Sansevieria (Snake Plant)

Where Does Sansevieria Live in the Wild?

Snake plants hail from the Jungles of West Africa with some wild climate changes.

Exactly Where in My Home Should I Keep My Sansevieria?

Snake plants are extremely versatile. They can deal with any level of humidity, very low or high light, and just about any temperature above frost. They don’t mild stale air either, so feel free to take them to the office with you or stash them in your bathroom.

How Much Light Does a Snake Plant Need?

Snake Plants can tolerate a pretty broad range of lighting. Generally, as long as they aren’t sitting in direct bright sunlight, they’re happy. Snake plants are commonly seen in windowless offices due to their lighting versatility.

How Often Should I Water a Snake Plant?

Water once a month or less because this plant can rot fairly easily with too much water. It likes to stay around 1 on your moisture meter. If you don’t have a moisture meter, feel the soil at the bottom of the pot through the drainage hole. If it’s still damp, leave it alone. Don’t water until this is dry as well.

It’s best to water once every 4-6 weeks at the most, and always try to bottom water, the ‘leaves’ don’t appreciate being wet.

Are Sansevieria Pet Safe?

They are mildly toxic and not safe for pets. Snake plants produce saponins, which are meant to safeguard it from pests and fungus. Because of this chemical, Snake plants very rarely have any pest infestations.

How Much Will My Sansevieria Grow?

Sansevieria can grow to be 6 or 7 feet tall, though most indoor snake plants stay around 2-3 feet. They sprout new babies frequently and may need to be divided out once a year.

When to Repot?

Snake plants absolutely love being root-bound, however, they can shoot up lots of new growth in very short periods of time. Separate the new ones out from your pot when it starts looking a little too full and your plant will be happy.

Snake Plant Fast Facts

  • The snake plant converts carbon dioxide into oxygen using the rare crassulacean acid metabolism process. It holds onto all of its oxygen until after dark when the plant releases it, which allows the sansevieria to carefully preserve precious water during droughts.
  • This houseplant is actually a succulent, which is why it can tolerate such a broad range of climate.
  • Snake Plants yields bowstring hemp which is why it’s sometimes called the Viper’s Bowstring.

Trouble Shooting

Brown Tips

Unfortunately, brown tips can be a sign of many issues. You’ll have to investigate each issue and narrow down your options.

  • Underwatering. If you haven’t watered for months, or if you keep your snake plant near a heater or fan that dries it out, this is usually the cause.
  • Cold shock. Either you’re watering with cold water or ice cubes (which you should never do with any houseplant) or your plant is in a too-cold location.
  • Too much water at once. If you go a while without watering and then try to overcompensate by saturating the soil, that can result in brown tips.
  • Over-chlorinated water or too much fertilizer can cause this too. You’ll need to find a new water source if your water is too strong. If your fertilizer is too much, you should try repotting the plant in new soil to prevent further damage.
  • Excessive sunlight. While Sansevierias, in general, are used to bright and sunny Africa, yours will not appreciate bright sunshine after sitting in the dark for so long. If you need to move your plant to a sunnier location, try to acclimate it by putting it into the brighter light only a few hours a day at first and then work your way up.
  • Brace yourself, this is the worst one, and it’s pests. If your poor snake plant has mealy worms or spider mites, its sap is being stolen and the plant is experiencing dehydration. Getting rid of these pests isn’t difficult, it just takes a bit of patience. Quarantine this plant so your others aren’t affected.

‘Bubbly’ Leaves

Bubby leaves are a sign of overwatering. If the soil is saturated all the time, the roots won’t be able to breathe and rot. This will stop your plant from being able to take in water and nutrients, which will lead to death. Fungus, molds, and bacteria can also pop up in soggy soil.

Bonus Care Tips

  • Wipe the leaves down with room temperature water and a rag, their leaves are susceptible to clinging onto dust, which will stunt growth.