The Snake Plant (Sansevieria)

If you travel or don't want to spend too much time tending to your plant this is the right plant for you! These plants can be neglected for weeks at a time. The Sansevieria is truly built for longevity! Research has even shown that snake plants are able to help keep the air inside your space clean, removing toxins such as formaldehyde and benzene. Snake plants can grow anywhere from 8 inches to 12 feet with the right environment and care! 

Step 1: Pick the right planter pot 

Pick a planter pot with a hole at the bottom of it. However, if you have chose a decorative planter pot that does not have a hole that is also okay. Either way you will build a drainage path using gravel, rocks or perlite to ensure the plant is able to maintain a dry environment. A drainage path is to help water escape so that your snake plant's roots do not sit in water. If your snake plant's roots sit in water, they will rot. This is called root rot and it can kill off the rest of your snake plant. 

The planter pot you are planting your snake plant in should be approximately 2 to 3 inches larger width wise than your snake plant's nursery planter. The nursery planter is the plastic pot the snake plant comes in. Snake plants like to be root bound and will more likely flower if the roots are condensed. You can plant your snake plant in a planter the same width as your snake plant, but if you want it to grow in size and do not want to repot shortly there after, we would recommend getting a planter pot that is 2 to 3 inches larger than the nursery planter your receive your snake plant in.

Your planter pot should be 3 to 5 inches deeper than your snake plant. This is to consider space for your snake plant's roots. The drainage path will take up 2 to 3 inches of the planter's depth. 

Step 2: Preparing to plant 

Snake plants ideal climate is dry like the desert. Use cacti and succulent soil mix for your snake plant. Fill your planter pot with the cacti-succulent soil mix on top of your drainage path. Add soil mix 3/4 of the your planter. 

Use a pair of scissors to cut the plastic nursery plater pot off or loosen around the rims with a butter knife and gently remove your sansevieria out of it's nursery pot.  

Step 3: Plant your snake plant 

Use your fingers or the end of a shovel to make room for the roots of your snake plant in the planter pot. Place your snake plant unit in and cover the roots with the soil mix, including around the edges of the planter. Continue planting each unit, planting the sansevieria in it's new home! 

Supplies needed: 

  • Cacti and succulent soil mix 
  • Planter pot 
  • Sansevieria 
  • Small to medium sized rocks 

Pet Friendly | No 

The snake plant is toxic to pets. The snake plant contain saponins, natural chemicals produced by the plant to protect it from insects, microbes and fungi. The level of toxin, however, is relatively low and the consequences for a pet that ingests the plant are typically limited to gastrointestinal upset.

Plant Food | Watering 

It is better to under water your snake plant than it is to over water. Therefore when in doubt, don't water. The snake plant is a succulent and therefore produces stores water in it's leaves. Use your snake plant's leaves as a gauge for when to water. Similar to the Agave cactus, you can feel the leaves to determine when it needs water. Drooping leaves means your snake plant is being over watered. Wrinkled leaves means it does not have enough water. 

Check the soil to ensure it is dry before watering your Sansevieria. Poke your finger into your snake plant's soil, if the the soil feels moist do not water. If no soil clings to your finger, this means the soil is dry enough to water. 

Watering your snake plant every two to three weeks. Use room temperature water. Try not to get any water in between the leaves, instead water directly on the soil, around the base of your snake plant. Use plant fertilizer only during warm months (summer and spring). 

    Placement | Temperature, Light and Space 

    The snake plants is very versatile when it comes to light and room placement. They are capable of being in low, medium, and high degrees of light. Sansevierias prefer medium light but if in a warm indoor environment with a sunlit room, they'll be just fine. As long as the snake plant is not in a damp environment it is happy drying out it's dirt, with moderate levels of humidity. 

    Snake plants flourish in a sunny window and direct light. The more sunlight this tropical plant receives, the better it grows.

    Indoors: If you are growing this plant indoors, you can place it in a north facing window or another low light location, but give it sunlight whenever you get the chance.

    Outdoors: For an outdoor snake plant, try to place the plant in an area with plenty of light (you can't really give this plant too much light). However, if you have extreme cold or frost in your area it is important you bring it inside. These plants like warm climates and are susceptible to cold.

    These are generally very forgiving plants and will survive in wide range of light and temperature conditions. The ideal temperature range is 60 to 80°F. Move your plant to a warmer location if the foliage turns yellow.

    Plant Problems | Troubleshooting 

    There are around 70 different species of snake plant, native to Africa, Madagascar, and southern Asia. Sansevieria trifasciata (Mother-in-law’s tongue), have yellow edges and light and dark green stripes. Sansevieria twist has wavy green and yellow foliage (leaves). Sansevieria robusta are the shorter, wider leaved snake plants. Regardless of which plant you have if your snake plant's leaves look pale and wilted this indicate that the plant is diseased or maltreated and may require considerable effort to recover it. 

    Growth | Repotting   

    Snake plant's grow quite rapidly in time. Sansevieria's propagate by spreading their rhizomes underground. They expand both width and depth wise. Repotting the snake plant is best done once the sansevieria has no more space width to the edge of the pot. Upgrading it's home to a new pot with a minimum of 4-inches depth.

    The growth of the snake plant largely depends on it's feeding and lighting schedule. If the plant is in high degree sunlight and watered monthly it can grow quite quickly. Then you can propagate the plant into multiple pots or continue to grow your monstrous beast. But if in low light the snake plant will be just fine in it's pot for the next five years or so. Just make sure it's drying in between waterings. 

    Sansevieria's come in tall or short, with round, flat or concave leaves, and variegated with dark green, silver, light green, yellow, chartreuse or white.

    Propagation | Multiplying your Snake Plant 

    Use a clean pair of scissors to cut your snake plant leaf, removing the bottom part you detached from the root. Stick this in cacti and succulent mix or with the rest of your snake plant and leave it be for a full month. Continue to water as usual, every 2 to 3 weeks. After one month, pull your leaf cutting away from the soil and check out it's roots and rhizomes! You can keep this planted in as it will produce new leaves.