Bird’s Nest Snake Plant Care Guide
There are other commonly known names for Sansevieria Hahnii, including Bird’s nest Snake plant, Dwarf mother in law’s tongue, and Bird’s nest Sansevieria. These miniature succulents measure 15-25 cm tall, have a stunning rosette shape, and have interesting variegation and silver green coloring. Sansevieria Hahnii can be grown and maintained in indoor areas of your home or office due to its small height. Learn more about how you can grow and care for this plant.
Plant appearance and growth
It grows in tight rosettes and never grows higher than a foot (30 cm). The leaves are green with light green bands, and can have a variety of leaf patterns. The bird’s nest snake plant never grows higher than a foot (30 cm). However, the spirally arranged leaves in a vase-like rosette shape are common in all Hahnii varieties. Although plants of this species can bloom in summer, most cultivars fail to produce flowers. Even healthy individuals grown under optimal conditions do not bloom.
It is a relatively easy plant to cultivate, and grows fast on the ground. If grown outside, it can reproduce very quickly through underground stems, spreading everywhere by means of rhizomes. This is a good houseplant like all snake plants. Snake plants require almost the same amount of care as the standard snake plant. However, Sansevieria Hahnii is more susceptible to suddenly rotting, especially if water accumulates on the leaves or the plant experiences extreme cold.
Benefits and uses
This plant makes a great ornamental plant in a house and is ideal for small pots, dish gardens, and tabletop hanging gardens. It looks great in combination with other small succulents.
A Bird’s Nest plant may also remove formaldehyde from indoor spaces. The Sansevieria plant is also capable of filtering airborne toxins while producing oxygen at night.
Sansevieria Hahnii also has the benefit of being extremely easy to grow – a potted plant that requires very little care.
Unlike most Sansevierias, Hahnii snake plants are susceptible to root rot when there is too much standing water around the roots and rhizomes. Therefore, drainage capacity is an essential consideration when choosing the soil for your snake plant. It’s best to use a sand-like, coarse soil that drains fast for snake plants, but be sure to replace it every 2-3 years as it can become compacted and dense over time.
It’s possible to make your own potting mix from regular gardening soil and some additives. You can add pumice, perlite or gravel to increase drainage, and you can also add some coir or peat to retain moisture without making the mix too dense.
Hahnii snake plants can spread rapidly outdoors, but they can also be grown in containers. They can are grown as a single plant in a small pot, or you can grow multiples in larger containers. Depending on the style of your house, you can choose terracotta, ceramic, plastic, wood or any other material. They also look spectacular in hanging pots.
Bird’s nest plants grow best in bright, indirect light. Although, it is not necessary for them to grow in direct sunlight. Instead, they can be grown in partial shade and low light conditions. Bright light seems to encourage growth and blooming. It can also enhance the color of the foliage. The light doesn’t need to be the sun for this plant to thrive. It can grow in fluorescent lights too, which makes it a popular choice for offices.
After slowly acclimatizing, Sansevieria Hahnii can withstand full sun, but they need protection from afternoon sun. Avoid areas that are too dark, as this could stunt the growth of the plant.
Generally, Sansevieria hahnii does not need frequent watering. However, excessive watering will cause root rot and possibly kill the plant. Here are some watering suggestions for the Bird’s nest plant:
- Check the surface of the soil (1-1.5 inches high) before you water; it should not be damp at all. Allow the top layer to dry out before watering.
- When you water, be sure to keep the leaves dry since, due to the rosette shape, water can accumulate between the leaves, causing fungal infection or rot.
- Water deeply and slowly until the drainage holes start to drip; allow the excess water to drain away freely. Remove the drainage saucer after 30-40 minutes; do not let your plant stand in the water.
- Most plants need water once a week or every two weeks, depending on the climate and surrounding conditions of the plant. For instance, plants in shade need fewer waterings than those in bright sunlight. If you live in a cooler region, your plant may require even less water.
- Once the winter season arrives, reduce the watering rate to once a month.
