Sansevieria Plant: Important Care Tips, Watering, And Propagation Guide For You

More resistant to unfavorable climatic circumstances than nearly any other houseplant, Sansevieria, sometimes known as Snake Plants, are truly hardy houseplant species. Anyone can add a splash of green to their room with one of these because they are among the easiest plants to care for in the entire world! Keep reading to learn about proper sansevieria care.

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A snake plant is a fantastic choice for amateur gardeners. It does well in window boxes or on the ground and looks great in pots. Snake plants do better in warm settings than they do in cold ones. Despite its drought resistance, this plant is susceptible to overwatering, which can result in root rot. As a result, they ought to only be watered when the soil feels dry. These plants may go up to two months without watering throughout the winter.

Recently, Sansevieria was reclassified as belonging to the Dracaena genus.

Keep on reading to know more about the proper care for the all-famous Sansevieria Plants.

Snake Plant Profile

General Information

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The snake plant, Dracaena trifasciata, is among the most popular and hardy varieties of indoor plants. Up until 2017, it was botanically characterized as Sansevieria trifasciata. But there were just too many parallels between it and Dracaena species to overlook, which is why it was reclassified.

The plant\’s stiff, sword-like leaves can grow from six inches to eight feet tall. Even though snake plants\’ colors might vary, many of their leaves have green bands and usually have a yellow border.

The Sansevieria have around 70 species that are indigenous to tropical and subtropical areas of Asia, Africa, and Europe.

The mother-in-tongue law\’s plant, Sansevieria trifasciata, is the most popular species used in gardening. However, if you\’re searching for something a touch unique, keep an eye out for the following species and cultivars:

  • Sansevieria “Golden Hahnii”
  • Sansevieria cylindrica
  • Sansevieria trifasciata “Twist”
  • Sansevieria desertii
  • Sansevieria trifasciata ‘Bantel’s Sensation”

RELATED: How To Propagate A Snake Plant: What You Need To Know

Etymology

The genus name Sansevieria was given in honor of the Italian scientist and inventor Raimondo di Sangro, Prince of San Severo. However, Vincenzo Petagna gave the genus its original name, Sanseverinia, in honor of his patron Pietro Antonio Sanseverino, Count of Chiaromonte, in whose Petagna garden had seen the plant.

The species epithet term \’trifasciata\” specifically means \”three bundles.\”

Dracaena trifasciata is also known as \”Saint George\’s sword,\” \”Mother in Law’s Tongue”,   or \”snake plant\” due to the form and sharp edges of its leaves, which resemble snakes. In addition, because it is one of the sources of plant fibers used to produce bowstrings, it is also known as \”viper\’s bowstring hemp.\”

Flowering

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Flowers that do appear are often green-white in color and have a lovely scent, despite the fact that they are not frequently observed in cultivation. They frequently flower during the summer or fall season.

Season Of Interest And Purchasing

This plant is cherished and adored by collectors due to its rarity. The best time to propagate this plant, if you ever have it, is in the spring since that is when the parent plant reaches its full, mature size.

Additionally, early spring to late summer, when vigorous growth is occurring, is the best time to purchase it.

Growth

This plant grows erectly or in clusters. It is a wonderful plant that has a slow or moderate growth. The leaves come in a variety of hues of green, white, gold, and cream. The leathery leaves have fleshy edges.

They develop into a cluster in a rosette arrangement, although each leaf is lanceolate in shape. The dark green leaves may appear straightforward, yet they are nevertheless eye-catching in a landscape.

The leaves will expand to a maximum length of 6 inches (15 cm) and a maximum width of 1-3 inches (2.5-7.6 cm). It may adapt to various habitats and locales with little care from the gardener.

Sansevieria Overview

Scientific nameDracaena trifasciata 
Common namesGood Luck Plant, Golden Birds Nest, Snake Plant, Mother-in-Law’s Tongue, Viper’s Bowstring Hemp, Saint George’s Sword
FamilyAsparagaceae
Growth HabitSucculent Shrub
Height and Spreadup to 6  feet in height, and  2.4 inches in width
Classification based on life cyclePerennial
Origin and DistributionNative to Congo and Nigeria
Climate ZoneGenerally mild climate
USDA Plant Hardiness ZoneUSDA Zone 10-12
ColorDark geen leaves with gray-green bands

Care Tips

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Light Requirement 

Dracaena Trifasciata thrives in indirect bright light that is accessible all day. In contrast to other common houseplants, this plant can, however, endure low light or dark conditions for extended periods of time.

Partial shade is another ideal lighting situation, where your plant receives direct sunlight for only two or three hours each day.

Read more about the light requirements of Snake Plants.

Temperature Requirement

Temperatures higher than 50 degrees Fahrenheit are ideal for Dracaena Trifasciata\’s growth (10 degrees Celsius). However, maintain a constant indoor temperature between 70 and 90 degrees Fahrenheit for the best health of your plant (21 to 32 degrees Celsius).

