how to care for sansevieria

quick care guide sansevieria

Every two – three weeks in summer; once a month in winter
Does well in low to medium sun
Does not need fertilizer
Toxic to pets – keep out of reach
Strong air purifier

The Sansevieria thrives in most light conditions, growing in well-draining loamy soil, with average humidity. Water the snake plant occasionally when the soil is dry. Grow in temperatures between 21°C – 32°C. You don’t have to fertilize the Sansevieria but if you want your plant to grow quicker you can apply some fertilizer once a month during the growing season.

detailed care guide for sansevieria

  Scientific Name: Sansevieria (a.k.a. Snake Plant, Mother-In-Law’s Tongue, Bowstring Hemp, Saint George’s Sword) Varieties: (list only includes varieties sold by Leafy Life) Origin: West Africa Light: Sansevierias aren’t fussy about light requirements. They thrive in bright light but protected from direct sunlight. Keeping the plant in a bright spot helps keep the variegation vibrant. Sansevieria plants also grow well in shade, partial shade, or dark corners of your house. Water: Being a succulent, Sansevieria plants only need occasional watering. Water them only when the soil is mostly dry. To hydrate the plant, pour enough water in the snake plant pot until it drains from the drainage holes. Wait until the soil dries before watering again. Soil: Mother-in-law’s tongue plants are a type of succulent, hence they prefer a loose potting soil mix that has excellent drainage. An ideal potting medium for growing Sansevieria plants at home is cactus potting soil. For a Sansevieria to grow well, the water should drain quickly out the bottom of the container. Avoid peat as this tends to retain too much moisture. Temperature: Sansevierias thrive in warm temperatures between 21°C and 32°C. However, they can withstand temperatures as low as 10°C. Although it’s difficult to kill a Sansevieria, they don’t grow well in drafts. So, keep the plant away from air vents, open windows, or air-conditioner airflow. Also, in winter, make sure the snake plant pot is not beside a hot radiator, or it may start to wilt and have droopy leaves. Fertilizer: These plants are not heavy feeders because they grow slowly. If you want to feed the plant apply fertilizer diluted to half strength. A balanced cactus fertilizer is ideal for providing the necessary nutrients for healthy growth. Feed the snake plant monthly in spring and summer and stop during wintertime. Humidity: There is no need to mist a snake plant because average room humidity is excellent. As long as you water the Sansevieria properly, you don’t have to worry about humidity levels. To care for your plant, you could occasionally wipe the leaves with a damp cloth (this reduces dust buildup on the leaves). Pruning: Snake plants rarely require pruning. The only reasons to prune a mother-in-law’s tongue are to control its size, remove dead or old leaves, or restore its shape. Re-Potting: Sansevieria plants rarely need repotting as they are slow-growing plants that prefer to be rootbound. One reason to repot a snake plant is if it becomes too tall and risks toppling over. Or if the root system fills the pot, you may need to repot it in a larger container. If you notice signs of root rot, you will have to repot your plant in fresh, sterile soil. When repotting, always check the roots for signs of disease—brown and mushy roots. Snip off any bad-looking roots. Propagation: It’s easy to propagate snake plants. The easiest way to propagate the plants is to grow leaf cuttings in water. You can also use root division as a Sansevieria propagation method. Or, you can remove new shoots growing from the soil to grow a new mother-in-law’s tongue. Diseases and Pests: Root rot affects snake plants if you are over-watering them. Moisture-laden soil causes roots to decay, and fungal diseases can quickly take over your snake plant. The only way to resolve Sansevieria plant diseases is to replace the potting soil and remove the affected part of the plant. Toxicity: These plants are poisonous if ingested. Keep them away from children and pets and take care when handling.

sansevieria origins & overview

  The snake plant has been a very popular houseplant since Victorian times, when Londoners were quick to notice that these sturdy succulents brought in from tropical West Africa seemed to be indestructible. Today, snake plants are often said to thrive on neglect. But all it takes is a little time and attention to provide proper snake plant care, and you’ll be greatly rewarded by the bold look of their striking foliage and durable nature.

sansevieria light requirements


While snake plants are famously unfussy and are especially well-known for tolerating low-light conditions, you can show your snake plant a little love by placing it in a location with indirect or filtered sunlight. To encourage the most vibrant colors and healthy growth, set your sansevieria near a window.

how to water the sansevieria

  When it comes to watering your snake plant, less is truly best. Overwatering is the #1 killer of plants in general, but this is especially true for the Sansevierias, which are desert plants. While these plants may not be fussy about much, snake plants will begin rotting quickly when their growing medium is too moist. What happens in this situation is that the roots take up more and more water, in a desperate attempt to gain the oxygen that’s been displaced by water in the growing medium. A good way to determine how often you should water your snake plant is to simply allow the potting mixture to dry out completely before watering again. As with most plants, sansevierias need more frequent watering during the summer, when they are undergoing active growth, so you should water your plant again as soon as it has dried out during this time of year. The frequency will depend on conditions such as the amount of light, temperature, and humidity of the plant’s environment. During the winter, when it’s resting, your plant should be left dry for longer periods. You’ll know you are under-watering your snake plant if the tips of the leaves start to turn an unhealthy yellow or begin curling in.

repotting the sansevieria


Snake plants rarely need repotting, as their roots prefer to be crowded in their pots. In fact, many snake plant owners will only repot their plant when it is literally bursting out of its pot, that is, when the root system breaks the pot. Repotting may also be necessary if the plant becomes top heavy and begins to fall over. In either of these cases, you should use a new pot that’s no more than a few inches larger than the old one. The other reason a snake plant might need repotting is if it is suffering from root rot due to over-watering, as previously discussed.

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