Snake Plant Problems: 5 “Disadvantages” of Sansevieria to Consider Before Purchase

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Problems with Snake Plant to be Cautious of

It is ideal for new gardeners because a snake plant (Sansevieria Trifasciata) requires little care. These tropical, hard to kill plants are a popular addition to many homes. The upright arms of the leaves and the foliage’s evergreen hues make it a stunning sight.

Since snake plants are able to survive in low light, they are commonly found in homes and offices. These lucky plants produce oxygen at night and also reduce air pollutants. Although a snake plant is beneficial, there are some disadvantages to growing one at your home.


All Sansevierias are toxic to pets, which is another problem for snake plants. Many house plants like Peace lilies, English ivy, Pothos, etc., and snake plants in general, are toxic to pets. Snake plants are poisonous when ingested or chewed. However, this may not be a big issue if you have only adults living in the house. Also, if you have kids or pets around, having snake plants may make you worried.

There is a chemical called Saponin in the roots, leaves, flowers and rhizomes of this plant, which causes it to be mildly toxic. By acting as a natural insecticide and fungicide, saponin actually benefits the plant by keeping diseases at bay. As a result, snake plant juice is applied topically in some places of the world as an herbal remedy. However, consuming snake plant in any form is not advised.

Generally, the poison found in this plant is responsible for gastrointestinal troubles. Its numbing effect makes tongues and throats swell. Eating excessive amounts of the plants juice may result in nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, abdominal pains, and drooling. Allergies may result in skin rashes and dermatitis in some people.

Animals that ingest snake plants are more toxic to dogs and cats than to humans. Even though the plant’s bitter taste can deter them from eating large doses, curious pets may take a bite. Symptoms similar to poisoning (such as vomiting, diarrhea) may occur in pets after ingesting these substances.

Keep your plants out of the reach of children and pets by placing them on shelves or in no-pet zones. Pet repellent may be created by squeezing lemon or orange zest on pot rims. Most dogs and cats hate the smell of citrus. Better still, sprinkle a little cinnamon on the soil. It not only repels pets, but also acts as a fungicide for your plants.


Most snake plants suffer from overwatering. They can survive on little or no water because they are drought-tolerant plants. In fact, the snake plants are able to flourish even with a little neglect. Sitting in soggy, wet soil can be the most detrimental to the snake plants. Roots can become black, stinky, and rotten. Leaves can become yellow, mushy, and drop. When the whole root system becomes mush, it is difficult to save the plant.

There are many different ways to water snake plants depending on where you live and what time of year it is. There are many factors that can cause overwatering, including a low temperature, low sunlight, dense soil, a large pot and many other things.

To keep your plant from being overwatered, choose a sandy, well-draining soil and a pot with drainage holes. It’s important to monitor the appearance of your plant so that you can detect any signs of overwatering and adjust the watering schedule accordingly. Water the top layer of soil only when it’s dry and reduce watering in fall and winter to once a month.

Not Cold-Hardy

This plant has a high tolerance to dry and hot climates due to its tropical heritage, but it is not especially hardy in the wintertime. If you live in a region where winter temperatures go below zero, keeping snake plants outside is a bad idea.

Plant leaves can be injured permanently by exposure to cold temperatures (below 50° F or 10° C). Frost is also dangerous for the leaves, since they cannot recover from the damage. Snake plants are killed by freezing temperatures and wet soil.

Indoor plants are easier to maintain as they can be kept near a heater. Prevention is the key to preventing cold damage in snake plants. You can protect outdoor plants in cold weather by covering them with thick cloth and avoiding watering them directly. Even if the leaves are damaged, new leaves will grow from a healthy root system later in summer. However, keeping the roots moist in extreme cold is a sure way to kill the plant.


Snake plants can grow as high as 6-7 feet (depending on the variety), but generally they grow slowly. The plant growth rate of Sansevieria is slow to medium. The sapling must be grown in a number of years after being purchased from a nursery.

The snake plant lives for decades. Even the tiny roots take months to appear after propagation. Snake plants are not a good choice for a dense garden in the next year or so.

The plant’s growth seems to be accelerated by bright light, although the increase is relatively small. Mother in law’s tongue is a great indoor plant that makes a great ornamental addition to any small living space.

Rarely Flowers

An erratic flowering behavior of snake plants makes them one of the disadvantages of these plants. Some flower every year, while others do not bloom for decades. A snake plant’s flowering period can be influenced by its specific cultivar and variety. There are some snake plants that flower earlier than others, as Sansevieria Cylindrica for example.

Meanwhile, Sansevieria Golden Hahnii blooms on rare occasions. In general, snake plants bloom very rarely.

However, it is not certain that anything will certainly make a snake plant bloom. Keeping the plant healthy and giving it bright filtered sunlight may help. Even though the snake plant is a flowering species, it doesn’t promise an annual blossom.

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