Your Sansevieria Hahnii will thrive between 60-85° F (15-29° C) although it can tolerate too cold a temperature for short periods during winter and fall. Take extra care during winters and fall when it starts to get cold. In the winter months, avoid frost as it is not as hardy as other houseplants. You may also need to provide extra heat and air to avoid the plant’s damage due to cold.
It is very low maintenance and requires little supplementary feeding. During the growing season, you can give it a weak dose of general-purpose feed. You may also use organic fertilizers, but be careful because the plant is sensitive to over fertilizing so be liberal.
You should fertilize your plants in the spring and summer as they will grow more in the warmer months. Use a half strength (20-20-20) diluted fertilizer and only fertilize once a month. Avoid feeding them during the winter. Find out more about the different types of fertilizers.
Pests and diseases
This snake plant is usually free of serious disease problems. The hardy nature of its leaves and its strength make them resistant to diseases and pests. Mealybugs and spider mites are the only potential pests that can harm your Sansevieria Hahnii.
Bird’s nest plant’s biggest enemy is overwatering and cold temperatures. Their rosette shape makes them especially prone to rot when watered on the leaves. Especially, water that stays on the young inner leaves results in mushy leaves and fungal infestations. A plant that has been left in freezing temperatures for too long may have scarring on its leaves. Look for signs like soft, drooping or yellow leaves to spot disease early on.
You won’t have to repot often with this plant as it stops growing after a certain height. You’ll need to transplant it only after the soil has become pot-bound or when you want to replace the soil. Replace your soil every 2-3 years to ensure it drains well. The best time to repot your bird’s nest snake plant is during spring or early summer, but if you cannot do that, you can use any time. Here’s how to repot your plant:
- It is important to get the right pot size or reuse the pot you already have, since this plant doesn’t need an enormous pot. Take the time to thoroughly wash the pot before reusing it.
- A layer of rocks or pebbles should be added at the bottom to cover drainage holes, then soil is placed over that.
- Put your plant in a new pot and cover the roots with potting mix. Then, carefully remove your plant from its old pot and shake off the old, sticky soil.
- The plant should be planted at the same height as before. Leave the leaves on the surface of the soil mix and the soil level should be at least 1 inch below the lip of the pot.
- In the end, water the plant thoroughly and allow the water to drain.
Grooming and Maintenance
As with most snake plants, Sansevieria Hahnii only needs minimal maintenance. Naturally, it thrives if left alone, but you should still regularly trim its leaves and remove damaged ones. Other leaves may naturally die, and these should also be replaced.
Besides trimming the leaves every now and then, your plant does not require much maintenance. However, if it is overgrown, you can divide it from its roots and make new plants.
Sansevieria hahnii is generally propagated by division as they have a strong root structure and rhizome. Leaf cuttings are another popular method of propagation, but it takes up to three months for the roots to form strong enough to support the plant. The rhizomes of Hahnii plants have a tendency to spread rapidly, so dividing the plant from its root ball seems like a quick and easy solution. Here’s how you can do this:
- Ideally, you will need a large mature plant that has established roots and multiple leaf sections for diving the roots.
- In Sansevieria Hahnii, rosettes form a vase-shaped pattern. If your plant has more than one rosettes, it is easy to separate the roots. Just separate them with one rosette in each side.
- After that, you’ll need to repot each section in a new container. Make sure that the pot has drainage holes and the soil is grittier so it drains quickly.
- If you haven’t already, deeply water your plants, then dispose of the drained water and allow them to adjust to their new environment.
- You might need to wait for the plant to form pups or propagation using leaf cuttings if it is not big enough. Nevertheless, variegated cultivars are rarely variegated when propagated by cuttings rooted from leaf tips.
Pets and kids safety
It’s better not to let your children or pets chew or eat bird’s nest snake plants. They are mildly toxic for humans and animals and affect their digestive system. Keep them away from children and pets.
Consuming the juice of the plant can cause oral and throat irritations and swollen tongues and throats. If consumed in large quantities it can result in nausea, diarrhea, and stomach pains. It can also cause skin rashes. If trimming the plant, use gloves.