Snake Plant Care Guide
snake plant care

Snake Plant Care Guide

General Snake Plant Care Guide

Scientifically known as Sansevieria trifasciata and casually referred to as Saint George’s sword, mother-in-law’s tongue, and viper’s bowstring hemp, snake plants is a variety of greenery known for stiff leaves that range from six inches to eight feet tall. They are popularly known for their hardy nature – can maintain their strappy leaves and architectural shape even under total negligence. They are native to West African tropical forests. Lovers of the plant keep them for their air purification benefits. Though they are not soft, ‘touchy-feely’ kind of plants, they have a character and present quite the silhouette.


Snake plants are tolerant plants that require infrequent watering.  Avoid overwatering to prevent possible root rot. Only water the plants when the soil is dry. In winter, the plant prefers to stay in relatively dry soil – reduce the watering to once in six weeks. When watering, soak the plant in water adequately. It is paramount to ensure there is no buildup of water at the center of the leave to the extent of causing rot. 

Light and humidity

Snake plants thrive in indirect bright light with short sessions of direct sunlight. They can also adapt to full sunlight conditions. Since they are versatile plants, they can also grow in dim light conditions. The only problem with exposure to extremes is the discoloration of leaves and some species becoming less intense and patterned.  Most varieties of snake plants barely care about humidity conditions. They can comfortably grow in stale dry air in offices or in humid bathroom environments. They prefer warm climates between 70-90°F and will suffer when conditions fall below 50°F.

Soil and fertilizer

Grow snake plants in loose, well-drained potting mix. Sandier soils and potting mix low in peat are ideal for most snake plant varieties. Experts recommend using all-purpose cactus potting soil. Fertilize your plants with mild cactus fertilizer or half dilute-balanced liquid slow-release (10-10-10) fertilizer. It is advisable to apply the fertilizer once a month during growing seasons.

Snake plant


Cleaning and pruning

Due to their large sizes, snake plants leaves tend to collect dust quickly. It is noble to keep cleaning them using a soft damp piece of cloth. Disproportionate leaves can be removed by cutting them using a sharp knife. When pruning, be careful not to harm adjacent leaves. Enthusiasts of the plant can germinate pruned leaves.


Snake plants can be propagated through root division, suckers, or leaf cuttings. When repotting the plant, separate roots and transplant them in independent pots; alternatively, wait for a mature plant to produce suckers and transplant them to their containers. Leaf cuttings can be rooted in water and transferred to ports.


Snake plants grow slowly, and they enjoy root-bound conditions. There is no need to hurry about repotting. However, when necessary, choose a container made of sturdy material that can withstand robust root systems. For fast-growing plants, report after 3-5 years, for slow growers, carry the exercise after every 7-10 years.


Snake plants are moderately toxic plants that are adaptable to a wide range of climatic conditions. They are easily maintainable and can match various office and living room settings. Root rot and pests such as mealybugs and aphids are the only significant threats to their growth. Luckily, these issues can be averted by observing healthy watering routine, cleaning and pruning appropriately, and applying typical houseplant pesticides.

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