Plant Care

Snake Plant Care and Growing Guide

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Taking care of a snake plant is easier than you might think. These hardy, low-light indoor plants are great for beginners and seasoned gardeners alike.

In this guide, we'll discuss tips on caring for snake plants. From light and watering needs to pest control and choosing the perfect pot, here's what you should do.

Snake Plant Overview

Scientific NameDracaena trifasciata
Common NamesMother-in-law Plant, Mother-in-Law's Tongue
Size6 Inches to 12 Feet (Wild), 2 Feet (Houseplant)
Soil TypeSandy, Well-drained
Soil pHAcidic to Alkaline
Bloom TimeSpring
OriginWest Africa

What Is A Snake Plant?

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The Snake Plant, also known as Dracaena trifasciata, is a hardy, low-maintenance indoor plant with long, upright leaves that resemble snakes. Its sleek, sword-shaped foliage ranges from dark green to variegated patterns, adding a touch of elegance to any space.

Snake plants grow in low light conditions and tolerate irregular watering, making them ideal for busy individuals or those new to plant care. Known for their air-purifying properties, they remove toxins from indoor air.

With its striking appearance and ease of care, the Snake Plant is a popular choice for both home and office environments.

Snake Plant Care

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The Snake Plant is a low-maintenance flora that can be maintained well with minimal care. Just remember to consider these factors:


Adequate light is crucial for Snake Plants as it fuels their photosynthesis process. Place your plant in a location where it receives filtered or indirect sunlight, such as near a window with sheer curtains.

Avoid placing it in direct sunlight, especially during the hot afternoon hours, as this can scorch the leaves.


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Use well-draining soil mix to prevent waterlogged conditions that can lead to root rot. Use a cactus or succulent potting mix, or amend regular potting soil with perlite or sand to enhance drainage.

Similarly, while growing succulents, it is also important to consider this tip. Snake plants prefer slightly dry conditions, and a well-draining mix facilitates this.


Allow the soil to dry out completely between waterings. Water sparingly as overwatering can lead to root rot.

In winter, reduce watering frequency as the plant goes dormant.


Snake Plants can flourish in the temperature between 65 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit (18 and 27 degrees Celsius).

They can tolerate temperatures as low as 50 degrees Fahrenheit (10 degrees Celsius) for short periods, but prolonged exposure can cause serious damage.


While these plants can tolerate average household humidity (around 40%), providing slightly higher humidity can boost their growth and overall health.

Regularly mist the leaves of your snake plant with lukewarm water. However, misting is most effective in dry climates.


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Opt for a "less is more" approach and feed fertilizer to your plant once a month during spring and summer.

In winter, let it rest and skip fertilization altogether. Over-fertilizing can be detrimental, causing root burns and stunted growth.


Pruning your Snake Plant can be a great way to encourage fuller growth, bushier foliage, and a tidier appearance. Lavender also thrives after pruning.

The best time to prune your snake plant is during the growing season, typically spring or summer. This method removes any leaves that are brown, yellow, wilted or have brown edges.

Propagating Snake Plan

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Propagating snake plants is a rewarding way to multiply your beloved greenery and fill your home with more air-purifying goodness. To ensure successful propagation and boost your snake plant's overall growth, one has to follow the correct propagation steps.

  1. Select a Healthy Leaf: Choose a mature, healthy leaf from the Snake plant.
  2. Cut the Leaf: Using a sharp, sterile knife or scissors, cut the leaf close to the base of the plant.
  3. Allow the Cutting to Dry: Let the cut end of the leaf dry and callus for a few days to prevent rotting.
  4. Plant the Cutting: Plant the dried end of the leaf in well-draining soil or place it in water.
  5. Maintain Moisture: Keep the soil or water consistently moist until roots develop.
  6. Transplant: Once roots have formed, transplant the cutting into a separate pot if rooted in soil or leave it in water.

Each step ensures successful propagation and growth of new Snake plants.

Pest Control

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While snake plants are notoriously resilient, even these champions of houseplant neglect can succumb to pesky invaders. Pests like mealybugs, aphids, and scales sap essential nutrients from your snake plant, hindering its growth and vibrancy.

1. Mealybugs: These pests look like small white cottony masses on the leaves or in the leaf axils. Wipe the affected areas with a cloth soaked in alcohol or use insecticidal soap.

2. Spider Mites: They are tiny insects that form webs on the leaves and suck the plant's sap. Shower the plant with water to dislodge it or use insecticidal soap.

3. Thrips: Thrips are tiny insects that feed on the leaves and cause discoloration or silvering. Use insecticidal soap or neem oil to control them.

4. Fungus Gnats: These are small flying insects that lay eggs in the soil, leading to larvae damaging the roots. Allow the soil to dry out between waterings and use yellow sticky traps to catch adult gnats.

Snake Plant Types

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Currently, there are over 70 different types of Snake Plants in existence. Among its many varieties, the Sansevieria Trifasciata is the most common.

  1. Sansevieria Trifasciata 'Hahnii': A compact variety with short, wide leaves forming a rosette shape. It's ideal for small spaces and indoor environments due to its manageable size.
  2. Sansevieria Trifasciata 'Laurentii': Recognizable by its long, sword-shaped leaves with bold yellow margins. It's a popular choice for adding a touch of color to indoor spaces and requires minimal maintenance.
  3. Sansevieria Cylindrica: Unlike other varieties, this one has cylindrical, upright leaves that resemble spikes. It's prized for its unique appearance and can tolerate neglect.
  4. Sansevieria Trifasciata 'Moonshine': This cultivar has striking silvery-green leaves that stand out in any setting. It's highly adaptable to different light conditions and is known for its air-purifying properties, making it a popular choice for indoor spaces.

These varieties showcase the diversity and beauty of Snake Plants, each with its unique characteristics and benefits for indoor gardening enthusiasts.

Challenges And Issues With Snake Plant

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Despite being a healthy species, the Snake plant is still prone to challenges that may arise during their growth. These issues can be solved by amending a few moves.

Leaves Falling Over or Drooping

  • Cause: Overwatering, which leads to root rot and weakens the plant's structure.
  • Solution: Allow the soil to dry out between waterings and ensure the pot has proper drainage.

Brown Spots on Leaves

  • Cause: Improper watering, pests, or fungal diseases.
  • Solution: Adjust watering frequency, treat any pest infestations, and improve air circulation around the plant to prevent fungal issues.

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Curling or Yellowing Leaves

  • Cause: Overwatering or underwatering, inadequate light, or pest infestations.
  • Solution: Adjust the watering schedule, ensure proper lighting conditions, and inspect for pests regularly. Treat any issues accordingly.

Falling Leaves

  • Cause: Overwatering, which leads to root rot and weakened leaf attachment.
  • Solution: Reduce watering frequency and ensure the soil is well-draining. Trim off any mushy or rotten roots and repot the plant if necessary.