Snake Plant Care
Plant Care,  Succulents and Cacti

Snake Plant Care (Dracaena Trifasciata)

The key to snake plant care is to make sure they do not get over watered, other than this they are tough and hardy plants that survive almost all household locations.


Snake Plant Care (Dracaena Trifasciata) Care Summary

Light needs:Bright light for better growth but can survive in low light too.
Watering needs:Let the soil dry out completely before watering again.
Fertilizer:Do not need feeding, but you can use a cactus and succulent fertilizer once a month in the growing months to encourage a quicker growth.
Soil:Cactus and succulent compost.
Humidity:40%. Snake plants do not need any special humidity conditions.
Temperature:18°C-30°C (65-85°F).
Where to buy:Try our list of Rare Plant Shops.
Other names:Snake plant, sansevieria, dracaena trifasciata, sansevieria trifasciata, mother-in-law’s tongue, Saint George’s sword.
Common issues:Root rot.

Intro

The snake plant, aka dracaena trifasciata, aka mother-in-law’s tongue, is an easy to care for and popular succulent plant. It is originally from West Africa, but can easily thrive in most households. In general they like to be good indirect sunlight, warm households and to be watered once dry.

See also: Propagation of Snake Plants, Succulent Propagation, Houseplants That Like Coffee, Crassula Perforata (String Of Buttons), Whale Fin Plant, Snake Plant Propagation In Water, Care For Zebra Cactus (Haworthiopsis Fasciata), Dracaena Compacta, Crassula Campfire, Tigers Jaw Succulent, Sansevieria Black Coral, Senecio Vitalis.

Snake Plant Light Needs

Snake plants like bright but indirect sunlight, buy they will tolerate much less bright areas of your home too, they are very adaptable. Their growth rate is obviously higher in the brighter areas. They can even tolerate some direct sunlight as well, many grow outside.

How Much Water Do Snake Plants Need?

Your Sansevieria does not need a lot of water, remember it is a succulent. So make sure it completely dries out between watering it, which probably translates to once every 2 weeks in the hotter growing months of late spring and summer.

Fertilizer

Snake plants will be fine without any fertilizer. I do not fertilize mine. But you can use a cactus and succulent fertilizer in the growing months to encourage a quicker growth. Use it once a month to encourage faster growth.

Soil

Snake plants like to dry out sometimes, so make sure you use a cactus and succulent compost for them as this will drain water away from the roots well. Sansevieria’s roots do not want to sit in wet soil, so it is important to use a well-draining compost to avoid root rot.

For more on which cactus and succulent compost to buy or how to make you own, see our guide: Succulent Soil.

When To Repot A Snake Plant

If you see roots growing from the bottom of your snake plants you should repot it. They are best repotted in early spring, before the growing season, although you can repot them all year round. This is also a great time to divide them and take out some of the smaller pups to be potted up separately.

Humidity

40% is ideal. Snake plants do not need any special humidity conditions, they will do well in normal household humidity levels.

Temperature

Snake plants love a warm environment 18°C-30°C (65-85°f), but will tolerate temperatures above and below this, just don’t let them get down near freezing.

Where To Buy A Snake Plant

They can be bought at almost any physical or online plant store. I like to trade mine as they are so easy to propagate.

Other Names for Snake Plant

Snake plant, sansevieria, dracaena trifasciata, sansevieria trifasciata, mother-in-law’s tongue, Saint George’s sword.

Snake Plant Care FAQs and Common Issues

A common issue with snake plant is root rot. Make sure they dry out before watering and they have a well draining cactus compost.

They can be slow growing and this often raises concerns but it is normal and nothing to worry about, especially in the winter months.

Snake Plant Turning Yellow And Soft

Turning yellow and softening is a symptom of too much water. Do not overwater your sansevieria, make sure it dries out between watering.

Snake Plant Leaves Turning Brown

Check the soil to see if it is still wet, if so then the browning is most likely due to overwatering or root rot. Let the plant dry out fully. If the browning is at the leaf tips only then it could be due to too much or too strong fertilizer.

My Snake Plant Has Mushy Leaves

Mushy leaves is a sign of root rot. Remember that sansevieria is a succulent and needs to dry out before watering again.

Snake Plant Leaves Curling Inward

If a snake plant’s leaves are curling it is a sign of lack of water, check if the soil is dry and if so, give it a good watering.

Should I Mist A Snake Plant?

You don’t need to mist a snake plant just water them when they are dry.

Snake Plants Varieties?

There are lots of varieties of snake plant, over seventy in total. A very popular one is the Laurentii (variegated Snake Plant). Sansevieria gracilis (the one that looks like fat grass!). Sansevieria masoniana, a really wide flat-leafed variety also known as whale-fin or shark-fin plants.

The Moonshine Snake Plant is my favourite (Sansevieria trifasciata ‘Moonshine’), it has almost silver-like slender leaves.

Here is a list of a few of the more popular varieties of snake plant:

  • Bantel’s Sensation
  • Black Coral
  • Black Diamond
  • Black Dragon
  • Black Gold
  • Black Jack
  • Black Princess
  • Black Robusta
  • Black Star Hahnii
  • Cylindrica
  • Dwarf Laurentii
  • Emeral Star
  • Fernwood
  • Francisii
  • Frozen
  • Futura Robusta
  • Futura Superba
  • Golden Flame
  • Golden Hahnii
  • Hahnii
  • Jaboa
  • Jade Hahnii
  • Kirkii
  • Laurentii
  • Leylanica
  • Moonshine
  • Night Owl
  • Silver Hahnii
  • Silver Laurentii
  • Silver Queen
  • Superba Robusta
  • Whale Fin (Masonia)
  • Whitney
Moonshine Snake Plant

When And How To Separate Snake Plant Pups?

When the plant pot gets crowded with too many pups you can separate them out. Take the plant out of it’s pot and take the soil off it’s roots. A good time to do this is when repotting. Using a sharp knife, cut off the pups at the roots, keeping a proportionate amount (where possible) of the roots for the pups. Then pot the pups up a new pot.

How Fast Do Snake Plants Grow?

Snake plants grow fairly slowly indoors, but can grow quicker in bright indirect sunlight.

Can Snake Plants Live Outside?

Snake plants can happily grow outdoors and tolerate direct sunlight, just make sure that temperatures do not drop to near freezing.

Is Dracaena Trifasciata The Same As Sansevieria?

Yes Sansevieria Trifasciata and Dracaena Trifasciata are the same plant. It used to be called sansevieria trifasciata but was reclassified to Dracaena Trifasciata a few years ago.

Is Dracaena Trifasciata Toxic To Dogs?

It is toxic to dogs and cats if eaten. Seek vets advice if you think your pet has ingested it.

Dracaena Trifasciata Vs Sansevieria Laurentii

The laurentii is a type of snake plant, it’s scientific name is ‘Dracaena Trifasciata Laurentii’. The old scientific name for it used to be ‘Sansevieria Trifasciata Laurentii’.

Other Articles You Might Like

Hope you enjoyed this article on snake plant care. You might also like our article on Snake Plant Propagation, as well as String Of Pearls Care, String Of Hearts. All our succulents articles can be found in the Succulent category.

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