Snake plants, otherwise known as sansevieria are some of the most resilient and easy to care for plants. It is known for being a plant for beginners as it’s care is not complex. In this article we will be going over the care requirements, advanced secrets to boost growth, propagation, and much more. let’s get started.
Snake plants can be placed in any lighting condition. While they will thrive in light that is high they can also survive in low light conditions. Keep in mind that the less light that snake plants receive, the less they are going to avidly grow as they are trying to conserve their energy from them not receiving it from the sun.
Sansevieria are some of the most resilient plants when it comes to going extended amounts of time without a source of water. Snake plants originate from Africa, more specifically the Congo. In their natural habitat, sansevieria are in environments where they receive little to no light as well as long droughts. In caring for snake plants it is best to try to mimic their original environment as closely as possible. We recommend watering your snake plant when the soil is bone dry.
To test if all your soil is dry and not just the top portion you can either use a moisture meter such as this one, or you can stick your finger in the holes at the bottom of the pot. If the soil is dry at the bottom that means it is ready to be watered, When sansevieria receive less light they don’t require as much water either. While the snake plant is hard to kill, overwatering is a fast way to do so. If you are nervous about over or under watering your snake plant you can use a self-watering pot. Here is a good one.
Snake plants do not need to be in a humid environment and actually prefer drier surroundings. If you do have a humidifier in the same room as your snake plant, make sure it is not near it as this can cause the plant to be too moist and potentially rot.
The snake plant, though resilient likes to be in environments where the temperature is around 55-85 degrees. We recommend keeping the plant away from drafty windows or heating vents.
Snake plants prefer a well-draining potting medium. You can add amendments to help the soil not hold onto moisture as much such as perlite or orchid bark. Make sure that the pot you put your snake plant in has adequate drainage and it not being water-logged or sitting in water for too long.
The snake plant does not require fertilizer to grow but if you choose to do so, make sure you are only fertilizing in the growing season which is generally spring and summer. Due to the snake plant not needing to be watered that often you can fertilize it every time you water it. If you are looking for a good fertilizer for sansevieria, here is a nice one.
Common pests for snake plants include mealybugs, spider mites, and the infamous and pesky fungus gnat. To get rid of the spider mites you can use an insecticide such as this one. To remove mealybugs from your snake plant you can wipe them off with a cloth or q-tip dipped in rubbing alcohol.
Fungus gnats are in your snake plant soil most likely because the soil is wet for too long. Make sure the pot you have your plant in has drainage holes as well as a well-draining soil mixture. You can use sticky traps to catch the adult gnats flying around. To kill off the fungus gnat larvae in the soil, we recommend using a larvicide. Here is a great one.
Snake plants are poisonous to pets as well as small children if consumed. While the toxic level of snake plants is not high enough to cause death it can cause nausea, tongue numbness, and/or swelling.
How to Propagate Snake Plants:
For this type of propagation, take a sanitized pair of shears and make a clean cut at the base of one of the plant leaves. You can either keep the leaf whole and place it in soil or chop the leaf up into at least 2 inch long segments. Whichever you decide, make sure to place the cut end of the plant into the soil as this is where the roots will grow out. Water the plant in after about 3-4 days and treat it like a normal snake plant.
This propagation is similar to the last one as the process for cutting the snake plant is the same. After you cut the leaf off and/or cut it into smaller segments, let the sansevieria cuttings callous over for 3-4 days before placing them in a cup of water with the cut end submerged. Once the roots grow you can plant them in soil.
This is generally the easiest of the 3 types of propagation for snake plants. First, check if there are multiple growth points in your pot, if there are you can separate them. You can separate new snake plant shoots from the rest of the plant as more times than not they have separate root structures.
If you are dividing the plant and find that that the roots are connected you can make a cut to separate the 2 plants. When you make the cut make sure that both plants have enough roots to sustain being separated from each other. After you make the cut you can pot the snake plants in separate pots but make sure not to water either plant until about 4 days later so that the cuts have time to heal. If you water too soon after cutting the plants apart you can risk infection.
Where to Buy:
Overall, snake plants are easy to care for plants that can survive in just about any condition you put them in. They are also great at removing chemicals from the air and have been proven to help you sleep better. If you are looking for a sleek minimalist looking plant that is hard to kill, this is the best plant for you.
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