snack Plants

Snake plants, also known as ‘sansevieria’, boast a variety of intriguing aliases such as mother-in-law’s tongues, viper’s bowstring hemp, or tiger’s tail orchids. Originating from western and southern Africa, they can also be found in more tropical climates like Florida and Hawaii.

These striking succulents typically feature upright leaves that narrow into a point at the top. Despite belonging to the same family, each type of snake plant can have a unique appearance. For instance, Zey stands out with distinctive tiger stripes and considerable height, while Mikey is more compact, perfect for smaller spaces like shelves or desks. Apollo, though rare, is just as low-maintenance as Susie, who comes in various sizes and is suitable for any environment.

Are Snake Plants Easy to Care for?

Snake plants thrive on neglect, preferring minimal watering and minimal attention. Their resilience has earned them the reputation of being (almost) unkillable, making them an excellent choice for beginners or for those with busy schedules.

However, it’s essential to note that snake plants can be mildly toxic if ingested by babies, young children, or pets. While this toxicity isn’t severe, it’s wise to keep them out of reach of small humans and furry friends.

Watering Your Snake Plant

Snake plants are low-maintenance when it comes to watering. You can water them about every two weeks, or whenever the soil feels very dry or crumbly. During winter, you’ll need to water them even less frequently.

It’s crucial to let the soil dry out completely between waterings to prevent root rot. Larger snake plants will need more water and may require more frequent watering.

Light Requirements

Snake plants are quite adaptable when it comes to light. They can thrive in various lighting conditions, but they prefer not to be kept in a completely windowless room for long periods. Ideally, place your snake plant in a spot with ample light, but don’t stress too much about finding the perfect spot. They’ll adjust to different light levels.

Temperature Preferences

While snake plants can tolerate a wide range of temperatures, they prefer warmer environments, ideally above 10°C. During winter, avoid placing them near drafty windows to protect them from cold air.

Additionally, snake plants prefer dry conditions, so it’s best to avoid placing them in bathrooms. Instead, opt for locations like bedrooms or living rooms where the air is drier.

Is it time to repot my snake plant?

Your snake plant can likely stay in its original nursery pot for quite a while, especially if its roots aren’t pushing through the bottom. Since snake plants grow slowly, they don’t need repotting frequently.

If you notice it’s getting too big for its pot, consider repotting it in the spring using a larger nursery pot and specialized houseplant or cactus compost. You can find detailed instructions in our repotting guide.

Keep in mind that some snake plants can grow quite tall, so make sure the decorative pot you choose is sturdy enough to support it and prevent tipping.

How do I care for my snake plant?

Snake plants are low-maintenance and resilient. A simple wipe-down of their leaves with a clean, damp cloth every now and then will help remove dust and keep them looking vibrant. This allows them to breathe better and absorb more light.

During the growing seasons of spring and summer, you can give your snake plant a monthly treat of good quality liquid fertilizer. While this isn’t essential, it can give them a boost. However, they’ll be perfectly fine without it if you prefer to skip this step.

Planting Snake Plants

1. Choose the right pot: Pick a pot with a hole at the bottom for drainage. Terracotta pots are great because they help the soil dry out faster.

2. Use the correct soil: Opt for a well-draining potting mix, especially one labeled for “cacti and succulents”. This type of mix prevents water from accumulating and causing root rot.

3. Planting depth: When repotting, don’t bury the snake plant too deep. Plant it at the same depth it was in its previous container.

Choosing a Location

1. Lighting: Snake plants like indirect light but can handle some direct sunlight. They can also grow in low-light areas, though they’ll grow slower there. If you’re moving your plant to a brighter spot, do it gradually over about a week to avoid shocking it. Adjust watering accordingly as the plant will need more in brighter areas.

2. Temperature: Keep your snake plant in a warm spot with temperatures above 50°F (10°C). During winter, shield it from chilly drafts near windows.

Care for Snake Plants

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