How to Grow and Care for Snake Plant - Plantology USA

How to Grow and Care for Snake Plant

Oct 08, 2023

Article Outline


Snake Plants, or Sansevieria, are among the most resilient and easy-to-care-for plants, making them a popular choice for both novice and experienced gardeners. They not only add a modern aesthetic to any room but also have air-purifying qualities. With minimal attention, your Snake Plant can thrive and become a long-lasting member of your indoor garden. Here’s a comprehensive guide on how to grow and care for your Snake Plant.

Snake Plant Care

Care Aspect Details
Light Indirect sunlight, adaptable to low and bright light
Soil Well-draining soil mix, such as a cactus or succulent mix
Water Allow soil to dry out between waterings, water sparingly in cooler months
Temperature and Humidity 70 to 90°F, tolerant of dry and humid conditions
Fertilizer Balanced, general-purpose fertilizer diluted to half strength in growing season


Snake Plants are known for their adaptability to a variety of light conditions. They prefer indirect sunlight but can thrive in both low light and bright light. However, too much direct sunlight can cause their leaves to yellow or get scorched. If you are placing them near a south or west-facing window, consider using curtains to diffuse the harsh afternoon sun.


The ideal soil for Snake Plants is a well-draining soil mix, such as a cactus or succulent mix. They are susceptible to root rot, so it's crucial that the soil dries out quickly. You can enhance regular potting soil's drainage by adding perlite or sand to the mix. Ensure that your pot has drainage holes to prevent water from collecting at the bottom.


Over-watering is a common issue when caring for Snake Plants. They have succulent leaves that retain water, so it's essential to allow the soil to dry out between waterings completely. During the growing season (spring and summer), watering every 2-6 weeks is usually sufficient. In the cooler months, you can cut back on watering to every 8 weeks or when the soil is damp.

Temperature and Humidity

Snake Plants are quite hardy when it comes to temperature. They do well in standard indoor temperatures between 70 to 90 degrees Fahrenheit. However, they can withstand temperatures as low as 50 degrees Fahrenheit. It's best to keep them away from drafty windows during winter to prevent shock from the cold.

As for humidity, Snake Plants aren't fussy. They can tolerate dry air but will also thrive in humid conditions, making them versatile for different indoor environments. If you live in a very dry climate, occasional misting can keep them happy, although it's not necessary.


Snake Plants are light feeders, and too much fertilizer can harm them. Use a balanced, general-purpose houseplant fertilizer diluted to half the recommended strength. Fertilize your Snake Plant once at the beginning of the growing season in spring and then again in mid-summer. Avoid fertilizing in the fall and winter when the plant's growth slows down.

Types of Snake Plant

There's a fascinating array of Snake Plant varieties, each with unique patterns and colors. Here are a few popular types:

  1. Sansevieria trifasciata 'Laurentii' - Known for its tall, yellow-bordered leaves.

Snake Plant (Sansevieria Trifasciata 'Laurentii')

  1. Sansevieria trifasciata ‘Hahnii’ - A compact variety forming a rosette of green leaves with dark cross-banding.

Sansevieria trifasciata ‘Hahnii’

  1. Sansevieria Cylindrica - Boasts round, stiff leaves that can grow several feet long.

Sansevieria Cylindrica

Each variety brings a unique aesthetic, so consider exploring different types to find what suits your space and personal style best.


Pruning is not often necessary with Snake Plants as they are slow growers. However, you may want to prune to remove damaged or yellowing leaves or to control its size. Use clean, sharp scissors or pruning shears to make a clean cut without damaging the remaining foliage.

Propagating Snake Plant

Snake Plants are one of the easiest houseplants to propagate and expand your collection or share with friends. There are two common methods for propagating Snake Plants: via root division or from leaf cuttings.

Snake Plant roots gently, Potting Soil, Root Division, Propagation Process

Propagate via root division

Root division is the quickest way to propagate and get a large new plant quickly:

  1. Choose a mature Snake Plant and gently remove it from the pot.
  2. Carefully separate the roots of the plant into two or more sections, ensuring each section has roots and leaves attached.
  3. Repot each division into new pots with well-draining soil.
  4. Water lightly and place in a bright, indirect light area until established.

Propagate from leaf-cuttings

Leaf cutting is a straightforward method though it takes a bit longer:

  1. Cut a healthy leaf into 2 to 4-inch segments.
  2. Allow the cuts to callous over for a day or two to prevent rot.
  3. Plant the cuttings (calloused end down) in a well-draining soil mix.
  4. Place in a bright, indirect light area and keep the soil lightly moist until the cuttings establish roots, which usually takes a few weeks.

How to Grow Snake Plant From Seed

Growing Snake Plants from seeds is not a common practice as it's much easier to propagate them via cuttings or division. However, if you have Snake Plant seeds:

  1. Fill a seed tray with a well-draining soil mix and place the seeds on the soil surface, lightly pressing them in.
  2. Cover the tray with a clear lid or plastic wrap to maintain humidity.
  3. Place the tray in a warm, bright location, avoiding direct sunlight.
  4. Once seedlings appear and are big enough to handle, transplant them into individual pots.

Potting and Repotting Snake Plant

Snake Plants prefer being pot-bound and typically need repotting every 2-5 years or when you see roots growing out of the drainage holes. When repotting, choose a pot that's only 1-2 inches larger in diameter than the current one. Ensure the new pot has good drainage and use a well-draining soil mix.

Snake Plant in a stylish pot, Root Growth visible through drainage holes, Time for Repotting


If you've placed your Snake Plant outdoors during the summer, you'll need to bring it inside before the temperatures drop in fall. Ensure it's free from pests before bringing it indoors. Place it in a well-lit area and reduce watering as the plant's growth slows down in cooler temperatures.

Common Pests

Snake Plants are generally pest-resistant, but they can sometimes be affected by common houseplant pests such as spider mites, mealybugs, and scale insects. Keep an eye out for signs of infestations like discolored or sticky leaves. If you notice pests, treat your Snake Plant with insecticidal soap or neem oil, following the instructions on the product.

Snake Plant leaves, Natural Pest Control, Healthy Plant

How to Get Snake Plant to Bloom

Blooming is not a common occurrence in indoor Snake Plants, but it's a pleasant surprise when it happens. They are more likely to bloom when they are slightly pot-bound. Providing adequate light, water, and a balanced fertilizer during the growing season can also encourage blooming. However, patience is key as Snake Plants bloom on their own timetable.

Common Problems With Snake Plant

Foul-smelling Soil

If the soil around your Snake Plant smells bad, it could be a sign of over-watering or poor drainage leading to root rot. Remove the plant from the pot, trim away any rotten roots, and repot in fresh, well-draining soil.

Yellow or Brown Leaves

Over-watering is usually the culprit when leaves turn yellow or brown. Cut back on watering and ensure your pot has good drainage.

Curling Leaves

Curling leaves can be a result of too much water or exposure to cold drafts. Adjust your watering schedule and move your plant to a warmer location if necessary.

Leaves Falling Over or Drooping

This could be due to over-watering or the need for repotting if the plant has outgrown its current pot.

Benefits of Snake Plant

Snake Plants are more than just aesthetically pleasing; they are known for their air-purifying qualities. They can filter indoor air toxins and release oxygen at night, making them an excellent choice for bedrooms.

Susan Gentry

About the Author: Susan Gentry

A 20-year plant writing veteran, Susan Gentry's expertise and passion have positioned her as a respected figure in horticulture. Dive into her pieces for insights and inspiration.

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