Furthermore, this plant can withstand a little bit of cold. Hence, your Dracaena Trifasciata won\’t experience any problems throughout the winter. However, keep it away from drafty windows to prevent cold damage.

Water Requirement

Water Sansevieria plant every four to six weeks once the soil has dried out. Because it can withstand drought, your plant doesn\’t need to be watered severely or regularly. Your plant requires only a small amount of water to be strong, healthy, and productive.

The succulent Sansevieria stores water in its leaves, hence, overwatering your plant is actually a serious offense. If you overwater your attractive Snake Plant, it might eventually succumb to root rot and perish.

During the Sansevieria\’s active growing season, watering should be done every two weeks, which is all throughout the warmer spring and summer months. On the other hand, the watering schedule should be decreased to only once a month during the winter season.

During the colder winter months, the plant goes into a dormant state when it ceases taking in nutrients and water. If you leave your Sansevieria plant in water for too long, the roots will rot.

Remember that your Sansevieria shouldn\’t have much water given to it. The soil needs exactly the right quantity of water to stay wet but without being soaked for a long time. You shouldn\’t water your plant again until the ground is completely dry.

Read more information on Snake Plant water requirements.

RELATED: Snake Plant Problems: Common Sansevieria Problems and How To Fix Them

Humidity Requirement

The Snake Plants, in general, prefer a room humidity level between 40 and 50 percent. It does not require additional humidity in indoor room conditions. More so, since the soil needs time to dry out in between waterings, additional humidity is also not necessary. 

For these plants, even the typical indoor humidity is sufficient. This plant can adapt to its surroundings with ease since it is hardy and adaptable.

Soil Requirement

Free-draining potting soils, such as those for succulents and cacti, are perfect for Snake Plants. Being a succulent, the Sansevieria plants can survive drought. This, however, suggests that it abhors extremely wet soil. Therefore, drainage is an important factor to take into account while choosing soil for your Sansevieria plant.

Additionally, because the organic material used in soilless potting mixes holds less moisture, they are also beneficial for these plants.

Learn more vital details regarding Sansevierias\’ soil requirements.

Fertilizer Requirement

Growth of the Sansevieria plant is slow and gradual. So, the best times to fertilize are during the spring and summer growth seasons. Your plant only needs fertilizer up to twice a year. Fertilizers designed for various cactus and succulent species will work best on these plants.

Remember to avoid overfeeding your Sansevieria. Also, keep in mind that you shouldn\’t fertilize your plant throughout the winter.

Space Requirement

Even though it isn\’t especially large, the Snake Plant is a charming and fascinating plant. Sansevierias come in a variety of sizes, but this one can fit and flourish in a little area.

Growing And Planting Tips

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Propagation

Your Sansevieria plant can be propagated by root division, leaf cuttings, or air layering from the mother plant. However, out of all of them, the root division approach is the easiest way to propagate Snake Plants.

Propagation Via Root Division

If using leaf cuttings to propagate the plant makes you nervous about injuring any leaves, you can divide the roots instead. After removing the dirt from around the plant, remove it from the container. The dirt surrounding the roots can be removed with water.

Then, carefully separate the roots using scissors or pruning shears. When doing this, take care not to harm the roots. You should also remove any unhealthy foliage and broken roots. 

With the right potting mixture, plant each part in a new container and allow to grow under bright, indirect light.

Propagation Via Air Layering

Using this technique, you\’ll wait until the node has roots before taking cuttings. Sphagnum moss, plastic wrap, and pruning shears are required. An optional component is rooting hormone.

Locate the node on a stem from a healthy leaf. Make a 1 inch deep cut, leaving a minor wound. At the cut, apply some rooting hormone. Then, encircle the stem cut with sphagnum moss. Remember that before doing this, you should moisten the moss.

Use the plastic wrap to hold the moss in place. A little space should remain open for irrigation and air circulation. This technique deceives the injured portion into believing it is buried in the ground.

You can separate this cutting from the original plant once you see some roots growing from the wounds. Then, plant the cutting in water or soil. Snake Plants will develop new leaves after a week or so.

Propagation Via Leaf Cuttings

Find a bumpy spot on your plant that has a healthy leaf. Once propagated, these bumps will create new roots. Utilize a pair of sterile scissors to cut the leaf immediately beneath the node.

Then, decide if you want to grow it in soil or water. The method of water propagation is interesting since it makes it possible to see the growth of the roots. To do this, take a glass vase and put fresh water in it. Simply submerge the cutting in water but make sure that only the node is submerged. It\’s optional to add a teaspoon of rooting hormone for quicker development. 

Place the vase in a well-lit area, and replace the water weekly. Then, wait patiently for the roots to develop.

