Snake plants, scientifically known as Sansevieria trifasciata, have been in the United States as far back as the 1920s. In the 1930s, they were grown in Florida and shipped off to Europe for distribution. This particular plant comes from the Sanseveria family, which has over 70 species, the most popular being the Gold Hanii and Laurentii. Today, most of these plants come from Central America and the Caribbean.
Snake plant care
Over the years, the snake plant has gotten additional names such as “bowstring hemp” and the humorous “mother-in-law’s tongue.” Sansevieria are known for their durability and aptness to survive in considerably harsh conditions. These qualities make them excellent house and office plants. They require minimal watering, low light and do not require high humidity levels. However, like every plant, there are specific ways to care for these plants to keep them thriving rather than just surviving. Read on to find out how to take the best care of your snake plant.
Snake plant varieties
There is a wide range of snake plants that all possess unique names and physical attributes. The varieties include:
- Sansevieria trifasciata laurentii
- Bantel’s Sensation
- Golden Hahnii
- Silver Hahnii
- Sansevieria grandis
Snake plant pot and soil
A soilless potting mixture that contains organic and inorganic materials instead of soil, does wonders for snake plants because they can be prone to rotting. A regular soil mixture will work well too as long as you make sure the mixture is well-drained, letting the water pass through at a steady rate. It is best to use a terracotta pot that will not allow water to get trapped inside of it. Repotting may be needed when the snake plant’s strong rhizomes expand and crack the pot. When that happens, it should be transplanted into a pot that is one container size bigger. For example, if the plant is 10 inches long, you should re-pot it into a 12-inch container.
Snake plant watering
Once you have the right soil and pot, your snake plant will be set up for success. Only water the plant once it has completely dried out. Depending on multiple factors, including the size of the plant and humidity levels in your home, the time between waterings can range anywhere from 2-6 weeks. When watering, make sure to not oversaturate the soil and remove any excess water that is left on the saucer. Overwatering will be the demise of your plant. A clear sign that your plant is being overwatered is if you see its leaves start to turn yellow and the base starting to rot.
Snake plant light requirements
As mentioned earlier, these plants are highly adaptable. They can survive in highly lit spaces as well as shaded, very low-lit areas. However, they do prefer bright indirect light, set by a window facing east. Avoid direct sunlight as it has the potential to dry them out quickly. Very low light can make the snake plant’s leaves very weak and stretched out, causing them to wilt and flop over instead of standing upright as they should. For room temperature, it is ideal to keep the space at a minimum of 65 degrees.
How to propagate a snake plant
A simple way to propagate a Sansevieria is by division of rhizomes. Cut out a section of the plant with leaves and roots still attached and then replant in a new pot with moist soil. You can also place new leaf cuttings in soil that is 1 inch deep. It is critical that plant cuttings face upwards, the same way they were growing before. This cutting will take a few months to take root and produce a new plant. Also, be aware that your snake plant may lose its variegation (variety in leaf color caused by the amount of chlorophyll in the plant’s structure) if using this propagation method.
Snake plant benefits
If you take care of your snake plant well, it very well may be able to take care of you. Research from NASA showed that they have the ability to remove toxins such as benzene and formaldehyde from the air from indoor spaces. They even put these plants on space shuttles for this very reason. Another huge benefit to having a snake plant in your home, especially in your bedroom, is that it takes in carbon dioxide during the day and releases oxygen during the night time, making it easier for you to sleep. Snake plants’ indestructibility makes for a great plant to have around children and pets as well. Sansevieria have been known to withstand being knocked over, pulled, and dragged around.
For all of the reasons mentioned above, Sansevieria is an ideal plant for offices, hotels, healthcare facilities, and more. Ambius will not only supply these plants to your space, but will take care of the on-going maintenance, ensuring that your property always looks great. Contact us today to find out how we can help you refresh your environment with these unique plants!