It is advised to propagate in the spring since roots grow more quickly in the warmer months and more slowly in the winter. Transfer the new Snake Plant to soil after the roots are 1 inch long.

Pruning

​​You don\’t need to prune your snake plant too often. However, this can be a great alternative if you want to alter the height of your plant or remove a damaged leaf. The problematic leaf should be cut as close to the ground as you can.

Remove the tallest leaves by cutting them from the base if the height of your plant is starting to be an issue. The plant\’s height will be reduced as a result. 

Moreover, if you take away any damaged leaves, your plant\’s health will improve. This is because your plant is spared from wasting nutrients to the damaged leaves that are not efficient in gathering light energy. To do this, cut the damaged leaf with a clean blade near to the soil line to remove it.

Potting And Repotting

The environment in which Snake Plants are in is critical for them to flourish. Depending on the specific plant, it is preferable to repot them every 2 to 6 years.

When it\’s time to repot, the plant will frequently actually burst out of its current container. Your plant is trying to tell you it needs more space. If you don\’t want to wait until the pot breaks, inspect your plant every three to four years. If it seems like the roots are too close together forming a root ball, move the plant to a newer, bigger pot.

To repot the plant, you carefully remove it from its container. Next, repot the plant in a larger container and add more potting soil. It is best to do this during the warmer seasons since your plant needs time to rest during the cooler seasons. Repotting Snake Plants on winter might put the plant under stress and cause additional issues.

Learn more about how to properly pot and repot snake plants.

Snake Plant Care

LightBright indirect light
TemperatureIntermediate to warm, 70-90 degrees Fahrenheit
WaterOnce a week, increased in summer, decreased in winter
SoilAiry, well-draining soil; not too loose
FertilizationRegular household fertilizer, once a month
SpaceSubstantial amount of space to spread
PropagationVia division, offset, and leaf cuttings
BloomingRarely blooms, enough sunlight and maturity needed
PruningNot required
PottingRegular potting mix, cactus potting soil  and succulent mix

Problems And Troubleshooting

Overwatering

The most frequent cause of this plant\’s death is overwatering. Some indications of inadequate hydration include yellow leaves, stunted development, and drooping foliage. In order to avoid overwatering, check the soil with your finger once a week and hold off on adding more water until the top half is completely dry.

You must be careful not to overwater it since they actually detest sitting in wet dirt. Depending on your environment, this could only need watering once every week. Water the plant\’s top alone, being careful to completely cover the surface.

Underwatering

Watering is one of the most crucial parts of taking care of snake plants. You can quickly determine if your plant needs additional water.

For instance, its leaf tips will turn brown, and the amount of browning is inversely correlated with the amount of dryness. The brown tips get crisp and dry out. Eventually, the leaf detaches from the plant.

The dead leaves can\’t be saved, regrettably. However, by bringing the water levels back to normal, you can stop the issue from growing worse. 

It would be simple to identify the issue using the renowned finger test. Water immediately away if the soil appears to be too dry.

Nutrient Deficiency

The common symptoms of nutritional deficiencies in snake plants, such as calcium and magnesium shortages, include yellowing of the foliage and pale new leaves.

To ensure a healthy plant, feed indoor snake plants with a balanced liquid fertilizer that contains nutrients. You may also purchase moist, well-drained, loamy soil that is rich in nutrients and has a pH range of 5.0 to 6.

Flowering Problems

Expect no blossoms if you cultivate a Snake Plant indoors. Although unlikely, it is possible for plants to bloom outside.

However, if you\’re fortunate and perfectly match its natural surroundings, especially the light requirements, you could get a glimpse of its blossom. Make sure your plant receives the best care and essentials in order to observe flowering.

Yellowing And Drooping Leaves

If your snake plant\’s leaves are becoming yellow or otherwise discolored, it is getting too much direct sunlight. You may move it to a different location where it won\’t receive as much direct light or where sheer curtains won\’t cast a shadow on it, for example.

A lack of water or a much of it might cause drooping. To fix this, adjust your watering schedule correctly, and be sure to always check the soil before watering your moonshine snake plant.

Learn more about snake plant leaves that are yellowing.

Pests 

Snake Plant very seldom become infested, however it is still possible. Mealybug or spider mite infestation is most likely to blame if you have a pest problem.

Spraying your plants with insecticidal soap or neem oil can work wonders. It suffocates bugs that come into contact with it. Alternatively, rubbing alcohol applied to a cotton ball or Q-tip can also be used. Wipe each leaf with the towel after soaking it in the alcohol. Your snake plant will be pest-free in no time!

To prevent an infestation, dust your snake plant. The leaves should be periodically cleaned with a wet cloth to ward off pests.

Diseases

Snake plants are hardy plants. Some bacterial, fungal, and nematode ailments might have an adverse effect on your plant and cause issues. However, if you are proactive, none should considerably complicate your plant.

Snake Plants Pests And Diseases

Common Pests/DiseasesSymptomsTreatment and Prevention

Common diseases include stem rot, crown rot, root rot, fungal diseases, leaf spot, and Xanthomonas infection
Yellow rims around dark brown or black spots on leaves
Do not overwater. Keep the soil dry. Avoid extreme humidity.

Proper ventilation is needed around the plant. Remove infected parts of fungal infections to avoid spreading.
Common pests include mealybugs, spider mites, aphids, and scales
Visible insects on the surfaceSpray plant with warm, soapy water. If infestation is present, use insecticide or neem oil. Use diatomaceous earth. 

Problem With People And Animals

Toxicity

​​The Snake Plant can be toxic to both people and animals if ingested. The consequences, nevertheless, are frequently not severe.

A compound known as saponins is present in all snake plant species. The leaves are covered with this particular waxy substance. Saponin protects the plant from various fungi, insects, and grazing animals.

If the leaves of the Snake Plant are consumed, stomach pain may be a consequence. Additionally, vomiting, diarrhea, and temporary illness may be experienced.

RELATED: Snake Plants Growth: How Big Do Sansevierias Grow?

Snake Plants Meaning And Symbolism

Snake plants are seen as representations of positivism, purity, and good fortune. Although their sharp leaves may seem a little sinister, they are believed to ward off ill luck and evil spirits. In addition, they are highly prized for their sturdy fibers and air-purifying properties.

The snake plant presents some feng shui symbolism. They shield your area from undesirable influences rather than bringing them inside. As a result, they are frequently regarded as lucky and valued plants.

Furthermore, the snake plant is used in ceremonies by some people in West African nations to ward off the evil eye. The capacity of snake plants to stave off attacks is another reason why people value them.

Despite not being native to Asia, humans have been cultivating snake plants there for more than a century. People in China highly value snake plants for their capacity to offer the eight beneficial qualities. These plants are therefore regarded as priceless houseplants and suitable presents.

The snake plant is valued in Korea as well. When someone starts a new company or moves into a new house, potted snake plants are a common present.

General MeaningPositivity, good fortune, purity
SymbolismGood luck, protection from evil, offer 8 beneficial qualities

Landscaping And Gardening Ideas

Snake plants provide powerful vertical accents when used alone, flanking an entrance, or in groups with other foliage plants due to their tall, linear appearance.

They are excellent plants to relocate throughout the home whenever a dramatic architectural feature is needed because they endure relocation well and are not picky about light needs.

Tabletop plants of the bird\’s nest variety, the S. trifasciata \’Hahnii\’ are particularly suitable for low-light locations where few other plants will thrive. They are suitable for terrariums or dish gardens since they are small and slowly develop.

Furthermore, you can also fill bare, uninteresting corners with tall sansevierias positioned on a stylish plant stand. These places are the ideal refuges for these tolerant of shadow plants.

What to plant withOther Aroids, Bird of Paradise, Areca Palms, Fire Spike, Heliconia, Variegated Arboricola, Croton, Chenille Plant, Pentas, Most Tropical Plants
What NOT to plant withBasically nothing

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How can I know if my Sansevieria needs more water?

Having too much water results in discolored, mushy stalks. Withhold watering when pruning your plant. Your plant isn\’t ready for water until the soil is fully dry throughout the pot.

How can I know whether my Sansevieria is underwatered?

Underwatering a Sansevieria is challenging but not impossible and causes the plant\’s leaves to develop dry, crispy tips. If this is the case, trim the plant and water it more frequently.

Can my Sansevieria withstand very low light conditions?

It could, but your plant\’s development will probably be stunted as a result. When placing your plant in low light circumstances, be very careful to avoid overwatering.

How frequently should I fertilize my plant?

Fertilizing indoor plants from spring through fall often results in good health. Use an organic houseplant fertilizer once a month. Make sure to follow dilution and application directions on the container. 

How frequently does my plant require repotting?

We advise repotting smaller plants every 12 to 18 months. To accommodate for growth, you should often select a potting container with a diameter that is 1 to 2 inches bigger than your previous pot.

Selecting a pot that is significantly larger than the previous one might drown the plant\’s roots. Repotting should be done in the spring or summer when the plant is at its healthiest.

Final Thoughts

The Snake  Plant is a beautiful  filler plant that can readily endure low light, making it extremely resilient and challenging to kill. Although indoor plants seldom produce blossoms, you may still appreciate them for their distinctive, lengthy leaves.

You may enjoy this low-maintenance plant for many years if you follow our basic plant care instructions. The nicest thing about growing Dracaena Trifasciata is that it can flourish in a variety of lighting conditions, including dim interior spaces as well as brilliant, filtered sunshine.

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